If you enjoy the deep and abiding love of a spouse or a lifelong companion who you also love deeply, you are a fortunate man.
If you have under your roof two loving, bright, beautiful children with a lifetime of promise and wonder ahead of them, you are a fortunate man.
If you have a roof, you are a fortunate man.
If you spent 24 years pursuing and living a career that fulfilled your adolescent dreams and stirred your creative impulses, you are a fortunate man.
If that career was sidetracked because of the changing economy but you were able to find a job that — while perhaps not quite as exciting and fulfilling as your past career — was stable, secure and provided for your family, you are a fortunate man.
If you have lived into your 40s and your parents are still around, and not only that, but are relatively healthy, capable, self-sufficient and happy together after nearly 50 years of marriage, you are a fortunate man.
If you have lived into your 40s, you are a fortunate man.
If you married into an amazing family, with in-laws who love you and appreciate you for who you are and for the life you’ve built with your nuclear family, you are a fortunate man.
If you have friends near and far who are happy to see you again — and who you are happy to see — even after several months or years have passed since your last meeting, you are a fortunate man.
If you possess fond memories of loved ones past, you are a fortunate man.
If you managed to extricate yourself from an unhappy marriage that lasted only long enough for you to know that you were in the wrong situation, you are a fortunate man.
If you have experienced the love and enduring affection of a furry animal companion for a stretch of many years, you are a fortunate man.
If the worst thing you can say about your life is you dread your miserable morning commute into work, you are a fortunate man.
If you have found a pastime or hobby that gives you a sense of accomplishment and scratches the creative itch, you are a fortunate man.
If you possess all your faculties, and understand who you are and where you’ve been, and can summon at least a semi-substantial vision of where you might be going in life, you are a most fortunate man, indeed.
You are a fortunate man if you can laugh and cry and sit in silence and contemplate your great, good fortune.
It is important to acknowledge these blessings. It is important to remember them. It is important to be able to look at your life, consider it as objectively as possible and render a fair judgement. We can be as hard on ourselves as we want to be, and Lord knows I’ve been hard on myself over the years.
Every now and then, though, I’ll wake up with a smile on my face because something beautiful worked on my subconscious while I slept. Some wonderful facet of life fought and clawed its way to the surface, and ruptured the veil of insecurity and diffidence that shrouds all our adult lives and gave form and voice to a lifetime of blessings that demand to be counted.
It is in those waking moments that I can honestly say that I am, in fact, a very fortunate man.