Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things I learned from my Father

My Father has been gone 10 years this month. He taught me so much and I try to carry on his tradition and share what I call everyday wisdom. That stuff we should all do, but often don't. So in that spirit, listen to DJR and get off your duff and take care of some of this stuff. (More about DJR 8/24/09 post)

In no order of importance- that is for you to decide:

Always have emergency water and food in your home and water in your car. I have 2 emergency bins ready in my garage at all times and can without public service aid, support myself, daughter, and our pets for two weeks, either in place at home, or from my car.

Carry a blanket in your car-for human emergency and pet emergency.

Carry a tool kit and emergency supplies in your car. I store mine in a small suitcase and cannot begin to tell you how many times I and my friends have used the kit.

Store an extra car key behind your license plate. Unless you are out in the boonies you can always get a screwdriver from a store or use a coin.

Save early, save often, even if it is only a little each week. A small amount will compound into a lot. Teach your children to do the same.

Have a living will, even hand written, no matter what your age, and make sure someone knows where you keep it. Assign an executor to your estate, set up a trust, and tell those you love.

Be an organ donor. My Mother received two different kidneys at two different times. Thank Heaven.

Sign up to be a bone marrow donor.

Talk to your kids about what your final wishes are, even if they are mere teens. Don't leave them in a time of extreme stress with the added burden of sorting through your financial and personal wishes. If you still have small children, find guardians now, this week, who are willing to assume the responsibility of caring for your children. You, not another family member or social services need to decide.

Be thankful to your God. Be grateful for your blessings.

Take care of your teeth, and change your toothbrush often.

Always pay extra principle on your mortgage. Again it makes a difference quickly.

Get your oil changed on time. Check the air in your tires frequently.

One of my Father's favorite quotes is ... "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." ~Abraham Lincoln ... Those of you who know me personally know I have lived this. Our home is my family's safe haven, their refuge. It has always been important to me to keep it clean and comfortable. Your environment matters, no matter what your income. I'm not talking fancy, or talking "things". Within your means, make your home what it should be for those you love.

Do timely home repairs, before they are costly repairs.

Keep up to date and accurate personal files.

Read - good books, informative articles, your local newspaper. Try taking a good break from TV addiction.

Buy classic well made shoes and clothing- It will save you money.

Don't be ignorant of world geography or your own state. (A 2010 goal of mine)

With young children, have a family night.

Do things the right way the first time.

Do not bad mouth someone who signs your paycheck. If you cannot keep to that rule, change your job.

Keep a neat and clean appearance.

Offer to help your neighbors, anytime you see them working outdoors, especially if they are elderly.

This one is hats off to brother Scott - "50% of all Doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class"- get a second opinion - they are not Gods. Tell your Doctor the truth or he/she cannot serve you properly. Educate yourself about your own health.

From me:
Recycle everything you can- it MATTERS

Stop using plastic bags. Use your own bags no matter where you shop. Once you get in the habit- it really is second nature.

For the post mid-lifers - Become computer savvy- unless you're 95- then maybe you don't need to, but maybe you want to. Take a class if you have to. No excuse for not learning is acceptable. It is 2010,the benefits far out weigh the negatives.

Keep an emergency money fund easily accessible. I have some great secret places to stash I will tell you, just not on here.

Assess your life occasionally and reinforce the positives and rid the negatives. We are here for a very short time, make the most of it. Always ask yourself HONESTLY

if the stress of:

the relationship
owning the item/buying the item
working the job
not doing the chore

is worth it.

Follow the 30 minute rule. Set a timer for 30 minutes and tackle "whatever" for 30 minutes. If the ding goes off and you want to stop, stop! guilt free. You'll find as you practice this technique, that you will reset the timer for another 30 more often than not, and at the very least you will go back at it for another 30 sooner, rather than later.

So, this is a long post, with no pretty pictures, and I'm sure there are many more wisdoms I'll remember in the next few days and I may edit them in. If you have any everyday wisdom I've missed or need to know, please email me or comment so I can share.

Haiti

What words can I use to implore all who stop by here to do what you can to help, if you have not already done so. Even the $10.00 text fee added up to millions in one day alone. We all can afford at least $10.00. Please choose your charities wisely and check to make sure that your credit card company is not taking their 3% transaction fee from your charity. Many do, but several say they have suspended the fee temporarily, but I am appalled to discover they routinely do this, making millions from tragedy.

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