I’m not sure if I ever believed in good or bad luck. I was definitely superstitious about certain things, like routines before sports games and I still get nervous if I see a black cat in my path. But for the most part, I just consider luck as a part of life, it happens, both good and bad and we just need to control how we handle this “luck.” Considering I had two scheduled inductions on Friday the 13th…yes both Reese and Alice were born on Friday the 13th, I’ve learned luck, bad or good happens all the time, it’s really just how we look at it.
Our experiences for better or worse shape who we are. I was not the most talented athlete or the smartest student but I was able to do well because I worked hard. Looking back on this I’m glad things never came easy for me because it made me so driven. I busted my ass with sports, school, and work so I could be successful. If things were easy for me I may not have been as lucky and successful.
I feel lucky I was so busy and involved in sports because I was used to a hectic schedule. I learned time management and how to prioritize. This crazy lifestyle has certainly helped as we adjust to life with 5 kids ages 7 and under. We have started activities and weekends are now split between dance and basketball and soon baseball. Had I not been so involved in sports most of my life I may feel overwhelmed but I try to use the time management skills that helped me be successful to do the same to get all our kids where they need to and manage the craziness.
Looking at some specific situations, there is almost always “good and bad luck.” During the pandemic most of the college remained closed. Initially I was so jealous that many coworkers got to work from home, never having to set foot on campus, not deal with any risk, and not having to worry about child care like the few of us who were working in person daily. But by going in every day I adjusted to and wasn’t afraid of the “new norm” and didn’t have to deal with the shock of having to return to work in person in a year. Not only that but I figured out how to open up two facilities (a pool and fitness center) safely during a pandemic upon my return from maternity leave and our pool was busier and more profitable than ever before. I also got the chance to work with new swim clubs, coaches and teams who were all easy and enjoyable to work with. The “bad luck” wasn’t so bad after all.
But there’s been some bad luck. Bad luck is definitely a cancer diagnosis. To further complicate that I was pregnant. But the good luck was the cancer was found when I was in the 2nd trimester and could safely undergo chemo that would not harm the baby. The good luck was that I had a wonderful and caring ob who had the same cancer diagnosis several years ago who helped me get treatment right away and has helped me every step of the way during this difficult journey. The bad luck is with my genes the cancer was going to happen. Who knows when this was going to happen so maybe the good luck was this baby came to get everything moving quickly so we can kick this cancer’s ass. Or if we learned about this sooner we may not be lucky to be blessed with the 5 children we have.
On one of my last runs at a college I transferred from before going to TCNJ, my assistant coach told me “we may not always know why things happen but they happen for a reason. Sometimes we figure the reason out, sometimes we don’t but there’s a reason for everything.” That always stuck with me especially since my initial college choice didn’t work out. That’s ok. It took me going away to realize what I really wanted to do and what I really wanted for myself and the switch to TCNJ all worked out in the end.
If we want to talk about fate and luck, here’s a combination of the two from college. Due to stress fractures that wouldn’t heal, I missed an entire year of running. The fall I was injured I ended up switching into a Psych 101 class a week after it started. That’s where I met my husband who also switched into this class a week late and we were the only non freshmen in the class. If I wasn’t injured I wouldn’t be able to take a 5:00 class because of xc practice. Fate? Luck? Things definitely happen for a reason.
So I’ll end with what I started with. I don’t believe in bad or good luck, I believe things happen to us to help shape us into who we are. Maybe this is what fate is or maybe this is growing up and maturing. I’ve certainly been dealt my share of bad luck but it’s made me stronger and tougher. It’s given me the determination and strength I need in the toughest battle I’ve ever had to face. While this may not be my luckiest St Patrick’s Day due to my health, I have 5 beautiful children, an amazing husband, supportive family and friends, and a great medical team to help me get through this difficult time. And for that reason I consider myself pretty damn lucky.