my friend was telling me today about his (or was it his wife’s) pet tortoise that got attacked by a bird and lost an eye and one of his legs…
his name is lucky!
but what does it mean to say that someone is lucky? i often with a person “good luck” as they prepare to tackle difficult conversation or leave on a long trip.
a few weeks ago i was sitting in a group of people who were speaking about relationships and marriage. we were all offering our thoughts on what we thought made marriage work - and not work. And as people spoke, I couldn’t help but think that elaine (the person I am married to) and I are just lucky.
it’s easy to pontifiate and offer sagely advice when things are going well for you. but circumstances can so easily change. people who get divorced often desperately try to work out what went wrong. And people who have been married for years are quick to identify the keys to a successful marriage.
but i’m beginning to think that some people are just lucky. they find each other and things kind of click. they have their moments, but most of the time being together is good and healthy and marriage is kind to them. i’m not so sure that elaine and I have made a go of our marriage so much because of us - we have been very fortunate that there is a sense of contentment and settledness that has descended on both of us. i don’t think we should take too much credit for that!
and that’s where this thought is headed. i’m thinking that people who are doing “well” - who have been married “successfully” for years and are still happy together, should be careful of assuming they did things “right” - as if they are solely responsible for their success. Just as people whose relationships fail also might be kind to themselves - acknowledging the many unknowns and unexpected things that contributed to the relationship ending.
i’m not saying i don’t acknowledge the important place of taking responsibility in a committed relationship. just that we should walk a little humbly when things are going well!