It’s Life Lessons time again! Today we hear from Cody Williams, one of our “Male GEMs” Hey, did you know 1/4th of the regular readers of Good Enough Mother, are men? I LOVE that. Cody’s one who’s not afraid to express himself either (check out the spiky back and forth on this piece). But that’s exactly what I love about this and GEM and Cody and all of  you; you have opinions and aren’t afraid to express them. I feel honored you choose this place to do that. Okay, read more about Cody and remember, if you want to take part in this exercise, drop us a line!

Are you happy at the moment?

Yes I am. Very. But to be honest, I’m afraid to admit it. Because in life, I’ve seen as soon as you admit to happiness something comes along and snatches it from you. A financial setback, job loss, divorce, death. Life, it seems, will not allow us to be too happy for too long.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Learn CPR, and quickly. You’ll need it. If I had known it at 17 maybe I could have kept my father from dying. I was there, sitting at the foot of his bed when he had a fatal heart attack. And I didn’t know what to do. I loved my dad a lot, so much so that I’ve named both my children after him. Boy and girl. But, I’ve always wished I could go back and change that day. Other than that, I would tell my 16-year-old self to do everything you’re going to do. You did good. Well, maybe. Mom really wanted me to continue acting. She wanted me to be a star. And all I wanted to do was write. Oh, well.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

I had come to believe that being a true Christian, being spiritual meant giving your all to others, serving others. This year it was revealed to me that the true Yin/Yang is to take into consideration the self as well. It is important to serve others and equally important, to take care of one’s self. That was a major revelation.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Complete my novel and get it published.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Accepting you for exactly who and what you are. Fulfilling your goals. Loving and giving to others. Success.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Prayer. Picking up my kids from school and spending time with them. Laughing and experiencing the world anew through their eyes.

What’s your biggest regret?

Aside from the dad thing, not making the right love choices. I could have done a lot better in that department.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

First and foremost I teach my kids that they have a father who loves them more than anything else in the world. I want them to know that. Secondly, I teach them to be honest, always. Then I try my best to impart to them that there is no one anywhere better than they are at anything they choose to do. I want them to know that they could do anything and be anything they choose to be.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Loving wrong. Picking love as a project. Looking for someone who I think I can fix. What’s up with that? Oh, and that gambling thing I have I could also stand to lose.

Aside from fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

Graduating from the University of Michigan. Driving across country alone. Having a stage play produced and optioning the rights to a movie script I wrote.

When were you happiest?

Without question, when I’m with my kids and they ask me a life question, or we are just laughing and having a good time doing whatever, I can’t imagine being happier.

What ten words best describe you?

Dad, seeker, writer, friend, honest, adventurist, Christian, procrastinator, runner, drunk.

A Detroit native, Cody is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he majored in Journalism with studies in Business Administration and Organizational Behavior. He studied dramatic writing at New School University and the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, both in New York City. His columns and essays have been published in the New York Times, The Oakland Press, The Springfield Republican, NAACP’s Crisis magazine and many online publications. The single father of two now lives in the wooded hills of Connecticut where he writes and develops training seminars. Cody is currently working to complete his first novel, ‘Persuasion’, a story about love and alternate realities.