It’s Hard Not To Feel Lucky

You are so lucky. 

This thought crossed my mind yesterday morning. Ironically, it was six years to the day that my divorce became final.

It’s been a long time since I felt truly lucky. I’ve been happy for a while now. Ever since Tara came into my life. But lucky? Not so much.

It’s hard to feel lucky when the life you knew for almost twenty years is turned upside down in the blink of an eye.
It’s hard to feel lucky when the people you hope will fill the void in your love life fail to live up to your expectations.
It’s hard to feel lucky when your ex has seemingly found happiness while you’re still struggling to get a foothold.
It’s hard to feel lucky when your employer eliminates your job even though you gave it your all every day.
It’s hard to feel lucky when month after month passes without a new job. When every interview leads nowhere and your prospects grow dimmer by the day.
It’s hard to feel lucky when your income completely dries up and you are living off your 401K savings.
It’s hard to feel lucky when the job you finally land turns out to be less than you’d hoped it would be. Less money. Less vacation time. Less friendly management.

But it can all change in the blink of an eye. What else can you call it besides luck when you get a phone call out of the blue from a company you don’t even remember applying with, and basically being handed the job you’ve always wanted on a silver platter? Less than two months after your girlfriend lands a kick-ass job of her own, and you realize that going from 0 to $$$ means you can afford to finance your bar tabs and concert tickets and weekend trips to the coast and start looking forward to a future that will include a new home and hell, you never know, maybe even a new family. Never say never, that’s all I’m saying, and that’s the nice thing about feeling lucky: the sky is the limit. You not only believe that, you know it. With every fiber of your being.

I started feeling like the luckiest guy on earth while I was seated in a luxury motor coach yesterday morning, surrounded by coworkers, watching Elf as the bus lumbered through a forested landscape blanketed with snow on our way to Mount Hood Meadows for a company retreat that included a snowman building contest and snow tubing, followed by a Christmas party at McMenamin’s Edgefield, an upscale lodge with onsite breweries, restaurants, and a spa. Plus, it’s allegedly haunted! The company even sprang for rooms for employees and their significant others so we could stay the night without having to worry about driving home while intoxicated.

Lucky.

This, the day after an afternoon strategizing meeting in which profit sharing checks were handed out. Even though I’ve only been there for three weeks, I received a generous check myself.

With a capital L, yo.

These guys are different from anybody else I’ve ever worked for. They are friendly, generous, fun, humorous, and they have a disdain for corporate America. Just like me! They said they would rather limit the growth of the company and cap membership so we never grow too big, and their motto is, “Work hard, play hard.” Plus, they love to booze it up. I think it’s a match made in heaven.

LUCKY.

The snow tubing was awesome. I was dressed in about fifty layers of clothing, so even though it was snowing steadily the whole time and the wind was blowing something fierce, I was plenty warm. We stopped for lunch at a brewery in Government Camp, where I had the best chicken wings of my life. (The consensus was unanimous. Those suckers were really good). Back at the Edgefield, I checked into my room – very old-fashioned and cool, hardwood floors and exposed pipes across the ceiling but a communal bathroom down the hall – and Tara joined me for the Christmas party. We had lots of fun, lots of gin and vodka, great food, and a White Elephant gift exchange. Oh, and the company founders passed out gifts to all the employees, these really cool high-end stereo headphones with the company colors.

l-u-c…well, you get the picture.

Six years earlier, to the day, I wrote in my blog, We exited the courthouse, stepping into a gray, damp, and chilly world…we walked away from one another, into this strange new world, separate paths leading to separate futures, my mind heavy with the knowledge that it really, truly, and legally is all over. 

On this December 20th, however, I could not have felt more fortunate.

Proof positive that time truly is a great healer of wounds, and your luck can change in an instant.

Merry Christmas, all.

The party bus!
The party bus!
IMAG0254
Ready for some tubing!
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It definitely felt like Christmas in Government Camp.
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And away we go!

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25 thoughts on “It’s Hard Not To Feel Lucky

  1. Ron says:

    What a wonderfully uplifting and inspiring post, Mark!

    And you deserve EVERY bit of this luck, buddy, because of your POSITIVE attitude and outlook.

    I can’t tell how freakin’ happy I am for both you and Tara!

    It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you these past two years and I look forward to blogging with you in 2013!

    AWESOME photos! All that snow put a HUGE smile on my face…..:)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and Tara!

    Like

    1. Mark Petruska says:

      Thank you, Ron. I’ve always tried to maintain a positive outlook. In fact, my optimism annoys the hell out of people sometimes, lol. But I don’t care – it works for me.

      I look forward to blogging along with you this next year, as well. You’re good people, as the saying goes.

      Like

  2. Catherine says:

    Catching up! From far far too long being away from your blog 🙂 You always bring me a huge smile. I love how you KNOW how lucky you are. I feel like I’m the same way … those people who are lucky and don’t realize it don’t know how unlucky they are 🙂

    Like

    1. Mark Petruska says:

      Even though it took me a couple of reads to sort that sentence out, you’re absolutely right – you’re not truly lucky unless you’re lucky enough to realize how lucky you are. And I always do. 🙂

      Like

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