Monday, October 11, 2010

Families And Fortune...

This past weekend I came to the realization that my family are really nice people. Well, I should say, I knew this before, but I sort of took it for granted.  I suppose -- as all families do -- they have the occasional blips on the radar screen of life, but their "set point" seems to be one of enjoyment, intellectual curiosity, and just general joie de vivre.   It also occurred to me this weekend just how very fortunate they are.  They live in a gorgeous vintage house decorated in French country style, they live in a lovely town, the kids are well-adjusted and go to good schools.  As I have said ... oh ... about a million times before, it's really the small things in life that make people happy.  I hope people are aware of the the small blessings they have, because in the greater scheme of things, those are what add up to make the larger fortune.  Life really is just one day at a time, one small blessing at a time.

We can all tend at times to look at the glass as half emptry, rather than half full.  We may live in a nice house, but someone down the road lives in a nicer house; we have a good job, but Ms. Such-and-Such-a-Body has a better job.  I sometimes look at my friends and think that Fortune smiled on them more than it did on me.

There is a theory that if a group of us were all to throw our troubles into a pile in the middle of the room, and then run and pick up any troubles from the pile, we would pick up our own.  I think the same counts for blessings as well.  Since my husband died when I was very young, I have never remarried.  There are times when I have felt rather sad about that.  But, I have a friend who has been married and divorced twice, and each time was unimaginable pain for her.  She is now deeply bitter about the experiences.  Would I trade places with her?  Probably not.

Most good fortune is the result of hard work.  People have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and always do the best they can.  And maybe then, good luck with find them, and maybe not.  But even the effort is a type of blessing.

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." ~~  Thomas Jefferson

Count your blessings; you will probably find you have a lot more than you realized.  I know I do...

30 comments:

Bruce Coltin said...

So true. People drive themselves insane with envy.

There is a silver lining in falling on hard times, when you find yourself appreciating the roof over your head.

Ruth W. said...

Hi Jo,
It's been awhile since I have commented but this is so true. I was raised by parents saying the only way your going to enjoy life is to work hard and save. I am so happy to live in a small home in a wonderful community with everything within walking distance.

I will turn 62 in May and plan on retiring and enjoying things I have always wanted to do.

Enjoy your family, you are so lucky to have them.

Charles Gramlich said...

I believe that hard work does put you in position to enjoy good fortune, but then fortune still has to strike.

Katy said...

I don't always get along with everyone in my family, but at the end of the day we are all really close and I am lucky to know that if something where to go horribly wrong, I would never be alone. My family would always be there to help me no matter what.

To me, that is an awesome gift, one that I will never take for granted.

lakeviewer said...

Oh Yes! It's all how we look at things.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Count your blessings, so true. You may think you have but a few, until you start naming them, one by one.

Russell said...

Well stated. I heartily agree.

myletterstoemily said...

you are SUCH a dear! good luck is very
hard work, isn't it? and all blessings
deserve lots of gratitude.

Charlene said...

I've been widowed 19 years this December and I never re-married either. I was asked once but I am so glad I didn't.

I have friends who have been married 3 times in that 19 years I've been alone and in 5-10 serious relationships where they lived with someone. Their lives seem to be constant drama and upset.

I may be living a quiet life, but I prefer that to chaos.

Owen said...

Amen Jo, Amen...

Donnetta Lee said...

Josie: You will never, ever believe this--today at work a secretary told me the story of bundling up your troubles and throwing them into a pile--and going back and picking up your own. I NEVER heard this until today. Then, I stop by your blog--and here is the story again. Maybe the universe is telling me something. Hmmm. D

Indian Pundit said...

Beautiful post Jo.
i am also blessed with a beautiful family and Hard Work never goes unrewarded.

Take Care

Wolynski said...

I'm just happy I'm healthy (knock on wood).

The hard work ethic is something we need to let go - employers and the idle classes thought that one up.

