A stranger saved my life, I really hope I can pay it forward.

A stranger saved my life on Valentines Day.   I mean a real stranger.  I don’t know if this person is male or female, young or old, black, white or green with pink polka dots.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is this person made it possible for me to still be here, to not make my husband a widower.  God willing I will continue to watch my grandchildren grow and maybe have the joy of great grandkids one day.

This person did it in a very simple way.  They paid attention when I did not.  They were disconnected from the many distractions we have nowadays when we are driving and for that I will be forever grateful.

I am a recovering multi tasker.  I would use any little bits of time to get lots done.  Television commercials are a great time to run around the house and do things and quite honestly the way things are going there will be 25 minutes of commercials and 5 minutes of the program.  Wait I think we are already close to that point.

So it is no surprise that I consider waiting at stoplights a perfect time to clean up the passenger seat, rummage through my purse, open the mail I picked up or check my phone.  Pretty sure I am not alone in this.

I was in an amazing mood after a lovely birthday breakfast for my daughter and her family.  I drove away and smiled thinking of the nice time we had together.  I heard the familiar ding of a text message on my phone and was grateful the stop light ahead was red so I could read it.

And I did..a beautiful thank-you text from my daughter.  I glanced up quickly since I was first in line and saw the light had turned green. I started through the intersection and then I heard someone honking their horn.  It was polite honk, not a long angry one but just one long enough to get my attention. Out of my peripheral vision I saw a car to my left that could have broadsided me and honestly I thought “Dumb ass, why are you honking?  I have the right of way with a green light”

Except I didn’t.

In a heart wrenching moment my sanctimonious self glanced in my rear view mirror and all the cars behind me  were still stopped at the stop light.

I wanted to throw up.

I hadn’t seen a green light.  Not only did I go through a red light, but I put myself and that erectile dysfunction other car in extreme danger.  I could have been broadsided, my car totaled and my life taken.  I immediately thanked the driver and my guardian angel for looking out for me and then I cried, turned off my phone and threw it to the back of the car.

I drove the 75 miles home in silence and prayer.

Nothing…and I do mean NOTHING on my phone, tablet or laptop is worth losing my life over or endangering someone else.  So I made a promise to disconnect and I did.  Oh I still have my phone and all my other gadgets but I now control them.  I thought it would be hard to not only break the addiction to my phone and social media and multi tasking but it was not.  I discovered when I limited myself  that I had more time for things I always said I had no time for..reading, decluttering, photography, writing.

I won’t be the one at lunch looking at my phone and I will politely ask you to put it away so we can visit.  Not an unreasonable request.

Ironically sitting at home on my bedside table was a book I have been wanting to read titled:

“The Joy of Missing Out”  Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina CookFullSizeRender (5)

The title alone says it all and it is a wonderful book.  I now have time to read it.

I still post and read face book and check my e-mail.  I am just not obsessed over it.  I am now embracing “The Joy of Missing Out”  rather than FOMO..the “Fear of Missing Out”

The people who really need me can find me without texting, email or face book.   Call my phone or landline, leave a message.  As my mother says “bad news travels fast” and as a nurse I will tell you there are very few “true” emergencies.

When we visited Italy in 2014  (a dream trip I waited a long time for) I learned to look up everywhere we went. The ceilings, the bell towers..oh my gosh there was so much to take in when I looked up.

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And that is my message to you..Look up, pay attention, be with the people who are with you.   We have this amazing privilege called LIFE.  Let us live it looking up and enjoying the things and people around us.

Looking down almost killed me.  Every time I look up I remember and whisper “Thank-you for paying attention”

Be healthy today in every way!

 

Comments

  1. What a blessing! Thank goodness for this stranger, and thank goodness you weren’t hurt, Jennifer! I admit I also check my phone when I’m at stop lights, I’m going to start keeping my phone in the glove compartment so I won’t be tempted to check it. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Such a wonderful heartfelt story Jenn…and so glad you learned from this experience and are here to tell the story. I made a pact with myself to never look at my phone while driving or even stopped at a light. I am not a doctor or EMT so nothing is that important it can’t wait till I get to m destination. Thank you for sharing..

  3. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing! It is so important to be present and accounted for, even by our own selves. We have a very similar writing style. Reading yours was like coming home in a way. Thanks again! | http://www.haleyjsnyder.com

  4. This is a lovely reminder to all of us about being mindful in a crazy world. Glad you’re okay. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow, I am so glad you did not gt hurt. It is such a good reminder to pay attention and not multi-task when driving. I can be bad at that as well. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’m so glad you are okay! That is so scary and such a good reminder that sometimes we are too connected for our own good. Great thoughts here.

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