Time has been one of my greatest mentors. Why you ask? Because it’s taught me the value in being kind to others, including myself.
At the age of 10 I “volunteered” at a nursing home. Well, I was forced to help out during that summer because my mom didn’t want me home with my youngest brother. Somehow he got away with staying home and I was stuck going to the nursing home every weekday.
I hated being forced to go. But that wasn’t the first time my mom did that to me. See: dance school for 15 years, and all-girl Catholic high school.
At 15, my decision to return to the nursing home was my own. And this time I brought friends. We had to do community service hours for our high school so we chose my mom’s job at the nursing home.
I was in a different stage in my life, and something about being around nuns all the time that makes you appreciate the people around you a little more (or maybe that was just me).
This was the time I met Felix, my adopted grandfather. I adopted him into my family because I never really knew either of my grandfathers and Felix was one of the few patients I felt a connection with.
Before Felix there was Geniveve, a sweet, funny lady who was bound to a wheelchair, and Jean, a former piano player who had diabetes.
Every patient had a story to tell, and I loved hearing about them.
With Felix, we clicked because of his humor, and we shared the same Dominican background.
Developing Patience Over Time
The lessons I learned from my time from my experience at the nursing home have followed me throughout life.
Learning to make the best out of every situation is key to a happy life.
The tough times make you appreciate the good ones, and the good ones… Well, you just always look forward to those. 🙂
Becoming a parent has also helped me develop patience, not only for my children, but for others around me.
Before kids, I didn’t like messy babies (and to some extent, I still don’t).
But today, things are different. I understand that a mess only means the kids are having fun, learning something new, and that you’ll eventually clean it up.
Mornings are lot calmer these days. We let our toddler sleep in a little longer and worry less about getting in on time and just get excited on the days we get there before class starts.
And when there’s traffic on the road, or just someone who is busy looking down instead of getting passed the traffic light I keep calm. I understand what it is to be searching for something at a stoplight, or even caring for a child who is in the backseat.
I don’t remember the last time I used the horn, and that’s a good thing.
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