January isn’t the best of the months for that feel-good factor. After the Christmas period and the new year, resolutions have faded away we can often feel a bit down. January this year has had a good go at getting at me, in particular.  Events in my life have made me realise that some of these, let’s call them irritants, aren’t worth me wasting my time and energy over. These irritants have encouraged me to reflect on what worries me most as a dad.

 

What Has This Month Thrown at me so far?

 

Please don’t take this as my opportunity for a whinge, as I realise there are people out there in far worse situations than myself. I just need to explain what has happened and why these happenings are insignificant in the big picture.

 

  • The lovely people at the tax offices have written to me to advise that I have underpaid. It’s an amount that after the Christmas period and with the arrival of a new-born baby is something that I could do without. They would like their money by the end of the month.

 

  • Our family moved to a new house sometime last year, and the council have also advised me that they have not taken enough payments as they have miscalculated and would like their money also.

 

  • My father has been very unwell. He had bowel cancer two years ago and the symptoms have been very similar.

 

  • I help run the family business and yesterday I was called to the work premises, it had been broken into.

 

Yesterday as I stood in the mess left for us by those people who had broken in, I did for a fleeting moment think “why me?”. They completely ransacked the place, went through every drawer, cupboard, nook and cranny to find anything valuable they could get their hands on. It’s not nice to think that somebody has been sniffing around. They’ve taken items but the items I was most gutted about were my road bikes.

I have a couple of cycling events planned this year to raise money for charity. Not that the people who have taken them are aware, but their actions could prevent some valuable funds being raised for people who need it most.

They have left the premises in a state, completely broken windows and caused disruption. I really hope that the people who broke in are desperate and need to resort to these actions as they have no other alternative. If that is the case, you are welcome to my bikes.

After the police had been and assessed the damage, I made my way to my parent’s house who were doing Sunday lunch. I must admit I was a bit down. As I arrived, my mother passed my three-week-old daughter to me. In my arms was this most precious of all items.

Real Worries- My baby daughter

It was that moment that I realised that it would take a lot more than some petty criminals, tax departments, pants weather or any other rubbish that January sends its way to affect me. January is the month that my youngest child was born and that is what I will fondly remember this month for.

My father also had test results and, in his words ”thankfully it was only bloody food poisoning”. He may have said it with a smile on his face, but I can see how worried my mother and father were over the last couple of weeks. The symptoms were too similar to cancer he had a few years ago. He looks jaded and tired but I’m sure a few more of my mother’s meals will get him back to his best.

I must admit this has been playing on my mind as well. As a group, we have been through some bad years. There is one event that has devastated the family and close friends. The death of my 12-year-old daughter to Addison’s disease has tested us all. There is not one moment that she isn’t in my mind. The grief doesn’t get any easier. I love and miss her so much, as do the rest of the family.

 

As A Dad -Events I Can’t Control

 

The Outside World

If someone is truly intent on breaking into our house or business, they will. There are measures that we can put in place to prevent it from happening and this will put our minds at ease.

There are events like natural disasters, weather, accidents that we just can’t predict. It’s also not worth our time worrying about it.

Illness & Health

There are certain factors that I can look at to encourage good health like remaining active and eating a healthier diet. Being an older dad, this is more important. If an illness is going to affect us this is going to happen regardless of what precautions we take. This is why it is vital that we spend each day wisely and use that time as if it is our last. Today I go for genetic testing to see if I am susceptible to bowel cancer. It may be the case that I am. Will it prevent it, no. Worth worrying about- definitely not.

Past & Future Events

Events that have happened previously are beyond my control. I can’t do anything to change them. I can learn from them but wasting energy and worrying about past events can consume you. I need to put that energy into the here and now. The same could be said about future events.

Why worry about what going to happen too far in advance. Spending time wisely on the present will ensure that my mind is focused on what really matters and not letting precious moments like this slip away.

 

As A Dad-Events I Can Control

Time well spent.

 

  • Family time. Friends Time. Work Time. In the past, I have been guilty of working long hours. There were days of 5a.m-10 pm. I was putting myself under those conditions so no one else is to blame. I can get my workload achieved during a normal working day and be productive.

 

It is vital to spend time with your family members and socialise with your real friends. You can put yourself under pressure by widening the circle by offering your time to everybody. I plan on cutting back from work and spending more time with the people who matter.

 

  • Finances– Since my middle daughter passed away I have been guilty of trying to find happiness through indulging in items to try and buy a better feeling. It hasn’t worked, I need to be more thoughtful for my family by being a bit thriftier and living within my means.

 

  • Health– I can try and get in at least half hour of exercise every day. This is my means of a release. It enables me to expend the excess energy and it makes me less stressed. It enables me to be the better version of myself and I must try and find time to slot this in.

 

  • Educating the Kids– Our kid’s actions are the product of ours. I am a big fan of technology, but I think there must be a limit to the amount of time spent in front of it. I want to encourage my kids to offer themselves to charitable causes and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. I’d also like to spend more time producing freshly cooked meals and eat together as a family around the same table to discuss the day’s events. If I make this habit from now on, it can only be a step in the right direction.

 

What Worries Me Most As A Dad?

My biggest fear is missing out. Am I scared of dying? No. Am I scared of the rest of my family and friends dying? Yes. I don’t want to miss a moment with my family. I have a beautiful wife, two amazing daughters and want to be a part of their lives and want them to grow up happy and healthily. I will do my best to make sure that happens.

If you are suffering from anxiety and severe worry problems there are people who can help.

How to stop worrying.

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