Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Wake Up Call

A Wake Up Call //

I was driving to work the other morning and I completely zoned out.  You know, the kind of zone out where you're driving and you're watching the road, but your brain isn't registering any of it. I blame stress. I've been really exhausted lately, and stress has been wearing me out. It's finally starting to relax a little, but I'm still feeling the residual effects.

When I finally pulled out of my zone-out, it was at the last second before I had to hard swerve into the right turning lane to miss cars that had come to a complete stop at a light. I was going 45 mph. I swerved perfectly and safely into the EMPTY right lane, like a stunt driver, and then turned right into a side street to catch my breath because I was pretty shaken up.

I don't know why I "woke up" right then. I don't know why that lane was empty during rush hour, it never is. I didn't even feel like I was in control of my car, I'm not that impressive of a driver. It was a split second thing that happened. But, whatever, or whoever, was in control of my car right then saved me, and several other people from serious injury or death. I have guardian angels, it seems. I've encountered them a few times in my life, and I recognize them when they come. This day was one of those moments. As I sat there catching my breath, I immediately said a prayer of gratitude, and then said a hundred more.

Then I finished driving to work on full alert of everything around me.


This didn't just happen on any mundane day for me. The night before, I was in tears. It was my 34th birthday, and for some reason, all day long and for a few days before it, I felt this impending sadness coming. Birthdays don't usually bring this on for me, so I just assumed it was one of those random grief episodes that can happen to people. But, it wasn't that. I do miss my mom, since Mother's Day is on the horizon, but that wasn't where it was coming from.

When I finally started crying that night around 10pm, I figured it out. I am turning 34. And I'm only partially where I thought I'd be at 34 and I realize now why, as a child, I always heard adults saying, "Time goes so fast these days." It totally does. Life has not given me what I asked it to in some regard. In some ways, I have exactly what I wanted, but in some other big ways, I am no where near where I thought I'd be.

It was those things that weren't happening that were causing the tears. It was the loss of the last 4 years since I turned 30, that seemed to just happen in a flash because I was depressed and in a fog or my husband and I were licking our wounds from challenge after challenge, and setback after setback. It didn't seem fair. I wanted those years back because, now, I'm a mid-thirty-something, and feel like I literally JUST had my 30th birthday. I feel like my pain and challenges robbed me of time. Precious, urgent time. The urgency that only happens when you're in your thirties and you realize it's now or never to make all your dreams happen. Instead, I wandered aimlessly -- lost, suffering, and not paying attention -- and even though now I'm awake, and seem alert, I'm still kind of wasting time regularly, just letting the scenery speed by me, while I speed closer and closer into the wall of my future that lies just ahead, unaware how much it will hurt me if I'm not paying attention.

So, future. I hear you loud and clear. That near-accident that morning woke me up, and I'm on full alert.

There's never any guarantee of more time.
There is only now.

++ Have you ever experienced a life wake up call? Share in the comments! I'd love to hear it. 

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