Luck or design?

It has been said that I am lucky to have a place in Buenos Aires.
Well it could be said I have been lucky: I chose my career path not really expecting to do any more than my parents. That is to have a family some day and a place to live. Ambition did not really kick in until much later.
So I never really pursued qualifications, more than the basics needed to do my job. As such I sort of cut myself off from any promotion possibilities.
I would have been content with social housing as well, but my then girlfriend was having none of that. She was not going to live in the area I was born in and she was not going to be satisfied with a council house.
So even before I married I had started to chase the money. In my first few years of marriage that is what I did, I chased the cash. This was, of course not the way to have a happy career, so in 1979 I took a decision that changed my life and took a job that looked attractive for its own sake. This involved quite a cut in pay and it was strictly no overtime.
Then the 80’s (The era of greed, remember?)kicked in suddenly not only did I enjoy the job, but the pay was now good and the overtime limitless. This period set me up for the future. We bought a big house in the country, got our daughter through college and I got myself financially stable.
When our daughter flew the nest it was time to throttle back. The crazy shift system I was now on ensured that I was on the highest rate of pay in the area, but left me with little time to do the things that I really wanted. The only way I could use the free time I had was to change my hobbies and have a wife who was not tied to a job.
So we danced, we had holidays abroad, but now the family income was reduced. I am not complaining, life had been good to me and so had luck, but when it came to visiting Buenos Aires it hammered my finances.
So the decision to buy in Buenos Aires was not taken lightly. In order to take the time off we needed we had to become a single income family. To finance the deal I had to sell everything of value, and we even traded down the house.
Again don’t think I am complaining, I am happy with my lot and am looking forward to my retirement with glee. But for anyone who thinks that it is only luck that gets you what you want, think again.
We all need luck, but if you really want something, sacrifices are necessary. If you are not prepared to make the sacrifice, then perhaps you really did not want it that much.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Luck or design?

  1. tangobob

    I think you missed the point. I wholheartedly agree that there is a lot of luck that got me in my present position. That is why I wrote about my earlier life. The point is that are many people in the same lucky position as me, but they choose to spend their money elsewhere.
    I could have carried on sailing and had a motorbike, any number of things I could have done. I could then have seen someone with a property abroad and said “you are lucky to have that”.
    We all need luck, but life is all about choices. Luck plays a large part in getting us where we are, but often the choices we make say more about us than our position in life.

  2. Bernadette

    So what you are saying in effect is: “I deserve what I have got because I have it all through my own efforts.” Fair enough, but I still believe that luck plays a part. I never wanted anything badly enough to make any great sacrifices and I am definitely not a risk taker, yet I have a very enjoyable life, an abundance of good friends and family and I want for nothing. Many people who are just like me do not have the good fortune that I have had and have a poorer quality of life. Equally many who have made sacrifices on a par with, and sometimes even greater than yours have not been as well-rewarded as you have been. I think you are right to be proud of your achievements but it is not right to think that anyone who has not achieved as much as you has not put in as much effort. Also, sometimes the greatest achievements are not always visible and manifest in material goods.

  3. tangobob

    How could I forget you? If you go on the Tango in Gresford tab all my details are there. Or just click https://tangogales.wordpress.com/tango-in-gresford/
    I loook forward to hearing from you.

  4. julia

    Hi Bob, I finally managed to track you down:) not sure you remember me,I’m Julia (originally from Poland) but I used to live in chester back in 2008-2009 where we met at tango events. I am planning to go to Argentina in august and have some questions, what is the best way to get in touch with you? Hope to hear from you soon. 🙂

  5. tangobob

    Thank you Janis. We hope to celebrate that 38 years in Buenos aires and a joint Viv and Janis birthday celebration soon after.

  6. jantango

    How lucky I am to have you and Viv as friends! We may not see each other regularly in Buenos Aires, but I’m hoping that will change once you retire. You prepared and planned for your retirement and with an apartment to boot in Buenos Aires. Los Galeses are a very lucky couple to have each other for 38 years.

  7. tangobob

    No, downsizing wasn’t really a problem. But that is the point, nothing is handed on a plate and I am happy with the descisions I made. We all need some luck, but as you say, in the main we make our own luck.

  8. Arlene

    To get what you want, you need to work for things. Not many people get handed things on a plate. Is it really so much of a sacrifice to downsize in order to have a home in BsAs? If the quality of your life is better, then what is the problem? I have been downsizing and have taken on lower paying temp work in order to have the time off when I want it. The benefits far outweigh the negatives and if I am lucky, then that is because of the choices I have made. If you are lucky, it is because you made your own luck. Good for you! Enjoy!

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