But I digress. I have an angle. Some thoughts for the day, as it were. Indeed, in my current schedule, it has only been on Sundays and Wednesdays that I ever really get any “free” time. And counting Wednesday is a bit of a stretch. In a way, it is a matter of acclimation for me. For a very long time, time was in abundance. In fact, the whole purpose of this blog was to burn up some of it.
Ok, third paragraph and I still haven’t really said much. Where’s the hook? I don’t want to lose you! Let me back up just a wee bit to pull some of this into perspective. Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived…
Almost six years ago, on Oct. 17, 2000, my life nearly came to an end. Depending on whom you talk to, it did - more than once, but they brought me back. I couldn’t say – I really wasn’t there. Virtually everything I know from that date and for the next five weeks is hearsay – I have no direct recollection, just foggy, surrealistic and fleeting memories. The long short of it is that I was involved in a violent head-on collision with a logging truck; one that I shouldn’t have survived.
But I did. And I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it at the time. The recovery was long, long, long. Pain was (and still is to some extent) a daily reality for me. I was at once grateful and resentful that I had survived. That changed as well, but also very slowly – today I am exceedingly grateful. What made the whole deal even more difficult to stomach was that I was to blame… I created my own nightmare.
Ok, I don’t want to re-hash it; you can follow the links into my archives if you want greater detail. After the lengthy hospitalization, even lengthier physical rehabilitation, more hospitalizations and procedures all followed by more rehab, I ended up in pretty good shape – physically. Indeed, the recovery process is not yet complete, perhaps it never will be. But there are other pieces to the recovery puzzle that I was about to fit into place. It finally formed an image that looks like my life today.
I haven’t really worked from the date of the wreck until earlier this year. About five and a half years all tolled. I mean I’ve had a little job here or there, but not anything remotely resembling gainful employment, never mind a career. It’s not like I didn’t know what that was like. I’ve had a number of jobs - good ones – and more than a couple of careers. I am familiar with the ancillary benefits of being in demand. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-sufficiency are the rewards that transcend the paycheck. I’d lost those along the way.
In addition to rehabilitating, I was re-evaluating, reassessing, relocating, re-inventing, recovering, re-educating, reaffirming, resisting, reclining, re-shuffling, re-focusing, reviewing, rearranging and renewing. During the whole process, I had an abundance of free time. I’m thinking maybe that was a good thing – I must’ve needed it. However, I think having that much time devalued it. I was rarely rushed, almost never late. I was given the luxury of time.
Suffice it to say that I value my time much more now. At first, when the days started to get more hectic and deadlines became less flexible and the days were stringing together, I was ecstatic. It was an adrenalin rush. It still is much of the time; don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Even when I was taking 16 units at Sac State a couple of semesters ago, I had time. Now with a part time job that takes full time effort and 12 upper division units… well you get the picture.
So here I am, almost 44 and enjoying the best part of my life. The personal growth I have experienced in the last six years is unprecedented. When I think about it, I always smile. Less than six years ago, my life was damn near over – at times I wished it were. It was the worst of times. I guess that’s what it took to get me to what is, in many respects the best of times.
It’s important, too, to remember that I don’t even have all those “things” that I thought I would need to be happy. No “relationship;” no big, expensive toys; no fame; and no fortune. Everything I need I already have. Little did I know, I always did.