Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Near Death Experience

Yesterday I had a near death experience. I was driving on a back country road at about 50 mph when a lady in a full size Chevy pickup comes barrelling around a corner at well over 60 mph. She was fully in my lane. I laid on the horn and swerved hard to the left. She swerved to the left and ran into a ditch. I watched her through the rearview mirror and saw that she nearly flipped at least twice. I stopped, backed up and ran to check on her. She had already exited her vehicle and was running around frantic in the middle of the road. I could smell the alcohol when I got within about 10 feet of her. I was pretty mad at this point. Anyway, the cops came and all that.

After the event was over, the adrenaline subsided and I started thinking about things. What was the last thing I said to my wife, my son, my neighbor? How would those close to me remember me? How would those NOT so close to me remember me? Would they remember me? Do I care if they remember me? Did I do enough to ensure that my son knew for the rest of his life that I loved him? I don't think we fully appreciate how close we are to death at any given moment.

We go to bed, wake up, live a mediocre existence--wash, rinse, repeat. How do I stop that cycle? What am I doing to make my life extraordinary? What am I doing to make someone else's life extraordinary? Can I make life extraordinary without spending a ton of money or travelling to exotic locales?

I wrote a Facebook post the other day about a crossing guard at my son's school. She lives an extraordinary life as a crossing guard. EVERY morning she helps kids get to school and parents get away from school without anyone getting injured. No matter the weather, she has a smile on her face--a real smile--a really big smile. She does her job well and she waves back if you wave to her. If you wave to her, her smile gets even bigger. That is someone living a normal life but making it extraordinary. You can't help it, her smile is infectious and for just a few moments, your life is better because of her.

So again, are you living an extraordinary life? It has nothing to do with circumstances but everything to do with outlook, attitude and choice. You decide if you want to be extraordinary. You decide if you want to make someone else's life better. You decide to make every moment count for something. You decide how others will remember you.

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