Lately I have thought I possess the luck of the Irish. That is, the luck of the Irish who were left behind during the Great Potato Famine.
First I woke up on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago to a black computer screen that said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “You’re screwed. No more files for you!” I was standing outside the local Best Buy when it opened at 10 am, cradling the CPU in my arms like a vulgar 21st century Pietà. The tech geek on duty confirmed it. “I can fix it for X hundred dollars,” he said. “But or X + $100, you can get a whole new computer.”
So a workweek was lost as I tried to recover files onto the new computer (thankfully I’d been regularly backing up my work to the cloud using Mozy.com, and I think you should do that immediately too) and get everything configured back to how it was before so I could get back to work. Even with the backup, I lost all my addresses and contacts, not to mention all the emails in my inbox. (“So THAT’S why she’s not writing me back!” you should all be thinking. It’s mostly true.)
Back to work I eventually got, in time to receive 1-2-3 count ‘em three rejections from publishing opportunities I’d really been excited about, sure that I’d found the right home for the pieces in question. That’s a typical day in the life of a writer – in fact, a healthy sign that you’re sending your work out there into the world like you’re supposed to – but the trifecta timing was vexing.
And finally the Check Engine light came on in the car and the mechanic uttered those words you never want to hear: “I’m not gonna say we can’t fix this. Just that we haven’t really seen this problem before.”
That’s the thing about luck. You can’t choose when it will find you.
But just as I was ready to bed down in my joyous misery, my sheer absence of luck worn like a mantle around my shoulders and a crown upon my head, a young woman in my extended family became suddenly and seriously ill. Then the same thing happened to a close friend’s mother. I interviewed a prominent businesswoman for a story I’m writing, and within minutes found myself in worried discussion with her about her elderly mother’s inoperable lung cancer.
If I were in control of my good luck, I would tell it to skedaddle; I don’t need my allotment right now. I want to ask the Universe to take mine and wrap it around to those three women, and borrow some luck from other people who can spare it, too. Have that luck uncover a cure, mobilize dormant antibodies, give the doctor a brilliant idea from out of the blue. I can take another rejection, pay a mechanic, reinstall the Adobe Flash plug-in indefinitely, if a person who really needs it gets another chance.
Me? I’m fine with a three leaf clover for now.
And some JoBoxers, circa 1982…