My current short autobiography, used on my Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger profiles is:

A woman of a certain age. I won't be remembered after I die, but I am one of the luckiest people ever to be born. I work, sail, knit, garden & make music.

The first sentence is the biological me, controlled by the ticking of the clock, and mitigated to a certain extent by eating right, shaking my bones, taking my meds, and keeping my mind open. Mitigation does work, I heartily recommend it.

The last sentence is what I do. My career is happenstance, a path discovered along the way and never dreamed of when I was young. I was fortunate to find it, because through it I have been able to find comfort and security. I feel fortunate as well to have discovered a craft that gives me pleasure as I master it, and that soothes my mind as it keeps my fingers busy. Our sailboat is a piece of serendipity, purchased in a flush moment before a financial downturn; a friend told us that we bought it in the nick of time, and he was right. And there is nothing luckier than to discover a small group of friends with whom you can create something just a bit larger than yourselves. That's what happens in our band as we fine-tune an arrangement, and build the vocal harmonies.

The first part of the middle sentence - that is just a fact. Nearly every human who has lived is not remembered in our history books, and I am one of the multitude.

The last half of the middle sentence "I am one of the luckiest people ever to be born" - that is also a fact, and one that amazes me. I also have crystallized that fact in a my-life-in-six-words exercise as "Right place - right time - sheer luck". What do I think of as I write those words? Right place: I live on a large, beautiful piece of land in a very stable part of the world. No war, no famine or pestilence, and the only natural disaster I've experienced here has been an ice storm that did little damage to the infrastructure of human civilization. Right time: I live when modern medicine has saved my life a couple of times, and provides me with a miracle med that staves off disability. I'm also alive at the peak of the carbon era, when cheap, abundant energy has brought us incredible comfort and a world of wonders. Sheer luck: It was a throw of the dice that brought my particular bit of sentience alive at this particular time, in this particular place.

And then there is love. I am fortunate to have family and friends who I love dearly, and who love me in return.

I wouldn't trade my run of good luck for riches, fame, or glory.


  1. A toast to grosse gott gluck.

    It is good, I think, to remember how lucky life can be.


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