Recently, a good friend of mine was involved in a severe car accident. When the other driver hit her head on, her entire world changed. She has a large garden. Fruit trees that need pruning. A thriving greenhouse right off her front entry, filled with soothing plants and spring growth that require loving care. A colorful garden in front of her cottage. A home that welcomes. You know the kind of place. Where you feel a warm hug and invitation to “sit and visit” for a moment, even as you step onto the property.
But after this misfortune, her life changed in an instant. Chores that were easy are a challenge. Where gardening was a major love, it is now a hit-and-miss activity as she regains her strength. That adds to her distress, for she thrives in the outdoors. Her home is not kept the way she wants it to be. She found a new car. But there is grief in releasing the other vehicle, with all its memories and treasures. She is a strong woman and will recover. But not without a struggle.
One thing struck me as we were having breakfast. She said, “I’ll never be the same.” And that brings tears to both of us. I am in tears now as I consider all she has had to give up. My friend wants to be in charge, and I respect her need for privacy and independence. So I do what I can. I look up websites and refer them her way. I send funny things via the internet. I mail cards. But it all seems so inadequate compared with what she has been through.
That incident prompted me to decide: I want to live in the Now. Along that line, another friend told me about the “5-second” rule from a book she read. She asks herself, “What can I do in the next 5 seconds . . . to reach a goal, to further myself?” and then follows through. After almost losing my friend, I thought: what a great idea!
I too have become a Now Person. I text, send people emails or call them when I think of them, for I only have Now. When my husband, Ken, was failing, another dear friend used this rule and called me as the day was closing. I was exhausted from what was going on. But a three-minute phone call beginning with, “How are you doing?” in Ann’s soft, gentle voice made all the difference. I could, and did, go on. A short call, but thoughtful and heartfelt.
As I walk through the door of my home, I use this little rule. What can I do in the next 5 seconds? Take the trash out? Pick up discarded items tossed about before I left for the day? (And put them away.) Check my body: do I need to sit for a moment and gather myself? Play with the Duff? Organize what needs doing the next day? All are possibilities with the 5-second rule.
Are you a Now Person? My friend’s accident showed me how precious life is. And it can change or be taken away in a heartbeat. Someone can be there. And then they’re not. We thought we had more time we say. We were planning to go on this excursion, to launch into this new adventure. But life has changed.
I say: become a Now Person. Do it Now. You have today, and then it’s gone. Make the most of it. That’s living unstuck.
I hope I have opened doors to the little things . . . on the Mountain.