I had left school at the end of year 11 just a few months previously and was working on the family farm which is what I'd told my parents I really wanted to do. So I was doing things like crutching sheep, mustering cattle, ploughing paddocks and carting hay, all the things i'd done for years and enjoyed anyway.
Then one work day evening I was getting dressed in my bedroom after a shower and realised I could hear my father and a couple of his friends talking over drinks, around a bar on the other side of a series of glass doors which formed one side of my bedroom.
Suddenly I realised I was the subject under discussion when I heard my father say “Diz (my nickname) is doing a wonderful job on the farm.”
Well, that was a bolt from the blue because he'd never praised me personally before and I don't think he ever did after that either. Not that he was critical much either, except when I tipped over a hay bale loader when towing it carelessly behind a ute and another time when I nearly landed his plane on a small mob of sheep. (would have been messy).
About 15 years later, we'd sold the farm and I had just started working as a journalist for the weekly farm paper Stock and Land. At a farm field day not far from here, my parents met up with my editor for the first and only time. And again in absentia I was praised for the reporting job I was doing.
Those are things which you remember and are life changing I think because the praise means more because it is indirect. But I'm not sure indirect criticism works so well.