Blessings From Our Fathers by Joleen Watson

With Father's Day coming up this weekend, Imagine Hope is paying tribute to this special day by sharing how our fathers were blessings to us in our lives, and how they helped to shape the women we are today!

My endless thirst for knowledge, my love for learning, and my endless curiousity.... about almost everything:

My dad was all about learning, so he was constantly "teaching" my sister and I.  He purchased our first sets of books-- the entire set of Dr. Seuss books, using green stamps from a grocery store in the city my parents first lived in, long before my older sister was even able to read! I remember being a young child and looking through the other books, like the set of Time Life books, the encyclopedias, and the Little Golden Books.  When I got a little older, I remember my dad making "makeshift" bookcases in our basement to house the old books that my parents purchased from the grade school library auction, when our tiny rural town's grade school consolidated with another school.  I had a book in front of my face for most of my childhood, and I attribute this to how important it was to our dad that we loved to read (and reading to us every night when we were little).  I have loved books and reading my entire life-- and it's still one of my favorite things to do.  

My dad was also the kind of man who had what seemed like an endless list of hobbies, all of which he wanted my sister and I to learn about:  Gardening, woodworking, stained glass, music, antique collecting and history, travel, sewing (yes... sewing), building anything out of pretty much anything, and educating himself.  He decided to go to auctioneer school when I was in early grade school, and he was an auctioneer on the side.  Just because he wanted to learn how to do it.  He was an agronomy major at the University of Illinois, so he loved teaching me about plants and insects. I didn't enjoy gardening growing up, but it's become a huge passion for me as an adult, and something that is actually very therapeutic for me.  I had an entomology collection in 4-H during my later grade school years and used to go catch bugs with my dad when I was actually not so keen on the idea of learning about bugs. We used to go hunt for arrowheads in the fields around our house and then visit museums to learn about the Native Americans.  Any museum made my dad turn into a curious child, himself!  My dad (and mom) constantly had music on in our house, and I have a HUGE passion for music as an adult (it is extremely therapeutic).  In my junior high years, my dad decided to start his own company, which he was very successful in creating and growing, up until his death in 2002.  Part of his success was not only because he was very smart-- it was because he emphasized the importance of relationships with the people who worked for him and with him. 

 I truly believe all of these things have had a direct impact on my own entrepreneurial spirit, my drive for work, and the relationships I have, whether professionally with my clients, with my friends, or my family.  My close friends joke that I am more curious than a small child-- I ask a ridiculous amount of questions to understand something, and have a constant need to research things and learn.  Because my dad was so focused on learning, it instilled a deep need in me to continue going to school, even after grad school and my Master's degree.  And all of those hobbies he taught my sister and I (even though we didn't want to do ANY of it as teenagers or kids), have contributed to my own love for independently creating things and being creative. If I don't know how to do it,  I will research it until I can (hopefully) figure it out. 

So, this Father's Day, we encourage you to take a look at what blessings your own father gave you, regardless of how close you were.  How have they helped you be the person you are today? Thank you for reading this week's blog, and Happy Father's Day to all of the dad's out there!

 Joleen Watson, MS, LMFT, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counselingrelationship counselingcouples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.