Good Fortune (or lack thereof)

I’ve been thinking over this subject more and more in the last several months.  I don’t consider good fortune to be the same thing as good luck.  Good luck covers a more broad definition of the subject.  It includes non-material (but no less awesome) thing such as having a great family, a good career and a fairly worry-free existence.  We haven’t always had good luck around here, it seems to come and go in phases.  Right now, we’re having a lot of good luck.  I mean, if getting pregnant by surprise without even trying after all those years of infertility and loss isn’t good luck, I don’t know what is.  At the same time, having a baby suddenly entangle itself in its own cord at 38 weeks gestation and subsequently die isn’t bad luck, I don’t know what is. We’ve seen our fair share of both.

But one thing we haven’t really had is good fortune.  I don’t know about you, but I define fortune as being a lot more material in nature.  It’s having a job with an awesome Christmas bonus, winning some fabulous prize from an amazing contest, and just basically having excellent material luck.  Kile has a great job at the university.  It’s very stable and we’ve been able to enjoy some awesome benefits over the years.  Kile also gets great vacation benefits.  He couldn’t begin to use up all his vacation and sick leave.  So we never have to worry about taking time off if he needs to because he always can.  And while there was a period of time where we had no HMO medical plans to choose from and had to go with a sucky PPO, at least we had that.  And his 401K is fantastic.  He has a mandatory 21% contribution to his 401K each month and the university matches him dollar for dollar.  Not many employers offer that.  As a result, we have a fantastic retirement account already.  We also aren’t able to touch it which was frustrating when we were buying our house but beneficial to us in the long run.  It is, in essence, our savings account.  Because let’s face it.  There’s not much left each month to save.  Not right now, at least.  Because while working for the state gives you job security and benefits, it doesn’t pay a whole lot.  His same job with another company would probably pay quite a bit more.  And he would probably have a Christmas bonus, something he doesn’t get now.  It’s a trade off.

We make do, and I’m able to stay home with the kids.  But we just don’t have a lot extra.   But that’s not all.  I just don’t have good fortune, personally.  I don’t win contests.  I have gotten to where I rarely enter contests anymore because I know the chances of me winning something fabulous like hundreds of dollars or some amazing piece of electronic genius or a family trip to someplace wonderful is really, really, REALLY small.  I’ve tried in the past and have never succeeded.  No pink Dyson’s, no iPods, no laptops, no Disney cruises.  So why bother?

I don’t have fortune with my own business ventures either.  I do okay, considering.  And I’m grateful for every little bit I do get from blogging.  But I’m no overnight success.  And I’m pretty well okay with the notion that I never will be a raging success either.  Nothing I write brings the readers in droves.  I enjoy a nice, healthy and loyal readership and I am very thankful for that.  But I am not going to ever make the big bucks from this (or any other) blog.  I just don’t have that good fortune.

If there are two paths to take, the fortunate and the unfortunate, I always get the unfortunate path.  If I was ever given the fortunate path by some happy mistake, I’d probably die of shock.  In the meantime, I am satisfied with breaking even and making it one day at a time.