I am often told by people who ask about my accident, how lucky I am not to have been killed and how unlucky I am that it happened to me. I wonder about my luck or lack thereof. Am I inherently an unlucky person that this has befallen me or am I graced with such luck that I managed to walk away from a potentially fatal crash. Metaphorically, at least.
The other day, my husband and I were buying travel insurance for an upcoming trip. It was only when we had filled an addendum sheet to the medical notes part of the form, that I realised how much of an insurance nightmare I have become. Bizarrely, despite the huge evidence to the contrary, I consider myself healthy. I am as physically active as I can be, I push myself constantly, I eat mindfully, I barely drink. In fact I am a health bore in the way that only the previously sick can be. Is that all that luck comes down to in the end? Perspective?
So, if it was bad luck that my car was in the wrong place at the wrong time, is it not good luck that our cars were not travelling an extra 10mph faster? If it was bad luck that I sustained the injuries that I did, is it not good luck that I was fit at the time, so I could fulfil the surgeons’ highest expectations of recovery. If it was bad luck that I developed PTSD, is it not good luck that I was not predisposed to depression as well?
Bad things may happen, but we are not lucky or unlucky. I’m sure the universe couldn’t care less about the fate of one individual, never mind, skew the odds in his or her favour. To reduce our experiences down to pure luck, minimises the power and control we have over how we frame our own narratives. If, on one day, I call myself unlucky, it is only that I am unable at that point to see any positives. On the days I consider myself fortunate, my emotional equilibrium is more balanced. For others to call me lucky or unlucky, reflects their persepctive rather than my reality.
Just don’t get me started on the other question that I am regularly asked: “do you think everything happens for a reason”…