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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

embracing 2012

i have been away for christmas and new year.  on new years day morning i lay in bed and a germ of a post started to formulate. i have been tardy in my posting.  the end of 2011 presented challenges that required all my energy to meet them head on.  head on they were met and whilst it was exhausting i am changed and exhilarated, keen to discover what 2012 holds for me.  new years day could quite easily have dealt me a different hand. 

i have travelled around the south of england visiting family and friends for the last 10 days. on new years day i was traveling from brighton to sunningdale, leaving one friend to join another.  i left during a downpour that we had watched all afternoon from the warmth of a happy home.  visibility was poor due to the rainfall. windscreen wipers deployed at their highest setting.  on the m25 i was counting down the junction numbers until i got to 13.  the overhead signs were telling us "spray. slow down".  i aquaplaned 3 times on standing water.  i was traveling in the outside lane of the four lane carriage way, despite the overhead warnings my speed was fast.  suddenly i was aware of headlights coming towards me.  the car in front had been plunged into a 360 degree spin.  i took my foot off the excelerator debating the merits of hitting the brakes whilst in the pool of water that had caused the car ahead to spin out of control.  i watched as balletic pirouettes were performed across three lanes of traffic in a backward diagonal motion.  heightened awareness viewed this maneuver in slow motion.  i had slipped into the latest bourne movie becoming a stunt driver extraordinaire.  the car spun three times before hitting the hard shoulder barrier.  it hit no-one.  my rear view mirror showed no pile up.  i headed towards the inside lane reducing speed as i went.

thirty minutes later i arrived at my friends house.  never before have i been so grateful to get out of a car.  the front door opened. i became a verbal assault to the ears as my adrenaline found it's escape route.  hugs were given and wine was poured. replaying the scene in my dreams i was awoken from sleep twice that night. i realised as i replayed the images what a narrow escape i had had.  the car in the third lane was a matter of inches away from joining the vehicle ballet that was choreographed by chance.  had that happened there would be no doubt that i would have been seriously injured or worse as the trajectory would have dictated my part in the dance.  the realisation that 2012 could have been a very short year for me has made me all the more resolved to embrace life.  life with all it's contradictions and hardships.  life with all it's happiness and woes. life with all it's challenges and hurdles.  life can change in an instant.  

i got back in my car the next day.  the short journey eased me back into my usual confident driving style.  that journey a res-bite journey compared with todays; a longer drive home in conditions that were not dissimilar to new years day.  i can now see how easy it would be to stop doing something that scares you.  i enjoy driving.  this has not put me off getting behind a wheel.  but it has reminded me; life is short.  you should embrace it everyday.  i was looked after on new years day. there is no doubt.  i am grateful. what does 2012 have to offer me? be it good or bad.  as they say in all the best action movies fear is not a option.  


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