I’ve been thinking a lot about luck this past year.
The year two thousand was a big year for us. We bought a big mess of a house. We got engaged. We planned a big out of town wedding. We got married. We moved into a big mess of a house.
It seems like such a long time ago now – 2000. It was such a big deal then. Y2K. We got together with a bunch of friends out of state to ring in the new year and watch everything crumble into disarray around us, except that it didn’t. Instead, we watched the spectacular firework displays every hour on the hour as the new year started its path across the time zones of the world.
One benefit of doing so many big, new things in a big, new year is the counting of time becomes an easy one. It’s impossible to forget how many years we’ve been married or how many years we’ve been working on the house. It’s easy, although the passage of the years have gone much faster than I think we first anticipated. As soon as our twelfth anniversary passed, I knew we were in our thirteenth year. I’m not sure I place too much stock in the lucky / unlucky – numbers, omens, signs. But it felt like something still. Thirteen. It seemed like it could go either way, and if the tides could turn on a whim in one direction or another, then it seemed best to play it safe, and tip the scales with a positive attitude. We’ll call it lucky, and it shall be! Lucky thirteen.
Yesterday I thought about what the last year brought. It’s an easy thing to call a year lucky and then to go ahead and name the unlucky things – big and small – on your fingers. Two broken bones, one surgery. Three ER visits, one crown, another tooth scan. Allergic reactions. New roofs. Car maintenance. Jury duty. Funerals, diagnoses. Diabetes. Cancer.
But I look around this house, around our family, and all our friends, and I still feel so, so lucky. There are so many moments and photos of this past year full of joy. There are so many of those in just this past week. Many of our stories changed this year, but they are still good stories, amazing stories. I’m grateful for the many moments of good luck between the hard spots.
Yesterday M and I celebrated our number thirteen. We were lucky to find a reservation on a Monday night when so many of the best restaurants are closed. We were lucky to find a babysitter that could bypass homework for a couple of hours. We were lucky that it was a stunning evening – the perfect temperature for sitting outside. We were lucky to eat such good food and to sit still for awhile and do nothing but be together. There was a moment when I realized how perfectly content I was to be in that very spot at that very moment. It’s the way I feel each night when the house slowly quiets to the noise of the day and we’re back to the beginning of time – our time – and we can relax in the house that we built with our own hands, working through projects and a marriage in real time. Messy, unfinished, imperfect, but exactly where I want to be. Lucky indeed.