I've experienced some very close calls, mostly near death - only one comes to mind where I thought for a bit that I might be paralyzed. The near death ones made me appreciate my hobbies all the more (this sensation is short lived, as I quickly become complacent again), the one where I thought I may be paralyzed made me hope that my loved ones would pull the plug if they had the opportunity (I thought I might have been paralyzed from the neck down). What has changed is that I am now willing to push myself all the more while I have little concern or worries, to live with very little or no fear unconquered. If I have children however, I plan on toning it down quite a bit, for I am a product of a parent who was far more concerned with aspirations than parenthood. I won't follow that same path. So while I'm independent without dependents, ride on.