TGIF the 13th! Wait, skip the G. Friday is Friday, whether the 13th or the 4th or any other -th, -nd or -st.
Being superstitious doesn’t make sense, but that doesn’t stop people from being superstitious. I have found myself changing the date on a cover letter when submitting a story or applying for work, changing it from the 13th to the 12th or 14th. And I’ve asked myself, “What the hell am I doing? I don’t believe in that crap!” But I realized that my subconscious was aware that the person reading my submission/application might be superstitious and factor that date into their evaluation of my merits. Nuts.
As a non-superstitious person, I might be inclined to say “luck schmuck”. And yet I do believe in luck, in the sense of, “Ah, what a lucky so and so I am!” Indeed, I would say I am much luckier than most people. What makes me say I’m so lucky? Am I rich, beautiful, powerful? None of those things. But I am lucky enough to be ever mindful of the many ways in which I am, in fact, lucky. Not everyone has that going for them. Understanding how extremely fortunate I am makes my worst days endurable and other days considerably better. I am not one of the billions of people without clean water to drink or good food to eat. I have had health problems that you have probably never had to deal with, but even before and after surgeries I have been acutely conscious of the countless maladies that have not befallen me, and equally appreciative of the fact that not only was I getting the surgery (which more than once saved me from what I’m told would have been a slow and painful death), but that I was getting the best health care anyone could hope for, and without having to pay for it at the door to the operating room. (In other countries, do surgeons expect a tip?)
I had a fantastic holiday. What happened? On the 25th I lost my cell phone at a gas station, on the 30th my computer had an incapacitating stroke, and driving back from New Brunswick a couple of days ago I was co-pilot in a car that went spinning out of control on a dark, snowy highway. Am I joking when I say my holiday was fantastic? Not at all. The day after I lost my phone, someone gave me a better one (for Christmas he had been given an upgrade). My computer is being repaired under warranty. The car got a bruise and I got… another reminder of how lucky I am.
So I start 2012 restored to factory defaults. My cell phone has no extraneous contact numbers stored in it (if I don’t call you, it’s because I left your number in a heap of dirty snow somewhere near Montreal). My computer – when I get it back in a couple of weeks – will have no obsolete files, no unwanted programs, no stroke-inducing viruses. Sure the crap will accumulate again, but the reboot is refreshing, not discouraging.
Earlier today I saw a cloud, and I looked really closely at it. I discovered the reason it wasn’t raining on me was that it was lined with silver. So I smelted off the silver and traded it for a raincoat (because without the lining the cloud leaked, naturally).
Some may say luck is, by definition, beyond your control. I am telling you, good fortune is all around you, if you let yourself see it.