I've been accused of "having a horseshoe up my backside," but I really don't think luck has anything to do with the life I've lived: I think it's all about the energy I've put out, the decisions I've made, and, yes, the serendipitous moments and people I've been destined to meet along the way.
Due to the good fortune of being born in a wealthy nation, the opportunity to be educated, the decision I made to travel overseas for my career, the fact that I've chosen to spend more of my money on experiences than things, a lot of amazing things have happened.
I Got the Guy
- I met my sweetheart on an airplane on the way to Taiwan. That was nearly 20 years ago. He thought I was coy, I thought he was cute. I won him over within a week. We've been together ever since.
We Got the Gals
- I thought I never wanted children, but an overheard conversation between my husband and a friend at a Halloween party and a willingness to ponder why I did not want kids, cracked open my heart and helped me to realize I had plenty of love and room for children in my life. We chose adoption as our first choice, and the Beijing government chose our children for us. Could there be two more wonderful, perfectly matched children to nestle into our hearts than the ones that were chosen for us? That had to be destiny. We are rich beyond words. Two sets of birth parents in rural China must wonder about their given-up daughters each day. I hope they have peace in their hearts, somehow knowing the children they produced are deeply loved and part of one of the happiest families on the planet.
I Love Where I Live and I Love What I Do
- Don and I are both teachers, making modest amounts of money, both living outside of our home countries. We have lived together in Taiwan, Korea, Canada, the States, China and now Hong Kong. I have also had the opportunity to live in Greece and Germany. All of these places have been home to me, but China is where we became a family so it is my favorite place on earth. We have always placed adventure and newness over so-called stability, yet wherever we've been together we've felt stable, grounded and happy. Home is where my family is. It always amuses me when people think, because we live abroad, that our lives are a constant backpacking circus parade where we have no responsibilities or jobs, even. We get up and go to work like the rest of the world and come home and zone out in front of square boxes like the rest of you. The only difference is, we get to do it in so-called exotic locales where we can't easily listen in to other people's conversations.
I Go Places
- Oddly enough, I'm both a travel junkie and a homebody. When I'm in my work-zone, all I want to do is come home, put on my pajamas and hang out, but when I have the opportunity to pick up and go somewhere new, I'm all over it. For those of us who are travel fanatics, a common goal is to get to as many countries as your age, which means I should be at 46, and be hitting my 47th very soon indeed. I'm somewhere in my 30s I think, and that's because we can't seem to stop going back to Thailand. In between its beauty, its beaches, its food, the foot massages, the affordability and the fact that its a couple of hours away from where we live, it's our standby vacation locale. That being said, we're about to hit Australia for the first time in the next few weeks. So excited! (We could have bought a new high definition TV, but hitting Oz seemed like a more fun way to spend those extra pennies we earn.)
- And then there's the accident. Nearly 20 years ago, just a few months after meeting my now-husband, I had a very traumatic motorcycle accident that should have killed me. I remember flying over a bridge, my motorcycle staying on deck, thinking, "I guess this is the day I die." And I didn't. I'm alive and well. I live with some degree of chronic back pain, but even when I feel that, I am more often than not thinking, "I should be dead, but I'm not. How lucky am I?"
So whether you call it luck or being blessed and whether I brought it on myself or have been gifted it, I am one happy, grateful gal. Life is grand and I feel so fortunate to have a new start every day!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. Be well and count your blessings.
I'm sure you can find many of them.