Why Dads Are So Important

dad, dads, children, daughter, family, try, best, emptiness, best, share, world, ready, late, to, forgive, past, missed, survive, survived, characters, never, best, lucky, why, safe, sacrifice, daddy, important, why, role model, male, gender, present, absentFamilies come in all shapes and sizes. Some have one dad, some have two and some have none. Friends can sometimes become family and family are not always necessarily friends. I love all families and know many people have grown up with a lot of love while others had to grow up without it and do it fast.

I love listening to different stories about people’s upbringings because it provides a sense of context for their character. Some people choose to own their past as part of their framework, while others denounce it altogether and continually fight it.

I own my past, and my past and present consist of having a dad. Not just your average dad, literally the best dad. I know a lot of people say this, but I know I am right. He was and is always present in my life.

He was that dad that always meddled. The dad that met with all my teachers. The dad that was never really asleep at night because he wanted to make sure his family was safe at all times. The dad who sacrificed his everything for his family to live well. The dad who shared nothing about his job while he was home. The dad that read me a book every single night. The dad that was (and is still) the great Saint Nick every Christmas.

It hurts me when I hear some people never had a dad. Maybe it’s not even a dad they needed, but overall support and unconditional love from a good role model.

I am all about gender equality, but there is something to be said about male role models in general. They provide a certain sense of security and love I can’t really compare to anything else.

Either way, I want to thank all those dads out there who did and continue to do their best. Those dads that work overtime just to keep their family comfortable. Those dads that save up all their retirement money to help their children buy a house. Those dads who do homework with their kids even after a rough day at work. Those dads that put gas in their kid’s car. Those dads who look at their children like they are their biggest accomplishments. Those dads who adopted other people’s children as their own. Those dads who thought they weren’t ready for fatherhood but later realized it was actually their life calling.

And to those Dads who couldn’t or just weren’t ready to be present for their children: It is never too late. No matter the age, your kids needs you. No matter the circumstance, your kids will forgive you.

What I really want to let you know is that you missed out. Yes, you missed out on watching your children flourish. And although this is true, just know that most of us do the best we can with what we know at the time. Even if you didn’t, I have talked to your children. The void is still there and is still waiting to be filled. Yes, you might have seemed essential to their lives at some point but they survived without you. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know who they became without you?

I always had a dad so I can’t speak for every circumstance, but I do know that there is a large number of people who grew up without a dad or anything resembling one. This made many people stronger and others a lot weaker. Whatever the case, I really hope more dads try to reach out to their estranged children and never stop.

I got lucky, but I still feel for those that feel an emptiness within their hearts. I wish I could just share my dad with the entire world but that goes hand in hand with my desire for world peace. Dads are important, if you happen to have kids, try your best to be one. You don’t have to be the very best dad, but at least try to be there.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

The One Thing You Should Never Forget at Home

forgot, mind, home, thoughts, never, one, thing, positive, forget, focus, present, believe, goals, dream, accomplish, thoughts, dreams, negative, leave, believe,I was at Crossfit yesterday just loving life. I love that point in the day where I can just stop thinking about work and life and just focus on what my body can do.

Working out offers a great sense of relief that helps me navigate through stress and all of life’s noise. I left work a bit stressed out and was very grateful it was now my time to focus on me. Although I was super excited about working out, I forgot to bring something with me today that I can never forget again.

We started doing some push presses and I kept saying, “I can’t.” What a fatal flaw. I learned long ago, that if you say you can’t, you probably won’t. This was definitely the case this time around. I just couldn’t. My workout partner was very supportive and reminded me that I needed to just, “focus.” Easier said than done, right?

I told myself to “focus” and I just kept failing. It wasn’t until I took the “I can’t” mentality out of my head that I was able to completely focus on the task at hand and finally succeed.

Simply telling yourself to “focus” is not enough. You must believe in yourself and take all negative thoughts out of your head to truly reach your potential. The negative should be replaced by only positive affirmations to achieve any personal goal.

I sound like a nauseating self-help book, don’t I? No apologies here, I saw how not focusing directly affected my workout and how that transfers to life in general.

The story doesn’t end there. We moved on to our timed workout and I forgot to believe in myself again. I had no focus. I went to jump on a box and fell to my knees. Literally. I could have broken a bone but I knew I was going to fall before I actually did. Weird, right?

