I don’t have very much luck. I get a lot of red lights, especially when I’m late. I don’t win raffles or drawings. The only time I played the lottery, I was off my one number. I’m never chosen for “look under your seat to see if you’re the winner” kind of things. I don’t even win scratch-off tickets.
But even when I don’t have luck, I’m still very lucky. How can that be? Well, I have the usual: a caring husband, a healthy child, a nice house in a safe neighborhood, an involved family, goals and dreams I’m passionate about, and so, so much more.
But sometimes, like I did with Mister at the train station, I forget to see those things.
Salsanpeeps shared a comment along the same lines:
I think watching my wife and son walk on the beach. Prior to that, it was watching them walk together pulling a wagon with his stuffed bear in it.
Sometimes, like salsanpeeps did, it takes stepping back from your situation to find the reasons you are lucky. I find that writers are good at this, probably because finding the things that make you feel lucky is a lot like finding story ideas. It means noticing the little things.
The other day, Mister was fussing at nap time. “Can’t you carry me up the stairs, Mom?” he asked.
“I can’t,” I said, “Mom hurts too much today.” (I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, see this post for more)
“What hurts?” he asked.
“My hands, my shoulders, and my knees,” I told him.
Slowly and gently, which is difficult for a kid who doesn’t do anything slowly or gently, he kissed each one of my “boo boos.” Those kisses showed me that, even with a chronic illness, I’m lucky to having a loving and understanding family to help me through it.
And that gave me an idea. There are lots of other kids with family members with chronic illnesses like mine. So far I’ve only seen one book for them (When Pete’s Dad Got Sick).
If I keep this up every day for weeks at a time, I might only come up with one or two or five usable story ideas, but those ideas, and the perspective I gain in finding them, are so worth it.
Think about what makes you lucky, even if it is the tiniest thing, because that thing might just be your next story idea.
Blog post (with some beautiful photos) about a mom who started noticing things after she had kids. http://www.kellehampton.com/2012/09/observance-and-writing.html
Tips for finding those all-important details and story ideas: http://www.youngupstarts.com/2012/03/02/eight-ways-to-retrain-your-brain-to-notice-the-little-things/