June 26, 2016. Last year on this day I had a motorcycle wreck that almost killed me. Now it’s a year later and it feels like a good time to take stock. I don’t mean to say that I’ve not been giving this thought over this past year. In fact, it may be what I have thought of more than anything else, a sort of what hurts and what next and how am I going to go on from here which is I guess, what taking stock is all about. I just mean that today begins a new year, a “that was then and this is now” bracket, that I am relieved to come to.
So what hurts is less than it was. I marvel at our design that includes it’s own repair kit. I don’t mean there have not been new materials added to the inventory – I set off metal detectors at the airport now and, until recently, I would not have been able to pass a drug test if I wanted to work for UPS. The metal and the drugs helped and I am very thankful for them. But the drugs are gone and the metal is becoming part of the new formula of me, and so while I am still me, I am an updated version. And I do not hurt as much as I did and I think it’s just going to keep going this way.
What’s next? Well that’s a question that feels different to ask. I’ve always known that our lives are fragile little things, that I could have died any number of times and so could most of us but here we are, those of us that are still living, and now I make something more of this question. I’m older, I know more people who almost died and then they did, I know more people who are no longer living, I know that I don’t know what has actually happened to them. I, like a lot of people, think about this, about what is the deal after we die. I don’t expect a definitive answer but I’m open to query, I’m more interested than I have ever been in what happens next once this particular life has ended. I’m really listening.
But as far as the other part of what’s next, the part about while I am still living, what am I to be doing, that’s the part I am really grappling with. I wake up each day and instead of being grateful that I am still alive with all of the gifts I have been given, instead of opening my eyes and greeting the new day with joy and wonder, I am in a bad mood. I am achy and ungrounded and ungrateful as though some time during the night I forgot about how blessed I am and that I’m glad I didn’t die.
So I think I’ll make a list.
I’ll spend time today and maybe even over the next few days if that’s what it takes and I’ll notice all the things that matter to me, the things that jog my joy, that tickle my fancy, that make me think hey I wonder why. The people, the places, the animals and the things I am just plain happy to see. Glad to be to be a part of their being.
Just writing this lifts that heaviness off of me. I love that. I love knowing that’s true, that I can think about something and that changes how I feel. And so I look forward to thinking about the reasons I’m glad I didn’t die.