Wednesday, March 16, 2011

As Luck Would Have It...

It's St. Patrick's Day, and while I have yet to catch that leprechaun and his pot of gold, I have to say yes to that old Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry question: yes, I am feelin' lucky.

Luck plays a role in a lot of things that happen in life. Sometimes you're the lucky winner. Sometimes you find a bright shiny penny on the ground that presumably is a sign of luck. You avoid an accident, you make the shot that wins the game. Sometimes you survive something catastrophic, and you feel "lucky to be alive."

We test our luck. We gamble, we take chances. We rely on a good luck charm; we wear our lucky shirt. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Luck is fickle. And it's always there, deciding whether or not to jump in and favorably affect the outcome.

I feel lucky today. Lucky to have had the opportunities I have had. Lucky to be doing as well as I am physically, despite having MS. Despite my troubles, I do feel lucky. Maybe I don't have the luck of the Irish, but I feel like things are going to get better. I feel like more luck is due to come my way - it is not gone for good.

I will catch that leprechaun yet!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Treat Yourself!

Sometimes the budget gets a little tight and you have to cut back. That shouldn't mean you can't still treat yourself once in a while.

Although it may be necessary to rein in the spending if money is tight, always buying only the necessities and never buying something for yourself just because you want it is boring. Life is too short not to splurge once in a while. As long as you don't go overboard. It's all about enjoying the little things.

I read an article online a while back about financial problems and stress. A woman quoted in the article also appeared in the accompanying photo holding a plant at a store. There were numerous comments on the article, criticizing her purchase of the plant, in light of her financial stress. Really? I mean, she wasn't buying a diamond necklace, it was just a plant!

I think it's okay to buy a little something for yourself once in a while, albeit something you may not need, if it makes you happy. Of course you don't need to spend much or even any money to treat yourself. Outside of buying something for yourself, you can treat yourself to an afternoon nap, or a visit to a favorite spot like a park, museum or coffee shop.

There are good reasons to treat yourself - as a reward for a job well done, or to celebrate a success or a positive outcome. Maybe you just need a pick-me-up after a particularly rough day. Sometimes when I am stressed or feeling blue, I like to get a favorite takeout meal or treat, pick up some small item I've been wanting for my home if possible, or just go for a relaxing drive around one of my favorite parts of town.

No matter how limited the budget may be, we should always make room in it for an occasional little something extra for ourselves, just to break up the mundane routine, lift our spirits and help us keep a positive outlook.