My dad passed away two weeks ago.
That is literally the weirdest sentence to type- I've typed it a few times now and it never feels right. It's sucky and sad and terrible. But today, I want to focus on what I've learned in the past 2 weeks:
Life is short. Do what you love.
My dad's passing has completely renewed my passion for this blog.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but my dad owned his own heating and air conditioning business. That was a HUGE reason I was drawn to self-employment two years ago-- I saw him doing it, and wanted to try that for myself.
We knew Dad had a good business because he was able to support his family of 5 while self-employed (in the northern Virginia area, which is NOT cheap). My parents even paid for college for all 3 of us kids. He did really well at his job, and truly loved what he did.
But now we know JUST how good dad was at his business, and how much he loved it. Many of his customers came to the viewing and funeral service! I mean, who goes to their heating and air conditioning man's funeral?! UNREAL. They also stopped by our house, sent flowers and cards... so much love from his CUSTOMERS!
Many customers told us that they loved Dad because he was never in a hurry. In a profession where you bill by the hour, he would take an extra 30 minutes after the work was complete (and after the bill was paid!) to sit and talk with the customers. You could look at that as a bad business idea (my brother joked that if Dad hadn't chatted so much, we could have lived in a much bigger house growing up! hahaha) but in reality- I bet that's part of why he did so well. People probably wanted to hire him back because he treated them so well! So his "wasted" chatting time was really an investment in his future business. (plus, we think he really enjoyed sitting and chatting- those customers were like his coworkers!)
My mom also told me something I never knew- she said the first few years of Dad building his business were SO hard on him. He was working his 9-5 day job, and then would immediately start running service calls for his heating and air conditioning business. She said he would come home after us kids had gone to bed and just stand at our bedroom doors crying because he had missed the whole day with us. (aaaand now I'm crying)
As sucky as it undoubtedly was to miss out on so many days with his kids, I bet he knew that sacrifice was worth it in the end. I bet he knew that by starting his own business, he would one day have the flexibility to be home with us kids more. He was able schedule his work around our lives so that he got to take part in more things than a normal office worker could.
And this brings me back to my point and why this has renewed my passion in this blog- life is short but you can DO WHAT YOU WANT! You will probably need to make sacrifices-- maybe of your free time, or your money, or both-- but it'll be worth it. I want to help motivate you to do what you love. I want to teach you how to manage your spending so that you can spend money on the things that truly matter to you-- not the random crap at Target that you really don't need. Do you want to look back on your life and say "wow, I bought so many cool throw pillows at Target!" or do you want to say, "wow, thank goodness I prioritized my money and was able to follow my dreams!"
Let's all channel our inner Papa J and do what we love. Life is too freakin' short to do anything else than what you love.
Go hug your parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, etc. All of them. (or, if you're far away- give them a call) Tell everyone how much you love them :)