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This Too Shall Pass

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how good our lives are.

I had a wonderful birthday last month. Chris took me out for breakfast at an awesome vegan restaurant, and then we wandered around the Walt Disney Family Museum.

On the drive home, I was feeling very happy and content. It was the perfect, sunny day.

Abruptly, all the cars on the highway hit their brakes, we were forced to inch along very, very slowly.

This went on for a long…long…time.

I was still feeling my birthday high, so I didn’t consider what could have caused the traffic jam.

“There’s probably an accident,” Chris said.

Oh.

Somehow, I knew he was right. And somehow, I knew it was bad.

“Then let’s be thankful for our health and safety,” I said.

I often give thanks silently or aloud for the blessings in my life, big or small. Practicing gratitude gives me a sense of peace because I know how quickly things can change.

I have often heard people say, “This too shall pass” when they are going through a rough time in their lives. It’s meant to remind them that bad experiences won’t last forever.

But what about the good things in life? As we all know, they are fleeting as well.

When I experience something joyful, I think, “This too shall pass.” It’s not to be a downer, but rather to remind myself to soak up every bit of happiness while it’s here.

Being thankful makes the nice times that much sweeter.

Finally, our car reached the accident. Police officers were directing the vehicles into the far lane.

There was a mangled motorcycle in the middle of the road. A trail of glass and metal bits led further down the pavement where a fireman stood over a yellow body bag.

Oh.

I held my breath. My stomach hurt.

“This too shall pass,” I thought as we continued towards home.

13 Comments

  1. Megan Gann on March 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Both a wonderful and sad story. Life is so short, so random, so ugly, and so beautiful. “This too shall pass” is a very hard concept as a person with anxiety. Putting yourself into unknown situations or “what if” situations can create really difficult emotions like not knowing how to remove yourself from awkward/frightening places.

    My mom and I went to do laundry at her local laundry mat and walking home we apparently passed right past a situation where someone got stabbed. Moments later the police were swarmed around a building. We could have very well been in front of when it happened.



    • Sage on March 7, 2012 at 9:12 am

      That’s scary. I’m glad you and your mom are alright. I know a lot of people who’ve had “close call” moments like narrowly avoiding an accident, a crime, a natural disaster, etc. I don’t want to take my time on Earth for granted.



  2. Tinfoil Tiaras on March 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    That is devastating- I’ve seen a similar accident and I was very emotional, I had to take a step back and focus on the positive things in my life like you did. This too shall pass…
    On a lighter note The WD museum and vegan food- what a great b-day! I’m planning a vegan meal for my bday in a couple of weeks- yum! I love this dress on you-very cute!



  3. Jennifer Delle Fave on March 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

    You’re such a vivid writer…I felt like I was there with you! So sorry to hear that. It’s so important to appreciate all the small gifts of life. I wish more people would look life like you do! Great post and very humbling.



    • Sage on March 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks, Jenn. It was a sad end to my birthday, but it did make me appreciate the day even more. At least I had been alive to live it.



  4. xvavaveganx on March 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Such a great point and such a gut wrenching story. I agree with you about being grateful for the sweet moments in life, it is something I’ve been striving to do for a while now. Those moments are worth so much and it is definitely worth it to acknowledge and appreciate them.



    • Sage on March 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      I’m getting better at appreciating the good moments too. I’d hate for something bad to happen to me before I realize how good I’ve got it.



  5. Shybiker on March 6, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I knew what happened in your story before I finished reading it. I’ve been in that situation, both as an observer going past and as the guy lying on the ground at the edge of death.

    Yes, we should all celebrate the fragile life we are lucky to have. It can disappear in an instant, making our misery over getting served the wrong type of milk at a restaurant seem awfully petty.

    Your blog should be required reading for everyone. Everyone.



    • Sage on March 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      I knew you would understand since you ride motorcycles, but I didn’t know you had been in an accident! That’s so scary. Something like this really does put things in perspective, and it was kind of a wake up call on my birthday for me to cherish every moment.

      Thank you for the kind words.



      • Shybiker on March 7, 2012 at 5:15 am

        My accident, in 2003, left me unable to breathe. I was lying on a cold roadway (it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving); my ribs were broken and one of my lungs collapsed. For what felt like eternity, I simply could not breathe. I realized at a very primal level that if I didn’t start breathing soon, it would be lights out. Fortunately, with extreme effort, I was able to get air in me. At the hospital, the first thing they did was jab a big tube into my chest — immediately and without anesthesia.

        Shifting topics, Tucson! That’s where I’m going. Robin’s brother and family live there. You probably walked past them during your visit. The world is so small.



        • Sage on March 7, 2012 at 8:55 am

          I’m so glad you’re safe and healed now. The world needs you in it!

          Enjoy your vacation!



  6. Molly on March 6, 2012 at 3:45 am

    This too shall pass is something I tell myself often, but I’ve never thought of using it for the good stuff. Such a great point!



    • Sage on March 6, 2012 at 6:05 am

      I wish I had started using it earlier. Then maybe I would have enjoyed my happy moments more instead of just moving on to the next moment.