I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers for creating this supportive community.
One night last week I was driving home from having dinner with some friends. Since I had traveled this road hundreds of times before, I was more or less on auto pilot. All of a sudden I gasped! There was someone in front of me waving two large red cones. Luckily, I saw him in time to stop…but just barely. I could see that nearby there was a car that had driven off the road into a telephone pole, and they were getting ready to tow it out. There was no ambulance or other people standing about, so the accident had probably occurred several hours previously. In a few minutes I was waved through, but I couldn’t help but think what might have happened. My head was filled with the conversations of the evening, the laughter and shared good company. I was not in the moment, and it could have been disastrous.
It is not OK to go through life on auto pilot. It is not OK to check your email in the middle of a conversation with a friend. It is not OK to be thinking about the laundry at home, or the grocery shopping that needs to get done, or the wonderful dinner you just had when someone is asking for your help. It is not OK to ever be anywhere but in the moment.
I thought about that incident all weekend. It reminded me of how precious time is and how we must choose wisely how to spend it. There may not be another chance.