I travelled with two college friends one summer and we declared it a sign every time we came across an ice cream shop and went and got some. I don't want to tell anyone what or how to think, but while I often joke about luck or fate or whatever you call incredible happenstances, I am also aware that a lot of this is random. You can do all the things to create the best possible circumstances for yourself and still be felled by other things. And if you believe the good things are deserved it's easy to believe the bad things are too.
So all of this is to say they had to do some work on my kitchen that required me to be out of the apartment for about an hour. We have just started to hit the tail of the busiest of busy periods at work and I have use or lose time so I decided to take the day off instead of taking a long lunch or dragging the laptop somewhere with secure wifi.
On my way out I noticed a police officer in the lobby. I live in a big building, this is not terribly unusual. And a friend had alerted me there had been a nearby mugging earlier in the day. Outside the building I paused and counted 11 police cars. That was noteworthy. On my way to the coffee shop I saw four more police vehicles go by and wondered if they were joining the others.
My friend pointed me to a social media post of the building that showed, um, yes they were. The local radio noted that traffic was blocked for police activity.
Normally, on a weekday around lunch, I'd be in my apartment at my desk. I probably would have been just as safe there as I was in the coffee shop. But I would, as it turns out, not have been any good to anyone at work knowing that this situation was happening in the building. (It was a police standoff as they attempted to apprehend the robber who had entered the building to visit a friend. It was resolved peacefully after several hours.)
I want to say, I am fully aware I have friends who were escorted from their building due to an active shooter situation and I was never, probably even if I had been home, in direct danger. And I am fine. I'm not worried about my ongoing safety. But I am grateful I got to learn about this from a café with a cookie. And this weekend involved previously planned parties with friends. And as it turned out, I watched the local news to see if they covered the story and learned out the Lyft ugly sweater promotion and treated myself to that for my ride home Saturday.