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Luck and Life

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Emotional Health related image Photos: Getty Images

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Some people are just born lucky. They win at everything and have clean hair. They almost never break out and their teeth are healthy. These people, if they have children, have healthy children who like to read AND play sports. They have great, sexy apartments or homes, great, sexy jobs and at least five pair of very well traveled shoes which they bought in Europe.

Is this true?

Of course it is. Of course it is not. Immaturity in our high school years carried over into adulthood leads us to see some as luckier than us, just floating through life on a cloud of magical fairy dust, never getting cancer or dandruff, never divorcing or offending their significant other's mother over pasta. Ever.

But aging has some wonderful properties, not the least of which is reading so much good fiction you get to understand that the insides of people, even the lucky people, are confused and tumultuous, five steps forward and thirty steps back, just as odd duck as any one of the unluckiest among us.

So what is luck, exactly? I suppose one could call any fortuitous circumstance lucky. If I drive to work and make it there without getting hit by another car or killing a deer, that, I suppose could be construed as luck. However, for another person, obtaining an "all clear" card from the doctor after a battle with an unforgiving illness might be considered lucky indeed.

Winning the lottery is lucky; but then we've heard so many stories of lottery winners who end up destitute through misspending and greed (their own, that of their friends and neighbors...)

But for me, the truth has always been that the more I focus my energy on reaching out to other people, whether they are my children, my students, my family, my husband, my friends or others I come into contact with, the less I really dwell on the level of luck or unluckiness I have or don't have. It seems something worth noticing, but maybe it's even more important to just appreciate that which you do have, such as your very life.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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