Hang in There Tough: Wisdom from My Dad

Hang in There Tough: Wisdom From My Dad

      I was blessed to have two loving parents who supported me in all my activities. They came to my plays, watched me cheer for high school sports events, and listened to my choir and band concerts. They showed up for me in ways that now, as an adult, I remember with gratitude. They are both gone, but I cherish the memories of two people who taught me how to be curious, generous,  a reader, and value church and family. My dad was the eternal optimist who always looked on the bright side. My Mom believed in helping the underdog and helped me to strive to be the best version of myself in academics, community service, and faith. We were very close, and when she died of cancer in her 60s, I tried to become the mother to my children that she was to me.

     When I started teaching, my dad told me I had to have thick skin. This became my mantra when I started dealing with ideas that did not align with mine. I learned that we could grow and learn from different points of view, but when someone attacked my teaching, I took it personally. In the early days of teaching, my principal and I did not see eye to eye on many things, and I would go home in tears. I am still working on this. My mom told me early on that I do not take constructive criticism well, and I am still working on this. My dad told me, ” Hang in there tough.” I tried to use my parents’ wisdom in my teaching career.

     So, when it came to editing my manuscript, I found it easy to use editing tools to close the spacing gaps, put commas where needed, and remove commas where they didn’t belong. That happened so frequently that I thought I needed to return to comma school. English was always my best subject as a student, so this was pretty humbling, but I wanted to get it right. I had several people edit for me and took their suggestions to heart. I made statements more succinctly and clearer if there was a question. I used an editing program after that to still clarify the content.

     My husband is detail-oriented and has great writing skills, so he suggested other edits. At this point, my edits have been edited, and I think I am ready to go. Was it hard to understand that there was a better way to say something? Yes, it was, but in the end, this book is so important to me that I am getting better at constructive criticism and developing a thicker skin. I have learned to have an attitude of being curious instead of furious, as my initial reaction. What makes people tick? I have learned that we all come from different backgrounds with different life experiences and that knowledge has helped me learn and grow as both a teacher and an adult. Learning different points of view helps bring clarity and understanding. Thanks, Dad for teaching me to “Hang in there tough.” Happy Heavenly Father’s Day, Dad- love you!