Thursday, March 1, 2012

Luck (or lack thereof) ~ Joan Holub / March Theme


On a recent road trip to Charleston, SC, a friend brought along a travel game called Table Topics. The way you play is simply to choose a card and read the printed question on it aloud. Then everyone in the car answers in turn. One of the questions was: Are you a lucky person?
To my surprise, the other three women in the car (ages ranging from ages 27 to 49) all said no.

I’ve known these friends forever, and know the ups and downs of their lives. I don’t consider them unlucky at all. I think they’re lucky people that unlucky things sometimes happen to. Just like me.

I immediately began citing all the reasons I think they are lucky. They countered with a short list of unlucky things that have happened to them. And to me.

Huh? Sure, I wasn’t so lucky that night I tripped over my suitcase and nearly got a concussion. Which meant I had to cancel a trip to Seattle to visit dear friends. But I was lucky my glasses didn’t break or poke my eyes out, right?

It’s not that I’m not super-annoyingly optimistic. But I sincerely believe a person can make something happen if they want it enough, think smart enough, work hard for it, and refuse to give up. That’s making your own luck (said my friends), not being innately lucky.

They’re right of course. No matter how much I wanted that cute guy in high school to like me, it didn’t happen. My theory doesn’t hold when it comes to love.

But in my publishing life, it has often seemed to me that there is something almost magical at work. A positive energy that descends from the ether to bind all that hard work, hope, thought, and determination together. I call it luck. I've worked hard, but I've been lucky too.

So now I’m passing that Table Topics card on to you. Are you a lucky person?

~ Joan Holub

Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams are the co-authors of the Goddess Girls series (Aladdin)

5 comments:

  1. I love games! Haven't heard of Table Topics but it sounds fun!

    I'm lucky in many ways, unlucky in others, and have neither good nor bad luck sometimes. I think that's how it is for everyone!

    Then again, some people do seem to have more good luck than others. Like that person I heard about in the news a while ago who won a big lottery TWICE. I mean, what the heck?? And look at film director James Cameron: Audiences embraced Titanic making it a worldwide phenomenon and then he somehow did it AGAIN only twelve years later with Avatar. Some people have more good luck than others!

    And then there are the people who seem to have more bad luck than others. :( I'd much other have no luck at all than have more bad luck, that's for sure.

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  2. Hi Joan, I don't really call myself lucky, but optimistic. And I believe there is power in positive thinking. But when you mention luck, I think of my daughter who found a four-leaf clover the VERY first time she looked for one.

    I think she was about four years old when she came to me and said she was going to the yard to look for a four-leaf clover. I think I said something like, "I don't think they really exist, but you can look if you want." I swear that child came back to me within minutes with a four-leaf clover in her hand. I had looked for those things my whole childhood and never found one. She found one on her first try. Luck or the power of positive thinking? Who knows.

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  3. Hi Laura,
    If you're ever trapped in a car or any kind of waiting room with several friends, this game is a lifesaver.

    I agree it's hard not to be jealous of someone who wins TWO lotteries. At least James Cameron worked hard for his successes with Avatar and Titanic. But there's a bit of luck and serendipity in those successes as well. The timing couldn't been wrong for the release, etc.

    And you make a good point--I'd rather have no luck than bad luck!

    Thanks for dropping a comment!

    ~ Joan

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  4. Linda, hi,

    How wonderful that you are an optimistic person. My mom is optimistic too. She's fun to be around because of that. I'm betting you probably have lots of friends like she does. Because who isn't drawn to a happy, upbeat person?

    So fun that your daughter "lucked" out on her first four-leaf-clover hunt. I smiled over this story. I believe in the power of positive thinking too. Especially when it's combined with taking some kind of action toward a goal.

    Have a lovely March 1st!

    ~ Joan

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  5. Love what you say about that positive energy, Joan...so true.

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