Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I got home today and found a letter in my mailbox--a real letter in an envelope in my real, brass mailbox! The letter was from my friend Ewa who lives in Poland and who reads this blog. Ewa, your letter made my day! I feel like a lucky woman!

Ewa and I met 25 years ago (can it be that long?) when we were both studying German at the Goethe Institute in Murnau, a small town at the base of the alps. I was a naive 18-year old, and Ewa was 20-something and recently-married. We became good friends, going on hikes together, sharing meals, and talking (Ewa's English is great). We've kept in touch since then with annual Christmas cards/letters and, once, a phone call.

It was a delightful letter, filled with news about her life, updates on her two sons, and details about a vacation she's now enjoying. I look forward to answering her--this time I have her e-mail. I feel so lucky to have kept a friend that long, and through all the changes of my life: moves, jobs, grad school, motherhood.

Ewa also said something that made me feel especially lucky. Her job and commute keep her so busy that she has to work hard to squeeze in her exercise, reading, and writing. She thinks I'm lucky to have time for ballet, TKD, and blogging. I realize now, as I often do when talking to others, that my odd job/life arrangements have made me lucky.

At first when I got this part-time teaching job at the college, it seemed like a step down from my dreams. Part-time teaching? I'd hoped to teach full-time. But as I got used to it (and motherhood--Robbie was born about a month after I defended my dissertation), I realized that a part-time job might be OK.

Those first few years were tough, financially. But now, we're doing OK on 1 1/2 incomes. I've found creative outlets through freelancing (which pays!) and creative writing (I wrote columns about parenting before I started this blog). Having time to write on my own has definitely improved my teaching, too.

Not only that, I have time for other odd things, like ballet and TKD. If I had a full-time job, I'd have to choose one or the other, and probably give up freelancing!

Of course, I'm also lucky to be living in a small city with a 5-minute commute. Sure, it's not as exciting, culturally, as a big city like London or Chicago, but there are plenty of things to do: I don't even get to all the cultural events I want to attend HERE!

It's good to be reminded sometimes of how lucky I am, how much of my ability to write, do TKD, have a creative existance is due to circumstances beyond my control. And some of these circumstances initially seemed unfortunate! What good fortune that they turned out to be lucky for me!

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