Today I found out a former colleague died suddenly due to injuries sustained from a car accident. I am shocked and saddened by such a loss and am reminded of how quickly life can change. It hits home when it happens to someone we know, but it can be even more intimate.
Ten years ago this year I was in a severe car accident, where I was hit head on by a guy who had a seizure while driving and swerved into my lane. I had just finished grocery shopping and was heading home with daughter in the car. She was three months old at the time, and thank goodness for car seats, because she was completely unscathed by the impact of the head-on collision. I was not.
I spent five days in the hospital, had a rod and three pins surgically implanted in my right femur, had two blood transfusions and was unable to nurse my baby. I couldn’t walk for three months afterward. I couldn’t cook, clean or do much of anything, and as many of you know, I’m normally a very active person. Just going downstairs for the day was a large undertaking. Three months this lasted. Imagine right now what your life would be like if you suddenly lost the ability to walk for three months and were confined to bed? Your life could change in a single moment without warning as mine did.
Oftentimes we are so caught up in the mundaneness of daily life that we forget to look at each day as a gift. Perhaps we even wake each morning with a slight sense of dread over what the day might bring or the simply feeling the weight of responsibility and obligation looming over us. What if you could wake up and feel something different, something positive?
Try this: For the next few days, as soon as you wake up in the morning, instead of reaching for your phone to check to the weather, the news, email, Facebook or your bank account, just take 60 seconds to look into your mind for things you are grateful for in your life. Perhaps you are grateful for children who admire you, or a wife who loves you, or a job that fulfills you or whatever it is. There is something in your life that is a blessing. What is it? Or what are they? Remember those blessings first thing in the morning and perhaps say a short prayer to whatever higher power you regard in gratitude for those blessings. Then you can look at your phone and start your day. After three days, do a self-evaluation and note if anything is different about those three days.
Sometimes the biggest impact on our happiness in life does not come from changing things on the outside, but changing them on the inside.