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Thursday, June 25, 2015

How to Love the Luck You've Got...

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land  

Updates...but mostly a wedding countdown...
Yep, I'm getting married (more than relatively) soon, and it's made me quite reflective.   Because of my unexpected life turn, I obviously did go through many years of "why me" - and when I get frustrated, I still do.  However, I am marrying the love of my life, and life is not perfect.  but life is good.  

I wrote a bit about my thoughts on love, luck, happiness, and what feels "fair".  Indie Chicks is a great online publication with empowered women writers and wonderful thoughts on life, great advice, and all that fun chick stuff.  Here's an essay I wrote for them.  You can read some of it here and then check it out on Indie Chicks!

How to Love the Luck You’ve Got

Amy Oestreicher
Written by Amy Oestreicher
You accidentally park in a towing zone. You miss the last train home by a split second. The elevator in apartment is broken – and you’re carrying a week’s worth of groceries. Your college friends seem to have picture-perfect lives on Instagram, and you still feel like you haven’t found your “true calling” yet. Whether it’s an incidental hiccup in life or a sudden, dramatic hit, how many times have we asked ourselves, “Why Me?”

How Do I Find My Luck in Life?

What’s the secret to a “lucky” life? When I think about “luck”, a few things come to mind. I think of the lottery, and bingo – both of which I never won as a kid. I think of chance. I think of the odds magically working in your favor, and hitting the jackpot when you least expected it. Luck makes me think of unpredictability, anything could happen, either the worst of circumstances or the best surprise you could ever ask for. I think of unfairness, of how if bad luck happens to you, it’s just not fair. “Of all the people in the world, I had to get this rotten luck?” However, if something wonderful miraculously happens in your life out of the blue, landing in your lap with bells and whistles, that’s great luck – unfair or not. Life only feels unfair when you’ve been jolted with bad luck time after time, seemingly with no release. Just when things can’t seem to get any worse, they do.

Reversing Life’s “Unfairness”

You could say that I’ve had a lot of bad luck over the past ten years. Nearly thirty surgeries, a decade in and out of hospitals, medical traumas galore, and the “burden” of mapping out a new path for myself after life clearly had different plans from what I had expected growing up as a teen. You could say I’m so lucky that surgeons were able to create a makeshift digestive system for me so I would finally be able to eat and drink again after years of living off of IV nutrition. And I am lucky – I take time every day to count my blessings and remember what it felt like to not even be able to wet my lips with an ice cube in the dry heat of summer.
Then I think about what I’ve lost. I think of what I might have been able to accomplish in the years I spent bouncing from surgeon to surgeon. I think about my grandparents who died while I was still in a coma. I think about the wonderful oblivion of only going to doctors for yearly physicals. I think about and being petrified of a finger-prick, and being frightened by monsters under the bed, not a wound being unable to heal.
I think about my old body and long for the feeling of running my fingers down smooth, baby-soft skin free of scarring and wounds. I lament about the permanent physical changes that so many life-saving interventions have caused.

Turning “Why Me” to “Why Not?”

Before I get led too far down that “Why Me?” path, I stop myself. It is a daily practice, and an ever-evolving one, but slowly I am learning to love the life I have. Often, when people hear my entire medical saga, their first instinctive reaction is to reach out with their condolences, “I am so sorry you had to go through all of that’ and “these years must have been terrible for you.” Immediately, I get defensive and want to fire back, “Don’t be sorry; I’m happy this happened to me!” I’ve never been comfortable pitying myself, and have tried to stay determined to find the blessings in what has happened to me.
Recently, I was thinking to myself, is “happy” the right word? Do I think to myself, “I am so happy all of these surgeries happened to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”? Then I realized – “happy” isn’t the right word…

Curious what the word is?  No worries - you can read the rest of the article HERE.  Thanks Indie Chicks!

Before I Go...
So what do you think?  Does life have to be fair to be good?  Do you have to be happy all the time to feel lucky?  I'd love to know your thoughts.  But you know what I always tell myself? this video and go to 29:00 

It's a bit from my one-woman show "Gutless & Grateful"
"I was watching an episode of Bridezillas the other day, and this bride was completely freaking out because the flowers on her cake were the wrong shade of magenta.  I mean, we all blow things out of proportion sometimes - I still scream at my mom when she treats me like I'm TEN...but sometimes you just have to remind yourself...

So everyone - keep some friends close by
A song in your heart
some furry tagalongs
a spectactular view
and the passion to create...



  1. The arts are beautiful so are the words. Luck in favors the prepared indeed. And whatever life throws at you, you gotta know how to turn it around or make the most out of it. Well written!

  2. It is all in the way you look at things isn't it. 'Bad luck' happens to us all it is how we handle the situation. Thanks for linking up at #WednesdaysWisdom

  3. What a great reminder, Amy. No matter what happens to us in life, our attitude and outlook on the situation can turn a bad thing around. Thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursdays.

  4. Thanks for sharing at the Pinterest Love Weekend Pin-It Party :)

  5. What a beautiful post - I LOVE your outlook! Thanks so much for taking the time to link up with us over at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again on Friday!

  6. Lovely post! I love your attitude. It's amazing with what you had to go through and still be as positive as you are! Sometimes we can get knocked down by the smallest things but reading about your medical journey really puts things in to perspective. Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp

  7. Great outlook on a less-than-perfect life. Congratulations on your wedding and the best of luck. God Bless You!

  8. Congratulations. Great post and outlook! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I love your perspective on luck! I guess luck and happiness are two different things... people can go through hardships and still be happy, because they are grateful for the good things they do have. Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop!