Growing up, my Dad was one the most influential figures in my life.  He taught me how to work hard and to have a relentless desire to learn about everything around me.  While he had a heart of gold and would give anyone the shirt off his back; he taught me situationally appropriate toughness and grit.  As I reflect on the many days we spent together; my mind is drawn to the time we spent fishing and gardening.  Dad was an expert fisherman and a master gardener.  While I work diligently at both; I am only a fraction as talented as he was at either.

Gardening to Dad was both a hobby and more importantly how we fed our family and friends.  He was meticulous about every step and produced phenomenal results just about every time.  As my family and I work this year to put out our garden, my mind has been focused on how grateful I am to have the experiences with my Dad and for all the learnings that he shared with me even when I had no idea I was learning anything at all.

Our world can often seem chaotic and overwhelming.  I find by reflecting on the memories of my youth and connecting those memories forward into how I spend my time keeps me grounded and reasonably insulated from the daily stressors and dangers of life.  Dad would often tell me there was never an excuse for getting out worked or out learned.  I think about those lessons every day and try to practice that approach.  I am including pictures of our garden with this article.  There has been a lot of work and learning.  I believe Dad is smiling from Heaven as he watches our family continue with the traditions that he started and that my family works to continue in future generations.

As you experience the chaos of the world, I am hopeful that these lessons of hard work, a relentless desire to learn about everything around you, the willingness to serve and give to others and a small dose of toughness and grit will carry you through the challenges and make the peaks of your accomplishments even more rewarding.

potatoes 1 eggplant

See more photos of our garden.

Author: EW TibbsA Proactive, Determined Leader Who Builds Lasting, Collaborative Relationships with key constituencies to advance the goals of the organization. A visionary change agent, who sets the highest performance standards for himself and for the organization. Seeks out difficult, long-standing problems and solves them with a deft political touch. Especially effective in building positive relationships (medical staff and other). Strong clinical knowledge and experience create solid working relationships with clinical team members. Builds high performing teams and empowers them to solve problems and move the organization forward. A skilled financial steward who is fact-based and data-driven.