I’ve lived in my apartment going on ten years. In that time there have been a couple of small water leaks from radiators, the odd power and/or cable outage, a set of oven mitts set ablaze, and the very rare shouting match at 3 in the morning to wake me from my slumber. Not that eventful, until last week. There was a fire in my building.
First, and most importantly, no one was physically hurt. I say physically because I can only imagine the trauma suffered by the people in the apartment where the fire started. The Red Cross were here to help resettle those who had to evacuate their apartments. I was incredibly fortunate in that I only have water damage to my ceiling in one corner. It clearly could have been so much worse.
My life was puttering along. Nothing too exciting, no big problems. While the fire didn’t impact me that much, it nonetheless shook me. I’m aware, again, of how quickly things can change. Today is my life. Not in a year when my next book goes on sale, not in six weeks when I’ve lost that ten pounds, not next week when I have that date, but right now.
I haven’t swung all the way on the pendulum to live every day as if it’s your last because I’ve always thought that absurd. Rather, I’m refocused on living each day as if they matter, especially to me. It’s as profound as it’s cliched, but it’s also as real as it gets.