Photo by Stuart Miles (Freedigitalphotos.net)
How much of life comes down to chance? How much of it is due to our own efforts? Or is a combination of both?
I count myself as an extremely LUCKY person. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and I live in a gorgeous country. I have a job, a roof over my head and plenty of food on the table. I can afford to educate my children and take holidays. We are happy and we are healthy. I AM LUCKY.
Of course, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses. I lost my father to cancer, way too early—it’s heart wrenching to watch someone you love waste away in tremendous pain. I’ve experienced trauma—it’s life changing to help your neighbour cut his wife’s body down when she hangs herself. I’ve mourned and grieved as friends have lost loved ones. I’ve provided advice and support when friends have lost jobs and struggled financially, or dealt with the anguish of a relationship falling apart.
Illness, death, divorce, unemployment, poverty, mental illness… unfortunately the list seems endless. Life throws obstacles in our way. Or sometimes those obstacles are there from the start. We can let them break us, stop us from achieving our goals or we can try to rise above them. I’m tempted to say that nothing should get in the way of making a success of your own life, but you know what? I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t know what it’s like to be born into poverty or live in a war-ravaged country. I don’t know what it’s like to have drug-addicted parents or be bullied. I don’t have an illness or a disability. I AM LUCKY. I was born into a comfortable middle-class family in Australia (the so-called ‘Lucky Country’*). I got a good start in life.
Count your lucky stars
I’ve always been told to ‘count your blessings’ or ‘count your lucky stars’. I do and I am grateful. I’m lucky to have been raised by wonderful parents and have the time I did with my dad. I am lucky in love, married to my husband for sixteen years. I am lucky to have two beautiful children. I’m lucky to have a house in the suburbs and a good job.
Making your own luck
But some of what I have isn’t just due to luck. It’s due to hard work and perseverance. It’s due to taking a chance and making the most of every opportunity. My parents instilled positive values and a strong work ethic in all their children. I’ve worked my arse off to get promotions, I’ve tried to develop new skills and gain experience. I’ve made sacrifices. I’ve put myself out there and taken risks.
My writing is just one example. Starting out was nerve wracking, but something I really wanted to try. I had stories I wanted to share. So I asked questions, researched, tried my hand at drafting a story, took advice, refined my story and finally put it out there. I took a chance and was rewarded when a publisher accepted my work (thanks Dreamspinner 🙂 ). Was some of it luck? Maybe. But if I hadn’t put in the hard work and given it a try, none of the writing career that I LOVE would have happened. Has it all been joy? No. I’ve never been rejected by a publisher but some of my first reviews were soul destroying. I’ve experienced lows but luckily I’ve also experienced highs. It only takes one email or message from a reader, thanking me for my stories, to make it all worthwhile.
Pay It Forward
I believe in paying it forward and sharing good fortune. I’ve been fortunate in my life. I want to help others who haven’t been so lucky. At the moment it’s mainly small things, like providing advice and encouragement to others, or slightly bigger commitments such as mentoring a friend in the corporate world. I’m exploring new opportunities. Of course, the most significant thing in my life, is raising my family, ensuring I have happy, healthy children who turn into good adults. I want to give them the opportunities I had in life and see them make a positive impact on the world.
When a challenge presents itself, how to you respond? Do you leap to maximize the opportunities that come your way? Are you making the most of your good fortune and sharing with others?
Check out my latest release, Andrew’s Promise. It’s about a couple who have a second chance at love.
Young mechanic Andrew Campbell’s life couldn’t be better. He is about to restore a Ford Mustang with his dad before heading off on the ultimate cross-country road trip with his best friend, Tanner McKenzie.
But tragedy strikes, and Andrew’s life is shattered. Worried his family will be torn apart if he doesn’t step in, Andrew makes a tough choice between following his heart and doing what he needs to do to protect his little brother.
When Andrew pushes Tanner away, Tanner heads off on the planned trip alone. Once Tanner leaves town, his life takes a different path and it’s ten years before he returns. Now a firefighter, he’s never forgotten his first love, and no one has ever taken Andrew’s place in his heart. He’s determined to see if Andrew feels the same way. He just hopes Andrew’s excited to see him, hopes that he’s available—and finally out—after all this time.
They might not have been ready to deal with emerging feelings years ago, but now might be the time for their second chance at love.
About Nic Starr
Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!
When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.
You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.
Website & Blog: http://www.nicstarr.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nic-Starr/e/B00MAWRRQG/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NicStarrAuthor
* There’s a saying that Australia is a “lucky country”. Most people misuse this expression. It was actually written by Donald Horne in 1964 who started a chapter of his book The Lucky Country with “Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.” It wasn’t written as a compliment, and most people failed to detect the irony.