Friday, October 19, 2012

Is it luck? Or is it me?

Do you believe in luck? I think a lot of people do, but I myself am on the fence about it.  The notion of luck, both good and bad, is often applied to all sorts of things, like love, money, work, etc.  I've long attributed things in my life to luck, but lately I've been rethinking the idea.

If it weren't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all! Lol

A coworker of mine sent this to me in an email just yesterday.  She was referring to the latest string of bad things that have been going on in my life lately, and like almost every time that word is used, it was used as a manner of explaining things away, almost laughing it off.  I typed back an 'lol' of my own, but with this latest episode, I'm not believing in things like that anymore.

First, here's a little background.  It's mostly got to do with money.  After having a very lean summer and going into September having to pay some bills, I had finally gotten my first paycheck where things would get me back to 'normal' for the school year.  Bills were paid and I actually has a little money to spend on myself.  That was the weekend I spent in the city.

During that weekend, a very nice person on the streets of Manhattan told me I had a headlight out, and so on Columbus Day I brought the car in to the shop to get that fixed.  Since my brakes had been a little squeaky lately, I asked my mechanic to check them out.  The end result: new brakes and $300 less in my bank account.  No biggie, right?

The next day, when I headed out from work to lunch, I saw that I had a flat tire on one of my rear wheels.  Another call was made to a local mechanic, who came and fixed the tire only to give me some more bad news...both of my rear tires were damaged and needed to be replaced.  Another $400!  The news was bad, but not devastating.

Fast forward to this the morning I found a puddle of water on my kitchen counter.  I had no idea where it was coming from and upon a search I couldn't find a source, so I just cleaned it up and went off to work.  Later on that night, as I was leaving to go bowling, I noticed the same puddle again, and again I could not figure out where it was coming from.  I cleaned it up and left the house, not giving it another thought...until I got home and found yet another puddle in the same spot.

Just about that time, my old student Max had popped over for a visit and he took a closer look with me, finally finding the source of the water.  There was a small, thin line of it trickling down from the ceiling along the wall behind one of my kitchen cabinets.  The bathroom above!  To make a long story short, either the drainpipe beneath the tub is rotted or the pipes behind the shower wall are.  I still have no idea what this is going to cost me.

If it weren't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all!

Needless to say I wasn't happy.  I returned to work yesterday in a bad, bad mood.  Stress at work has been really high and I was expecting yet another stress-filled day on top of my home worries.  My bad mood was exacerbated when I got out of my car and hit my head on the trunk door, seeing stars.  The day started off terribly, but thanks to good friends and well-behaved students, my mood lightened as the day wore on.  As I took my nightly walk I thought and thought about things...

Six months ago, I would've called this another Ziggy period, and perhaps you could say it is, but I'm beginning to look at things from a different perspective.  Has it been bad luck that got me into yet another financial bind, or are they normal things in life that maybe I should have seen coming?  Keeping up with repairs to a car is a normal thing, and so are bad pipes in a very old house.  My problems could be worse.  At least now my car is safer and is running smoother and I'm going to end up with a shinier, newer bathroom, without worries that pipes will eventually burst.


At 47 years of age, I am still learning a lot about life.  There are a lot of people out there who think they know it all when it comes to life, but life is so complicated and vast that if anybody believes they know it all, they're simply kidding themselves. I look back over the years of my life and I cringe sometimes at thinking of how I acted on this occasion or that, or said something I shouldn't have said.  We all make mistakes, and learning from them is what separates the smart people from the stupid ones.  And perhaps all of these years thinking it was just bad luck causing me hardship, maybe I just wasn't realizing that either these things were normal, or caused by my own bad decisions.

Yup, life is all about attitude, how you approach things in your mind.  Despite my current financial difficulties, I have a pretty decent life, with plenty of people in it who bring me joy.  I've got a roof over my head, a job I (mostly) love, and food on my table.  Sure, it's not the perfect life I envisioned for myself, but I shouldn't be surprised with where I am in it.  "Woe is me" is not going to do me any good, so why bother, and why bother to blame chance for my problems?  I'm starting to see that luck does not always make or break a life.

From now on, I'm going to believe that I am enduring these low periods of bad circumstances for a reason. Perhaps they're just tests of my mettle, and I'll be better for it in the end.  I'm going to keep my head high and not depend on my life going any which way because of luck.  I know I need to make my own chances, cause my own 'luck' to change, and by keeping a good attitude the whole way through, I'm gonna be just fine.

As always, thanks for reading!

Love and Pride


  1. Sounds like you are learning an attitude of acceptance toward life. As you said in the post worrying and stressing yourself out about things is not going to change anything. All that does is make YOU feel crappy! If you learn to accept that what wil be will be, and you convince yourself that you WILL be able to deal with whatever comes, you will have a much more peaceful soul! It takes some practice to see things that way, but it's worth it!

  2. Hey Randy, Sounds like you and I are on similar wavelengths...