TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Pie
It was just another day in the lab. Well, not quite a normal day. On this particular day a few weeks ago, I made the trek over to the hospital to pick up some samples.
I arrived at the hospital and promptly went to a back room to read a few papers while I waited. It was just a few minutes later when the doctor (who I was working with) popped his head into the room. “The samples are running a little behind today , so you might have to wait a little longer. Oh,” he continued, “you may want to stick tight back here while you wait. If you leave, you might not be able to get back in. The hospital is under lock-down because there is a shooter on the loose.”
Okay. Twist my arm. I will not go wandering the halls.
But allow me to step back. I was never one of those kids who felt invincible. Life always seemed tangible, precious, a gift to be cherished. Yet in the past few years, I admit I have taken life for granted. I forgot about death. I loved (almost) every day, but made no effort to make the most of them.
Sitting there, in the hospital that day, I was not in any real danger. The shooter was eight stories away, in a completely separate wing. While I did not know any of that at the time, I did know that–mostly–everyone around me was calm, collected. As much as possible, work continued as usual.
However, in spite of the fact that I was safe, in spite of the fact that everyone around me was calm, in spite of the fact that I was not truly worried–in spite of all of this, being stuck in a hospital with a shooter on the loose can drive a person to reflect on the preciousness of Life:
Life is beautiful. Life is a gift. Life is an adventure, an opportunity, a treasure. Life can be inspiring. Life can be inspired. But life can also be lazy.
To make the most out of life takes effort. I want to make something of myself at work yet revel in my time off. I will climb mountains, photograph sunsets, laugh with friends. Maybe one day I will ‘cure cancer.’ Maybe I will just help to advance the world of science, but I will love my job.
I will not make a bucket list because I never want to leave something unchecked, and I never want everything to be checked off. Instead, I will seize every moment. I will fight my fights but will not dwell on them. I will love. I will not walk around trying to escape from life; instead, I will escape to life. I will plan for my future, savor the present, honor the past. I will forgive others. I will forgive myself. I will not fret over imperfections.
I will smile. I will live. I will bake my heart out.