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Life Lessons: John Marchese

John Marchese

Oh what to say, what to say, what to say about John Marchese? He may be familiar to you as he’s written a few pieces here on the site, but I have had a chance to get to know him on a more personal basis. And you know what? It’s guys like John that make me happy I’m doing what I am. He’s a calming, steady presence, even in the face of uncertainty and for that, I am thankful. Thankful to call him friend and really, super glad he’s on my side. Okay, more now from my friend John, to whom I owe a HUGE bottle of expensive wine.. and soon. And remember if you’d like to take part in our Life Lessons exercise, drop us a line; we’ll get the questions right out to you.

Are you happy at the moment?

Absolutely. I am healthy and my family is healthy. Beyond that, everything else is gravy.

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

“Recognize opportunities and be courageous enough to take advantage. It will often feel uncomfortable, and you will be tempted to take the easier path. Ignore the discomfort and temptation. Have no regrets.”

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

I have learned (truthfully, I’m still in the process of learning) that it is never too late to redefine yourself. It may not be easy, but it is NEVER too late.

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

I would like to become a more efficient and productive writer. My “perfection quotient,” is very high, a desirable trait of my attorney-self, but debilitating to my writer-self. I need to learn how to tame that beast.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best:  “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” I surround myself with positive people and follow my heart as much as possible.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I can’t limit myself to one. Golf and tennis are what help me stay mentally and emotionally stable and, to a lesser extent, reading (anything and everything) and television (anything and everything).

What’s your biggest regret?

Are there things I would like to do over? Without a doubt. But regrets? Absolutely not. Unlike George Bailey, I don’t need Clarence to realize that I’ve really had a wonderful life.

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

I’ve tried to teach my kids to value family and tradition. Most everything in life comes and goes, but family is constant. Embrace it, nurture it and leave it better than when you found it.

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

I am frustrated by how easily I get distracted. If I could focus more than 30 minutes at a time without needing to “stretch,” it would be miraculous.

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

Given the restrictions in the question, I am most proud that I am regarded, both personally and professionally, as a good person, someone people like to be around.

When were you happiest?

Without a doubt, I am happiest when my family is together. What I once took for granted, I now value more than anything on earth. As I write this, my oldest daughter is home from college for Christmas break, so I am very happy right now.

What ten words best describe you?

Funny, intelligent, articulate, intense, entertaining, serious, assertive, competent, adaptive, accommodating (to a point).

John Marchese is an attorney, writer, imperfect father and husband of a perfect wife and mother. He is a shareholder at Colucci & Gallaher, P.C. in Buffalo, New York and a frequent contributor to The Disney Driven Life.  John may be reached, followed or ignored at jjmarchese.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

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