Just over a month ago I was working an evening shift when that title became a reality. My job is an odd one compared to most. Working in healthcare we all wear blues and these come with pockets to carry the essentials. Phones, pens, scissors and so on. And I carry scrap paper all the time. The primary reason for this is to make lists; I have a memory of a goldfish and it’s often good to write things down like phone numbers or specifics so I can remember them at some point later on.
At the same time, and given my penchant for writing, I use any free break time I can to scribble words and babble for any one of a dozen ideas I have gestating inside my brain, including blog posts for this website. This afternoon was no exception and sitting with a cup of tea at 3pm I began to write just musing observations about my life up to that point.
It was two weeks before Christmas, everyone was talking about their holiday plans and it gave me a few minutes of reflection. This is what I wrote, excuse the dark tone:
“We all regret situations in our lives; the promotion we never got, the boy we miss our chance to be with due to the traffic, the last bottle of champagne on the shelf the afternoon before New Year. Alanis Morissette was accurate in her song Ironic. Probably the only thing she was right about, a song about missed chances sung by a Canadian who failed to understand the concept of irony.
Last year one of the people I work with died. Got run over by a gas truck. Big shock for everyone in work because the person in question was well liked. One of his colleagues reflected a few weeks afterwards, saying something I’ll never forget.
‘We’re all tethered to the grave by an invisible rope. Some are longer than others’.
Fate and circumstance. Plays a big part in all our lives”
Yeah I know, negative much?
I can’t sit here and tell you what I was thinking when I was writing this. I was sitting there, it was already dark outside and I was just thinking about causality, the meaning of life and how hard it is these days to seize the moment cos you could be run over by a bus tomorrow.
Or have your brains knocked out by a dirty great door.
Which in my case is exactly what happened; the door that is, not the bus.
Less than an hour after writing that final line I was severely concussed by a pressure door. Managed to finish the shift but had to go to the ER the following morning and got a ride in the CT scanner just to make sure I wasn’t going to die or anything (medical staff don’t like patients that die, makes the figures look bad) and haven’t been back to work since.
Until tomorrow. I go back tomorrow. It really is only a day away…
I can tell I’m getting better, my humour is returning.
But Christmas wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Aside from the official diagnosis and a killer headache I had to deal with vertigo, labyrinthitis, balance problems, mood problems, sunshine making me flee like some sort of vampire (and prompting me to wear sunglasses in the house a la The Lost Boys) and a perforated eardrum where the door tried to kill me.
Not that I’m bitter.
But I look at my scribbling now and I think: Whoa!
Maybe something can be said for carpe diem. Though at the same time maybe my subconscious has the gift of foresight and was trying to tell me to stay away from big pressure doors? Either way I should have listened more.
So that’s the message guys. Pay attention. And enjoy the world, because I know the day will come when the door will succeed in its attempt to shuffle me loose this mortal coil. And I don’t know about you but I for one don’t want to be lying in my coffin going ‘I wish I’d done this or that, or if I’d paid more attention here I might not have been run over by a bus’.
Or a pressure door. Those things are devious sonofabitches.