Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It

Life is not a journey to the grave
With the intention of
Arriving safely in an attractive
And well preserved body,
But rather to skid in sideways,
Chocolate in one hand,
Wine in the other,
body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and screaming
"WOO HOO what a ride!"

Last Monday at 10:04pm I was sitting on my bed and it began to shake. It felt as though someone was jumping on the bed and then my heater began to sway back and forth. My heart dropped and I was a little freaked out. The next day I checked and discovered that there had been a 3.3 magnitude earthquake in Ohakune with a depth of 20km. This is the third earthquake that I have experienced since I arrived in New Zealand, one in Christchurch three days before the big one hit in February and two since I have been in Ohakune. Out of curiosity, I did a little research and discovered that New Zealand has around 15,000 earthquakes each year but only 250 of them are strong enough to be felt by the average person.

In the same week that I felt an earthquake, the 89-year-old fundamentalist from Florida (who has a track record of inaccurate predictions) announced that a series of earthquakes originating in New Zealand would sweep the earth and it would be the end of the world as we know it. So like many of Kiwis, I picked up a bottle of wine and hit up two birthday parties on Saturday night. As we sat on the patio around a log fire, one of the party-goers checked his watch around 10:10pm and declared, "We're still here!" Everyone laughed off the absurd claim made by Mr. Camping and continued to sip their cocktails late into the night.

Like many others, I am quite happy that there was no validity to the Doomsday prediction. However after being in a country that is trying to rebuild after a devastating earthquake and feeling one myself earlier in the week, I can't help but think about the end. It is just a reminder that life is precious and we should not take anything for granted. "Doomsday" should remind us all that we need to live each day to the fullest and live without regret. It is also important to tell the special people in your life that you love them. So even though I am on the other side of the world from those I love and in the epicenter of the supposed destruction, I will just remind myself how lucky I am. I have amazing people in my life and I have had so many amazing life experiences.  

So if there was no tomorrow, I could truly say that I died a happy young woman and lived a blessed life. I definitely will be able to scream, "What a ride!"

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