Spring Cleaning My Life

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It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to cleaning out winter’s cobwebs and generally sprucing up the house, the yard and everything in general. It’s a job we usually put off, but after delving in, everything has a fresh, clean air about it.

Recently I had an incident that made me take a step back and take a long hard look at my life. After doing so I decided to not only spring clean my cupboards but also my life.

I have never been involved in a serious automobile accident, let alone being the cause of one. That changed when I ran a stop sign and was broadsided. There was not a square inch on the car that was not dented or smashed in and I was trapped until they cut me out of the wreckage. But then I walked away with only two small scratches on my face.

Even more phenomenal was the fact that I had just dropped off my sister and husband so I was alone as was the girl who hit me. She walked away with only a bump on the knee. There was a lot more than luck with both of us that day. Remember my thoughts a couple weeks ago about small miracles? This definitely qualifies for more than a small miracle but it is not the end of the story.

When our grandson Wyatt, who is now 13 years old, was only about 3 he gave us (with the help of Mom) angel visor clips. They remind us to drive safely and to remember that our guardian angel is looking over us.

A few years ago our son was driving to work and hit some ice, totaling his pickup. He had an angel for Dad visor clip and he climbed out of the wreckage and walked away. Just three years ago, Jim hit some black ice and all four sides of his pickup were damaged. His vehicle only stopped from rolling over when it slammed into a parked car. He was riding with a Grandpa angel clip and walked away. My Grandma clip was with me in my accident. It’s pretty miraculous that none of us were hurt. Yea, there was definitely more than coincidences going on here.

Was it the little pieces of metal that kept us all safe? I think not, but rather the power of belief that they represented. “Just believe” is a popular slogan that you see on plaques, notecards and such. Pretty powerful stuff, those two words pretty much say it all.

Since the accident I have been doing a lot of soul searching. As thankful as I am that I was kept safe and no one else was hurt, the fact still nags at me as to why this happened in the first place. I lost an uncle to a traffic accident when I was very young. To make matters worse, even though he had just been released from the hospital and was advised not to drive, he was headed over to see us. Being the camera nut I am, I was the one who had to take photos of the wrecked truck. That fact, coupled with only being 12 years old at the time, made his accident even more horrific, and I have been scared of being involved in a traffic accident ever since.

I am a good driver but, like most people, I have a lot of clutter in my life; things that I should have had done, things I need to do, things I want to do. I cross one thing off my list and add two more. There are always more “things” than time to deal with the ”things.” Just like dust in a house, mind clutter settles over a while.

One thing is for sure, no matter how important any of these things are, they have no place in my mind when I am behind the wheel. The cost of the fine and the money to buy a new car pales in comparison to the grief I have put myself through. Even besides driving, do I really want to live my life always running on empty because I am being pulled in so many different directions? I decided no, that I really did need to spring clean my life and get things in order.

It used to be that no one had ever heard the term “multi-task,” but now it seems that everyone needs to be proficient at this to just get through each day. I have decided, with some urging from our son Jim, to add a new word to my vocabulary. It’s short, not hard to pronounce and, when used, can be very effective. It is simply “No.” I want to live my life at my pace and not be pushed in every direction by trying to do everything that is thrown at me.

Did you know that if you drive just 10 miles per hour over the speed limit you only reach your destination five minutes sooner than if you had driven safely at the limit? You also may have had a more enjoyable ride and noticed some interesting things along the way.

The girl I pulled out in front of has apparently already spring-cleaned her life. Because I put her in danger, caused her vehicle to be totaled, kept her from reaching her destination and destroyed her evening, she should have been furious with me. Instead, after all the reports were done and things were taken care of, she walked over to me and gave me a hug and told me not to worry that these situations were called accidents for a reason. Pretty classy lady, kudos to her.

I have definitely learned a valuable lesson here and I hope it lasts a lifetime. Did you notice this article was a tad bit shorter than most? It’s just a little start on spring cleaning my life.