Burning the candle at both ends? Hug your kids

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“John, we may have to rethink that ride-along idea after this,” contractor Jason Ridgeway posted to my Facebook timeline after he was involved in a rollover crash coming home late from work one night just before the holidays. Fortunately, Jason is okay and was able to walk away from a frightening experience.

Here is what Jason wrote about his experience:

ridgeway“Well, last night I went on the wildest ride of my life. As much as I love and appreciate work, we have been going at an exhausting rate—17-20 hour days, weekends, double days for months now. I’ve had a couple close calls drifting off driving in the past, but last night it really caught up to me. I made it just blocks from home but fell asleep at the wheel.

By God’s grace no one was hurt. But it could have been so different. I am thankful to be alive and even more thankful the other people were not hurt because of me. I still can’t believe I am virtually unscathed with just banged up knees and back and neck and face. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt so I ate the windshield. Jesus took the wheel for me.

For a lot of the crash I was awake and just along for the ride after I hit. I watched the whole truck roll and spin… more times then I could count. All the doors where smashed shut couldn’t open until I banged on the side door in back and got that open and climbed out.

A young guy ran over asking if I was all right. I told him yes, I asked him if he knew if the other people were all right and he said yes we are fine—a little shaken up but fine. Then he shook my hand and then hugged me and said I can’t believe you’re alive, I’m glad you are alive.”

12341210_10208291118537527_1669478020519616596_nI called Jason immediately after I heard this news to see how he was doing and ask him WTF happened. He explained to me that he was working overtime—a lot of what he does since he is a business owner—and the builder he was working with was trying to get some things done  before an inspection, which was to take place the following day. It was getting late, he was mentally and physically drained, and was less than a half mile from home when he fell asleep at the wheel, crossed lanes of traffic and clipped a car in the left turning lane. The impact sent his service truck into a rollover—3-4 times—and spin. Miraculously, he, and everybody involved, was relatively unharmed—shook up—but unharmed.

“Dude, I’m glad you are okay. You have three young, beautiful children and wife at home who are very thankful, I’m sure.”

Now I can’t pretend to relate to contractors from a work perspective, but what I do know is that the ones I have met and read about work their asses off — basically for whom they care. We all want to be busy and live a comfortable life, but let’s take a step back, take a deep breath and take ‘er a little bit easier.

So, looking ahead, we all wish for a prosperous new year. But while we’re burning the candle at both ends at times, remember to spend some time with the people you love, and in the words of wisdom from Hub friend, Dan Holohan, “Hug your kids.”

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