Monday, August 31, 2009

"Do you feel lucky? ya? Punk?"

I've been thinking about luck.

This may seem like a random topic, but I've been thinking about it for a while. What is it? Does it actually exist? Or is luck a confluence between circumstance and opportunity that is totally random?

Why do some people seem "lucky" and others not-so-much? Is it simply our perspective? Our personal vantage point from either a cup-half-empty or cup-half-full place? Is it because these people worked harder, had better karma, deserved it more? Or conversely, when things don't work out, does it mean you deserve it less, did something bad in a past life or have, somehow, been a wastrel all your days?

I listen to people like Oprah talk about her notion that there is no such thing as luck. She's all about the whole 'Secret' thing and making your own luck happen. Visualizing it. But then I look at her and think, "Did she create every opening she ever got? Or did she simply walk through doors that opened as she passed nearby? Maybe that just makes her less afraid than me. Does seizing that sword every day make her talent any the less? No. Does that make us value what she has accomplished any less? No. But was there any luck involved with her becoming who she was? Maybe.

Why, after centuries, then does this concept of good luck and bad luck still persist? Maybe it's simply superstition, or a way of explaining the unexplainable. If we're having a good day we "feel lucky" and a bad day can mean that things haven't fallen our way. Some days I feel luckier than others. The day my beautiful grandson was born, I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. Yesterday, when our banker told us someone in Mexico had fraudulently used our credit card and cleaned out a bank account, I felt really, well...unlucky.

This was simply an exclamation point on an already crummy day, the sum total leading to this little rant. But maybe this was just random universal timing that someone put my credit card numbers together and then pulled the lever. I won the hacker's lottery. Or, rather, he won and I lost. Er...lucky for him. Bad luck for me. See what I mean? I guess I should feel lucky that eventually, we'll get it all back. If we didn't need that money right now, I guess we'd feel that way. Right now I'm just mad.

Oprah says believing in luck is just an excuse to let ourselves off the hook for not trying hard enough. And maybe she's right. Today made me realize I have to try harder to stay positive. To walk through all those doors and not be afraid. The laws of attraction and all that. I know that's probably the lesson in the crummy day I just had. And occasionally, I need a kick in the ass to make me see what I need to see. I can choose to be the victim or I can step out of that and take my day where I want it to go despite that little punk in Mexico. Because right now, I'm feeling a little lucky. As I write this my daughter's is flying toward me from across the country, and in a couple of hours I get to kiss her and hold my little grandson.

That's the funny thing about this life. It's always the bitter with the sweet...

Thanks for letting me rant.


Holly said...

I am so very terribly sorry to hear that bit of news. And, it took me by quite a surprise which is what you were intending because you are an excellent writer.

I wish I had words that would make you feel better. But, I don't. Just let me say, I'm so very glad that the money will come back to you. And, more so, I'm glad your daughter and grand baby are on their way to love on you.

Blessings for Abundance...deserved. No luck needed.

Snap said...

Ranting is good. Clears the thoughts. Sorry to hear about the little punk in Mexico and what he/she/it did.

Luck -- a four letter word -- sometimes a good four letter word and sometimes a bad one.

Enjoy the time with your daughter and grandson. Happy time! Joy!

clairedulalune said...

Oh Barbara, what a dreadful thing to happen to you! No wonder you are mad, rant away! Lucky (or is it Oprah) you you will get it back, and of course you getting to see your daughter and grandson! If you and your family are healthy you are wealthy! Better days for you I am sure!

Renee said...

Barbara what a fantastic post.

Now Oprah, well she can go fuck herself. And it won't be either lucky or unlucky. Instead it will be just what she asked for.

Congratulations on your grandson and sorry to hear about the money. I would flip my lid.

Love Renee xoxo

Renee said...

Sorry Barb I was so entranced with your post I forgot to mention that the scan and good results were from 2006. I must have been lucky that day.


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Hi Barbara:

So sorry that you were scammed by some "punk" as you call him/her. That must feel awful!

Glad, on the other hand, that you will have the wonderful distraction of the people you love in your arms. Better to lose money that can be replaced than them.

I'm like you and Renee, I get royally tired of people like Oprah just saying she knew what she wanted and attracted it to her and why can't everyone else do the same. That is a form of magical (infantile) thinking. (I have actually been preparing a post on this subject!) Did she follow her theory and say then that she attracted the child molester/monitor at her school in Africa? That kind of thinking comes from our grandiose, narcissistic self.

You didn't think, or not think the right thoughts that caused your "bad luck". Circumstance, timing, other people's intentions and actions all factor in to what happens to anyone.

It is magical (infantile) thinking to claim you can create the world you want with your thoughts.

Sorry . . . you got me going.

Have a great visit with your daughter and grandson!

Hybrid J said...

Sorry to learn about this bad news and hope you feel better after the rant. ;)

As of gook luck / bad luck, I'm still not sure if it exists or not. Maybe a way to look at it is about "probability". Like how often you'll walk on a street and suddenly a big window fall right in front of you. If you're just 5 steps ahead, the window would hit you. This happened to my friend about a year ago! Was she lucky? We sure think so.

Re: Oprah - I used to follow and enjoy everything she said. But after a couple of years, something changed. I found it harder and harder to relate to her. She had become just one of those "guru". I stopped listening but she still has my utmost respect as a humanist.

Barbara said...

Dear Holly,Snap,Claire, HybridJ, Renee --Thanks so much for the good thoughts and your musings on luck. I agree about Oprah. I'm glad I'm not alone in wondering "Is it me? Or is she a little arrogant about her success?"

Bonnie--love the magical thinking (infanitle) take. You're right, of course. If you believe it about part, you must believe it about all. But I think her agenda is torqued toward guru-ism. And let's face it, she has a loyal following. But many of my friends have taken her off tivo. I'm still in search of my own take on all this, but in the end, life happens. It's what we do with what happens that matters, I guess.

Renee--I love your passion. And,:p(2006? Thanks for clarifying. You are in my thoughts. And your family.

Sarah said...

Hi glad ya posted it!! It was as I expected an amazing post!!
I think the positive thinking is a good have someone say you create your bad luck when you get it wrong..or that you have not been given the same things as someone else is I agree is wrong. Not one of us can know what someone else's path or lessons to learn are. I think it is a really good thing to put it out there - what you want with intention...I do not think the answer is always so simple. Wonderful thought provoking post hon!
Love you, Sarah

Sarah said...

Oh and the A** in so very sorry hon!! Hope that is resolved VERY quickly!!
Whoo hoo to Chal and Ryan coming - whoo hoo!! Enjoy the snuggles!!
Love, Sarah

Barbara said...

Thanks, Sarah. As always, it's great to talk with you, and thanks for the good thoughts. And yes, am snuggling endlessly with my little boo-baby. Sooo cute! xoxox B