Tuesdays with Bob: Profound Advice from Dad

Every morning since the day I launched my first business, I have the same routine.  I enjoy a hot cup of coffee, sit in my office with my dogs and journal.  I know it may sound woo-woo, but to be completely honest, journaling has afforded me the opportunity to reflect on so many vital aspects of my life and my business.

I journal about things like my body and wellness, my devotions for the day, reflecting on daily affirmations; I look at how my month has felt, what is working, what needs to change, what fulfills me, what I want to focus on, intentions I set for myself, discussing actions I will take, identifying nourishing thoughts and ultimately, expressing gratitude.

This morning, however, something just wasn’t sitting well with me.  

Either it’s the extreme need for an eyebrow wax, the knots in my back that a massage therapist SHOULD be taking care of or perhaps it’s the DIY mani/pedi that needs the touch of a skilled professional that irked me, but either way, something just didn’t feel right.

I was holding onto a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Like many of us, I have Marie Kondo-ed not only my home but also my business and have been incredibly reflective of the things that simply do not bring me joy; I hold onto them, then release them.  For anyone who has observed a Netflix episode or two of Marie Kondo’s work, we know that the more we release what isn’t working, the closer we hold onto the things that truly matter.

As I was Marie Kondo-ing my email inbox this morning, I came across some troubling thoughts and like any responsible business-owner with a graduate degree and a few accolades to her name, I did what any self-respecting, mature woman would do: I called my Daddy.

A widower living in central Wisconsin with a daily routine of walking his dog and dabbling in a bit of day-trading, my Dad is THE iconic Midwest Dad.  Although he’s still learning how to use his iPhone and has no clue how social media works, he is still the smartest man I know for so many reasons, and this morning’s coffee with Dad was no exception.

I called him, and because I’m clearly the greatest joy in his world and the brightest light of his life (just kidding), he answered.

“What’s wrong honey? You sound down today…” Dad asked.

And just like that, I felt like that young little freckle-faced girl who used to climb onto a kitchen chair and sit across from Dad asking for help with her Math homework, or that seemingly independent young adult who kicked out the kitchen chair to sit across from Dad to ask for help in completing college applications or, most recently, the mature 30-something woman who now sat clear across the country from Dad but still needed him.

“Daddy, I’m confused…” 

and just like that, I unloaded on him.  

I shared with him my fears, my thoughts, my hopes, my concerns, my ambitions, my anxieties… 

Like the ice crumbling over Lake Michigan under the spring sun or the tell tale crack of a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon opening on Super Bowl Sunday, the shatter of my “wall”, the “strength” I had built came crashing around me in the face of comfortability.  I knew that no matter what I said, he would still love me and protect me.

And THAT is what I needed most.  His guidance, his protection, his honesty, his insight, and his listening ear.  Despite the years of advice he’s provided to me, he never fails to amaze me with the things he says and so here it came: Dad’s words of wisdom:

“Katreeene (Dad’s nickname for me), you gotta take the good with the bad; and if I know YOU, I know you’ll learn a lot more from the bad, you’ll take it, grow from it, and use it to make your work even better”

Just like that, he put it all into perspective.

He’s right.

It’s the mistakes I have made that have taught me the most about myself.  It’s the dark moments that helped me find my light.  It’s the uncomfortable times that forced me into a different comfort zone and it’s the low points that truly made me feel grounded.

I reflect on the fear, hysteria and uncertainty of these times; and I realize that Dad is a true Wizard with his words; just like Dorothy, I’ve always had it in me.  Dad reminded me that I am a magnet for miracles, that my ability to adapt, focus and get creative are solid reminders that I have a brain, my heart is full and I have the courage to face all of my fears.

While I may not have Toto with me, I have four four-legged trusty sidekicks loving me along the way; all I need to do is ignore the flying monkeys and shashay down the yellow brick road I’ve built for myself; and ultimately, that with a click of my iPhone, I am reminded that there truly is no place like home!

Thank you, Daddy, for continuing to be the best human I know.

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