Lucky. That’s all.

All my life I’ve felt lucky.  Maybe it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, maybe it’s a matter of choosing to see how things COULD have worked out alongside how they actually did work out.

There’s something anxious and unsettling about imagining all the ways things can go wrong, but looking back at all the ways things have gone right always reminds me of just how lucky I am.  I’ve got the support of friends and family, I’ve got healthy happy kids and in spite of having no real education or work background (other than for myself), I’ve got a job that I love running an amazing company that makes my corner of the world a better place. I’m incredibly lucky.

David Sedaris is always great, but the following quote moved me so much.

“She realized she was lucky-
because she could actually see it-
how the trees got more beautiful
each year…how they danced
with such graceful pride,
surviving each season’s change…
and she knew their beauty
lied not in the perfection,
but the growth…
and she could see it-
in the trees,
the people around her,
and some days-
even in herself…
and so she would dance.”

David Sedaris

Especially “Their beauty lied not in the perfection but in the growth” Oh, that one just hits me right in the gut.

When I look around at the people I love most in life, the one predominant characteristic that I find attractive is personal growth.  If we’re not here evolving and becoming better people, then why are we even excited about being alive?  Sometimes it’s hard to see. I’ve known people who are jerks and ten years later they’re still jerks.

But if I look closely enough I can see that they’re no longer criticizing themselves for their body type, or they’ve become more open to new ideas.  Maybe after another ten years they’ll grow out of that jerkiness, but I’m not here to choose anyone else’s battles. I’m sure I have character flaws (stubbornness) that I haven’t (and probably won’t) outgrow (and you can’t make me).

This whole “get over the bitter-divorced-lady thing” has been liberating. I opted out of the tattoo and I’ve never remembered to wear jewelry much so the bracelet idea didn’t work, but something about making a conscious decision to start identifying more with the “future is wide open” part of me instead of the “wasted away my life” version of me has been helpful.  I don’t know how other people manage to get out of this phase, and I kept hoping it would go away on its own but it seemed to be getting worse for a while.  Either way, I’m lucky. I made it out alive. I still have the whole rest of my life ahead of me. If that’s not luck, I don’t know what is.

Today has been heavy.

There was a suicide near my work.  One of my coworkers saw the body and my daughter was working the morning shift and heard from customers who had seen it happen. They were all coming in for their morning coffee completely traumatized and needing to hug and vent.

My heart was aching for what the witnesses went through and also for the gentleman who decided to set down his cane and his backpack and toss himself into certain death.  I wonder how many times he thought about it before he leaped. I wonder if he had second thoughts and changed his mind when it was too late. I wonder if he stood in that spot several times before and managed to talk himself out of it until now. I wonder if he was homeless. I wonder when he spoke to his mother last, or if he had kids. I think about the people in my life who struggle with depression and my daughter points out that all of the hugs and condolences that were extended today in the wake of this death just might have been better directed toward the man who was suffering, but who knew? And would it even have helped?

When I left work, I had a few errands to run. I spent my entire day hugging people and wiping away tears of sympathy.  Not that I can claim to even know what it’s like for the mom whose kid is hospitalized (and not getting the care that he needs) but I can bring groceries and let her vent. I don’t know what it’s like to be dumped by someone you thought was your best friend for a political disagreement, but I can sympathize. Yes, it was a VERY long day; so many sad people around me.

I’m lucky.

The struggles I have in life are so trivial compared to having a sick child, watching someone die and being unable to help, or feeling so hopeless that… ugh, I can’t even say it.  Life is hard.  Life can be hard.  It isn’t always.  I’m torn between feeling well enough to be a shoulder for everyone in my world to cry on, lamenting my own silly troubles and just dancing, because I have a healthy body and Lindsey Stirling rocks.  The following video isn’t me, but my neighbors can probably agree it’s much more fun to watch :).

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