Monday, July 9, 2007

Luck o' the Whatever

It's really too bad that I'm not Irish, because I seem to have their luck. So far as I know, on my mom's side I'm French and possibly British - my mom's maiden name is Darcey which we think comes from a town in France called D'arcey. I couldn't have kept the apostrophe in my daughter's name, though, because it wouldn't have come across as French and sophisticated, it would have come off as Utahn and hick-ish.

On my dad's side we are American, American, and American - from the genealogy I've seen of his family, the Mudgetts have been around since like the 1600's, which would make us seem like a blue-blood, WASPish, upper class, snooty Mayflower descendants, except that really we are the offspring of Connecticut farmers. Frankly, I think I like the Connecticut farmers better than the Kennedy's anyhow.

But I ought to be Irish. My dad thinks I'm the luckiest person he knows. Not lucky in the take-on-Las-Vegas kind of way, and I don't invest in lottery tickets, but in that good things happen to me that don't seem to happen to other people.

For example, when Ryan and I took the kids to Hersheypark two years ago, we stopped at a McDonald's for dinner. Wouldn't you know that after we had placed our order, the cash register stopped taking credit cards, which naturally was the only form of payment I had on me. The worker gave us our meals for free. They fixed the problem within like 2 minutes, and the people after us had to pay. That's pretty lucky timing.

Some other lucky things that have happened to me: I found a $20 in my office's parking lot when I worked for G.E. I turned the money into the office manager, but no one claimed it so I got to keep it. I won a door prize at a scrapbooking expo, and another at a chocolate expo. I won a large pizza at the Taste of the Valley for answering a trivia question right, which didn't actually feel all that lucky because of how stuffed we were. I won a t-shirt and a hat when I tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, when the radio people covering the tryouts chose me out of the hundreds that were there to answer some trivia questions. (The only one I remember was something about the statue in Hans Christian Anderson's hometown - it's the Little Mermaid.)

What is luck all about? Why are some people lucky and others aren't? I watched an episode of 20/20 that discussed this topic, and the consensus was that luck is a combination of being prepared (i.e. right place, right time) and having a good attitude. I've always thought that people who think they are lucky end up being luckier, but it could very well be that because they think they are lucky they are on the lookout for lucky things to happen, or to call things that happen "lucky" instead of just accepting them.

Ryan has a small beef with the word "lucky." There are some things that one person could consider mere luck, while a different person would consider them a blessing from God. The $20 I found was lucky, but if I had no gas in my car and had spent my remaining money on tithing instead, the $20 would have been a huge blessing! As it was just lucky money, I'm sure I blew it on a meal at Taco Bell.

The latest incident of luckiness is definitely more of a blessing instead. Darcey last night slept for 8 hours straight. From 10:30 until 6:30, with nary a peep in between. This is an amazing feat, especially for one of my children, as the previous three did not sleep 8 hours straight until I had to do the cry-it-out torture sessions, at around 7 months. So Darcey's actions are absolutely astounding to me, and since it was quite unlikely that the fourth child would be so different from the first three, I wanted to call this lucky. But Ryan's right about this one - it is nothing but a blessing from God. I've never felt so good after having a baby, due mainly to the fact that I'm getting enough sleep. I've also never found it so hard to keep up with so many kids - four is throwing me for a serious loop and if I wasn't sleeping well I would have gone off the deep end weeks ago.

So whether it's the luck o' the whatever I am, a mere coincidence, or a blessing, I am so appreciative of my good night's sleep. I'm going to keep a lookout for other lucky things that happen, too, because I want to generate more good fortune for my family. I wonder if the same theory works on parenting - if I think I'm a good parent, will I end up being one? If I think I'm patient, or say that I am, will I generate patience? If I say that I've got the best, easiest kids in the world, will they in fact be better and easier? I'm thinking yes, or at least I'll start looking at the whole situation differently if I'm expecting patience, good parenting, and easy kids. Hmmm, maybe I'll give some positive self-talk a try. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky!

Mock of the Day

I marry you because everything reminds me of you.
Yep, everything. Remember the poop in the bathtub? Reminds me of you. Horrible traffic jam? You. Root canal? You guessed it.

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