July 6, 2016

I Should Be So Lucky




Sitting at a cafe, enjoying the cool air and warm sun, a bird pooped on my head. It was sloppy and disgusting and fortunately my companion had a similar story to tell while we sat there ignoring it. Getting pooped on (by a bird) is said to bring good luck because the odds of it happening are less than stepping in it but equal to the odds of sitting across from someone with the same story when it happens. Two days later and it happened again. Boy did I feel lucky.

So how was I not prepared for the second coming when I had been hammered so well by the first? Am I being followed? Preparation is my thing and I’m very rigid about it. Thirsty? Screaming child? Open wound? I carry remedies for all of those things. The truth is I haven’t got the mental stuff to get me through something I don’t see coming. I realised this the day we landed in Switzerland. Dreams do not prepare you for reality. No one yodels.

“Be prepared.” This is the motto they teach in Brownies. Knitting tea cosys, selling cookies and building a firelook out world, I'm ready. Being prepared is about fortifying yourself for the worst, carrying an umbrella when it's sunny. It cuts down on worry, and I’m a big advocate for that but, as I look around me  I've also noticed it's a good recipe of cowardice. It can reduce our ability to adapt to sudden change, dull our decision-making skills, and create mistrust out of just fear.

“Be ready.” This is Chris Hatfield’s approach. In An Astronaut's Guide to Life he advocates using spare time and energy to focus on things that come in handy when opportunities arise, improving your ability to grab them. Oprah Winfrey believes "luck is preparation meeting opportunity." For me, luck is something that passes on the things I wish for and shows up for the things I need.  

So, with two helpings of poop in my hair, I’m ready, prepared and apparently very lucky. I have a coupon for a hair cut I fortuitously purchased a month ago. I’m armed with a picture of the cut I want, so she’s not winging it  (a lesson I’ll never forget). And maybe, on my way home I won't get dumped on like last week. I should be so lucky.

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