or to put it more precisely,
luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
I don't know who said it and it doesn't really matter right now.
A few disclaimers before I begin...
people hit by asteroids.
Although in those cases you can merely think of it as destiny or fate.
I was raised in a house where practical thinking often was over ridden by magical thinking.
What do I mean?
There was a sense of fatalism in my house growing up.
In fact it wasn't too far removed from the muslim concept "God wills it".
Wherein you didn't have to plan because if God wanted it to happen he would will it.
Choices were just things that happened in reaction to events.
Therefore nearly every decision made was limited by the circumstances surrounding the decision to be made...As opposed to making a decision and then setting up your life to accomplish the goal.
There is a vast...Mariana Trench difference between these two ways of seeing and dealing with life.
Up until 2009, I was in the first category in nearly every aspect of my life (except for my children's education and training AND my approach to my marriage).
I was working on boundaries with people but:
In most things..
I never planned.
My husband got orders....I reacted....I would start getting rid of stuff, blah blah blah.
I would have to find numbers and call people...everything took twice as long because I was never prepared. I was always behind.
Did I know that as an army couple we would have to move?
Did I ever make a master list of things to do before the actual occurrence so I wouldn't have to run around like a chicken with my head cut off every two years?
Then I would get angry and stressed and blame my anger and stress on any Inconvenient anomaly in my preparations...(delay in orders, difficulty with travel office etc.)
When you are constantly reacting instead of being proactive, you will constantly feel behind the 8 ball. You want to get ahead of the ball...That way when life throws you a curve, you will only have to keep one thing in the air instead of seven or eight things.
I was relating a little story to a friend in comments the other day.
It goes something like this...and I think it perfectly illustrates what I am trying to say here.
You all remember 'my low point".
Husband gone to Iraq....miscarriage....stress...family sickness.
In the midst of all this I decide during my husband's third deployment to go back to Michigan to see my family.
(Another decision I made was to keep my girls connected to extended family, even though my family never comes to see me...I knew growing up what it felt like to have little to no roots.
I wanted my girls to have roots. So every two years we travel back east for two weeks to see the grandparents..no matter how obnoxious they get.)
It was Probably not the best decision in retrospect.
I was beyond stressed, but really wanted to see my little brother.
Who would be home the same time I was.
My mother has a habit (or had a habit lol) of thinking of me as "Chrissy".
My mother also has the habit of attributing nearly everything to luck...which drives both me and my little brother insane...
I was still 12 years old in her mind.
All the work I had done drawing boundaries with others was done.
The last one's left were my mother and my husband (who would come later).
Because of our childhood, I had her on a pedestal...So I had some unresolved anger issues from childhood that I had never confronted her with...
And she had for years attributed my successful marriage to being 'lucky enough to find a good man'....
Now I did find a good man.
But like all of us, we had some rough edges.
And right at that moment, we were having one heck of a time.
He was in the beginning stages of ptsd, where he would just sit and stare out the window....and now he was going back to Iraq again. He was withdrawn and would have outbursts of anger.
And I was going on two years of being a war bride. I had very little support, very little time to myself...I was fat and unhappy and joyless.
And I was
In a country that didn't seem to know it was at war.
While everyone else looked normal..felt normal I would get questions like
"Why are you so depressed?'
um MAYBE BECAUSE MY HUSBAND IS IN A WAR ZONE!
So, on to the Argument for the Ages...
the Mother of all Holiday Fights.
Whatever you want to call it...It will never be forgotten that is for sure.
I go Christmas shopping and I was edgy with my mom anyways....she never wants to talk about anything in the past.
She says "I don't want to talk about it"
and puts her hand up...and for years I allowed her to do that.
She was our MOM.
I come home and say..The cashier was rude to me..(and she WAS.)
It takes a lot to get me to notice rudeness....ignoring me, and blowing me off I notice.
My mom says "maybe she is having a rough day."
I said "she isn't the only one'
my mom said and I quote "maybe she doesn't have a husband to fall back on...some people aren't so lucky'
That was apparently the straw that broke the camels back...
I said "AND I DON'T HAVE PROBLEMS!"
"where is my HUSBAND MOM!" (imagine the snottiest, most sarcastic tone you can utter...that was the tone)
She says..."I don't want to talk about it (with the hand)
I say "I don't give a f*ck if you want to talk about it because
I. WANT. TO. TALK. ABOUT. IT!"
The F word being a big no no in my house growing up...which may be why I used it.
My big brother says...you don't cuss at mom Chrissy.
I say "I'M NOT CHRISSY AND THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS."
yep. I am yelling.
He says 'You aren't the Chrissy I know"
I say nope...I am not
"CAUSE I AIN'T CHRISSY...i am a 33 year old wife and mother who you don't know anything about because you never ask...and this is between me...a grown woman...and her, a grown woman.
So butt out."
Then I let my mom have it...
from how 'lucky' I was, to every last piece of shit life dealt me. How her need to have a man in her life had lead her on many occasions to put our wants and needs on the back burner...How I had felt like a burden to her and that NO CHILD should ever feel like a burden. Which is why each of my children were planned and wanted. How I was tired of her and her "hand" and that I had a right to speak, to be treated as an adult and how luck had nothing to do with my marriage succeeding or failing. It had been hard work, period...that had kept my marriage together and me, a grown woman..who had kept my home together.
That it took me to the age of 33 to come out and say
HEY! I am an adult...treat me like one.
Well... I wish I had done it sooner.
And with fewer F words.
And not on Christmas Eve.
But, you take what you can get.
If I had been proactive, we could have had that conversation at a better time...but if you have an issue...that festers...it needs to be dealt with.
She was shocked into silence.
She said "why didn't you ever tell me?"
I say "really mom, with you and your "I don't want to talk about it" hand?
Then we sat down and really talked, about a lot of things.
And I have no doubt that is the last time we will talk about it lol.
But now I am Chris, not Chrissy.
My anger is gone...I dealt with it.
If I had still had that sitting in me I would still be eating it.
If you have a goal. You won't get there without a defined route.
If you have a destination. You won't get there without a MAP.
Set down in writing what you want to accomplish.
set down the steps you will need to take to accomplish those goals
Do them one by one.
If anything is stopping you from starting....fix it.
Dig it up and kill it.
plow it under and use it for fertilizer.
Have a good one.