I’m working very hard to practice meditation daily. The good thing about being incredibly busy is that it forces me to prioritize. Where I once was lax about meditation (who needs to make it a priority when there are all of these HOURS I can squeeze it into?) or exercise (hey, there’ll be time tomorrow, I don’t need to push it to the front of the agenda) or spending time with the kids (we’re around each other ALL THE TIME, why be intentional?) when time becomes scant, every second gets doled out like it is made of gold. Here are the minutes for the kids, for exercise, for meditation, here are these precious minutes and I must let them linger on my tongue like fine wine. Here they are. These ones.
In my World Lit class we somehow wandered off on a rabbit trail, talking about what makes a person “lucky” or “privileged” or “the right person for the right time.” My teacher said that luck is what you make of it. Luck, she said, is ultimately how you choose to be aware of and take advantage of your experiences. Everyone may walk by the same dollar on the street, what makes someone “lucky” is being aware of it. Everyone may talk to the same business man at a party, but what makes the investor “lucky” is cultivating that relationship. Sometimes even the worst experiences may be “lucky” if you are the sort of person who makes yourself lucky. A bad accident may lead to an early stage cancer being caught, for instance. Unemployment may let you write that novel. Luck, then, is a state of being in the same way that awareness is. Luck is a choice in the sense that we all label or own experiences, we can label ourselves as lucky if we view ourselves in a positive light.
I am choosing to focus on awareness and cultivate it in myself. I am choosing to label my experiences as fortunate. I am choosing to cultivate relationships.
Sometimes bad things happen, but I choose not to label my life as “bad.”
The past few days I’ve been slammed with being busy, but the funny thing is that in all of that I feel things have gone better than they’ve gone in a long time. I’ve been deliberate about taking control and not resenting the things I have to sacrifice in return. Little things, like groceries coming under budget, pile up and it feels like mounds of blessings amidst the insanity. It’s strange, how being deliberate about being in charge of your life can bend something from feeling like a curse to being a blessing. It’s like the difference between choosing to run a marathon and being chased by a murderer in the night. But of them are about being in a race, but only one of them feels like a death sentence.
But our entire life is like that- we all have to go through more or less the same motions and emotions.
But how do we attribute them? What label do we paste on everything that happens around us? Do we choose to be lucky? Do we cultivate the behaviors of luckiness, the awareness and relationships and attitude?
Or do we treat every single challenge as if it is a murderer bursting into our home, and constantly cover our eyes and wail about our unluckiness as we walk right by the twenty dollar bill in the gutter?
I’ve written a note to myself that I have to look at every now and then to remind me of the choices I want to make. It says, “this is the life you are living. You are not passive. It doesn’t happen to you, you happen to everyone else.”
There was a time I allowed myself to feel like a victim. I gained 50 pounds and moved across the country and did my fair share of wailing, and it really did feel like everything I cared about was wrenched out of my arms. That’s what happens when you would rather be backed into a brick wall than listen to what the spirit is saying to you. That’s not my life anymore. I could be supplicant and pray and cry and get all legalistic and feel owed a better life, but what would change? I’d become more of a jerk and I’d still have everything wrenched away from me routinely while the universe worked on getting my attention.
So it goes.
Or, I can choose to be lucky. I can be open and aware and understanding, and cultivate the now-barren places in my life in expectation of finding seeds. I find, as I am more aware, that seeds are small but all around me. My life just needs time right now.
Time that I can treasure to the second, and dole out carefully. Time I can choose to be aware of. Time that I am not a victim of.
I’m lucky, guys. I’m lucky.