Shortly after Easter I went to Target with a friend of mine. We wandered about looking for the things she needed and then I proposed that we go and join the other vultures and pick the bones of the Easter candy aisle to see what treasures we could find.
What I was really hoping for were Reese’s peanut butter eggs, but I walked away with two bags of jelly beans and a package of Twix eggs that, while good, are no replacement for peanut butter and chocolatey goodness.
Pleased with the two dollars that I spent, I put some jelly beans into a snack sized baggie and toted them to work the following day figuring that at some point, between the phone calls and emails, I would need a sugar rush. What better way to handle this than through sour and “The reds mix” starburst jelly beans? It would almost be like the Easter Bunny visited me.
I sat at my desk popping a few in my mouth at a time, pleased with myself as I hammered out answer after answer to the never ending line of emails I had been assigned that morning. I had my headphones in, I had some super cheap candy to munch on, I was in the zone. Life was good.
Until it wasn’t.
As I sat there doing my thing, one of the jelly beans I tossed into my mouth lodged fully in my throat cutting off my airway. My first initial thought was ‘Really? THIS is how I’m going out?’ and I sat there pondering what to do. I advised myself to remain calm and try to cough it up because the alternative was to just die there at my desk and while I’ve covered up the gray and mauve panels with something a bit more…. me, dying in my office chair under florescent lights wasn’t really how I’d hoped it’d all come to an end. I’m not scared to die by any means, I would just prefer that it was years from now and under different circumstances. Circumstances that don’t sound like a punchline to a horrible dad joke.
It was at this point that my coworkers charged into action! And by charged into action, I mean they sat there discussing the noises I was making and how they didn’t sound good and maybe they should check on me, did the other people think they should check on me?? Someone should probably check on me.
Finally I was able to defeat the jelly bean (it was red) and commence breathing (YAY!) just as they decided that yes, in fact I did NOT sound good, and yes, in fact someone SHOULD check on me. Had panic taken over, I most likely would have been blue on the ground with my face smashed against a dirty chair mat.
It got me to thinking though. Up until this point I had been pretty set in a routine. I’d get up in the morning, I’d go to work, I’d come home, I’d watch netflix or I’d spend time with my friends. I wasn’t doing anything to further my dreams or to obtain my goals. In short, I was stuck on survive and we see where that got me: nearly dead.
Life is too short to merely survive. It can be gone in the blink of an eye. You have to live. “I” have to live. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m throwing caution to the wind, grabbing hold of life and shaking out of it everything I’ve ever wanted because no one is going to interrupt my Netflix binge to give me those things, I have to go create them. WE have to go create them.
Don’t wait until you nearly die from a lump of artificially and naturally flavored sugar. Do it now. Do it today.