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what the duck is luck?

Hedge Alert.

We thought we were just going to write about luck and being lucky and whether we believe in luck, but along the way, it got away from us. This topic is so big, has so many angles, it’s just too much to tackle in one blog post. We need a part 2. And maybe 3, and maybe even 4. And maybe a book. But for now, here we go.


2008.

The co-op preschool. A school where nurturing teachers encouraged the kids’ curiosity and development without a focus on traditional academic benchmarks (gulp). A school where our kids learned to play with others like nobody’s business. A school that provided a fun environment while at the same time the owner provided Skittles to our little ones at 8:45 am. A school that B & C happily skipped into each morning (B & C: our now 15-year old boys who you met in last week’s post).


This is where they met.

This is where we met.


We weren’t friends.

We weren’t not friends.

We were friendly.


Laura worked as an attorney in NYC. Angie worked locally doing freelance design.


Laura thinks we both landed at the co-op because we were attracted to the engaging staff and inclusive atmosphere. Angie thinks we were lucky.


2009-2016.

The years go by. Our kids go to day camp together and eventually first grade together and we remain friendly. Angie opens The Bar Method (a boutique fitness studio) and Laura continues to commute several days a week to NYC. We have kids to raise and dogs to adopt and lessons to learn. We have high school graduations to cry through and baseball games to attend and more lessons to learn. We have life to navigate, so we navigate.


2017.

Hallelujah, the preschool years are long gone. We are no longer ‘working’ yet are still busy-ish. Oh, and then Angie tears her ACL, which is awesome since she loves transitions and change and because she’s so good at sitting still.


Laura visits her and brings lunch along with the best gift ever for someone who is laid up - dry shampoo. Laura recognizes Angie’s boredom and general malaise and visits her again, this time with a bottle of something stronger. They talk movies, books, kids, sports and local politics. And then, unexpectedly, they find themselves becoming more friends than friendly.


Hmmm. Lucky?


Angie would say yes, she believes in luck (or so she thought).

Laura would say no, she doesn’t believe in luck (or so she thought).


2018.

A: how annoying

A: that megan and liz and lauren and michelle

A: told you your hair looks great right after a workout

A: bc i know it’s been 11 days

A: since you’ve washed your hair

L: hahaha

L: you know it’s my thing

A: i do

A: and the irritating part

A: is that your hair still looks good

A: really good

A: 11 days later

A: ur so lucky

L: um

L: u really think i’m lucky bc my hair is thick?

L: and barely needs to be washed?

L: bc the funny part is that growing up i always hated my hair

L: all i wanted was a straight brown bob

L: and now my thick frizzy red hair is lucky?

A: yep

A: so lucky

A: i think lots of things are lucky

A: your hair included

A: i just always love the concept

A: of being lucky

A: of feeling like i’m going to get lucky

A: maybe i’m misusing the word

A: but i don’t care

A: i’m sticking with it

L: ok ok

L: i get it

L: i just don’t really believe in luck

L: in general

L: i mean except for roulette

L: or that card game war

L: or winning the lottery

L: or other things like that

L: but not most things

L: i was raised on u make your own luck

L: and i’m sticking with that

A: ok ok

A: next time you need some luck

A: but u don’t have any

A: bc u don’t believe in it

A: you can borrow some of mine


The concepts of luck and being lucky are complex, yet we use those words all the time. Overuse them, in fact. What do we mean when we say someone is lucky? Do we mean that luck is our own doing or that we’re dealt a good hand? Do we mean if we make good choices, luck is like karma, you get what you give? Do we mean the harder you work, the luckier you get? Do we mean if you live your life like you’re lucky, you’ll be lucky?


And what do we mean when we cavalierly throw around expressions like ‘good luck’? It feels like we all, the entire universe of people, just made one big agreement that the phrase ‘good luck’ is acceptable whether the actual meaning rings true or not. It means so many different things and none are actually wishing someone luck. Most times we probably mean to say go get ‘em or i’m thinking of you or it’s going to be okay. Good luck is just the accepted shorthand phrase.


We’re all over the place here, but we know one thing for sure - it’s complicated. So, we decided to do some research (yes, it’s as fun as it sounds), and we asked a bunch of people if they consider themselves lucky and whether they believe in luck. Some said they feel blessed, others said they believe in karma, some called themselves fortunate, and others admitted that while they feel lucky, they didn’t like it when others told them they were lucky. You guys got us thinking.


While out walking our pups yesterday, something resembling this conversation happened.

L: so i just had lunch with amanda m

L: and i asked her if she thought she was lucky

L: since i’m obsessed with luck now

A: so what’d she say?

L: she feels lucky

L: she believes in luck

L: bc she’s grateful for what she has

L: but she also believes in hard work

L: bc most things don’t just come to you

A: omg

A: i feel the same way

A: i totally believe in luck

A: always have

A: but now i’m not so sure

A: bc here’s the rub, i don’t like other people to call me lucky

A: people used to say that all the time to jen and me

A: that we got lucky with the bar method

A: and it drove us crazy

A: bc it didn’t just happen

A: it wasn’t just dumb luck

A: even though i know no one ever meant anything bad by it

L: i get that

L: but i know what you mean

L: it’s as if you didn’t work your ass off to make bar what it is

L: like it just fell in your lap

L: but you notice the irony here right?

L: miss lucky doesn’t like to be called lucky

L: i mean, how funny is that?

L: it’s kinda like the ‘i can talk smack about my mother but don’t you say a bad word about her’ phenomenon


Ran into some people while walking, discussed the concept of luck, came back to something resembling this.

A: funny how none of those girls could even decide whether they believe in luck

A: so why do you think you don’t believe in luck?

L: truthfully?

L: i think it’s about control

L: u know i live by control the controllables

L: and maybe if i believe that i have to rely on luck

L: it feels like i have no control

L: and who wouldn’t want to be in control?

A: i guess someone who likes to control things :)

L: haha

L: but of course some things are out of our control

L: and i guess those things could be called luck

A: wait, did i send you arianna huffington’s mantra?

A: bc i love it

L: oooh what’s that?

A: every day she says to herself - live life like everything is rigged in your favor

A: has an element of luck to it

A: but also hard work

A: guess she’s on to something

L: haha, guess so


Post-walk text string.

A: this luck shit is crazy

A: can’t stop thinking about it

A: there are so many meanings mixed up in this one little word

L: holy shit angie

L: i think we are all just one big, fat contradiction

A: omg

A: we are

A: wait, did you just call me fat?


When we really drill down and do our best to tie this all together, we come to this. We think luck might just be a little bit of everything. That sometimes it means we just got handed something we didn’t necessarily deserve and sometimes it means we worked our asses off. That sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time and sometimes it’s about believing anything is possible. That maybe it’s so damn confusing because believing in luck and feeling like a lucky person are related, but not related at all.


2019.

A: ok, so pick me up in 5?

L: yep

A: don’t be late

A: i hate when you’re late

L: really?

L: i didn’t know

L: i couldn’t tell that bothered you

A: haha

A: but seriously

A: parking will take forever

L: fine

L: but i should prob tell u something

L: just so u don’t worry about being late

L: we’ll get a spot

L: we won’t need extra time to park

A: who are u?

A: and what did u do with laura?

L: haha

L: you’ll see

L: i’ll get a spot

L: right in front of starbucks

L: and then u can apologize

L: for not having any faith

L: in my parking powers

A: faith?

A: parking powers?

A: not sure who this is

A: but u should tell laura

A: that someone stole her phone

A: bc she’s sounding like someone who believes in luck



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