1-"Don't give up what you want most for what you want now." I was about 14. I remember riding in an old, beat up farm truck with my dad. He felt like chatting that day (which is rare because he is man of few words) and had me repeat that phrase word for word. Over and over and over. He was telling me stories of friends or family that he felt sacrificed special things for 'living in the moment'. The ability to endure and see the big picture shapes nearly every decision I make.
2-"There are two sides to every story". Growing up I would come home from school to vent to my parents about a sob story where some person was rude....mean...conceited....arrogant....stupid...etc as most children and teens do. I would beg my mom to call the teacher and stick up for me. Her response was always, "There are two sides to every story. You never know what is going on in his/her life." She would then ask me what I did wrong. Can you believe that? Making me be accountable for my actions?! She never let us pass blame to someone else.
3- "I don't care if you make a mistake, I care if you lie about it." I was probably 3 or 4 years old. I took dental floss from my dad's drawer without asking. I used the whole thing up, baffled with how cool the dispenser was. He later asked me if I had seen it. Worried I would be in trouble I quickly responded "No." The guilt was horrifying. After waiting forever to confess, which was probably 1-2 minutes. I started bawling and told the truth. He replied, "I don't care you that you took and used all my floss, I care that you lied to me about taking it. I would have given it to you if you would have asked." I never lied to my dad again until I was 17, and he caught me. Once again I was in trouble for lying about staying out past curfew, not for being late.
4- Family dinner is essential. We didn't eat consistently together each night. We were highly involved in sports, church activities or work but my parents did cook homemade, real food most nights of the week. I loved coming home to Dad's homemade chili we could eat for days. We never wasted food. Dad would often hunt for game meat and Mom would cook from scratch. Night after night. Eating out was special and a rare occasion. If we complained we were told to "eat what's put before you". They took turns cooking and the children's job was the dishes. Some of my best memories are in the kitchen near mealtime.
5- "If your out-go exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall". My parents are meticulous with their money and passed that onto us. In our house, debt was not an option. Credit cards were paid off every month. I don't ever remember them borrowing money from others but I also know that in my early childhood we didn't have much. My dad was always fixing anything broken and never just threw things away. We were taught to save money and work for things we needed.
Thank you Mom and Dad. I love you. I know I was meant to be your daughter.
About This Author: Ashley Johanson Farr was raised in small town in Northern Utah. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences Education also known as home economics. She taught foods, nutrition and sewing to inner city junior high students for three years until she married her husband, Tim, and became an Army Wife. Her passion in health and fitness has included three Ragnar Races, two half marathons, three sprint triathlons, crossfit, and most recently an NPC bikini competition. While she has always enjoyed exercise yet she has always loved food and dessert even more! She turned to eating a real, whole foods based life two years ago and has never looked back! Her attitude, spirit, performance, emotions, strength, physical appearance, and energy all improved when she learned to focus on what humans were meant to eat. "The older I get, the younger people think I look and THAT is priceless!" she says. To learn more about Ashley visit her website @ http://farrcleanerlife.blogspot.com/