If I didn't know any better, I would consider myself the luckiest man alive. How else can a kid from small-town Iowa who didn't break 100 lbs. until a junior in high school, whilst getting glasses that same year end up with the life that I have, the experiences I've had, and the future that I'm surely about to get? Especially considering that I'm a huge baby when I get a cold, I've never been a morning person (and I am up über early), and I use lists way too often. Oh, and I complain all of the time. And I still got the girl?
Consider this: I have always had goals in life.
1) I wanted to be on ESPN.
I was on ESPN once, and my mom even called me right after she saw me. I was a freshman in college who just figured out that if you drink half of the bottle of Coke before going into a soon-to-be nationally televised basketball game between your Iowa State Cyclones and the 5th ranked Texas Longhorns, you can fill the other half with whiskey. On top of that, some nice upperclassmen in the row in front of me needed the letter "S" for the shirtless/painted-chested section of I-S-U (a solid buck-fifteen by then). Pssht. And I couldn't figure out why my mom was calling me during the second half of the game? I called her back later that night to find out they showed us more than a few times (ISU ended up winning that game by the way). I'm sure I made someone proud.
2) I wanted to get the girl.
And I got her. It took some fighting for, but she was worth it. To make things better - I have two of the best girls in the world right now. My stupid high school goal of not getting married was, stupid. It took me three months to figure out that Nicole was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It took another 10 months to save up for a ring on the budget I was on. And 16 months after my Wheel of Fortune episode aired, I was married. (Yea, luckiest guy stuff all rolled into that one). Fast forward three more years and baby Faith completed my circle.
3) I wanted the house.
Looking back, I am very thankful for the life I've had. My childhood was very good for me. If not for what I had, when I had it, or the lack thereof, I would not be me. *Very narcissistic post, I know* I didn't get the newest things in the world, but I got what my mother could provide. She cared enough about me and my sister to work three jobs to provide what she could. But, we moved a lot. I know now why that was. And I'm fine with that. So growing up, all I wanted was my own house. I'm a greedy bastard.
4) I want to share my good fortune.
This one is tricky. I know it's good to pay it forward. Nicole and I donate clothes every six months to Goodwill (or somewhere else). I teach, that counts for something. I don't know. I could do a lot more. Everybody could. Think about it.
But, if I get one kid to not beat up another kid, or give one extra buck to the red bucket, I am sharing my good luck. The saying is "luck is opportunity meeting preparation," but how do you prepare for luck?
This post started as a way for me to pass good holiday cheer to my family, friends, and others by sharing stories about my little family and good fortune. Maybe I planned on offering up some tips for preparing for luck. Maybe, I really am that narcissistic and just wanted to show off. But isn't that the point of a blog?
Anyway, I am lucky. I have the house, the girl(s), have been on TV, I have the opportunity to tell my life story post-by-post, I have great friends, great families, and I hope that everyone who decided to read this far knows that I only brag about this stuff is because I'm truly proud to have it. I am glad I get the chance to have things that are good, and I just hope my good fortune does spread to you in some way this holiday season.