Downsizing “Luck”

04/01/2011

breaking down luck

Urgency Day 141

500 Things Items 358-59: Microphone and Amp

  • History: First lucky conduits of the Self-Contained Unit’s music
  • Value: Priceless (see above) but now inadequate
  • Parting Pain: Amp being returned to owner/mic overworked and broken
  • Un-possessing: Returning (see above)/recycling

Do you ever pass on entering contests, saying this to yourself?

I’m going to save my luck for winning something really big.

Recently, I have graciously stepped aside and allowed others to win, in order to save my luck for a big-ticket item. An E-ticket ride, in Disney-speak.

  • I didn’t enter a contest to win a year’s worth of free house cleaning: too pedestrian.
  • I didn’t enter a contest to win $250,000 from Good Housekeeping: more housekeeping?
  • I didn’t enter a contest to win a new Kitchen Aid stand mixer: my old one is just fine, if you don’t mind unplugging it to turn it off, which I don’t, mostly.

So, what am I holding out for?  The Lottery?

Lately, I started wondering if maybe– whatever it is I’ve been withholding my luck for—maybe, it’s already happened.

What if one of those times you had the fleeting thought, “Oh, I’d give anything for this to happen,” Karma actually took you up on it? Now, you’re going through your life thinking you’re on a level-luck playing field, when really your chits have all been played. For something like a traffic light to stay green, or a grocery line to be faster, or the last doughnut to still be in the box, you gave anything, everything.

[Before going gluten-free, I made that doughnut wish a lot. Based on that alone, I should stop buying the occasional Mega Millions ticket.]

Even if luck-bargaining isn’t true and Karma hasn’t punked me, I’m going to stop acting as though it were true. At the same time I have been playing—or not playing– the luck card, I have passionately, whole heartedly believed in the “Just show up” rule. In lottery terms, this reads, “You gotta play to win.” A given, but I’ll concede the point. Still, I prefer Albert Einstein’s take:

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Just show up and work. Work work work.

Take writing, for example. That stupid flashing cursor, the one I’m typing under right now? No matter how fervently I’ve wished, it has never once magicked itself into a finished work for me. I have to pound away at that sucker every day. I’m not saying that then *Genius* happens. Not even much perspiring happens: it’s pretty chilly at my desk. But work happens.

When you were a little kid, what work did you see yourself doing as a grownup?

I was going to be an astrophysicist or a paleontologist. I liked to look up; I liked to look down. My childhood passions required field work and lots of mathematical competence.

You should know, my spell-check just auto-corrected my spelling of “mathmatical,” which is a symbolically accurate reflection of my mathematical competence.

So I didn’t find myself looking up or looking down. I look forward, at paper, and I no longer wish for anything else.

Fingers crossed, it will work out.


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7 Responses to “Downsizing “Luck””

  1. emilyhepburnlane Says:

    I’ve actually never thought of luck this way – which also make me reconsider winning those books last night;-) I think you still have some luck…keep playing the lotto Suz!

  2. sthibeault Says:

    Okay, Emily. If you insist. I guess it wouldn’t be too bad to win a gazillion dollars. Veggie dogs are on me!
    (Thanks for the subscription!)

  3. boysgonewild Says:

    Or, as Dory-the-fish said, “Just keep swimming!” That’s what I tell myself during the day when the day seems oh, sooooooooo long.
    Maybe it works for cursors, too.

  4. sthibeault Says:

    Fun fact: Cursing doesn’t work on cursors.

  5. Donna Says:

    I love Dory!! Any day that contains a Dory reference is a lucky day.

  6. melanie Says:

    I HAVE thought about luck this way. I thought I was the only one!? Thank you for giving me another “me too” experience. You explained why I didn’t enter the Whole Foods drawing! I DID want the $100 package, but I was holding out for something more. Sometimes, as I go to enter a drawing, I wonder if the fates are looking down on me saying “We gave you the man of your dreams, healthy happy children, a roof over your head, and NOW you want us to help you win a $100 package at Whole Foods?”

  7. sthibeault Says:

    Exactly! I feel greedy greedy greedy for wanting more. More?! I’m supposed to be the “less is more mom…”


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