Preparing For Now: Lessons From Yesterday

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Preparing for Now: Lessons from Yesterday

It’s never too late to learn…

Preparation is a way to battle the here and now.  We can never really know what will happen in any given situation.  Whether our response to an email will solicit the right response from the recipient or if a business proposition or offer will be accepted at face value or will an unexpected negotiation process be prompted by some ill-timed words.  That is the tricky thing about preparation, how much is too much and how much is not enough, how much is just enough – we never know, until we know what is or was needed.

Which Brings Us to the Now

Do you ever wonder if you will be prepared for the now? As in, if this happened, how would I react? Or if that happened, would this also happen and if it did what would I do? Preparing for the now is a little more difficult than preparing for tomorrow. Why? Because, in the moment, we often think we are invulnerable and that we don’t need to do it. OK, yes, I know, technically if I am preparing for the now but nothing happens until tomorrow than it was preparation for the future. Technically, yes…

A Story from a Few Yesterdays ago

Traffic was moving along nicely, the light before me was green and I proceeded well under the speed limit. No road congestion whatsoever, for it was late on a Sunday morning and the streets were fairly clear. My two daughters spoke quietly in the back seat, no silliness on this drive. The seatbelt tightly hugged my eight-months pregnant belly. Noting the green light, I approached the intersection to turn right, I slowed, looked both ways just to be sure the way was clear. It was. But in a split second, that changed. It happened so fast, there was no time to even think.

A bicyclist came out of nowhere, he darted into the street right in front of me. The sound of the thud on my hood resonated through my head for the weeks that followed. He had been trying to get away from someone and hadn’t even checked for cross traffic or even noticed that he was driving through a red light. I slammed on the brakes, but he was already down with his now-bent bike somewhat stuck under my car. A whirlwind of activity followed as the police were called and the boy’s mother arrived quickly on the scene.

Witnesses came out of nowhere to tell of the boy’s ill-fated attempt to cross on a red light. He wasn’t hurt, other than a scraped and bruised ankle, twisted bike, and slightly-bent ego. His mother spewed a few choice words at the boy – I imagine that she was the reason he rode so furiously into the intersection, she was who he was running/riding away from. Her obvious lack of compassion did little to ease the stress my pregnant body was feeling. She refused an ambulance, simply grabbing a hold of the bike and the boy while storming away from the area. The police officers did not know what to make of it and turned their attention back to me, asking if I wanted to file charges (?) for what I wondered aloud… I don’t even remember their answer.

As I made sure my daughters were buckled in and we proceeded to our home, my swollen belly cramped slightly. The cramps increased and my breathing became faintly labored. I knew I was having contractions as a result of the stress from the accident. And I had, in that nowremained completely calm, cool, and collected. My husband was out of town and I had no family close by. I went to bed and forcibly slowed my breathing. My contractions subsided, thank goodness as my sunny 6-year old had been a preemie. All was right and all was good. But I wondered often afterward how I might have been better prepared for that now.What it did do was prepare me for another now that occurred fourteen years later when I showed up at the scene where my own son had been hit by a car while peddling his bike furiously across a neighborhood street. He had not been so lucky and spent a night in the ICU with a concussion and brain hemorrhage. I remembered that other mom, and I was instantly prepared for my own now. I knew the only thing I could do was love my son and listen to the paramedics, doing as they asked. The calm I felt was my now preparation and that now was a bit less scary.

Prepare Today

Every now we conquer prepares us for the next – if we see the value in the lesson, if we learn and grow from what we endure, survive, and live through.  When we fail or stumble, it is a wise practice to review the process we followed, note the error or misstep and learn.  Each project you complete, each job you fulfill, each position where you fail or excel is part of your journey to the next now.


Refuse to have this now be for nothing.  It is your preparation for the next.



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