What’s Luck Got to Do With It?

I am a child of the 80’s. I love all things 80’s: big hair, neon colors, and music. I loved the Tina Turner song, What’s Love Got to Do With It? I can still hear the catchy melody in my head, on many occasions. Recently, someone told me that I was “lucky.” I immediately thought, what’s luck got to do with it? What does luck have to do with ANYTHING? Being the wordsmith that I am, I looked up the definition of luck. Old Mister Webster defines luck as: a force that brings good fortune or adversity. A “force,” a force. I am feeling a little Jedi right now, writing this. The term resonated with me so greatly, that it got me thinking. What if luck is something that comes from within? What if luck is actually, an internal force. It is something that we create, that we bring forth.

Was I lucky to be born to a teen mom, who struggled more than I could ever begin imagine? I am pretty much convinced it was nothing short of a miracle that I, WE, survived my childhood! Many would argue, this is not a lucky start to life at all. I could even say that I came into this world at a complete disadvantage: teen mom, broken home, the list goes on. However, I count my LUCKY stars that she was chosen to be my mother. Despite our constant head-butting when I was young, (pretty much due to me, because I question EVERYTHING) we survived. My mother taught me what it meant to be strong. I learned from her, by watching her. By simply watching my mother, I learned how to persevere, how to not give up, how to work hard and simply never quit. Perhaps most importantly, I learned how mascara can make all the difference in the world (I loved watching her put makeup on). So, was it is luck that my mom is so awesome, and is a complete badass? Or, was it something more?

Fast-forward a few years, when I myself was a young wife and mother, by choice mind you. Was I lucky? Were my kids lucky? Maybe, we were. I actually never thought about it. I was a stay-at-home mom. I worked on weekends just to get out of the house for the first several years, and to have my own spending money (we will circle back to that statement at a later date). I attempted to create the childhood that I felt, I had lacked. My days consisted of  taking the boys to school, picking them up, being a room-mom, baseball mom, nurse, maid and chef.  I made breakfast for those boys every morning, and lunch, and then dinner. I kissed boo-boos, gave baths and haircuts, searched for lost blankies, sent ill-behaved little boys to their rooms, and read many bedtime stories over and over again. I can still recite the tales of “Sam I Am,” with the skill of a Harvard trained literary major! I thought I was the luckiest girl alive, but was it really luck? If I was so lucky, why was I still hungry, still searching? Does luck not take that away? Are lucky people not the happiest individuals? No, it has nothing to do with luck.

The boys were growing, and fast. At light-speed, to be more precise. They did not “need” me like they had when they were smaller, or so I thought. That is an entirely different subject that I will also address in the future. I struggled to figure out where I was heading as a mother, as woman. Where was I going to fit in now, that all my boys were in school? I did the most obvious thing in my mind. I went back to school, to college. The girl who hated school. The girl who was NEVER going back, after high-school. Remember, I have mentioned that I have a stubborn streak.

So there I was, I was working on my getting my degree in education. I changed my mind however, after spending a summer as a teacher’s aid. I had spent my days wiping noses, listening to whining and crying, cleaning spilled milk and teaching tiny humans to not be tyrants. Now if someone could explain to me, WHY on earth I actually thought I would want a career, in education? I was doing exactly what I actually did each and every day, in my home life. Had I lost my mind? I figured out quickly that educating the minds of our future, was NOT my calling. I am open to any type of thank you gift, for those of you who feel the need. So, I chose to pursue nursing. Guess what? I loved every minute of it! I was lucky to have found my calling, or was I?  The prospect of being a nurse was so exciting! When I took and actually PASSED my entrance exam, I thought I was Einstein himself. I was so proud. I was “lucky” I had passed, and was accepted into such highly sought after program.

I will fast-forward an entire decade. This is a blog-post, not an autobiography, after-all. I was “lucky” to have done so well in nursing school. I was balancing full-time school, part-time work, and three busy kids. We were happy, but not really. You see, after nearly 12 years of marriage, three sons, and two months of nursing school left, I divorced my children’s father. They had a fairly routine childhood, up to that point. I had rocked their world. It would appear that “bad-luck” had found us. Did I mention my youngest son had been diagnosed during that time, with Type 1 Diabetes? Yeah, that happened too. The next 10 years would bring another marriage, another child (who nearly died at birth), another degree, the loss of nearly everything that I had, including my home, ANOTHER divorce, a career change; and like five, or maybe it was six moves (I honestly have lost count), some weird dating experiences, and oddly enough, I married once again. I honestly will go back and touch on each of those experiences, one day.

So back to the subject of luck, many would argue I have dumb-luck, even bad-luck. I completely disagree. Like my opening statement, what’s luck got to do with anything? I have figured out that it has nothing at all to do with luck; at least not in the way we think of luck. There is a force that drives us either to, or from something in our lives. WE have and possess the power to act on that. Good or bad. Everyday we have choices. Everyday we have opportunities that exist. Are there bad things that happen out of our control? OF COURSE. I am NOT talking about that, right now. That simply is, life and sometimes life just sucks.

I said before that I am stubborn, I am a down-right pain-in-the-ass. I own it. Back at the top (it has been awhile, I know), I mentioned how the word “force” resonates with me. It does. That force has gotten me through hard times (with a lot of faith, I might add). I had forgotten, until recently, how to tap into that force that lives now quietly within me. If I can do it, anyone can. I am not special. I do not possess special powers (oh, how I wish). I just know it is ok to want more, to not settle. It is not luck. It is being open, open to change, open to doing things a different way, and then open to act on it. You are your OWN luck. It is not something that happens to you, it is something that you make happen.


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