I keep thinking about an encounter with my brother-in-law. My wife and I had been visiting her Mother and sister in southern West Virginia. My wife's sister and her husband lives in a manufactured home beside her mother's manufactured home, on twenty-five acres in the country.
We were leaving for the airport and the trip home. It'd been a go east, visit family journey, up to Pittsburgh to see my Mom and sisters, down to West Virginia to visit with my spouse's family. My brother-in-law said to me, "You are so lucky. You don't know how lucky you are."
That's true. I often don't appreciate all the luck I've had. But I bristled some when I heard that, and still do, a bit defensive, pride hurt. I've had some luck but I've made some luck.
I do ascribe to the luck theory. Circumstances change easily. Line of sight is often as effective as line of thought when dealing with managers and bosses. You're out of sight, they forget you, and accolades and opportunities go to others.
But we also squeeze ourselves into boxes when we make our choices. It's a struggle breaking out of them. He'd made choices and then had become progressively unhappy, reaching the point where he was contemplating having an affair with a co-worker. I know about it because he was caught and everything came out.
He saw no other way out. He had work and his wife and mother-in-law and the land on which they lived. There wasn't anything else to us wife. His son had grown and moved away. He began playing drums for an outlet and searching for a band to join but none, down there in southern WV, were available.
What he sees as luck is the difference in the sisters, our spouses, and how they are, and my job and pay with my current employer. But as trapped in a box as him. I think I have more of a life, as I like to read, and I have friends and companions around town, but like him, I have a narrow focus.
And so I write. It taks me away from other things and provides me hope for a different future. I write, imagining other worlds, civilizations, chracters and adventures. I write, imagining ways out of the box.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com