Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call

Dave Richards for September 23rd..

--Yesterday was a special day for The Fabulous Denise and me. It was our 41st wedding anniversary. There is a great temptation on an occasion of this sort to analyze what you have done right that got you this far. The reason for this self-examination is simple. Whenever you succeed at something, you want to succeed again and so you naturally want to repeat what worked well last time. And the more that I thought about this the more I remembered what one main thing contributed most to the success of my marriage. I stopped keeping score.

Anyone who has been married for many years will tell you that it's just not as easy as it sounds, especially in the early years. Growing together is a wonderful idea until one of you wishes to grow in a different direction than the other or at a different speed. Inevitably there will be conflict and eventually one will get the feeling that the other is getting their way more often and you naturally remember this and start keeping score. It is, as I say, natural. And everyone knows the hardest things to change about yourself are the things which come naturally. But change you can if you are sufficiently motivated. It's only when you stop keeping score of which one gives in to the other that things start going right more often and the "growing together" part starts to take hold.

I mentioned "sufficiently motivated". You have to want to do it. You have to want to do it because it is work and it is not easy, nor does the work often come at convenient times. But when you have someone worth being with, you will put in the effort.

I have always said I'm the luckiest guy on two legs. I mean, I met the love of my life as a 14 year-old in the 9th grade in high school. We didn't know how lucky we were at the time, but it became evident as the years went by. We were married as soon as we graduated high school, like both of our parents were, we didn't start a family right away and we just plain grew together so completely over the years that we really cannot imagine living without the other. And now that the family is grown and moved on, I'll tell you it has never been better. I wish this for everyone.

I mentioned luck a moment ago and the fact that I always have considered myself lucky. That's important. It has often been said that a person can "make their own luck". In my experience, that is such an oversimplification that it borders on the untrue. Speaking from experience, a person can "encourage good luck" by recognizing the good and lucky things which happen, being rightfully thankful for them, and encouraging them to happen again by doing the things which allow them to happen. And a lot of this is not doing the things which encourage bad luck. For instance, I am not lucky at betting on outcomes of games. Naturally, I should stay out of the casinos and pass on the weekly football pools. So I do. And when I don't lose my money, I consider myself lucky that I knew well enough to stay away from it.

I learned about luck at an early age. In fact, the phrase I use, "I'm the luckiest guy on two legs", comes from when I was a small boy in the 1960's. Where I lived there was a man who was always on crutches because he had only one leg. He considered himself the luckiest man in the world. You see, he lost his left leg years before in World War Two when he stepped on a land mine. The average person might not think that was lucky, but he always did because the man standing next to him lost his life. Ever since hearing that as a small boy when I think I might be the luckiest man in the world, I remember that man with only one leg and I know there was somebody luckier than I.

--Before I go I want to remind everyone of the Sunday morning breakfast this week at the Saint Ann Arts and Cultural Center. St. Ann's is fast becoming a super venue for special activities, as evidenced by our yearly Mardi Gras celebration and the fact that the Autumnfest Steering Committee has once again chosen it as the location to honor the Autumnfest Parade Grand Marshal on September 30th. The reason for this success, I think, is the hard work of the volunteers. Not only do they bust their buns keeping St. Ann's running, but they are the kind of folks who also donate their time and talent to other organizations as well. I reference this photo I snapped last Sunday at the St. Jude's Breakfast where Wally Auclair and Domenic Doiron were pitching in at the Par-X Club. Let's all support these generous guys and their dedicated volunteers this Sunday at their fundraiser. I will.

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to dave@onworldwide.com or mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.


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