Dear Mick,

This week, I was out of town for work.  I had a nice time, and accomplished the purpose I was meant to at the meetings.  I also paddle boarded.  I parasailed.  And yet, I was disappointed to find how socially awkward I still am.  At an event where you network, and at every table, and break and meal you are seated by people you mostly don’t know, the natural thing is to talk.  The perfunctory “where do you work what is your job” soon evolves into the things we all really care about like “where do you live do you have children?”  That is where the trouble begins.  There are two options, for most folks, but really 3 for us.  Tell the truth.  Lie.  Tell what feels like a lie but is mostly the truth.  The easiest for everyone else, is the hardest for me. 

Phil and I have discussed the issue – because inevitably, when you tell the whole truth, you often feel awful that you did.  But when you the lie that is like the truth (leaving Andra out and saying you have one child), then you feel awful too. 

The first night of the trip, I was standing by a beautiful campfire on a small island in the Florida Keys, talking to a gentleman who is just about to retire.  As we were discussing his future plans, he turned to me and asked me “Are you lucky?”  Am I lucky?  It is an interesting question.  Here is my final answer:


Dear Mick,

Tuesday night you asked me, across a lovely flickering fire in the warm air, if I was lucky.  I think, in hindsight that you were asking me if I knew I was lucky to work where I work.  I do know.  I am very lucky to work with great people.  Not OMG!  Like you are so great! great, but the kind of great that changes lives, creates jobs, and provides a whole bunch of people the opportunity to grow families and friendships.  I want to be like them, I am exactly where I am meant to be and in that regard I am very lucky.

Of course, right now, any reference to being lucky makes me immediately think of my personal life, which on a fundamental level doesn’t feel lucky right now.  I am sorry I cried, but I suspect since you have lived a good life that you have seen women cry before.  People who live good lives tend to experience joys and sadess, and tears are part of both. 

However.  I wanted to tell you what I want to believe. 

I am lucky.  I have always been lucky.  I have worked very hard to gain the things that make me feel lucky – my job, my family, my home – but some things just come to me, like love, my friends, and my parents and sisters.  I am lucky Phil picked me, and that Andra and Grace picked me too.  I have amazing friends and I have been supported through this year by unbelievable people, including the people you were probably asking about. 

I am sorry it took me getting all the way home before I had the whole answer, but I think more clearly when I am here. 

Yes, Mick.  I am lucky.

Thanks for asking.

Jenine



Sidebar:  As part of my socially awkward behavior, one issue I have is that I can’t help but bring Andra up in every possible conversation.   This makes other people uncomfortable. I know this.  I can’t stop myself. Nonetheless, I have a story about Andra now.  Once when I was taking Grace to the doctor, the doctor walked in and told Andra “Your mom is very lucky.” at which point Andra turned around and violently spat out “She is NOT Yucky!”    Not yucky indeed.

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