Here’s my ‘crash course’ on life

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Call it ESP if you will, but I knew just as soon as those back break lights of the silver Grand Marquis lit up what was going to happen.

I had pulled up to the stop sign at the BP at the corner of Three Notch and was patiently waiting for the car in front of me to make their way through traffic.

The driver — everyone’s visual version of a grandmother — had decided to try her luck at shooting across the lanes and pulled out halfway into the road. She stopped and looked at her rearview mirror; I knew that was the exact moment she made up her mind to back away from the traffic.

And there wasn’t enough time for my brain to tell my hand to hit the horn before the impact.


The lady was quite shaken as she made her way out the car, apologizing all the while. With a quick look at her back bumper and my front, I pronounced all was well on my front; however, her end looked a little ragged. She promptly told me that was already there. Wouldn’t you guess it? A repeat offender.

Driving the short distance from the crash site to the office, I was reminded of the similarities in life — sometimes we see it coming at us fast, and there’s not enough time to react before it’s over. You just have to sit back and wait out the ride.

Oftentimes we all need to be reminded that while the big man upstairs is acting as the air traffic controller of our lives, we’re still the one in the driver seat. It’s up to us to live life to the best of our abilities.

First and foremost, I think the key to living a better life is we should all accept our mistakes. Hey, we’re all human.

The easiest — and perhaps the hardest — thing is to forgive ourselves. Accept the wrongdoing and let it go. You can’t punish yourself forever.

Secondly, I think we should learn to take risks in life. The safest road is just that — the safest. You’ll never achieve your dreams to the fullest if you don’t take a risk now and then and don’t be afraid to start again.

Most importantly, find reasons to love your life. Sometimes life isn’t fair. It deals us crappy hands and leaves you wondering what in the world …

And lastly, remember the ultimate goal is to be able to say, “No regrets.”

I know I’ve told this before, but for those who haven’t heard it — when my grandmother passed, she requested a bench to be installed at the cemetery inscribed with these words, “I didn’t miss a damn thing.”

It may not be as concise as “No regrets” but there’s no misinterpreting the meaning, and after my little “run in” Tuesday, I realized quickly three things: I love and am loved; I’m healthy, and I’m doing my utmost best not to miss a damn thing.

So far, I’m doing OK; and when I get down on myself, I forgive myself and start again.