Back in February, I mentioned that my father had had a stroke. Thankfully, despite the area of his brain that had been affected by said stroke, he’s been discharged from acute therapy and is now home with my sister and I. Unfortunately, while he’s been discharged he is still a long way from independence again (which I’ll note here frustrates him, even when he doesn’t have the words for it). For the most part this means someone still needs to be here twenty-four hours for him, though we’re expecting that to change. Because I have the most amount of time to provide that care, that’s required a change in my routine.
At this point, it would be too easy to say I simply don’t have time to write, to create blog posts, to keep working on the career I want. It’s too easy. The reason is there and laid out perfectly: a large chunk of my time is no longer my own. It’s a reason that keeps thousands of people from doing that thing they want to do. Time is finite, and there is no better excuse than to say you don’t have the time to learn that skill, to participate in that event, to write that novel.
Note I say excuse. I say that because in between all the things I have to do during the day, there is always that element of time. Not everything happens at once, and while yes, it’s easy to excuse myself from doing this, that and the other with the blanket excuse of ‘I don’t have time’ the fact of the matter is that there’s always time. Maybe that’s ten minutes while I wait for the dryer to finish, or in the half hour where Dad is napping before his next dose of medications, but there’s always time. In fact, since having him home for the last two days, this post is being written in the half hour before I myself head to bed.
There is always time. Finding it throughout the day is often an obstacle course. The biggest obstacle I have to face however, is getting to the start of it and accepting that yes, there are obstacles ahead of me. Every time I face an obstacle I can either accept it, or I can seize the opportunity on the other side of it.
Things may change again in a few weeks, depending on how my father is doing. Or, this may simply become the new normal for my family and routine. Regardless of the outcome, every time I find myself thinking ‘I can’t do that because…’ I need to remember to look for the opportunity, instead of just finding the obstacle. Perhaps I can’t map out that character arc because it’s time to make lunch. But, I can most certainly do a quick search in the name of research while waiting for the microwave or while a can of soup heats through.
Every obstacle hides an opportunity. Finding them and is the key point.