Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On Luck

It's almost New Year's Eve.  I am on vacation, staying with my in-laws down South.  I sit in a quiet office with my dog Padme dozing in the chair beside me.  My daughter is asleep down the hall.  My husband works at his laptop in the kitchen, coding and thinking and coding again.  My in-laws watch TV and get ready for bed in another part of the house.  It's quiet except for the hum of a small heater running at my feet, beside which my tiny black dachshund, Annie, sleeps.

And here I sit in a cozy chair, my mother-in-law's chair, and think about the past year.  About my happiness project.  About my life, about my friends' lives.

And all I can think, is, "How did I get so lucky?"

Some people say there is no luck, that things happen for a reason.

But this year, my friends have lost parents.  Have lost children.   Have lost babies yet unborn.  Have lost jobs.  Have lost homes.  Have lost dogs they loved.  Have discovered cancer.  Have had children diagnosed with disabilities.  Have fought disease and pain.  Have battled depression.  Have faced infertility.  Have faced bankruptcy.  Have lost more in a year than some lose in a lifetime.

And I see no reason behind the suffering.  No reason.

It could have been me, in any of those situations.  But, instead, I got to watch my beautiful daughter flourish and grow.  To see my wonderful husband do productive and interesting work.  To work, myself, in not one but two rewarding jobs.  To have a healthy, loving, and supportive immediate and extended family.

Tonight, I sit in a comfortable, quiet house at peace with those I love and those who love me.

I'm exceptionally lucky.

I appreciate that, and I mourn for the moments of peace my friends are missing out on because of loss, illness, stress, or hardship this year.  I think this quote (from an interview on the Happiness Project blog) sort of fits my thought process today:

 "..it’s a good thing to know life is short, to appreciate people’s – my own and others' - strengths and weaknesses, to love, and to feel grateful for what I have."   

Boy, way to ring in the new year on a dark note, eh?  I promise a more uplifting tone to tomorrow's post!  But sometimes we gotta get sad to get happy, right?

Have you felt lucky or unlucky this year?   And do you think all things happen for a reason?

(By the way, this  blog by my friend Rachel, who lost her daughter in a car accident in October, has meant so much to me this year, by making me continually contemplate the big picture and appreciate every precious day I get to experience with my family.)

1 comment:

  1. I read your friend's blog and I can't stop crying. I love my God and he is a good God, but I hate all the cruelty in this world.

    I dont' know what else to say...but I intended to come here to start a happiness blog like you did last year, need some advice.

    I certainly can't start one right now. I need to go pray and recooperate - it really hits home. Esp. when you have a daughter that age yourself and it makes you realize how precious every moment is.