What I Learned From a Phone Call with My Dad

If there is one word I might choose to describe January it would be: refocus.  It's been a relatively slow and quiet month here; something I so desperately needed.  I hardly picked up my camera and all but ditched social media.  It's renewing to take a break from all the hustle and online advertising.  I feel like I've been able to reprioritize and rebalance my life.  It doesn't mean I have it all together.  No!  Haha.  That will never happen.  But it does mean that I feel a sense of calm and contentment I haven't felt in quite a while.

If you've been following along here over the last couple of months, you might have picked up on the fact that I've been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  In a constant state of go, go, go, I've been wearing myself thin!

Then my dad called last week.  I am a version of him in so many ways.  We talked for an hour and twenty two minutes.  It was so fun to talk with him.  He said exactly what I needed to hear in exactly the way I needed it.  I got off the phone and happy cried.

He described the kind of person he used to be thirty years ago; it was like he was describing the male version of me!  Growing up, my dad always had a project: building a car, building an airplane, building a boat.  He remembered getting about ten or twenty minutes in to fixing this fender on the car when my mom popped into the garage.  Dinner was ready.  Us kids needed his attention.  And my dad would think, "Geez!  Why can't you people just be self sufficient for twenty more minutes?!"

My thoughts have echoed his more times than I can count!  I just want to get something done from start to finish without being interrupted.  Is it too much to ask?  Well, yes, it is.

My dad then went on to explain about his current project, a boat.  In his mind, he figured it would take about three years to restore.  Well, it's been seven years and it looks like it'll take about three more to finish it.  A three year project turned into a ten year project.  In the mean time, however, he remarried and has been coaching basketball every year.  Coaching has taken him away from the boat, but his time has been used in a much better way by making differences (big and small) in children's lives.

Time is about people.  It's not about ourselves.

So when that home organization project that I think should only take two weeks to complete actually takes eight, it's okay.  If it takes me an extra year to finally put Conrad's baby book together, it's okay.  It really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  It's okay to plug along at a snail's pace.  It'll get done... eventually.  And in the mean time, I'm caring for those people in my life I love most.  That's where my time really matters.

Aww, I love my dad.  I knew all this, but for some reason, I didn't feel validated in my thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes it just takes a special someone who truly understands to make it all click.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I am now giving myself permission to slow down and just be present.  Life is good again.  Thanks for the wisdom, Dad.      

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