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Wide Awake: Lessons from my Father
From the good to the goofy, thoughts to remember

We left on a Friday evening this summer and headed to Boston with the girls to visit some colleges. We hit tons of traffic, and the trip took way too many hours. We arrived at our hotel tired and cranky. When we stepped off the elevator and saw our room right across the hall, Joe looked at me. He said nothing. “I’m Bud Maley’s daughter,” I said.

He knew exactly what I meant, but he was really tired. My daughter Klein rolled her eyes, and the other two dropped their bags and plopped onto the floor. “Come on,” Joe said. “It’s late.”

In about two minutes, he was on his way down to have our room changed. As Bud Maley’s daughter, I know that you never sleep in a room across from the elevator – or the ice machine. (That is, unless you don’t want to get any sleep.) I know this because my father told me.

Like most fathers, my dad has filled my life with numerous lessons and plenty of advice. Most often, I learned by watching him. Other times, he sat down and shared his thoughts with my brother, sister and me. We took in every word and every example. Sometimes we looked at each other and burst out laughing. But other times, we held onto the message. I’d like to share with you the lessons I’ve learned from my father:

I can do anything.

Watching “The Bachlorette” is always a waste of time.

It is extremely important to thoroughly dry your feet after a shower or swimming. (I didn’t really buy into that lesson, but he did give a demonstration to my brother, sister and me when we were younger. I’m not making that up – he showed us how to dry between each toe. We have since decided this may be  his own personal issue.)

A college degree is an absolute.  I watched my dad receive his diploma when I was 12.

Cutting a bagel by holding it in the palm of your hand while the knife is going into it is dangerous.

There is much to see in the world. Travel, and see as much as you can.

Work hard to be successful.

Marry someone you like – as well as love – so you can enjoy your life.

Always have a firm handshake.

Don’t date boys with dirty fingernails.

Golf isn’t boring.

Throughout your life, it’s beneficial to surround yourself with many, many friends.

It’s wonderful and necessary to help your friends whenever they need you.

Love your daughters. Respect them. Treat them well.

Don’t come to a complete stop when entering a highway. Slow down and merge into traffic, but don’t stop.

Take risks. If you are considering taking a big step – like buying a publishing business – you have to give it a shot.

Nothing is more important than your family.

Life can be a party. And when you’re at a party, sing all night long.

The easiest way to butter corn-on-the-cob is to take a piece of bread, butter it and then rub it all over the cob.

Volunteer in your community. Use your skills and talents to help organizations you value.

New York City is a great place. Watching a show on Broadway can be exhilarating.

And no matter what, my dad loves me.

September 2011
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