Are you happy at the moment?
At this very moment, yes. The day is just beginning, it has unlimited potential from the heart. It’s only when my brain gets involved that fear, worry start to run rampant. And my brain gets involved a LOT.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
- Put down the baby oil, iodine and pool raft, because it turns out they WON’T discover a cure for wrinkles when you hit 40.
- Accept yourself as fine, just the way you are. That doesn’t mean not to strive for greatness, or self-improvement, or to better your situation: it just means “God don’t make no junk.”
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
We are going through some very stressful and sad life situations and stages right now. I am trying not to let that define me, and instead try to start every day assuming it will be a happy day that might be filled with difficult moments.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Acceptance, contentment, joy (different than happiness), and to fit into a size six jean. Okay, maybe a size eight.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Depends on if happiness is defined as a fleeting mood, a state of mind, or a state of being.
As Bono sang, “But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
As my mom says, “Happiness is an ‘inside job’.”
As I say, “Ooh, look, the HOT light is on at Krispy Kreme!”
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Calling my mom every day.
What’s your biggest regret?
Almost 20 years ago, my dad didn’t let us know that his lung disease was in the terminal stage, so I would pop by and spend an hour with him on Saturdays and then go run errands. Boy, would I have spent more time with him and also said “I love you” out loud. We were both very stoic and just knew the other person loved them. Didn’t feel the need to say it. You need to say it.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I have no kids but I tend to “mother” everyone I know. It’s a toss-up between (a) any situation is worth going through as long as you can make an amusing anecdote out of it and there’s no bodily harm, or (b) you really do use algebra in real life – you just don’t recognize it as algebra: you are in a restaurant – you and a friend both eat the same meal, but your friend orders a $5.50 dessert. When the bill comes for $23 and you want to know what to pay, the meal is x. So 2x + 5.50 = $23. See? Your teacher didn’t lie.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I seem to have misplaced my self-discipline.
Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
Being a good friend. People are not necessarily “friends” with their family (fortunately, I am), and if we are really lucky, we find/develop/nurture friends who become “family.”
When were you happiest?
One particular “birthday week” in the 90’s. I had a great family dinner with one of my mom’s renowned homemade cakes. Then a carefree happy hour full of laughter (and jello shots) at a local hotspot: a jukebox with tunes blaring from James Brown, Squeeze, Frank Sinatra – I wore a size four white skirt and crop top – and there were about 50 friends from various aspects of my life (charities we volunteered for, workplace, high school). And I was in the “lovestruck” stage with a handsome new boyfriend (who turned out to be a pathological liar, but that’s a lesson for another column). I love getting people together that I admire and enjoy, so they can meet each other.
What ten words best describe you?
Perky, chatty, loving, committed, funny, caring, insecure, fearful, hopeful, and striving.
Karen Lukin spent 10 years as Public Service Director at a CBS-owned rock radio station, then as the Executive Director of the Press Club of Dallas. She’s 40+ years old, and probably the oldest living Jewish female in Dallas who hasn’t ever been married (“not brag, just fact”). She watches a lot of TV and de facto, acts as if she has a medical degree, and can spot a weak dance frame as an unofficial judge of Dancing with the Stars.
She is now in charge of Community Relations and PR for Whole Foods Market in North Texas. It is a joy for her to work every day knowing she gets to be a conduit, through the company’s charitable contributions, for funding so many worthwhile organizations and their endeavors. However, on a “grocery store salary,” she does have a lot of shoe-and-handbag envy! But on the other hand, she gets a 20% discount on cheese…
Karen knows Rene and Buff from when they were all in Dallas media.