I dialed 911 for the first time in my life. Picking up the phone to do it, I thought to myself, I’m dialing 911. I’m scared. Is my life going to change forever in the next five minutes?
It was my dad. He’s 80. He’s 80, in really good shape, but tripped on a step outside our front door and took a header. He seemed fine. Just a scraped hand. But then he turned white as snow and said he wasn’t feeling well. He sat down. He started sweating. I spoke to him, his head hanging down but he didn’t respond.
“Are you okay?” I asked him.
He shook his head no. That’s when I went for the phone.
The paramedics came. He was okay. My life didn’t change. His life didn’t change. The paramedics said he went into shock after the fall on the cement.
But the image of my dad, laying face down on our sidewalk is burned into my DNA forever. That night, after the kids went to bed, when I finally relaxed and stopped pretending that nothing happened that morning, it hit me. Life can totally change in a second.
Life changing in a second isn’t new to me. I’ve experienced the real deal. I lost my sister unexpectedly eighteen years ago. My life changed forever with a one minute phone call. I’m not ready for another change. I never will be.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to decide what will happen in our life. But we can make decisions on how to live it.
That’s when I got to thinking about how we can either decide to be positive or decide to be negative. Does being positive take more energy or less? Is it harder to be positive these days because we seem to live in a society where there’s so much more negative in it? Or is that just my perception?
Anyhow, it’s my opinion that we need more positive in our world. We need more stories that make us laugh. We need more good-news reports about good things happening. We need more happiness, which by the way there is a Happiness Institute in Australia. I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing: If you’re living in Australia, isn’t it automatic that you’d be happy?
So I’m on a quest to go find only good news. Cheery stuff. Funny stuff. Shiny, happy people stuff.
Because as hubby always tells me, “Life is short but it’s really, really wide!”
I love your thoughts about finding the positive in life, and each day…and understand from my own similar realizations the suddenness of life's changes.
I do think for many of us, it takes more energy, initially, to find positive emotions, but the yield is huge amounts of energy (and other good things). While negativity takes less initial energy, it drains and depletes us.
I look forward to your continued posts.
You write beautifully. I felt the rush of worry and actually sensed your adrenaline when you described calling 911. Thank you for sharing such an upsetting experience — I was reminded in a very powerful way to embrace every moment.