IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

by Steve Clem on July 18, 2011

It was 22 years ago tomorrow that my life changed forever.

A faulty metal fan disk on a DC-10 flying over fly-over country broke off and severed all the hydraulic lines, making the plane nearly impossible to fly.

That faulty metal fan disk, manufactured who knows where, would change my life, and lives of thousands of others, forever.

I was just an 18-year-old know-it-all lifeguard who was more concerned about my tan and where the beer party was at that night. Invincible.

But for the passengers on the plane, that faulty metal disc put them in a lottery for life, injury, or death.

These total strangers who fell from the sky probably had never thought of a faulty metal disc when they boarded the plane in Denver that morning.

I know I had never even really thought much at all about plane crashes in general before that day. It’s what happened in the movies and on the TV news.

But for the passengers and crew, the emergency workers on the ground, the volunteers who helped out wherever they could, that faulty disk changed everything. In the blink of an eye.

I’m a better person today than I was before the crash, but that didn’t happen overnight.

But the main point is this. You never know when that blink-of-an-eye moment will occur for you, and whether it will change you forever, or end you forever.

So take more risks. Don’t be afraid of tomorrow, because it may not come! Live your life deliberately. Enjoy every moment.

Live.
Stop worrying.
Breathe.
Drink.
Celebrate.
Cry.

Whatever it is you need to do, do it.

Because your blink of an eye can happen, well, in the blink of an eye.

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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