“It’s not fair.” I have a distinct memory of this lament, when I was in about fifth or sixth grade, and my friend Lori got picked for a dance troupe that I wanted, desperately, to be selected for…I remember crying very hard; that I had practiced and practiced and worked so hard to improve so that the teachers would see I could handle the more rigorous schedule, practice, and rehearsals, but still, they picked her over me and I felt it was not fair, that a great injustice had been committed… AND all these years later, I realize that it is not fair, great injustices are committed every single day, and it is so easy to hang your head and cry for the dreadful cruelty of it all… BUT it is very hard to get things done with your head down.
Not so long ago, I saw a photo of a t-shirt that said “NO! I do not want to adult today” and I thought it was perfect for many of us at least once a week! What I have learned in this life as an adult is that it is often, too often it seems, grossly unfair and that people who are often shite people “get” what they want or wish for or work for, and people who are many things, but shitty isn’t one of them, continually get passed over by the universe for that perfect job, perfect apartment, perfect spouse, or get the flat tire on the one day they are running late, or the dog throws up right by the door on their way to a doctor appointment, or have their unlabeled lunch in the office refrigerator eaten by somebody else on the one day they have left the house without their wallet, or whatever…countless scenarios go through my head of really terrific men and women who do really great things, and so often great things for others, to whom the universe often gives a big bold F**k You!
When your own life is not going at all, in any direction whatsoever that you anticipated, planned, or aimed for, when a friend confides in you that he hates his job and can hardly drag himself out of bed in the morning, or a friend’s marriage that seemed so loving, crumbles, or a girlfriend keeps trying to get pregnant and would be a gloriously wonderful mother, but can’t, or somebody who is so creative and good just keeps getting knocked down by bad health that does not improve…all of these things make us think that ‘it’s just not fair.’ But what is fair?
Some people bet and bet for years that their gamble will finally pay off in some big way, some big win, some grand moment of things finally coming together but it never seems to…some people put $1 in the penny slots and a whole new life falls into their lap with one push of one button…and it feels so unfair…AND I have figured out that it is always going to be this way…there is always going to be somebody winning who does not seem deserving and there is always going to be somebody losing who really needs the prize and it might be you or it might be me, on either end, at any time…
SO I have understood that a smirk and a grin from the little blonde-wonder next door, as she uses sarcasm in the wittiest way you can imagine and a pun that knocks you off your feet, she is only 7 after all, is a gift. I have understood that an invitation to, yet again, watch a dance routine the long-legged beauty next door has choreographed, she is only 10 after all, is a gift. I have understood that a text message from the 30 year old stunner next door, their mother, who feels a cold coming on and wants nothing more than mommy’s, that would be me, homemade chicken noodle soup, and “I have the chicken,” is a gift. An unexpected lunch date with friends that involves cocktails and laughter all before 3 o’clock in the afternoon, is a gift. I have come to understand that the windfall of life is built upon moments of kindness, and things that make you laugh, and seemingly insignificant pluses that become, when you look back, a fortune. I have come to realize that best way to change your fortune is to notice just how very rich you are.