Sunday, November 25, 2012

Life Is a Lottery

"That's all your life amounts to in the end: the aggregate of all the good luck and the bad luck you experience. Everything is explained by that simple formula. Tot it up – look at the respective piles. There's nothing you can do about it: nobody shares it out, allocates it to this one or that, it just happens."


I came across this quote while watching "Any Human Heart" - a mini-series based upon the book of the same title by author William Boyd.  Just came across it on Netflix during some down time over the holiday weekend.

The main character's father shares his insight about life with his son as he is dying is based upon good and bad luck.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Not sure I believe it 100% but if you really think about it, perhaps it has a little truth to it.  


Certainly there have been some lucky circumstances in my life - as well as unlucky.

And I suspect I am not alone here.

I have always chalked much of this to fate.  But perhaps fate is really good or bad luck?

Webster's Dictionary defines luck as:  

 "the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual"

And fate?

"the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do"

I have always considered myself lucky to have met Brian.....always considered myself lucky that he loved me.  

Yet, the way we met....the timing that we crossed paths...well that was fate.  And how incredibly lucky that I was in that spot at that exact moment.  What if I had chatted with my friends for a few more seconds before I walked away and completely missed the opportunity to encounter Brian?  

Think about many of your relationships.  Mere seconds or a step or two in another direction would have caused me to have different friendships.  

I have always been a true believer of fate.  But now, sheer luck seems to be more likely what is controlling my life.  The kind of luck that follows you around in a casino.

Yes.  I said it.  Chance. 

Sometimes you pull the slot machine handle and you get straight 7's, bells begin to ring and lights start flashing.  Brian entering my life - and subsequently changing the path of my life that evening - was like winning the lottery.  Can you imagine winning the lottery and your life NOT changing even a little bit.  And really, what causes you to win or lose the lottery?  Good or bad luck.

I can identify plenty of situations in my life - good and bad - that definitely were due somewhat by my decisions.  Yet, were my decisions the entire factor in the outcome?  Certainly we have all made bad decisions in which the outcomes were not as bad as one would suspect.  So, did a little good luck counter that bad decision?

Or think about those situations in which you put lots of effort, sweat and time into doing something well.....yet, it still didn't go well.  Sure, many times all that effort pays off....but many times it doesn't.  Why is that?  Perhaps good or bad luck running interference?

As I reflect on my life so far, I certainly feel I have had my share of bad luck.  But, some circumstances of that bad luck has created other encounters or situations in my life which have been a little good luck joining in?

Becoming a widow at such a young age and losing out on the lifetime I had planned with Brian appears to be bad luck meddling in both our lives.  I really am not sure how any decisions either of us made created that situation.

And the sadness that followed - and continues to follow - certainly makes bad luck seem like it is following me along just like the sadness.

However, there have been plenty of outstanding opportunities and friendships that I have encountered these past 8 years because Brian passed away.

Still, I'd prefer the life with him.....but his passing changed my life just as my meeting him changed my life.....pure chance.....good luck and bad luck.

So as much as we all like to plan out our lives, in reality, we should spend more time living it and being prepared to accept the good/bad luck, and roll with the dice.

Life is a lottery!

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