12 years ago on April 17th, it was a blue sky spring day and I went out for a ride on my motorcycle. Soon after getting my bike out of storage and on the road, I crashed my motorcycle into a guardrail going entirely too fast and beat all the odds by surviving the accident, taken away in an ambulance, with only two badly crushed arms and a bad concussion.
Today it occurred to me that the benefit of growing old is the time to gain perspective on your life and process things that may take many years to unpack.
I realized that after 12 years I still think I'm going to fully recover- in that I have constant chronic pain and sometimes crippling arthritis in my wrists/hands but it doesn't stop me from doing much...
I realized it has never occurred to me that "I wouldn't get better" ... My accident was 12 years ago but in a strange way it's always present in my life because the pain reminds me I'm lucky to be alive and that all my limbs work. This is great therapy! wink. I'm thinking that's what has saved me time and time again, it never occurs to me that life isn't just going to keep getting better and better. No matter how much pain I'm going through...
I was thinking things over and decided that the last three years have been my most favorite of living, then as the day went on, the last five years then 6, then I was just glad I've had 12 years since my brush with death. Last year I remember being sad that I hadn't accomplished more than I had (I mean a whole decade has gone by and where has it gone?!?)- sometimes you think you should be some place that you're not....
But as it turns out, to live another year is quite awesome and fortunate and NOT guaranteed so if you're still here there's more time to do it, be it, experience it....and apparently you're still here for a reason.
I appreciate this day every year as the day that I am lucky to be alive and grateful I've had another year of life experience.
I'm grateful I'm growing old and have had the privilege of aging. I have had the benefit of working things out, of maturing, of learning more about myself, and the best thing- liking myself more.
In many ways it's better than a birthday because I know it's the anniversary of the day I could have peaced out of this lifetime before I knew who I really was, before I was able to drop the anger, move beyond the depression, and lose the stoic facade and start really living.
"You can get busy dying or get busy living." I'm getting busy living!