Lucky or Unlucky?

I write this in the spring of the year. It’s a bit wobbly legged yet as seasons go, but it has definitely come too far to go back.

A woman approached me at work the other day and said “Hello, beautiful day! I know a story about a boy.”
She sat down nearby. A spry senior she went on rapidly in a discernibly Shanghai accent. “The boy was very smart. Went to school in New York! Full scholarship. But then he could not find a job. Nothing for two years. He had bills to pay, he went to many interviews no job. But he stayed in New York. Finally he got offered a job. Two years he waited, his first day of work he was killed when the towers came down. Do you think he was lucky or unlucky?!”

I blinked, open mouthed at all this abruptness and raced my mind through all manner of plot twists. Lucky or unlucky? What were his spiritual views? Did he leave a family behind? Was it a good job? Did he die instantly?

“Lucky or unlucky?!” She said loudly at me. “You don’t know do you? You never know what will happen tomorrow. You always remember that!”

And with that she stood up and departed. As she left I noticed that she had a sprig of cherry blossoms tucked into her toque.

I have thought about her several times since that encounter. I wonder how she has lived her life in accordance with her story. I myself have lived a good portion of my years with let’s say inadequate respect to ‘tomorrow’. I traveled young, I bounced from job to job, I picked at schools and I have a degree that I am in no way using.

I did not save money, I did not start a family and I did not particularly focus on a career. That said, I am still very much a planner, and have landed thus far on my feet. Is it even possible to really live like you expect nothing from tomorrow? With some few extreme cases I think not. There is a difference between expectation and rigidity, between planning and fixation. There is something to be said for not letting Tomorrow govern Today, but I will always have high hopes.

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