Do Ya Feel Lucky…Punk?

Spiral Notebook

Nothing has more potential than a notebook waiting to be filled.

How cool is it to work at something you love? I’m not sure I’ve had the pleasure before. But since circumstances last fall left me without a paying job that would allow me to stay a work-at-home mom, I have actually been working at what I love: writing. Granted, I’m not making any money yet, but…yeah, who needs money?

Actually, I’m counting my blessings, to use that old adage. Minus the guilt of not contributing monetarily to our household, I feel so lucky that my husband and I are finally at a point in our lives where we can absorb the loss of my income (not that it was a ton to begin with). Don’t get me wrong. We are barely at that point, and it hasn’t been easy. But we are there. And today, I feel lucky.

I have a supportive kids and a husband who has encouraged me these last few months to pursue a dream, even though we don’t go out to dinner or the movies as often as we’d like and can’t to splurge too much. (“splurge” is kind of a weird-looking word, isn’t it?) I feel lucky to have someone who loves me enough to tell me to seize the chance that unemployment presented and won’t make me feel bad about it.

Because of that understanding, I continue to be a work-at-home mom. Yes, my oldest is in college, but I am still grateful to be available for my 15-year-old. He deserves the same time and attention his brother got. If I weren’t at home, he wouldn’t be able to go to the accelerated high school he does because I wouldn’t be here to drop him off, pick him up or accommodate his after-school schedule. I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him on the days he has early release or have time enough to help him with his English. I am so happy that my staying home has provided opportunities for my kids they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Isn’t that what every parent, at home or not, wants — opportunities for their children? I am a lucky, lucky mom to be able to do that. Not every mom (or dad) can.

We are currently out of debt. Whew! Well, except for the house… But, we were able to refinance and roll in the home equity loan and the credit card, and still be on track to pay it off in 10 years — which is where we were before the re-fi. In this economic crisis, we were never underwater and have always been able to pay our bills. How lucky is that?

My Reesie-pie.

I live in Arizona, and the day is beautiful. The doors are open and the sun is streaming in the windows. Yep, they need washing and the sunlight illuminates all the dog hair I need to sweep off the floor, but today I don’t care. From where I sit typing at the front window, I can see the jacaranda tree, nourished by the ashes of my first two puppies — Gus and Roo, who lived 15 and 13 years, respectively. I miss them, though they’ve been gone a long time. But, I feel lucky to have Reesie, who has been my furry four-legged buddy for 6-1/2 years now, and what’s a little dog hair between friends?

I have a blog. Two, actually (first blog on the blogroll, if you’re interested). I get to write, and put into words thoughts which might otherwise pass into the ether. I am my thoughts, and I don’t want to pass into the ether. I have kept a journal since I was a kid for just that reason. So, I feel lucky to live in a world with an Internet, to be able to share my life with people I wouldn’t otherwise know, and to share their lives, too. I haven’t figured out how to find blog statistics, so I’m not too sure how many people actually read what I write here, but I feel lucky that anybody does — that someone is interested enough in what I write to spend precious time reading it. So, thank you. Really.

Hmm. Maybe I should also feel lucky that I don’t know anything about blog statistics…from what I’ve been reading lately, they are highly addictive.

Cover of "Dirty Harry"

As to the title of today’s meandering, every time I wrote “I feel lucky,” all I could hear was Clint Eastwood in my head saying, “Do ya feel lucky, punk?” Now, I know those weren’t his exact words, but dang if I don’t hear him saying it that way. I’ve never seen whatever movie that comes from (Dirty Harry?), but isn’t it funny how some things seep into our cultural lexicon? And yes, today I feel lucky.

Anyway, I’d love to know what makes you feel lucky, if you’d care to share. 😉

About Jeannette Monahan

A writer sidetracked by life, with a husband and two boys who shine brighter than Arizona sunshine. Visit me at my blogs: or You are always welcome.
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11 Responses to Do Ya Feel Lucky…Punk?

