The past several weeks have been particularly challenging. Work has been crazy – staff performance issues; vendor failures; unreasonable customer expectations. The tension in our office is palpable. On a personal level several friends are facing serious health issues – some of which are heartbreaking and completely hopeless. One aunt recently suffered a stroke and another slips further into the murky waters of Alzheimer’s each day. Our friends who are consecrated religious sisters are facing a showdown (of sorts) with church hierarchy in St. Louis. Our beloved priest here in England has been hospitalized with serious mental health issues (and he seemed to be the most sane priest I’d met in years!). A trip to Rome for Deb’s birthday had to be canceled/rescheduled due to the chaos at work. The hostility between friends and family members over the upcoming November elections in the U.S. is escalating. And I miss my grandkids desperately.
Lately I have not been in a happy place.
I spoke to a friend in New York the other day and she said, “I’m just so tired!” “I’m tired of politics; I’m tired of the people I work with; and I’m tired of always trying to be the voice of reason.” “I just want to tell everyone to go to hell and leave me alone!” I share her pain.
I must admit that burying my head in the sand is appealing at times but I just can’t do that. So I pick my battles. I stay quiet (yes I do!) at times. I encourage those that I love. I influence those that I can. And I thank God for what I have been given. And I realize how lucky I am.
I have been blessed with an amazing wife – who has given me an amazing life. And we still love each other (some days I make it hard for her) after all these years.
I have been blessed with remarkable children, who are kind, loving, responsible adults. They have learned compassion from their mother and determination from me.
I have been blessed with beautiful grandchildren who are as loving as the parents who are raising them. And the joy that they bring me is boundless.
I have been blessed with a family that surrounds me with love. We are connected emotionally and spiritually even though we are physically apart.
I have been blessed with friends that have NEVER let me down. They have stood the test of time. They are the “family” I have chosen.
Things may not always go my way. And some days go ‘from bad to worse’. But I have a wife who supports me; a family that claims me; and friends who stand by me. And a faith that sustains me.
For the most part, I believe that we make our own luck in this life. Things don’t just happen – we make them happen. The choices we make; the opportunities we take (or don’t) all determine what life holds. Even the disasters, hardships and setbacks that we face are ours to deal with (or not). We can ‘be lucky’ if we choose to be but we can’t do it all alone – we need our family, friends and faith. Sometimes we just need to readjust our perceptions.
So I know that sometimes life can be tough but I am reminded every day that I am still a lucky man.