Today’s song is Lucky, by Kat Edmonson, an Austin singer-songwriter (we’re rich with those). Here she is in her debut on Austin City Limits singing this sweet little song:
I’m 54. (YAY!) I’m in surprisingly good health, given what I don’t do to take care of myself and I need to change that ASAP but the point is, I’m in good health. (YAY!) I have three beautiful, wonderful children who are in good health, who have husbands I am crazy about, and who are (all) super fine human beings in the world — and they let me love them, and they love me. We count on each other, we help each other, we root for each other, we comfort each other, we celebrate each other. (YAY!) Although details sometimes escape my memory, I have a beautiful mind, capable of complex thought, capable of delighting me and helping me appreciate the world, and able to do everything I need it to do. (YAY!) I don’t have extra money, but I have enough money. I have work that I’m able to rely on, and I am my own pretty nice boss. (YAY!) I have so many friends I hardly know what to do, new friends and old friends, friends to have fun with, friends to inspire me, friends to count on, friends I’ve known since 1991 and friends I’ve known since January. Friends in Austin, friends around the country and around the world. Lucky, lucky me. (YAY!) I get to travel a lot, somehow; on Sunday a client is flying me to Beverly Hills for the week, putting me up in a fancy boutique hotel at Wilshire and Rodeo, covering all my expenses and paying me; I get to go to Chicago often enough, and NYC often enough, and then the genius around the world trips. Amazingly lucky me. (YAY!)
But here’s the thing. I don’t have any extra money, and I work for myself and while so far work has been reliable, it sure could dry up any time. What if I got really sick — cancer, a stroke — what if I couldn’t do this work? I don’t have enough money for any of that. What if I were in a car accident and couldn’t work for several months? What would happen to me? I don’t want to be a huge burden on my kids, all of whom are struggling along without any money to spare, themselves. What if I fell at home, or something like that happened — I live all alone, what if I didn’t get the help I needed? What if? What if? What if? What’ll happen to me when I’m 70, will I still be sitting in this chair, in this little rented duplex? What? How? Those fears are real — and not just pulled out of the sky, you know? I don’t have any extra money, that’s true, that’s real. I don’t have someone in my life with big resources who could help me if I got in big trouble. Nope, don’t have that.
You may remember that earlier this year, say, January(ish), I was really freaking out about all this. So scared, so aware that I have absolutely no safety net, and those 4am fears dominated my thoughts. My beautiful friend Marian kind of helped me see one thing differently and my beautiful daughters helped me and time helped me and I remembered that somehow I’ve always been fine, despite some mighty dreadful circumstances, somehow I’ve always made it work, and somehow I will. And that bridge is off in the distance, those bridges, and maybe I won’t even have to cross them, ever, but if I do, (a) odds are good I won’t be crossing them all by myself, and (b) while I may not know how, I do know that somehow I’ll figure things out, somehow we will all figure things out.
AND — and this is the really important part — here I am, today, 54 in good health and with a loving family and lots and lots of wonderful friends and enough work and I get to travel and my mind is pretty great and I love everything and there is so much to love and the birds! I have those beautiful little songbirds out my kitchen window all day every day. Today I can do what I can to help future me, I can be frugal with my money and try to gather some resources, I can do that today. But I have to fine-tune my vision, keep it on how it actually is right now not in the past and not in the future, everything I actually have right now, who I actually am right now — which is a very lucky person. Lucky, lucky me.