When I Have Time
How often did we say these things to ourselves time after time when it came to self-care, family obligations or just about anything that sounded a tab bit inconvenient in our day to day lives?
Now, with this newfound time on our hands, we have taken up hobbies we’ve talked about doing; reading more, cleaning more, cooking more, and also binge-watching that show AGAIN for the 3rd time. Guys – watching “Friends” for the 3rd time won’t change the fact that Ross and Rachel were on a break! It is what it is! But let’s be honest, even with this extra time we still haven’t started ALL the things we said we would do if we had more time.
On March 16th, my foster daughter moved into my home to become my forever daughter. The plans we had to gradually transition her into my home immediately went out the window and everything that was familiar to her now became a memory. Suddenly she was locked down at home with a brand-new parent who we hope knows what they are doing. While I was struggling with my own losses and anxieties of not living my normal life prior to COVID, I continuously had to put myself in her shoes. In addition to the huge life change of moving, she cannot return to finish her 6th grade at her middle school or formally say goodbye to her friends. She cannot visit her other siblings in person and give them hugs and she can’t interact with anyone but me, her new mom.
Knowing she also struggles with mental illness and PTSD put me into super-parent mode, all I wanted to do was make sure her experiences were positive, and under no circumstances could I break any promises to her. The concept of “I’ll get to it when I have time” was tossed aside and a new mantra of “let’s find a way today” was the new priority. If she wanted to walk around the block and explore bugs, we did it. If she wanted to watch a scary movie marathon–it’s happening. She had the idea to drive around the city and explore Street Art, so we did it. By removing excuses from my mindset, it allowed all these exciting opportunities to happen that I would have just dismissed. It allowed my daughter and I to bond in a way that might not have been possible if it wasn’t for this pandemic—and for that I am truly grateful.
I encourage all of you to challenge yourselves and try the things you’ve talked about doing and just make them happen. Be creative, think outside the box and explore the possibility of the time we have been granted. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Lastly, I included some pictures from our street art adventure; I hope you all find your adventure today. If you are so inclined to share your adventures, tag us at @jccchicago and #attitudeofgratitude so we can help spread your positivity.
– Taylor Anderson
Customer Solutions, Account Manager