April 30, 2011 was a day that changed my life. I got in my car that morning with the full intention of returning home in an hour, relaxing for a bit and then heading off to work. Life, however, had other plans for me.
A split second was all it took to change those plans and set me on a completely different course.
Instead of sitting at my desk at work, I was lying in a hospital bed forbidden from moving - not that I could anyway.
I spent one week in the hospital and two in a nursing home nursing all of my broken and hurting parts: broken ribs, vertebrae, and foot. The most painful of these was having broken ribs and the longest lasting was the foot.
It was three months before I could bend over without feeling like I was re-breaking my ribs and six months before I was able to put a shoe on my foot.
But then you guys already know that.
What you don't know are some of the non-physical changes that happened. When I woke up the morning of April 30, 2011, I was working for a job that I hated, driving a car that I hated (and making payments on it that I had no way of getting out of). I was generally unhappy and very much a pessimistic.
And that car accident changed everything.
I never returned to that job (or any job, for that matter) and my car was totaled - problem solved. I'm not making light of anything here, simply pointing out the irony. And even when I was crying and feeling like the pain would never end, I was still happier. Course I didn't realize this in the moment. But I do now, looking back.
I saw how much my family and friends loved me and what they would be willing to do for me. I saw how fragile life was and how strong a person can be when they have to be.
But I think most importantly I saw what a waste it is to spend time being unhappy, worrying about things you can't change, and not changing the things you can. From this I found my new path.
My point here is to never waste your time. Use the life and time you are given. Don't waste it crying about yesterday or worrying about tomorrow. The Buddha said,
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,
concentrate the mind on the present moment."
Concentrate on the present because it is all we really have. The past is gone, the future has yet to come, but the present --The present is LIFE.