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Remove the middle man of regret

'For what it is worth, it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live the life you are proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.' - F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is so much truth and depth to F. Scott Fitzgerald's quote.

Are you living the life you were meant to live? Are you giving your all? Can you look back on you life with no regret?

I often ponder these questions. Many times I can't believe the amount of times that have been wasted wondering if what I was doing was right instead of doing what is right. You see, in doing the right thing we remove the middle man of regret and no longer dwell on the past. We have more time to engage in life and look forward to tomorrow?

My focus has changed to living in the here and now, living for today. I am invested in the present, my time too valuable to waste on the past. The burden of my own mistakes has been lifted from my heart giving me new freedoms. My mind rests easy.

Finding a new-found joy in life and light to shine, I would like to share my passion in life. It's the reason that brought me here today and the reason I write these words to you.

I believe we all have a responsibility to look out for our children's future, to preserve a way of life that will impact generations to come. I want to take a deeper role in assisting in the needs of area families, to reach out a helping hand to those who are fighting to keep families together, fighting to see their children, or just fighting to survive.

The FATHER Project is up and running in Park Rapids. We are here to assist families in need of services. As full-time case manager and parenting facilitator, let me know how I can help you.

The FATHER Project serves all dads, custodial or non-custodial. We offer parenting classes, fathering skills classes, GED services, father and family activities, case management, employment services and child support services.

Our goal is to offer insight, joy and the rewards of being a good and loving father. Moms, too, can become involved with parenting classes and receive the same services as dads. The FATHER Project is all inclusive.

In the end, what truly matters most is what you have done for your family - in good times and bad. Sometimes the more difficult the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. If you don't feel good about where you are today, then I encourage you to find the strength to make a fresh start. You are not alone. The FATHER Project is here to help.

Editor's note: Joe Johnson and his wife Amanda have two children. He is a licensed master trainer/consultant for St. Joseph's Area Health Services Community Health Nurturing Fathers Program and is a case manager for the FATHER Project, a program funded by Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota. To learn more about participating in Fathering Skills classes, call him at 255-2063 or e-mail josephjohnson@catholic