How hard do you need to work if you were born looking like Catherine Deneuve or Elizabeth Taylor? Luck plays a colossal part.

You can work hard all your life and end up with little - never caught a break. Then there are some who don't do much, but always seem to be comfortable - they have a habit of things falling in their lap.

Hard work is so over rated.

KathyB. said...

Lovely post Jo, and so very true. Thank-you.

June said...

This is a sermon I myself often preach, and I needed to hear it, today, from someone else.
Thank you.

DJan said...

I am thankful for my life here in retirement, and sometimes, like in the middle of the night, I think about what might have been. It's possible to be grateful or grumpy about the very same life experiences, I find. I choose gratitude and happiness.

My blogging friends such as you add a great deal of happiness to my life. Thank you for this post.

DUTA said...

I believe in Luck. I agree with Wolynski's words " Luck plays a colossal part".

I believe in Luck finding me, not me looking for it. And again, as the commenter Wolynski wrote: "..work is so over rated".

Alicia said...

It's funny Jo, but just as I read the sentence "Most good fortune is the result of hard work", the quote by Thomas Jefferson came into my head as it's one of my favorites...and then I kept reading and there it was...lol.

Great minds think alike.

Paula Slade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pauline said...

and if you count your blessings twice, you'll have twice the amount ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Oh, what synchronicity! I started to write a post the other day with the premise that if all the troubles of the world were piled up, everyone would take back his own. And now I don't have to finish it. :)

Everything you say is true, and as for your very nice family and personal blessings, you have earned every one of them and more.

AnnoyingJoe said...

Oh I like this.

Honesty's a good read

Cloudia said...

Such a wise & helpful post.
Thank You, Jo



Warm Aloha from Waikiki

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Land of shimp said...

What's that old saying? "The gods do not like to see too happy mortals"? It used to be used to explain misfortune being visited upon happy families, people, etc. If you were too happy? You were asking for it.

I think there are schools of thought that say no matter what our circumstances, we will create adversity even if it is not naturally present, because we need challenge, conflict and a way to actually have something to contrast our happiness too.

I think there's something to that. Have you ever heard of that book Eat, Love, Pray (or it might be Eat, Pray, Love or some other combination), a true story of a materially fortunate woman who divorces her husband, and then, having funds to do so, goes on a global search to find her inner bliss, or peace, or something.

She's kind of an easy figure to mock just because from all appearances, she had everything it takes to make a person happy. Her year-long journey leads her to the conclusion -- judging by an interview I saw with her -- that simplicity, the small things are where happiness lies. Then she wrote a book that sold however many million copies.

That probably didn't hurt either ;-)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Such an uplifting post, dear Jo!!! Thank you!!! AND, btw, I LOVE French Country!!!! I'll bet your home is GORGEOUS!!!! You have blessed your family with your talent!!! I just know that!!! ~Janine XO

@ly said...

Very well said! I always see the glass half full.....and I agree with everything you said. Sometimes our troubles are not nearly as bad as we think...there is always someone else with a bigger problem.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes indeed, much good fortune is the result of hard work. The mistake we persistently make is to use that as a corollary, i.e. ill fortune that befalls another is likewise their doing. In reality, good fortune is as much or more a function of luck as it ever is hard work.

Perhaps it is those who have received good fortune who are most apt to see it as the result of their hard work. Yet that seems cruelly dismissive of others who have worked just as hard and just as diligently only to fall through the cracks of our modern society.

I wish Charles Dickens was around today to argue this point.

Paula Slade said...

Very true Jo - I wouldn't change places with anyone. I've learned from my trials and have been given many custom made blessings.

KrippledWarrior said...

I HAVE AN AWARD FOR YOU TODAY.

Linda Myers said...

My family is not especially close, though we do enjoy each other when we gather. When I mind my own business things go much better.

Since my retirement, I've begun to cultivate new friendships. I can't think of anyone I envy. I must be lucky.