Nights in White Satin

I once maybe almost died while driving from Nashville to Chattanooga, TN.

I was driving there to teach a class on Windows NT Server.

It was night, and as I drove some very light snow started to fall. The little curvy, swirly shapes the snow made as the wind blew it across the pavement were beautiful. It even sparkled a little bit in the headlight beams from my truck.

I drove on, listening to the radio. Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues came on the radio, and I turned the volume up.

I was feeling good. I had a great job, and was looking forward to the business trip. I was young, and had questionable taste in music.

🎶 Nights in white satin… Never reaching the end… 🎶 

Drowsy, mellotron-infused verse after verse of the song unfurled itself. I relaxed into the driver’s seat even more.

🎶 Gazing at people, some hand in hand… 🎶

I felt the rear end of my truck start to slide to the side a bit and without thinking about it I stepped on the brakes. Too much, as it turned out.

The lightweight truck (with no added weight in the back) went into a spin faster than I could react. The median between the two sides of the interstate highway was probably about 100 feet wide, and because of its width it had no guard rails to prevent vehicles from entering it. My truck spun into the median, and as soon as it did a spray of snow covered the windshield, preventing me from seeing anything.

That’s when, for just a moment, I was 100% sure the truck was going to keep moving through the median and land in the opposing lane of traffic where I would be killed the instant a tractor trailer truck hit me. If you’ve ever had an experience like this you know that the initial realization that you’re probably dead is not accompanied by fear, panic, or sadness. It’s just a clear, simple fact that hangs there in front of your mind while your emotions (relatively) slowly catch up.

I didn’t die that day. 🙂 The median was wide enough that my truck came to a stop well before 70 miles per hour of kinetic energy could carry it into the opposing lane of traffic. Thank you, TDOT engineers!

After I’d calmed down, I buried the rear axle of the truck trying to drive out of the muddy median and then a kind soul stopped and pulled me free with their monster truck.

By the way, the first meal you eat after almost dying (or being 100% convinced you’re about to) tastes amazing. Not that you should try it just to have a wonderful meal, but just in case you were wondering about that…

Narrowing your business focus triggers the fear of death in some people.

Not bodily, death, but the death of their business.

“If I focus my business on just one type of client, won’t I win dramatically fewer projects as a result?”


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