It all started on 9/7/14 at 4:57 pm.
A Japanese tourist flew in to the Kona airport rented a car and proceeded north down hotel row on the big island of Hawaii. He was traveling with a woman and just rented a car to start their vacation.
My family and I were on our way traveling south to meet my mom for dinner. My husband and I were having one of those “moments” chatting while listening to our three kids giggle in the back seats.
Next thing I know, all airbags are deployed and smoke is filling the car. The only thing I could think of was what the F was that.
This Japanese tourist pulled out in front of us as we were going 45 on this two lane road and there was no time to stop. He turned into a lane where another vehicle was turning left, an obvious wrong turn, further solidifying his fault and highlighting the Japanese vs. American basics of driving.
We all got out of the car, walked away unscathed except for me with some minor burns. The mental struggle was far greater than our physical pains. Like I said, this is where it all started.
My name is Lindsay and I’m a work-aholic. My story is probably like every other bread winner in this bubble we call home where the rat race is tantamount to good child-rearing with the Jones’ living right next door. I work 12-15 hour days like it’s never enough and seem to put all clients first, before myself and as of late, before my family time. I have always rationalized this as my career is feast or famine so get it while I can. I live in a survival mode telling myself to just get through it, and I’ll have a break after this job and then the phone rings again.
I’m two years into this cycle, and 20 lbs heavier. I think, though, I’m doing all the right “adult” things, saving for retirement, building a nest egg, flossing my teeth, educating my children, you know, doing all of those things that make you sleep like a baby. I shoot out of my bed that I share with my soul mate every morning, ready to start at 6 am to get on with my passion of interior design and serve my clients. I really do have it all, but I never really truly stopped to think and truly digest any of this until after the Japanese man hit our car.
I did start to think about balance of life: my career, my kids, my healthy relationship, all of it when I missed my childrens’ last day of school in June, but I also rationalized it by thinking that I didn’t have a choice and my clients have always and will always come first. My thinking was that my clients are really footing the bill and that trumps all. I always thought if I had just a bit more money in the bank, I could relax or not work the long hours. I even started hiring a team of people to help me and well that was a ton more work. Talk about back-fire!
So, back to the real reason for this blog: I’m a work-aholic.
But, I’d like to become a recovering work-aholic. Nothing is as important as those things that I learned, which became clearer the three consecutive days mentally and physically recuperating in Hawaii after the accident. My whole perspective has completely changed on most everything I ever thought about life. I have so many grateful moments throughout my days now.
I feel lucky and grateful we all got to walk away as the medic took his lady friend off in the ambulance.
I was so caught up in my everyday rat race of go go go, keep all the balls in the air,…that I never really stopped to think in an instant it can all be changed in any way. I took it all for granted; our health, our happiness, our way of life, even the stupidest of things like getting pissed off if things aren’t just so. I had naively gone through life without any accidents and I guess was safely nestled in a basket where shit really hasn’t happened to me in my life to the extent that I was just not absorbing it’s fragility.
I learned that I have grateful moments in many and all things so much so that I cry with joy at the mundane I used to just see. I learned that being a robot blows.
I learned that it is ok to be present and not be waiting for the next moments to be something more.
I am changing my perspective on how I see most everything and all things. I’m having so many bumper sticker moments, now that I feel like I’m living not surviving.