When I taught kindergarten, a fellow teacher assured me I was lucky.
She said it again and again at the beginning of each school year. She told me how lucky I was to always be assigned a well-behaved class, while paying little attention to the hours my students walked up and down corridors to learn hallway procedures, to forfeited breaks because I kept unruly children in from recess until they could behave, and to our class practicing a dozen or so times daily how to line up in the cafeteria.
I explained how much work it took because I wanted credit for my efforts until I recognized I was lucky to know how to make my own luck.
From then on, my response was, “Thank you. I am lucky.”
When we celebrated our 10th, 20th and 30th anniversaries, friends who weren’t as lucky told me I was.
I heard over and over how lucky I was that I didn’t have to deal with divorce, even though they gave little regard to troubles they knew we’d walked through, counseling we sought, and years of recovery programs that weren’t magic, but, instead, required a lot of work on each of our parts.
I defended our difficulties like they were badges of honor until I recognized I was lucky to know how to make my own luck.
From then on, my response was, “Thank you. We are lucky.”
So, when our daughter complained about people calling her labor easy and telling her she was fortunate to deliver their baby naturally and in such a short period of time, I understood she wanted recognition for the weeks of childbirth classes she and her husband attended, the homework they practiced nightly, and the breathing and other preparation that often took time and energy she didn’t think she could muster. One of her doulas said, “You wouldn’t run a marathon without preparation, so why would you have a baby without being as prepared?”
After we talked, I think she recognized she was lucky to know how to make her own luck.
Next time, maybe her response will be, “Thank you. I am lucky.”
Are you lucky enough to know how to make your own luck or are you stuck in an unlucky phase that might need some practice?
WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – I don’t always practice good luck, but I always remember it is there for the practicing.
On the side: No amount of practice or “luck” can calm some classes, save some marriages, or ease some childbirth experiences, however, doing our part most times does help.