Taking Inventory

Imagine, if you will, that you suddenly feel very sick and drive yourself to a hospital.  You fill out the forms in the emergency room waiting room and then do what the term describes – wait.  Finally, your name is called and you then answer a series of questions from the nurse.  A blood sample is drawn so that routine tests can be done.  You consider the word “routine” and you are reminded of the routine that you have to get back to as soon as possible. “The grind” calls and this silly detour could not be resolved quickly enough.  There are things to do, people to see, life to be lived.

The nurse returns in a hurried manner along with two men dressed in something similar to bio-hazard suits.  The ask you to lie on a gurney, but as soon as you do, more men in suits appear.  They grab your arms and legs and strap you down tightly.  “Please remain calm” is the only instruction you hear as you are rushed inside a room.  The attendants exit the room, lock the door, then inform you via intercom that you have contracted a rare, flesh eating bacteria and you have 15 minutes before your systems begin to break down, which will be followed by chills, severe pain, shock and ultimately death.  You mull over their words in disbelief, trying to verify if you really heard what you heard.  You cannot reach your phone to call anyone and your yelling, screaming and crying brings no response.  You are alone with your thoughts.

In those final moments, what would run through your mind?  How will people remember you at your funeral, or 1 year, 5 years, 10 years into the future?  Did you treat your spouse in such a way that he or she will truly miss you?  Did you download values, wisdom and life-lessons into your children such that they will be equipped for success in life?  Did you treat others the way you wanted to be treated?  Did you reach out to those in need when it was in your power to help?  Were you an asset to the world around you or were you a liability?  Did you fret over small “flaws” (note the quotes) in your life while ignoring the masterpiece you could-have/should-have become?  Did you have dreams that remained grounded?  Did you settle for the status quo?  Did you challenge yourself?  Did you merely survive or did you thrive?

Suddenly, you hear keys at the door and a group of doctors and nurses enter.  They tell you a terrible mistake has been made and that you are sick, but with something completely treatable.  Now, for the sake of focusing your thoughts, let’s take any potential lawsuit out of the equation.  Instead of thinking about how your life would change with the additional money you might receive from suing, consider what you might do differently.  Would you live your life any different?  Would you see things the same way?  If you could have reached your phone, whom would you have called?  What would you have said?

Here is the point:  For some reason, I was given a second chance (actually, having almost died five times, I guess I’m on my sixth chance).  Many do not even get a second chance.  So I ask you, were there people in your life whom you would have called and “set things right” by apologizing for something you did to them?  Why not call now?  Were there things you wish you had said to your children more?  Why not begin today and say those things on a regular basis?  Were there petty things that hindered the relationship with your spouse?  Why not just let those go? Life is about choices. Reach higher, while you have the opportunity.