Christmas Eve services had ended, a generous layer of slush-based snow covered the road. 

Click. Click. Click The turn signal. 

My hands, slowly warming behind my gloves, gripped the wheel and executed movements that were new and exciting at 16 but had become quiet and assumed. 

I thought about the evening, felt the ache in my knees and back from standing, talking, shaking hands and wishing well. 

The route was familiar, passing the street signs that were no longer interesting because they were well known, and I was able to let my thoughts wander. 

At that light, the light where I had turned so many times before, I eased into the left turn lane. 

The radio hummed words about Christmas, the president-elect, and the economy. I looked over at the display, then reached for the controls to dial in some music. Something that would carry me. 

Gloved-finger on the button, I saw out of the corner of my eye the green arrow had arrived. My hand moved - a beat - took the wheel - another beat.

That's when the car came sliding through, perpendicular and purposeful, flying through the intersection. 

Two beats had gone by, I hadn't moved my car, and then gratitude descended. 

Another moment, one more beat, and I would have been gone. 

Strangely calmed, the thought warmed on my brain like hot tea into my stomach: 

That could have been it. 

You see, we don't always get the second beat. We move and then we are moved in inexplicable directions, outside of our control, releasing ripples and waves into the life-that-was and making it someone else's life-that-will-be. 

We don't all get two beats. 

We have the beat that is in front of us. 

So create what you'll create.

Love those around you. 

Press the urgent away for the sake of the important, the eternal.

Write the book because it's in you, not because you have a step 2 waiting for you. 

Sing the song. 

Take the course.

Fill out the adoption paperwork.

Work for less so you can truly work for more. 

Have the conversation. 

Evaluate your actions as to whether you're courting discretion or indulging fear. 

We don't all get two beats. 

We only have the beat in front of us. 

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