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)