Not really, this happens in real life too. We create safety nets for ourselves in fear of failing. Maybe we take up substances to avoid dealing with things, or maybe we have plan A, B, C, D, E and F. It’s good to be prepared, but never okay to set yourself up for failure. I knew I was going to fall before I did, and guess what? I did.

Any goal we set can be achieved if we just remember to bring our deep “focus” and positive affirmations with us. You can’t leave this stuff at home. I sound like a broken record when I say, “Just be positive.” And although it sounds so basic and cliché, it is true about most things. I admit, some situations cannot be turned into something positive and/or affirmational.

But when it comes with something you want to accomplish, it is easy to forget to focus and believe in yourself. We are our own toughest critics after all…

I realize I learn a new life lesson every day. Whether it is at the gym, work, or home, I am constantly soaking up life knowledge like a sponge. Yesterday’s lesson was focus. Not the artificial kind, but that deep focus that comes from within.

Simply telling yourself to “focus” is sometimes not enough. I had to let go of all my negative thoughts yesterday before I could actually tap into true focus and determination within me.

Remember, if you ever want to get anything done in life, don’t forgot your focus at home. Take it everywhere you go by staying present and clearing your mind of all negativity that might want to sneak in throughout the day.

Stay present. Stay focused. Stay positive.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why I Don’t Care That I Crashed My Car

car, crash, alive, blessings, blessed, gratitude, safe, thankful, present, life, wake up, brain, off, on, work, new, transition, drive, scary, why, I, don't, careI started a new job recently and am over the moon about it. It is exactly what I wanted to do and my heart is filled with endless gratitude. With this new gig comes a new way of life. I have adjusted to waking up earlier than ever and not having the option of escaping an office at any sign of stress.

The transition has been much smoother than I thought it would be but having a desk job is definitely not my familiar. Driving used to be the norm for me. I was always filled with adrenaline while fighting traffic. Those days are over, and for that, I am grateful.

I only drive about 30 minutes a day now which is pretty awesome. But my desk job takes so much of my brain power, that by the time work is over my brain just doesn’t want to think anymore. It shuts off immediately. It’s kind of strange and scary.

I headed home the other day after a long day at work. I went to wash and detail my car and got into a car crash as I exited the car wash. I followed the person while shaking in my boots. I just kept hoping everyone in the other car was okay.

The other driver finally pulled over, after what felt like 10 minutes of following them. They were calmer than I was. I honestly didn’t care what the physical damage was. I just wanted to make sure everyone was safe and sound.

I’ve crashed before, but never into a person in a moving vehicle. In the past, I would have been hysterically crying about the damage to my car. I would not have cared about anything but the money it would cost to fix my car.

This time everything felt different. I didn’t care about petty personal property, I simply cared about all the humans involved. The dent in my car was meaningless. My car is new, but who really cares? All parties were safe and that is a miracle alone.

The movie “Crash” immediately came to mind after this incident. Was I so mentally tired after such a long day that I became numb before colliding with another driver? Was I involved in a crash so I could be reminded to wake up and simply feel something? 

Who knows.

What I do know is that I definitely woke up in that moment. I looked around and counted each of my blessings. The point is to count all of your blessings in this way on a daily basis, not simply after a horrific incident.

Staring death in the eye shouldn’t be the catalyst, you should be the catalyst. Be that person who wakes up and never forgets what they are grateful for. I admit I have to work on this throughout the day and during mundane tasks like driving home.

I don’t think I was present enough in that telling moment. I was mechanically driving, but my mind was in “off” mode. Let’s never be “off.” Life is too beautiful to forget to be present. Yes, it is easy to let our minds wander, but let’s make it a point to limit this.

Had my physical life ended in that moment, I would have nothing to show for it but a blank mind eager to enjoy a mindless evening.

My life is in transition and it more important than ever to stay present, in my life, my career, and all of my heartfelt relationships. Changes are never easy and this crash proves that. Just when I thought all the threat and danger of driving was gone, it came back to slap me in the face.

I must always remember that I am alive, I am powerful, I am loveable, I am valuable, and I must stay forever present.

Don’t fall asleep in your waking life, that is what dreaming is for.

Stay alive. Stay present. Stay thankful.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen