A Board up Side the Head, Now That’ll Get Your Attention
In December of 2012, I got just such a wakeup call. I was literally hit in the head with a board. It was a pretty big board too (a 14’ long 2×12 plank). We were installing wafer board boxing to the second floor wall of an addition. I was standing on the plank approximately 8’ above the ground when it broke. Luckily I don’t remember any of the ordeal from the time I was measuring until I woke up in the hospital three days later. Based on what I was told by the guys that were there as I fell, I hit my head on one of the ladders, then on the concrete slab and then the board hit me in the head. It sure is good that I have a hard head. Seriously I was really fortunate that I came away from this accident with only a concussion.
Here are four positives that came out of it.
Change of focus – I have always been a workaholic ever since I was young. I love working and the sense of accomplishment that comes from getting things done. However, there are some tradeoffs when our work takes precedence over everything else. This accident forced me to slow down for a little bit. While recovering I had some time (like I had a choice) to look around and see things other than my work. It reminded me that there is more to life than just work and I need to remember that.
An appreciation of life – As I reflected on the accident I realized how valuable this life we have been given is. It is so easy to get in the daily routine and grind of life. If you are like me, it is easy to overfill our lives. We have a fixed amount of time and we schedule way more than we can do. Regardless of what we fill our schedule up with, even important things, like working in the church or other worthy causes. Even God rested from his work. When he created our world he rested on the seventh day. If this is His plan, then we should try to do the same.
Greater awareness – While slowed down and contemplating my situation I became aware of how blessed I am to have the family and friends that I do. I know that not everyone’s situation is the same. I am more blessed than many. The comfort and support I received made my recovery both possible and more likely. I know that we can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends. A good church is a great place to find great friends. Regardless of your situation you can choose to make it better.
Delegating and planning – One thing that became evident pretty quickly was how production slowed, practically stopped, while I was unable to work. This is a common place that many small businesses find themselves. Many small trades businesses only have a few people working. Maybe only one. They started out with some tools and a pickup. There is nothing wrong with this plan until something happens and you can’t go to work. It is hard enough to keep a business operating day to day without something like this happening. I have always been a fan of systems and planning. This pushed me to review my business model and consider some changes. It became clear that I couldn’t do it all on my own. I needed to take some intentional actions and do better at sharing the load.
It is a daily struggle to keep life in balance. Do not let one thing have too much attention. I try to remember this every day, because I don’t want smacked again.