All it takes is a moment for your whole world to change. Sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes it’s for the worse. Or sometimes it’s merely a wake up call.
I had one of those wake up calls today.
It was a simple day. My son went off to the sitter and I sat down to write. Oh, how I love mornings like that. I have a cup of tea that’s actually still warm when I get a chance to drink it. I can stay in my nightgown all morning if I want. Or all day.
Today, after writing about What Women Need (Apparently), I quickly rushed to get dressed. Yes, I know. Get dressed first, write later. But I was in the zone and enjoying it. And it made for a perfect transition to my lunch date.
We have a pretty good blogging community here in Raleigh and I love it when I get together with other bloggers to chat about life and then really share ideas about blogging. Not many people would find that stimulating but when Melissa and I start talking, we can’t seem to stop.
As we finished lunch, I realized that I didn’t really have enough time to run home before my 3pm massage appointment. Don’t be green with envy. My life isn’t as glamorous as it seems. But I did decide to kill a little time by stopping into a little wine shop. I’d been wanting to check it out and I saw a magic sign out front “Free wine tasting.”
I bid adieu to Melissa and sample one of their wines. Okay, maybe it was five of their wines. I think the shopkeeper was a little lonely. And bored. Yes, wine tasting and off to my massage. What a rough life.
After my massage, I was headed to pick up my son early and rush home to get ready for a charity event. (I love how I can craft my words to totally make myself sound like some high society snooty pants).
Here’s the kicker. The potential life changer.
After I picked him up, I picked which way to go home. I actually get bored driving the same way every day so I like to mix it up. And today was the day I decided to drive down the forested side road like I had so many times before. It’s really a pretty drive when I slow down to enjoy it. The speed limit is 45 mph but I’ll admit to going a wee bit faster sometimes.
Today, I was just casually and slowly driving along. I was talking to Evan in the back about the car accidents and fire trucks I had seen on the way to pick him up. You know, the kind of stuff that gets little boys excited. It worked. He exclaimed, “Mommy, I love car accidents!” I had to explain that while they can be interesting to look at, car accidents are never a good thing. Usually someone gets hurt and a car gets smashed up.
No, I did not have an accident at that exact moment. I did, however, have a large branch about 10 feet long come crashing down on my windshield. It literally came out of nowhere and without a warning. I flinched and turned away. It scared the bejesus out of me.
That’s where the excitement ends. The windshield was fine. My car was fine. I didn’t hit anything and after a few minutes, Evan was talking about how that was scary but kind of fun. I told him that I thought it was just scary.
Here’s where my head goes.
I happened to pick Evan up early today. I happened to spend a few minutes chatting with the other kids where he was. I happened to leave the sitter’s house when I did. I happened to pick that road today. I happened to be driving slower than I normally drive. And because of all of that, I was in the exact place and time I needed to be for that branch to come crashing down on my car.
Big deal. Nothing happened. But it could have. And that’s what gets me. Every small action I took today led up to that moment. Even the slightest deviation could have sent that branch down on someone else. But it was me. And it could have been a tree, or a deer, or anything.
Life can be snatched away without any warning. One of my all time favorite movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I could actually fast forward to the part where George Bailey jumps off the bridge. His guardian angel Clarence saves him and takes him on a tour of what life would have been like had George Bailey never been born.
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives,” says Clarence. So many things that we do affect our lives and those around us without even realizing it. Today was my day to stop and take notice. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another branch crashing down on my car to remind me of that.