Five Years on


In many ways that timespan is arbitrary; yet, it still hits me hard emotionally. It’s been five years since my accident and I still think about it everyday, how I’m different, or the same, what I need to do to improve, what I need to accept as inevitable.

A lot has happened in my life since February 7th 2013. I switched jobs, twice, Anne-Marie and I now have a dog, and a child, and we moved into a new house. But the days still drift along as a single sequence of time since waking up from the coma.

Today is largely a tough one, not because of failure, but because of success. Now that I work at Autoweek, it feels like the full affirmation of what I dreamed of returning to at Road & Track. Life is full of new cars, interesting trips, fascinating people and writing. Yes, me, the engineer, Mr. Spreadsheet, writing articles that people read and some even like.

And that is exactly why today is tough. I fully realized that bizarre thing I was chasing at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC), then at Craig Hospital, and I’m still sad! WTF! That means that it’s is NOT my situation, it is me that must be fixed. And I don’t know how to fix it.

My entire life, I’ve always had an internal checklist that I sought to check off. As long as I checked items off, or at least worked towards it, I felt satisfied that I was moving in the right direction and doing the right thing. Today, looking back shows a lot of checked off items that should lead to a strong sense of contentment. But, no.

So, I’m broken. And, I don’t presently have an item to chase that I think will set things right. But maybe that’s not true. As I write this I can see that I have ignored some categories of checklist items. Perhaps it’s time to broaden my spectrum and look beyond professional life as the key to happiness. And by that I do not mean things with family, Anne-Marie is fantastic, as always, I mean me. Take better care of myself, my physical and mental health.

Ha! My mental health, you’d think that would be a higher priority given origin of this whole bloody thing.

It’s harder to keep things objective, to not let fear and worry build up as my mind races through fifty different worst-case scenarios, but that’s exactly what I need to do. Slow down. Think. Great things are still possible and maybe, just maybe, happiness is too.



One thought on “Five Years on

  1. Bryce Womeldurf

    Indeed, maybe happiness too. It’s important to remember that we’re fortunate to be still here checking things off when we survive something like this. I survived a pretty bad wreck with my mother, in the back of her 280ZX, flipping over on the highway back in the ’80s, and somehow I made it out with a plate in my head, but no obvious serious side effects. I should learn to follow my own advice though, since I also have a hard time seeing the brighter side of things and am never satisfied for long when I accomplish something. I’ve started working towards that, but still have a ways to go. Good luck to you on your journey, Robin.

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