I have a big problem with people that blame things on ‘bad luck.’  These same people often attribute other people with being lucky.  And it’s something I actually find quite offensive, because it implies that my opportunities had nothing to do with me, and that it was pretty much handed to me on a plate.  It implies that my life is blessed and that I have had no struggles.  It implies that you think it’s unfair that I have something that you don’t.

I have encountered various people in my life who have called me lucky for different reasons and each time it irks me.

I’m not lucky.

I'm not lucky

 

You are so lucky to have got a place at University.

Am I?  Is it down to luck that I got the grades I needed to get in?  Could it maybe because I spent hours and hours studying?  Could it be because when you were smoking cigarettes with the boys, I was in the library studying, because I knew it was the only way I was going to get the course I wanted?  

Could it possibly be because my parents bought me text books for Christmas, as I had a flaky lecturer who when she bothered to turn up, never had a lesson plan, so I basically taught myself the syllabus?  Could it be because I wrote tons of index cards full of facts and figures and made my boyfriend test me on them over and over again?

Could it be because I covered my mums house with post it notes with quotes and dates everywhere I went?  Could it be because in desperation I recorded myself reading my notes and listened to them when I fell asleep?  Could it be because I worked incredibly hard to achieve the grades I did?  

Or was it just that I got lucky?

 

You are so lucky to be able to afford to go on Holiday.

Yes I am aren’t I.  I am so lucky that this money just fell into my lap.  It has nothing to do with the fact that my husband and I planned and saved for this holiday.  It has nothing to do with the fact that we worked long and hard hours to get promotions.  It has nothing to do with the hours we spent searching for the best deal.  

It has nothing to do with the nights out we turned down and the takeaways we didn’t buy so we could save our money.  It has nothing to do with me getting a bonus from my job for my hard work.  

Nope.  Nothing to do with any of that.  I’m just lucky.

 

You are so lucky to be married.

I’m going to assume this person wasn’t being a complete arse and suggesting I was lucky to get a guy in the first place, let alone one who would want to marry me!  From the conversation we were having this person was implying that I was lucky my relationship was working.  She was going through a break up so I can forgive her for feeling slightly jaded, but over the years I have had several “luck” comments about my marriage.  

I am in a happy relationship.  I have a husband who would do anything for me and supports all of my hopes and dreams.  But it’s not down to luck that I have that.  Any relationship takes hard work, compromise and a certain amount of tongue biting.  There are highs and there are lows.  No one relationship is prefect and couples that say they never argue are lying!  Being married for 12 years is not down to luck.  I like to think we participated more than leaving to ‘chance’.

 

You are so lucky to have a good sleeper.

Maybe I am.  Maybe it’s down to my child.  Maybe it’s down to the bedtime routine and sleep training we did.  My child sleeps, and maybe it is luck of the draw.  But whilst my child may sleep, we have has 18 months of agonising worry over his speech delay.  I have lost so much sleep over this whilst he snored away!  

So whilst your child was keeping you up, my worries and tears were keeping me up.  So forgive me if I don’t feel ‘lucky’.  I get that it’s hard when a child doesn’t sleep, but if I were to say to you “oh bad luck, better luck for the next one” it somewhat trivialises your problems doesn’t it?  So lets not label any parenting wins or loses with good luck and bad luck.  It’s just life, lets roll with the punches and celebrate our victories together.   

 

I’m not an overly superstitious person.  I believe in good luck and bad luck to a certain extent. I broke a mirror once.  It didn’t bring me seven years bad luck, just a lot of mess to clear up. Surviving an air plane crash is lucky.  Winning the lottery is lucky.  Although I can’t complain because you’ve got to be in it to win it, and I’m not.    I think I would be lucky if I could be a size 10 and eat cake everyday without having to exercise.  

I consider myself extremely lucky to have conceived both my children relatively quickly where so many people struggle.  I consider myself lucky that I had two fairly straight forward births and that we all lived to tell the tale.  I consider myself lucky that my family have good health. But nothing in life is just handed to us.  People work damn hard for what they want, and to say they are ‘lucky’ diminishes their achievements.

The next time you call someone lucky, think twice about what you are really saying.  is it really down to luck?

 

 

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4 Comments on I’m Not Lucky

  1. I totally hear what you’re saying here. I really don’t like when people talk about being blessed. On the one hand, I understand the sentiment. Sometimes we really do feel richly “blessed”. On the other hand, this minimizes others who may not be in the same situation. It’s like saying I’m “favored” and the person without a home isn’t. Or I’m favored because my IFV treatment worked the first time and the lady I worked with never was successful with it so she was not as “favored”. There’s something about that that doesn’t sit right with me. Great blog, by the way! 🙂

  2. I think your comment above pretty much reflects my feelings on luck. Life does give us a lot of oppotunities and a lot of trials this can be viewed as good luck and bad luck, but it really is down to the effort you put in to making something work. So yes you might be lucky to have been born at a time when a university education didnt cost the earth but you worked for that place and earnt your degree. You were lucky to meet the man you married but you put the effort in to develop your relationship.

  3. Hmm – I’m divided here. I do see what you are saying – and you say it very well 🙂 But I absolutely do think some things have an element of luck. Like, now I am writing for my job. It’s a dream come true. And though I have worked very hard on it – like writing a website article when my second baby was THREE WEEKS OLD (What was I thinking?!), I’m still really lucky that we could afford for me to be a SAHM for a few years, because if I’d gone back to my old job, I would no way have had the time or energy to write as well.

    Also, with relationships, don’t you think you’re lucky that you met a decent man? And that he didn’t change when you had kids, or shirk his responsibilities? And don’t you think you’re lucky that your mum brought you up to respect yourself enough to know you deserve to be in a good relationship and equal partnership? I think when people say it’s all down to good choices and hard work, it accidentally victim blames those in bad or abusive relationships. Like they just didn’t work hard enough, or weren’t smart enough. Do you know what I mean?!

    But I agree with lots of what you are saying – about saving for holidays and working hard and university. I think we sometimes talk about luck as a way of playing down our own hard work – typically British – so it’s good to acknowledge that a lot of where we are is down to the choices we made and the work we undertook!

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