The best advice I have ever been given came from an unexpected source.
The timing was perfect, the tone was spot on and the person who gave it was sincere.
It was from my dad.
Now you might be thinking that it is really not uncommon. Dads are full of advice!
Well, let’s just say my dad is a bit different.
He was never much of a talker. A waiter might disagree; they would, unfortunately, know our life story within five minutes of bringing drinks to the table. But there are no feelings involved in that kind of talk.
Instead, he’s the type of person that showed affection by spoiling us, driving us to school and ballet, hugs and kisses, and flowers for every and any special occasion.
Nothing that crossed the line into the deep raw emotions and turmoils of a girl’s life.
I was trying to reach mom, who hardly ever answers her phone, so I called dad in the hopes he could let her know to call me back. It took me by surprise that, without hesitation, he started making small talk with me. I took the bait.
Let’s face it, I was in the early stages of my pregnancy and hormones were all over the place. If you want me to be an open book, catch me when I’m pregnant or nursing. We got to talking and I mentioned how I was getting stressed. How I felt anything I did or didn’t do would have an impact on the baby’s health and outcome. How I felt responsible if anything were to happen because it was my body developing this fetus.
I will never forget where I was, how I felt and my reaction when he said “No hay porque preocuparse dos veces (There is no point in worrying twice)”.
I was driving home from work and as I heard this advice, I felt this calming wave go through my body. A huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I could feel my breath travel through me, and my worries just floated away. He went on telling me how the best thing I can do right now is to let go of stress and take care of myself. If something does happen, then we would formulate a plan and I would have his support along the way.
It’s funny how these words spoken twenty-two hundred miles away felt like a huge hug.
We were in completely different locations, but walking hand in hand. And he was right. There really was no point in worrying about possible outcomes. Being present in the moment was the right thing to do. If anything did happen, then we would have time to worry. For now, my energy would be spent taking care of this baby and myself.
Five years later, my dad’s advice is still the one piece of advice I use daily and think about often.
I am prone to worrying, so it is a great reminder to tackle things when and if they come. It is good to be prepared for the unexpected, but there is no use in stressing about it today. What is now is now, what will come will come.
The future might be uncertain, but I know I will have the best support whenever life gets hard, even if it comes from unexpected places.
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