Just an accident

As I sit here I can hear the rain hitting the ground outside. It has been raining for about the last 24 hours. It has let up a few times, but more than anything it has just been a nuisance.

The long weekend is about done. It is something I’ve needed for awhile. Although I still worked a few hours on Saturday and Sunday it seemed good to get away from the regular grind of having too many things to do in a limited amount of time.

Labor Day has always been the beginning of the fall for me no matter what the calendar says. It makes me realize that I don’t have long to tie up all the loose ends that I’m dealing with.  When the calendar turns over into October I’ll find myself in the woods where I will be able to relax. I’ll go to the woods to sit down in the middle of nowhere and assess the thoughts that come and go through my mind. I might give a few of them more attention than others, but in the end I’ll pay attention to anything that makes its way into my conscious thoughts.

It will be a time when I can be all alone. I’ll walk under the moonlit sky on my way into the woods in the morning and my feet will glide across the forest floor when I make my way back to the truck after the sun sets behind the mountains. I’ve made this a way of life for the last 30 years. I don’t know anything different and I’m not sure I would really like to experience anything different during the months of October and November. It’s a part of who I am and who I’ve become. I find my own identity when I’m in the woods. I go there to deal with stress, heartache, love and loss. I sort through all of my feelings on an everyday basis. The most amazing part about it is that I do it alone. On occasion I will have company in the woods, but for the most part I sit and walk by myself. The silence is sometimes deafening and other times it’s more soothing than a good massage. It’s hard for me to explain to anyone who has never experienced it.

I spent a lot of time reading the last few days. About a month ago I picked up a book at the Authors’ Night celebration in  Long Lake. The book was written about a man from Brant Lake who became paralyzed during a logging accident. The title of the book is “just an accident.” I’ve been fortunate to meet him and have a few discussions with him since the night I bought the book and had him sign it.

I started reading the book yesterday and I should be done in the next few days. It brought a lot of feelings to the surface and made me consider some things that I’ve never thought very much about.

Sometimes we don’t realize how quickly our entire existence can change. It could happen overnight or it could happen in five hours, five minutes or five seconds. In the end we very rarely have little control over what happens to us. We all think if we did this or that things might be different, but whatever happens just happens.  We have to learn how to deal with the events that are sprung upon us without warning. That’s when we have to rely on our closest friends and family members.

It’s always easy to tell someone how we will react to a traumatic event, but none of us truly know until it happens to us. It’s easy to say one thing and mean it until we are actually faced with the reality of it.

That’s when the saying, “Only the strong survive” comes to the surface. People who see the glass has half full usually stand a better chance to succeed than the ones with a more pessimistic attitude. Sometimes we have to dig deep within our souls in order to find the strength to carry on. Yes, our family members and friends can help us, but in the end we are the ones who are solely responsible for what direction we go in. We can give in and let life consume us or we can get out there and make the most of the hand that is dealt to us. It’s our choice.

The day after you read this just sit back and listen to the people around you. I will bet you any amount of money that nobody can go through a day without listening to someone complain about something. Furthermore, I will bet that most people complain about things that are absolutely ridiculous in the grand scheme of things. We all like to play the sympathy role from time to time. We want people to feel sorry for us and give us attention. We’re all guilty of it.

We should all try something a little different for a few days. As we listen to everyone around us complain just sit back and think about all of the people who have real reasons to lash out. Almost always, those people accept their lives as they are and they move forward in search of some type of satisfaction and happiness. If you can, try to go through one complete day without complaining about anything. I know it seems easy, but give it a try. Lend your ear to another and extend your hand because you never know when you might require the same from them.

Just an accident could happen to any of us and rob us from the things that we find so easy to do today. Although it’s cliche try to live your life as if you were dying. Do the things you want to do, say the things that must be said and don’t wait. You never know when something traumatic might happen that could change your life or the lives of those around you. There’s really no sense in waiting, because tomorrow your life may never be the same as it is today.

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