There are lucky people in this world. And then there are those like me.
I’m the one who never finds a parking place right in front of where I’m going. If I go to a company picnic, my name is never the one called out for a door prize. When I go to Vegas, I set aside twenty bucks—to lose—at the nickel slot machines. And believe me, I can lose that money faster than Linda Blair’s head spins in The Exorcist.
Even when I introduced my daughter to board games when she was three, she would beat me every time at Chutes & Ladders, Candy Land, or Trouble. It only got worse when she was older and could stomp me at games such as Yahtzee or Life. I don’t roll the magic combinations. I don’t draw the right cards. I just don’t win. Unlucky people like me stay consistent in our “un-luck.”
But after seeing August: Osage County this week? I think I’m the luckiest person on earth.
The Golden Globes put this movie in the comedy category, so I was expecting something a bit different than the movie I saw. Sure, there were a few funny lines, but the humor was dark. WAY dark. And while I thought the all-star cast gave a master class in acting, I sure was depressed when I left the theater after spending over two hours with this incredibly dysfunctional family.
I was with Chris Cooper’s character—did they really have to be so mean to each other? Did they really have to say the things they did, as viciously and scathingly as they did?
But it got me to thinking that…I’m pretty lucky after all.
I come from a loving family. Sure, we’ve had disagreements before, but we haven’t literally knocked each other down from the dinner table, straddling someone, screaming, trying to make a point (I’m sure Julia Roberts had a blast tackling Meryl Streep, though.).
No, my family was kind and still behaves decently toward one another. I’m lucky in that regard. I’m lucky because I was the first in my family to complete a college degree. I’m lucky because I became a teacher and worked with wonderful students and terrific professionals in great schools.
I’m lucky because I gave birth to a healthy child, even after my doctor thought I’d have a rough time becoming pregnant. I’m lucky that she turned out to be a cool kid—smart, funny, and fun to be around—although I wouldn’t relish doing a few of those teenage years with her again.
I’m lucky to have been married to the same loving man for a long time, one who makes me laugh and gives me room to be me. I’m lucky to live in a wonderful town in a nice house. I’m lucky that I have friends whom I’d trust with my life. My friends keep me sane and grounded.
I’m lucky to have good health, even if my knees are a little creaky every now and then. I’m lucky to live in a country where I have the freedoms I do.
I’m really lucky that I can express myself through my writing, whether it’s on this blog or through my fictional characters. I’m lucky to have found my passion and have the ability to pursue it.
So the next time my scratch-off lottery tickets don’t pan out or I don’t win either of the contests I’m entering daily (one is winning a trip to Downton Abbey; the other is winning HGTV’s Dream House in Taos – hey, even an unlucky girl can dream!), all I’m going to do is think of that fictional family in Osage County…and count my blessings.
Because in the end, I’m truly fortunate.