I remember when I was in my second year of French in high school and we were practicing our vocabulary and conjugation. My teacher would ask us a question in French and then we would have to answer in French in front of the whole class. I remember getting asked "Are you lucky?" and he neatly prefaced the question with "All things considered." I remember answering that I was.
But as someone who doesn't believe in luck, I don't think I can say that I see myself as a "happy-go-lucky" kind of person. I might be more the type who "presses my luck" maybe, but lucky, no. I'm blessed to have a job, a family, a place to live, a laptop to write these posts on. I'm blessed that a few people even still take the time to read this blog.
I was just in a minor car accident this morning. And sure enough, one of the other drivers said we are "lucky" to all be OK. Of course I am happy no one is injured. But I don't feel lucky at all about it. My stomach is completely turned, my left foot feels like it is asleep, and I spilled coffee all over the interior of my boyfriend's car (he says I was lucky I wasn't driving my car). As someone who has been in a good amount of accidents, I don't feel lucky. I commute every day and of course on the one weekend I am out driving to Los Angeles, I get in an accident. I had considered not going to L.A. and doing all my errands instead, but of course I convinced myself I had to go. If I had just run my errands I would have a clean house, a clean to-do list, calories would be burned off, and I wouldn't be sitting here questioning my luck. In fact, I would probably feel pretty darn lucky to have had the time to get everything finally done.
But I should know better than to believe this Sliding Doors version of events. I mean, who is really able to get everything done? When you work full-time and try to balance it with the rest of your life, you seldom feel so lucky to successfully say you have accomplished everything you set out to do. And that's what gets me down sometimes. I hold myself to the standards I set which includes a long list of goals (running a half-marathon, losing 15 pounds, paying off credit card debt, writing a novel, contributing to other publications, etc.). When I look at what I have done and compare it to where I want to be, I don't feel like I am doing enough (there isn't enough time to train, I need the money for my sister's wedding, I am too tired to stay up and write, I don't know how to contribute, etc.) It's in these rare, bleak moments that I feel like the most unlucky girl in the world. Yes, I know it all sounds so silly and melodramatic. I even know it is not all true. Sometimes the person who might seem the luckiest can possibly never even feel that way about themselves.
So this is how I choose to look at things: God in all his mercy and knowledge has spared me from being injured, he has provided me with an income, the body I have, the people I love. Sometimes we aren't going to see His ways and methods as preferable or easy or fun, but there is a reason behind it all. When we find this reason agreeable or His methods easy and fun we call it "lucky." But we don't want to talk about the other side of the coin. I could sit here and blog about shoes for every post, and I could probably do it well, but that's not what life is all about. Sometimes you have to indulge in the darker moments to really learn, to truthfully answer that when all things are in fact considered, you come out blessed; or better yet, you come out being yourself.
Right now I am the writer who missed a writing retreat because of a car accident. I had with me a bag of nail polish to gift my writing friends and now someone else will be lucky enough to get it. This week I got a lotto ticket for St. Patrick's Day, but I didn't win any money. I had my first fortune cookie ever, and the fortune was kind of lame, or so I thought. I am blessed to have the money to indulge in Starbucks a couple of times a week and to buy my makeup from Nordstrom. I didn't go out Monday to drink green beer, but I was able to stay in Saturday morning to write this blog post. Since writing was on my to do list anyway, I can say I did get something done, which might be the silver lining/pot of gold under the rainbow.