I had a life-altering experience earlier this morning, and it wasn’t yet 9:00 a.m.! It affected me so profoundly, so deeply, that I immediately had to come home and write about it.
I had a 9:00 a.m. conference call with a state committee of which I am a member. I had missed the last few, so I felt it was really important for me to participate today.
Sure, I had meant to get around earlier and get to the gym, but things got in the way. An early morning lack of prioritizing left me rushed. (As much as I’d like to blame someone else here, like my dogs, or my husband who wasn’t even home at the time – it was no one’s fault but my own.)
“If I hurry, I can squeeze in my workout and still make it home in time,” I told myself.
It was on the way home that life-altering moment happened.
I had my phone with me, and I was looking through emails and alternately watching the road. (Guess where this is going?) While this sounds perfectly ridiculous as I write this, in my mind I was saving time.
“I’ll pull up that email with the call-in information, and then when I get home, I can just run in and dial the number and I won’t be late!“, is what I was thinking to myself. (Am I the only one who’s had such an idiotic thought? Or just the only one who’s brave enough to out myself?) 😉
I was on a fairly straight section of road, glancing up and down quickly between my phone and the road. The last time I looked up at the road, I had ventured too close to the right side. Ooops! I corrected, and kept my eyes on the road ahead as it was starting to get hilly.
Less than two seconds later, I popped over a small hill.
On the shoulderless right side of the road, pedaling along and minding his own business, was a bicyclist. He was blissfully unaware that a quarter of a mile and 5 seconds earlier and I would have splatted him up over the front of my car.
My heart stopped. I laid my phone down in my lap, stunned. Thanks be to God, who’d allowed me to dodge a bullet.
I’m usually pretty careful. When I’m in town, I’m cautious not to be looking at my phone on a busy street, or to even look at it when I’m on unfamiliar roads or in traffic. But this was my road. It was familiar. I know this road, I’ve driven it a million times.
Yes, our road is curvy, parts of it are hilly, it has no shoulder, and isn’t really suitable for biking. And people do it all the time!
But that doesn’t negate my responsibility to watch out for them, or anything else that may be in the road.
I believe the Universe gives us signs all the time. I believe that our purpose here is to learn, and that life gives us lessons to help us grow. If we ignore those lessons (or signs) they keep getting bigger and bigger or louder and louder. If you still refuse to learn, life simply forces you to. That’s when bad things happen.
How did it get this way, that being connected to technology became so much more important than life itself? It makes us hurry. It makes us frazzled. And because we have so little time to connect in a personal way, that we settle for simply connecting via technology.
Technology has put me in touch with friends that I’d not seen in years, wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and I love that. I can easily stay in touch with friends who live far away, to see what’s happening in their lives and with their kids; I see my friends having fun on vacation and admire their beautiful pictures. I love all that too.
Technology has simplified our lives, and certainly made life in the business world easier. But it’s also complicated our lives, made our schedules faster, and given us more stress.
As a REALTOR®, my phone is my lifeline. With my phone, I can do business anywhere. Rarely will you see a REALTOR® anywhere without their phone. It’s a choice we make to do our jobs.
I love my job. I love what I do. And I love people, most of the time.
Sometimes people don’t respect us or what we do. I worked with someone once who had decided to buy a house. I’d shown her a couple, and we’d spoken several times. She got ready to make an offer, and she called me. I wasn’t available at the time, so without leaving a message, she disconnected and immediately called another agent to write the offer.
In our fast, fast connected world, the early bird gets the worm. Having my phone at my hip is a hard, hard habit to break.
But today was a wake-up call for me.
Life is precious, and it is not measured by conference calls or contracts.
So if you call and I don’t answer, perhaps it’s because I’m choosing to put safety first; not only mine, but the lives of others.
Thank you God, for letting me squeak by today, and for showing me this lesson. I needed that. 🙂
And my conference call? It was canceled for lack of a quorum. 😀