How the Alarm Clock Reminds Us of Second Chances

The screech from the alarm woke me instantly. My body was awake but my mind numb. Instinctively, I slapped the top of the little black box hoping to strike the snooze button, silencing the wretched little thing.

It worked.

Exhaling deeply, I rolled on my back and stared at the ceiling.

Another day.

A zillion thoughts ran through my mind, my to-do list was suddenly turned back on. If you could see it, imagine an obnoxiously bright sign with flashing neon lights.


Just the mention of my to-do list reminds me of a country kitchen in an old gas station – I get heartburn just looking at it.

Was this the tone by which I wanted to start my day?

Bedtime was no different. Some days, I literally crawl into bed fully clothed thinking that I’d close my eyes for a few minutes only to be awakened by the screech from the little black box, again.

My days were starting to blur. When that happens, I lose focus and am caught up in the rapid change and tempo of things around me. My body and mind goes along for the ride – after all I have things to do. But my Spirit, well, this time, she dug her heels in the sand and said, “No more. Slow down, sister.”

So I had this notion, I’m not sure if I read it somewhere or if it was Divine intervention. The idea was to record my first and last thoughts of the day for a week, seven consecutive days. No matter how hurried or compressed my time became, I had to either physically write it down or make a mental note but I had to record the thoughts to memory.

The results were staggering.

I dreaded waking up. I dreaded going to sleep. I lived for my to-do list and what I could do for others, and the only thought that I devoted to myself was, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

And tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

Go for that run.

Meh, I’ll do it tomorrow.

Sit and write that chapter.

Hmm. I’d better get this laundry done.  

A pattern emerged quickly and I couldn’t deny it. It was right there in black and white.

I’ve always known that every morning that little black box screeches is the universe’s way of giving me another chance. I get a do over. The difference now is that I openly acknowledge it.

Some people aren’t so lucky. They didn’t get a do over today.

Every day is a gift. Cherish it.


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