You don’t always get to choose what happens in life, but you do get to choose how you react and respond to it. Happiness is a choice – not luck.

Choosing happiness with my kids

I rarely write personal stories, but today, is an exception. Someone recently told me I was lucky. I decided to write about it.

My So-Called Lucky Life

Recently, someone told me I was lucky. I looked at her and smiled.  On the inside though, I was confused.

As I stood there, trying to find the words to reply, the last 12 years of my life flashed before my eyes.  No doubt, I’ve had an incredible life. I have a ton to be thankful for. I’m sure her comment was meant in a positive way, though I still couldn’t help but think……lucky?

Memories of my struggles getting pregnant – when everyone around me was having babies – flooded my head. The fertility treatments, the testing, poking and prodding at my body to see “what was wrong with me?” Then, I remembered the day I found out I was pregnant, followed by the day I was told my twins would likely die. Being in the hospital, laying upside down for two weeks on bed rest, gaining unwanted fat and losing my precious muscle until finally needing an emergency C-section at just 24 weeks gestation.

I had flashbacks of the beeping machines and IV’s that keep my tiny babies alive in the NICU for 6 months. And remembered, every time my phone rang, wondering if it was the hospital telling me one of my babies had passed away. Then, there was the boys finally coming home, on heart rate monitors, hooked up to pulse-ox machines and oxygen every day for almost two years. Suctioning their mucus so they did not suffocate on their own saliva. I remembered them vomiting 5-6 times a day, every single day, because of their severe sensory issues and scrubbing my carpet, praying that they would keep their next meal down.

I recalled the days when I would carry my twin boys and their oxygen tanks to their weekly appointments – the eye doctor, pulmonologist, heart specialist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, physical therapist and vision therapist, etc. etc. every week for years and years. The MRI’s, the EKG’s, the hospital stays, the 911 calls because they couldn’t breathe. Their dad working long hours, then staying up half the night so that I could get some hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Does that sound like luck to you?

I thought, not only about the daily struggles of raising a child with severe autism, but the past 10 years of therapy, trying new schools, new techniques and so many specialists. And, of course, having to puree and transport my sons food everywhere I go because he can’t chew solid food. The sadness and loneliness of a failed marriage and the unbelievably hard times of going through a divorce.

And, while I have a whole lot more wonderful, amazing and even sad memories within those 12 years (like the birth of my beautiful daughter), the thought that someone could view my life as lucky was nothing short of fascinating!

So, I asked, “Why do you think I’m so lucky?”

“You’re always doing fun things and you handle things so well, she replied.”

“You’re right,” I said smiling. Happiness is a choice, and I chose it!

Happiness Is A Choice

My journey isn’t over, but it’s already been more than I could have ever imagined. I have the privilege of being a mom and have built a career that I love. I make a difference in people’s lives and will leave this earth feeling great about my work. Surrounding myself with positive people helps, as does avoiding the negative ones – as much as possible. And, I have fun and appreciate every day.

But, here’s the thing – that’s not luck. That’s called choice.

There’s No Such Thing As Luck

There’s no such thing as luck. A great life is a combination of hard work and how you handle the cards you’re dealt. That’s what results in happiness and success. It’s figuring out ways to make things happen and taking personal responsibility for the situation that you’re in. It’s looking at the bright side and finding the lesson in every situation.

If you want a happy, healthy, fun and fit life, then choose to have one. Start by surround yourself with the right people that also choose to be happy and positive. It doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges or bumps along the way. It doesn’t mean you won’t be sad or have bad days, weeks, months or maybe years. Or, that your life will be perfect.

Life is a journey. Your life is your journey. Don’t compare it to others. Don’t feel bad about it. Live it. Own it. Love it. And, if you don’t love it, change it. Be thankful that you have a choice on how you handle it.

Happiness is a choice. I made a choice to be happy, go after what I want and focus on the positive. What will your choice be?

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