The other day I logged in to my admin page and saw that regardless of the neglect I’ve slathered on this blog like butter on a warm blueberry muffin–there are about SIXTY of you who still check my blog. Every day. I love you. This post is for you.
For as long as I can remember I’ve considered myself the luckiest person I know. There are obvious reasons. I’ve had over-the-top life experiences that firmly place me in the lucky category. I am also obscenely lucky in love. When I go to see my favorite band in concert I get chosen to sit in the center of the state. Strangers are nice to me. My eyebrows don’t have to be plucked very often. You get the picture. I’m not saying I haven’t had problems–that would be ridiculous–but my life has been pretty darn rosy.
When I was in college I got cocky about my luck. One day I was sitting in an upper level rhetoric class at ASU and for the first time decided to bring someone in on my good fortune. I told the guy next to me that I was the luckiest person I knew and that if he wanted to do well in this class he should follow my lead. (He took this statement rather well.) For the next 12 weeks I proved my luck. If the teacher decided to cancel a test I had just had a weekend of fun that didn’t leave any space for studying. If I worked extra hard on an assignment she had decided to double its points. If I forgot an assignment at home she’d decided not to collect it.
It was actually kind of scary. And made a total and complete believer of guy next to me.
Then one day my luck ran out.
David and I had been married for about a year and things were going really wrong. We were living off a very small amount of money and had been confronted with a large and unexpected bill. Some family issues had gotten so severe that I was waking up in the middle of the night having panic attacks. Our little place was spider-infested. We still had not learned how to keep a house decently clean and many dishes hadn’t seen a cupboard in months. Some meds i was on were making me seriously sick. I had (but didn’t know then) chronic fatigue syndrome and I felt like I was walking around with a giant backpack of bricks. Things felt pretty bad and the harder we fought against the issues the worse they seemed to get. It just kept building and building.
We were sitting in our bed, trying our hardest to be brave adults, when I had a realization.
“I have something really sad to tell you,” I said. David looked at me expectantly. “I don’t think I’m the luckiest girl in the world anymore.” And then I crumpled over on our bed and started bawling.
(I know, attractive.)
I felt like some core of my identity was gone. Real life was…hard. Really hard. I missed the glitz and glamour of being the luckiest girl in the world. And I didn’t have any idea how any of our list of problems was going to get solved. I was just so tired.
We did the only thing we could think to do–we went to sleep.
Then something amazing happened. The next morning we got word that David had been granted a scholarship. Three days later a check came in the mail for some work David had done. The family issue simmered a while so we could catch our breaths. The spiders took a cue from Charlotte’s Web and started weaving encouraging messages for us (okay, that last part is made up).
And then I learned how to be the luckiest woman in the world. Because it is pretty easy to feel lucky when everything is fantastic. When you’re riding your Vespa through Tuscany or strolling down Portobello Road in London. When your responsibility list is low and your enjoyment factor high. But it takes a little more effort to see your luck in regular, problem-ridden life. You have to look to see how lucky you are while you’re doing a stack of dishes or sitting in traffic or trying to make your marriage okay on an off-day.
But the luck is still there–every ounce–and it would be such a waste not to notice it.