I consider myself a lucky woman. However, it is important to explain that for me, luck is a cumulative effect of deeds done.

I'm at that special time in a person's life when questions, regrets, and hopes abound - middle age.

This year I will be turning 44 and while I have enjoyed basking in compliments of not looking that soon to be acquired number, I am also keenly aware of everything that may or may not be ahead with that birthday's approach.

This seemingly unexpected lurch into a new year doesn't help either. 2018? Already?

Now don't get me wrong. I consider myself a lucky woman. However, it is important to explain that for me, luck is a cumulative effect of deeds done. A chain of actions, for good or ill, that can support, strangle you, or be extended to others as a lifeline.

In short, we create our own luck.

This way of thinking and believing does not exclude the things beyond our control. Such as the families we are born into, the color of our skin, or our gender. Those are some of the thread chains from which we begin our own line.

For some those starting places are tattered and tenuous, for others seemingly woven of silver or gold. The beginning pattern is there, but how it grows and supports us is in our hands. Yet, also the hands of others.

This way of thinking forces me to be a world-affirming woman. If I accept that I spin my own luck, then I must also accept its tangles, strong lengths, and gaps are mine too.

I must acknowledge that every other human being not only has the capacity and responsibility to do the same but the burden also.

Most importantly, there is no escaping that all these threads inevitably intersect and overlap.

As lovely and ethereal as I try to make this sound, the truth of accepting that kind interconnectedness is far more knotted and complex.

What patterns do forgiveness make, or hatred, or desire?

At what points are our hands guided and when is it time to rest?

Could any thread ever be truly severed?

I expect to possibly never know the answer to those questions. I accept I could also be entirely wrong.

For now, and as far ahead as I can see my threads spinning outward, I choose to believe we are the world we weave. Let's make it beautiful and strong.

Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor of the Miami News-Record. Contact her a dballard@miaminewsrecord.com and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.