This past week reminded me how precious and unpredictable life can be. It made me think how quickly everything could change and how easy it is to forget that. This week I experienced a brush with death that brought me back to the basics of life and I think it would be a pity not to share this with you – perhaps you need some reminding of your own…
Last Sunday morning I was involved in a pretty serious car crash, my first (hopefully my last) in more than 10 years driving. A sharp turn in the road, icy weather and a careless driver – a very unfortunate combination. In the blink of an eye I saw his car crashing into mine. The horrible sound of of crushed metal, the safety belt squeezing my chest, the terrible jolt. It all happened almost simultaneously, but it seemed to me it was going on in slow motion. I didn’t really see my life flash before my eyes, as they say, but I did have this eerie, supernatural feeling of all being a nightmare. It couldn’t be happening to me. Yet it was happening.
Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured – apart from a few bruises and two seriously damaged cars – one beyond repair – nothing really catastrophic happened. But something changed in me.
I am convinced that few things, if any, in life happen for no reason. Of course this was an accident, but what was my lesson here?
I took the time to ponder upon it. I always thought that life couldn’t be taken for granted – I always tried not to, but still, I had never before been reminded of it in such a powerful way. Never before had I felt so fragile, so breakable. I realized how easily and unpredictably it could all end.
One of my lessons from this accident is to remember being grateful for every moment I have. I believe we often forget to enjoy the little things, those we usually take for granted – being able to walk; talk; dance; being healthy; enjoying the beauty of the spring sun melting the snow; breathing deeply and feeling your lungs with fresh morning air; spending time with friends; reading a good book; painting for fun; listening to a great song… Life is made up of all these wonderful little things and yet we always seek more, we always see what’s not working in our lives, we spend more time pondering upon our problems and misfortunes than we do enjoying our lives.
What am I going to do differently from now on?
I’ll take more time being grateful for all the good things in my life. I’ll consciously find more time to spend with my friends. I’ll start doing more things that bring me joy and I’ll stop finding lame excuses, like not having time. There is always time for the things we love. As long as we are alive, there is time. And since our time on Earth is limited – why not spend it doing things that matter?
If life is a big playground, I intend to play as much as possible and choose partners that I truly enjoy playing with. I hope you do the same. And I have two questions for you – have you ever had a defining moment in your life – one that reminded you of all things truly important? What was it and what did it teach you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.