I Just Had One of Those Life-Changing Bumps on the Head

I Just Had One of Those Life-Changing Bumps on the Head

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From time to time, we have an experience that makes us stop and really
think about what matters. Often, it takes something jarring to put
everything into perspective. This happened to me recently, when I was
wandering around a construction site at night and I bumped my head on a
steel girder. As soon as it happened, I knew this wasn’t one of those
regular, run-of-the-mill bumps on the head you get from keeping your
bowling ball on a high shelf or by operating a scissor lift in your
basement. This was the kind of bump on the head that opens your eyes and
gives you a new outlook on life.

All at once, I understood that life isn’t about our own selfish needs,
but about what we do for others. I see now, too, that I do a lot of
things that put my head in harm’s way, and that I should limit how often
I do that, with the goal of never having it happen. In short, I’m a
changed man.

I’m going to do things differently from here on out. I’m going to be a
better person. I’m going to treat people well. I’m going to avoid attics
with low roof beams. I’m going to feel around with my hands before
standing up quickly in dark caves. I’m going to start paying attention
to calls of “Timber!” and “Fore!” and “Don’t put your head that close to
that horse’s hoof!”

I’m done wasting my life on frivolous things. I’m going to stop looking
at my phone all the time and start paying attention to the world around
me, especially to the tree limbs near my face when I run at full speed
through heavily wooded areas. You know, more living in the moment!

Our time on this earth is short, and I need to use mine more wisely.
From now on, if I’m going to wander around a construction site, it’s
going to be in broad daylight, when I’m much more likely to see where
I’m going and someone will, in all probability, stop me from entering
the construction site to begin with. I’m going to use my time more
wisely. Did I say that already?

I’d like to be more thoughtful about my actions. Stop being a slave to
my urges. This impulse I often have to suddenly jump as high as I can? I
don’t have to give in to it every time I feel it. I can take a second to
be mindful that I’m out of a doorway, which is where I feel that impulse
the strongest. A little more reflection like that can go a long way.

I know I still have much to learn. For instance, I need to learn just
how tall I am. And I mean really learn it—like, understand it in a deep
way so that it’s intuitive to me just how much space I take up
vertically.

I’m finally realizing what truly makes me happy. Were all those late
nights at the office really worth it? In retrospect, I think spending a
few extra hours at home every day with my family pleading with me to
take the trampoline outdoors would have been more fulfilling.

From here on out, I’m done with my old ways of thinking. I’m also done
with stilts. And I mean all stilts. Because whatever my current height
is, it’s tall enough. Maybe even too tall?

So here’s to never being too old to change for the better! We all have
it in us. Occasionally, we just need a wake-up call to get us started.
Like, in my case, when I stepped on a loose plank of wood and the other
end flew up and hit me on the head—or was it when I looked too closely
into the tube of that pitching machine at the batting cages? Now I
forget.

Travel

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January 13, 2018 at 12:03PM

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