Thursday, December 30, 2010

What a year can be like.

While driving during periods of snow blindness not long ago, someone tried to pass a big semitrailer but couldn’t see my vehicle in the oncoming path. I wasn’t aware of the other vehicle either because I had just met another semitrailer that temporarily snow-blinded me. Once my wipers cleared the windshield I realized there was a vehicle in my lane coming straight at me. In fact, we probably both realized this simultaneously.

I hit the brakes. Slow-motion commenced. I began a mini-debate in my head: do I aim for the ditch now and roll or is there enough time for the other driver to get out of my way?

Despite the weighty feeling that everything was slowing down, there didn’t seem to be time enough to ponder much of anything. There was nothing I could do about it; at least there was nothing I could safely do about it. What was going to happen was going to happen.

Sometimes this is exactly what a year can be like.

What was going to happen was going to happen. The unexpected. The sad. The unfair. The confusing. Those challenges that seemed overwhelming. The bitter disappointments. And the delights too. We all do what we can to prevent disaster or regrets. We all try to keep safe and strong and healthy. We all try to put our arms around those we love and hold them close. We all hope they will do the same. We all make choices. Some good. Some bad. But sometimes, no matter what we do or should have done, what happens happens anyway.

That was my lesson this year. Forgive yourself. You tried. It wasn’t entirely your fault. Maybe it wasn’t your fault at all. And maybe time will tell.

That other driver manoeuvred around that semitrailer and out of my lane. Barely. Only afterward did I notice my heart beating like someone had just finished boosting it with jumper cables.

Soon I regained composure and speed and continued on my way, with the other driver on my mind. I wondered how he was feeling. I found it odd how quickly I calmed down. Maybe it wasn’t as much of a near-miss as I had perceived? He was clearly to blame for that near-accident but I felt no animosity. I have probably done the same thing to some other driver at some point. And to be honest, I just wanted to forget about it. That was probably my way of coping.

Sometimes this is exactly what a year can be like.

That was my lesson this year too. Move onward. Get home. Get comfortable. Cry if you need to. Be thankful. Slow down. Learn. Love the ones you love. Cope. Hope.

14 comments:

Artist and Geek said...

Wow. Great post.
I've experienced the time dilation of near-hits myself, just yesterday in fact. Didn't need caffeine all day.

If friends and colleagues are any indication, 2010 turned into a global miasma of a bad year. Things that should not have happened that did, and things that should have happened but did not.

Happy, fantastic New Year and a healthy 2011 to you and your family.

P.s. responded to your query in Walrus post.

WV: mebyedr anagram for demb yer (dumb year) cause I say so :)

Tim Riley said...

Great advice, great writing, great post!

Kimber Leszczuk. said...

This year was full of a lot of deaths in the family and losses for us. I read your post and found it to be very uplifting and exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time. Thank you! :)

Nicole said...

This is my favorite post of the year. You're a lovely writer and I'm feeling a bit lucky to be among your readers.

Eric said...

I agree with Nicole and with all. Not just regarding the message but the writerly way you described the near- miss experience --- that happened to me once and you nailed it. And thank you for all your comments these past few months. Peace!

wendy said...

I really liked this post. You wrote it in such a poignant way!!!
(that rotten road had to be around Crossfield eh, wow, they have the worst snow blowing across that freeway EVER)

I think lots of us have "near accidents" in life. and some of us have REAL accidents in life.
One way or another, we have to recover.

I look forward to reading your blog next year also and wish you a very Happy New Year.

Alittlesprite said...

*tears in my eyes* You have described my year perfectly.
I feel blessed to have met you my friend. have a great New Years :)

The Gaelic Wife said...

What a moving blog! It was heart-wrenching to read, wondering what would happen. I felt my heartrate increase, although nowhere as much as yours did. I think every year is like this. We can't control what comes at us during the year. We can only control how we react to it. Of course, you were much more eloquent than I could ever dream of being.

dbs said...

@A&G Yes, a miasma it was. I blame BP. And thank you. Also, the best to you in 2011.
@TR Thanks Tim.
@KL Thank you for saying that and I'm so sorry for what you've been through.
@Nicole Thank you. Ditto.
@Eric Peace to you too.
@Wendy So glad to hear from you always and hoping for much happiness for you and your family in 2011.

@alittlesprite I appreciate your friendship too!
@GW Thank you for your kindness.

Cheeseboy said...

Sounds like a near miss to me. Interesting. I've had moments like that too and not always on the roads. Makes you think, to be sure.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Glad you're okay, dude.

Alistair said...

Fantastic post DSB.

Emily said...

Thank God you had a near miss accident or you wouldn't have had a great post or an amazing lesson learned.

Seriously, glad you were okay and the post was good!

Mrs4444 said...

Great metaphor.

I experienced the same thing, many years ago. It seemed as though I had all the time in the world to decide--Do I drive into the ditch? Do I hold the course? Drive into the oncoming lane to avoid slamming into the back of that car that suddenly appeared (stopped) just over the top of the hill? I chose to slam on the breaks, but not hard enough to keep from totaling my vehicle (and breaking my wrist.) Since then, I've learned to slow down. (and always wear clean underwear, in case you get carted away in an ambulance!)

Glad you avoided a crash!

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