  1. Samir says:

    Good for you! How wonderful indeed to pursue your dream of writing.

    I guess what makes me feel lucky is making the time and having the opportunity to work on my short stories and ponder the possibilities for the novel I want to embark on this year. It’s a wonderful feeling

    Are you working on a writing project?

  2. Hi Samir. Wow, a novel! I can’t even imagine writing something that long. What will it be about?

    I’m working on articles for kids’ magazines (I have an editor interested in one of them, fingers crossed). My big “project” right now is to learn all I can about the writing business…I have come late to the game and have a lot of catching up to do.

    • Samir says:

      Yeah… that’s the difficult question. In the past, I knew what I wanted to write about for a novel. Then I started learning the craft, writing short stories and following courses… Now I find myself interested in other things, but none feel enough to sustain a novel with in-depth character development. Those that do tend to feel overwhelming, which can be scary at times. But I’m gonna focus on this and figure it out because I’m itching to start 😉

      Tell me about it! There’s so much to figure out about the business… but you can do it. I guess what helps the most is to figure things out when you need them. At first, I recall trying to understand everything, then when I needed that info I didn’t have it anymore. My brain said: “Do you think I’m a hard drive?” I thought, ‘well, yes…’ but apparently I was wrong. Need to know basis can be a good thing at times.

      • The hard drive made me laugh! So true. You’re right, though…maybe I shouldn’t try to cram it all in. 😀 Good luck getting started on your novel — maybe you could think of it as stringing a bunch of short stories together, and it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming. Ha, listen to me giving advice to a novelist!

  3. emjayandthem says:

    I love this … there’s such a race to the next goal that so few stop to take a moment and look at what they’ve already accomplished. No debt? Wow! Good on you. And being available to your boy .. you (and he) will never regret that …

    I foolishly thought that it would be “easier” as the boys got older, meaning they’d need less time. Not true. They still need us, but in different ways, and I’m also very thankful to be as available as we are (Hubbs works out of the house and my schedule is predictable yet flexible).

    There is always, always something to be thankful for. One thing I’m super excited about? this will be my 2nd round of elections to vote in as a new citizen; so many I know are so jaded and they look at me like I’m nuts b/c I am thrilled to vote – finally! 🙂

    Lucky indeed 🙂

  4. Hi MJ! How lucky that you and your husband both are available. I’m finding, too, that older kids don’t not need you. My third post ever was about that. I’d link to it, but I can’t figure out how to do that in a comment box. Such a newbie.

    I think it’s great that you are excited about the elections! I’m excited for you! Will you actually go to the polls? I refuse to do the mail-in ballot, because there’s just something awesome about going to the polls on election day. Our polling place is the elementary school the kids went to, and I used to go get them out of class to come vote with me. It rubbed off on the youngest, I guess — he has become a politics junkie and wants to study political science when he gets to college. 2008 – best election day ever and his 12th birthday. He was so thrilled Pres. Obama was elected on his birthday!

    • emjayandthem says:

      To your question, yes I will not only go to the polls I will happily stand in line. In the 2008 Presidential election, the lines were long as we all remember and I quietly stood my place in line. At some point some blowhard next to me started picking at me … “boy you’re sure quiet; you sure smile a lot … “I could tell he wanted to know what the deal was. I held off and .. just before I went in to vote I smiled and said, “I’ve waited 4 years to be in this line because I am a new citizen and I am so proud to vote. Have a great day!” And with that, he finally shut up! 🙂

      We are fortunate to be available to the boys and we’re lucky they still want us to be.
      Cheers! MJ

  5. janetkoops says:

    So glad I read this this morning. It’s so nice to hear someone appreciating what they have.

    • Aw, thanks Janet! I’m so glad you liked it. I admit I am an eternal optimist most of the time. I think that’s because I have to balance out my husband, who calls himself a realist (I call him cynical). 😉

  6. Ianus Christius says:

    …just dropped by to greet my fellow writer…:-)

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