I often turn to Dave and say, offhandedly, that we’re so lucky. It could be when we’re on a day out and the children are running around, happy, smiling and laughing. It could be when we’re watching TV in the evening and we can hear the children snoring on the baby monitors. Or it could be when we’re driving somewhere and the children are singing in the back of the car.
In those moments, and so many others, I’ll be hit with the emotion of our lives. Everything will come rushing at me and it is always so overpowering – the sense of love for my husband and children, the feeling of homeliness and belonging at having our house and the sense of security that our jobs and work ethic provides.
In those moments it all comes together and I feel so lucky to have it all. Not everything – I don’t have it all by any means. But I have everything that I have and I feel so, so lucky to be where I am, in the life that I am living with these beautiful people by my side.
But in those moments Dave will often turn to me and say that we’re not lucky, luck has nothing to do with it – we’ve worked hard to get to where we are in life. For a moment it takes me away from that bubble of luckiness and brings me back to reality. Yes, I know he’s right, we have worked hard over the last few years.
We decided early in our relationship that renting was pointless so we bought a house we could hardly afford and spent years paying off debts and making a dent in the mortgage. We did as well as we could in our careers and got in the best position financially to be able to move to our second house and we made sure it was a house we could stay in indefinitely. Our forever home.
We made sure we moved house before we had children, knowing that it’s so much harder to get a mortgage once we’d had children and then we worked as hard as we could to be as close to debt free as possible before LP was born, allowing me to have as much time off as possible as maternity leave.
We have had plans for the future since the start of our relationship and the whole way through we have been laying foundations to help us make easier choices and to make the future as bright as possible. We wanted to buy a house, get married and then have children and we made sacrifices to enable us to do those things – we didn’t have that many holidays and had literally years without them. We didn’t go out very much once we became home owners and really focused on saving money instead of spending it.
So when Dave says it’s not luck that has got us to this point in our lives I agree with him. We have made a plan, made decisions and worked hard, always hoping we would end up where we are now – with two children, a home we can live in forever and an annual holiday abroad to look forward to.
But I still feel lucky, even if luck has nothing to do with it. Maybe fortunate is a better word? I feel so incredibly fortunate that we found each other – on the internet – nearly twelve years ago. I feel lucky to have been able to sell our old house just after the credit crunch, just about breaking even, and to have found our forever home at just the right time.
I feel lucky to have had two beautiful, healthy children with easy pregnancies and straightforward births at home and I feel lucky every single day that I am with them. Seeing them grow and learn is such a privilege and one that I feel so, so lucky to have.
So those times when the children make me so happy that I feel on the verge of tears and those times when I feel so blissfully content whilst sitting on the sofa surrounded by their toys, snuggling under a blanket and watching a movie with them – I don’t think that we have worked so hard and are now appreciating the fruit of our labour. Instead I think about how lucky we are.
I really believe that hard work and determination can only get you so far in life – the rest of the journey is made hoping you’ll get to where you want to be, by believing you can get there and then having the luck to see you through. You can’t get anywhere without luck – but you can’t get anywhere without hard work either.