Lessons From My Final Day




It was to be my last day on this earth—or so I believed just a few days ago. Really. I was riding the winding, hairpin-turn-filled precipitous narrow roads of Corsica, part of a lovely relaxing vacation. Only I was hardly relaxed. 

Rather, I honestly feared that this would be my last car ride, my last day of absorbing the spectacular beauty of nature, the last opportunity to tell my family I love them all. Traumatized and almost teary I saw no way out. And I’m not exaggerating. Once you turn onto this two-way road wide enough for one Smart car at best, there is no making a U-turn and shifting directions. We had decided to visit this much raved about, difficult to access beach, a killer descent from mountain road to sea. There were no guard rails to protect us as we clung to each cliff edge. How could they allow me to travel on this?, I thought to myself.

After a tense stay at this beautiful beach (yes, we made it down), I could only think about how I could survive the return back up. My husband was confident and self-assured—he would be on the inside while I’d watch the wheels teeter on the irregular tattered road’s edge, which dropped down to the sea. Closing my eyes might be the only option—yet having them open made me feel like I could help—like I may control the situation. But I compromised—open, closed, open, closed, all the while trying to breath. It was an isometric workout of sorts—abdominal muscles tightening at every turn, right quadriceps struggling to break my fall as we neared the edge at every turn.  Not a very religious person, I found myself silently singing prayers, statements of faith, in hope that I’d make it.

And obviously I did. And would you believe I saw a link between my experience and your eating struggles?

My thoughts?

Why do we have to wait until we’re at the end of our rope to appreciate what we have and what our lives might be?

Can’t we keep our eyes open, so to speak, and take control in a constructive way?

Do we need to have a traumatic wake-up call for us to move to action—for self-care, to treat ourselves better, for recovery, to make a difference in the lives of those around us?

Must we live life teetering on the edge?

Can’t we entrust our care in the hands of those who can drive us to safety, when we are at a loss to take the wheel ourselves?

Yes, this was the scariest ride of my life—but I realize that lots of cars make it down—and back up—to the top again. Apparently people get through it—and do so by choice, even if they do know what awaits them. Yes, people, like you and me, survive what we never dreamed we could get through.

Sunday night begins the Jewish New Year, Rosh Ha Shana, a contemplative time when we reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going; a time to acknowledge that while not all is under our control, what we do in this world can make a difference. The theme is life and death, but it is a holiday filled with hope for what the upcoming year may bring.

So while I’m in my appreciative mode, still reeling from this trip, in my pre-Rosh Ha Shana spirit, let me thank you dear readers, for reading, for commenting, for teaching me what I needed to learn at times. Thanks for giving me a place to voice my own concerns and for simply listening—and please accept my apology if I have misunderstood you or responded inappropriately. 

And regardless of your religion, thanks for taking my words so seriously and hopefully, moving to action to make the coming year a better one.
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