Today is February 5.
It’s 3:14 pm and I’m finally taking the time to sit down and try to write a post.
Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve done so. Like more than 2 months and I feel terrible about that. Indirectly, this very blog is a result of what happened on February 5 all those years ago. It only seems fitting that I end this unplanned hiatus by posting today.
For the past 11 years, February 5 has been kind of a big deal. I’ve dreaded it. I’ve feared it. I’ve done countless things to distract myself from it. And even though the very sight of the words ‘Feb 5’ make the little hairs on my neck stand up, I’ve always taken the time to celebrate it too.
I’ve never celebrated what actually happened on February 5, 2005 but I’ve always honoured the date. Respected the date. Grieved the date. And every year since I have chosen to not just recognize but celebrate all of the positive things that have happened in my life since that date.
You see, the biggest thing surviving that car accident taught me is that your weakest moments are sometimes the ones that lead you to your strongest. In finding myself so broken and weak, I learned how to be strong and in 11 years that has taken to me to so many incredible places.
So even though February 5 still kinda terrifies me, I’ve always battled that by celebrating all of the amazing things I’ve accomplished despite what happened that day.
Unlike every other year, I fell asleep easily last night. No worries. No fears of being riddled with flashbacks today simply because of the date. I wasn’t up late meticulously working on a post. I wasn’t laying awake last night planning strategies to distract myself in case it all came flooding back as tends to happen after a traumatic event.
Laying in bed this morning re-reading the blog post I wrote last year on the 10 year anniversary of that awful day, I realized that I’m finally crossing over to that place where February 5 is just a date on the calendar again. You never totally forget and this day will always have horrific significance to me and my family but you do become incredibly adept at coping. And coping with the pain, the memories, the fears and the flashbacks for 11 long years has finally started to dull this anniversary for me.
In fact, today has felt kind of like an un-niversary.
I didn’t sit around remembering everything that happened. Anxiously watching the clock remembering with excruciating detail where I was at that time so many years before.
Today was pretty routine in fact. Boring. I went to the track and ran my heart out. Then I went to the gym and did the last of three workouts I’d planned for this week. Then I spent my afternoon doing work for my son’s school because I’m heavily involved in their Parent Advisory Council.
Today I ran my heart out because in 11 years I’ve learned that staying fit and chasing goals keeps my body feeling good, mitigates the pain and keeps my spirits up. I finally completed a missed workout at the gym because in 11 years I’ve learned that even though life throws curveballs, I need to be adaptable and find ways to get things done even if it takes extra time or effort. And I smiled to myself as I sorted through mundane school notices because it reminded me how in the past 11 years I’ve realized more than ever, how important my family is. My parents and sister carried me for years while my body was broken and weak, lifting my spirits and keeping me going. And now, all these years later I have my own family who I give every ounce of myself to. It’s come full circle.
Anyhow, I wanted to sit down and at least write something because even though it doesn’t frighten me in quite the same way, I still believe this date deserves to be noted. So many things have happened in my life that I think are due in part or in whole to having lived through that experience. And even 11 years later I still feel like I’m growing and changing and improving because of it.
So happy February 5 friends. And happy un-niversary to me.