How do you define lucky?

4 Oct

How do you define the word lucky?  That is, if you were to consider yourself lucky, why would you say so?  Is it defined by riches, knowledge or social status?  Or is it a question of something deep inside yourself, something you give to others that presents in them the desire and determination to give back to you?

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of watching another spectacular film starring Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List.  If you haven’t seen this one it is definitely a red box rental!  I quickly realized that I had been preparing and carrying out my bucket list for several years now, although I hadn’t coined a term specifically for this goal in my life.  I only knew that I wanted to cover as much land and sea as humanly possible before my time on earth is no more.  By my bed sits a book called 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Spilling from its pages are red sticky tabs honoring the spots I have visited to date, along with the physical day, month and year of the accomplishment.  When I am feeling a bit ‘unlucky’, I often leaf through the pages and reminisce about the sights my eyes have seen, the tastes my tastebuds have experienced, and the tangibility of history that has stood directly before me.  I smile to myself, wondering which page will be next to receive a red sticky tab…

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As quickly as September 2009 came… it went.  September is a special month for many reasons: fall festivals, escape from summer heat and humidity, candy corn, and of course my birthday.  Even though the years are sailing by, just as my parents promised would happen as I began to grow older, I still have this childish anticipation for the arrival of September 30th.  It is my special day; the one day each year that belongs to me.  However, this year has been a bit of  a challenge for me as many of you know.  My life has taken many paths, twists and turns for some time and celebrating growing older without a clear direction wasn’t exactly my idea of a perfect day.  I awoke on that special day with a splitting headache and my best friend Mandy singing Happy Birthday to You at the top of her lungs.  She is such a dear, always finding the time to consider my needs even when her life is upside down.  Her cheerfulness and sheer excitement to be the first to wish me a happy birthday left me feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, even if it was for just a moment.

By the time my work day started I had received multiple calls, emails and texts from dear friends, near and far, sending their wishes for a day filled with fun and relaxation.  But long before the messages came in, I laid in my bed contemplating something rather odd: a lucky list.  I already had my bucket list, and the accomplishments to date made me feel lucky.  But how lucky am I when it comes to my friends?  Have I made a mark, an impression on people that would be forever remembered?  If so, would those people remember me on my special day?

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I think you know where this is going!  I pulled out my trusty iPhone and began a notes page; I began to create a list of everyone that remembered and recognized me on my special day.  How many names would be on that list at the end of the day?  I didn’t include those random well-wishers from Facebook; that is, those that happen to log on and see that Carissa Jones is turning 36 and by all means you must congratulate her!  Not that I do not appreciate those people as well; however, I was thinking more about the people I interact with on a daily or at least some sort of routine basis.  Nevertheless, when my day was complete I had 28 names on my notepad.  I sat down and read through the list of names, remembering at what moment and time I met these assorted people, from assorted backgrounds and varied personalities.  They all brought something different to my life, but there was one commonality among them all: they cared enough to reach out to me on this day.  At that moment, without even realizing what I was working toward, I had determined that indeed Carissa Jones is one lucky girl.

We are all familiar with the old cliche, the grass is greener on the other side, and I must admit that many times I have to fight desperately to keep myself from believing this myth.  We often tend to review or dwell on the things we do not have in life, such as a family, or possibly freedom, or whatever it may be, when in essence we have everything right before our eyes.  Within our grasp… yet we fail to realize it.

What does it mean to be lucky?  I believe it is a different definition from person to person, life to life, day to day.  However, when I look at my own accomplishments, coupled with the people who believe I have made a mark on their lives, I know I am lucky.  Everything else, whether it comes to me now, next year, or never, is just icing on the cake.

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