It’s been a rough year so far. Just tonight, I got a message that someone I know passed away today. This makes the 4th for this year. I’m ready for that trend to stop. But, something else I’ve experienced this year is the near miss.
When I was in college, I remember an afternoon I was out running errands. I had just gone through the drive-through to get a milkshake and was at a stop light waiting to go to my next place. As the light was turning green, I was trying to put the milkshake in the cup holder in my car but wasn’t able to fit it in well. When I finally did, I started to pull out into the intersection just as a truck was running a red light at full speed. If I hadn’t struggled with my milkshake, I likely would have been right in the path of that truck. My mom was out of town dealing with a family emergency. When I told her about it later on, she made the comment that she could not have dealt with something happening to me during that time. It was a near miss.
I want to think that everything in life has a purpose. If that is true, I think that there is a purpose to near misses. For me, they remind me of what could be.
I don’t always think about the near misses I don’t see. A doctor’s visit can feel routine and annoying having to take time out of my day, but I don’t appreciate the near miss of avoiding a health scare. A house that I know is just perfect for me but someone else makes an offer before I do, yet the home has a lot of costly repairs that must be made so it can be livable. Realizing before my dog does that the gate is open in the back yard, and shutting it before he can run out into traffic.
Who knows how many of these near misses I have had in my life! Each one, though, was a time when my day, week, or life could have been changed forever. Each near miss should serve as reminder that there is one less problem or crisis I have to face. That I have one more day of good health, good fortune, and the presence of family and friends.
Instead of worrying over what-if, appreciate the absence of what-could-have been. Love the people around you. And have a milkshake.