Advice from Dad: Breathe

“All you REALLY have to do today is breathe.”

I think of this a lot. I remember the first time he said it, he was using it in reference to my insistence that he HAD to help me with something that was due that very day. I was in high school, and I was quite rudely knocking on the bathroom door as he was getting ready for work. I can’t really remember, but I’m sure I was either asking for a signature on a tardy note or money for labs or something else that didn’t matter in the big picture.

He had already told me no for whatever reason, and I said “But dad, you HAVE to!” And he said through the door, firmly and slightly perturbed, “Honey, all I gotta do is breathe.”

My dad did NOT like to be told what to do. He didn’t like societal rules, and he broke them in small ways of rebellion as often as he could. He was exceedingly kind, though, and took care of his family in ways that go beyond being a traditional provider.

His legacy is found within every one of his unintentional lessons as well as all of his generous, compassionate words of wisdom.

I come back to “all I gotta do is breathe” as a coping mechanism when I feel super overwhelmed. The world will not stop turning if I don’t do all of the things right this minute.

There are so many things. If it feels like too much today, whatever it is…. just remember that technically, all you ~really~ have to do right this second is breathe.

Dad said so.

Hugh Steven Rice

August 13, 1944 – December 13, 2021

**Disclaimer: Apply as necessary but do be aware that this method is ineffective when used 24/7. Use responsibly.

Categories: Musings

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