Last week, I attended a fund-raising reception where I work. I was there, really, to show my support, but I kicked in $45 for some raffle tickets. I had a lovely glass of pinot noir, some stuffed mushrooms and smoked salmon and a couple of rewarding conversations, but I didn’t win anything. The colleague who purchased his ticket just after me won the iPad, but bully for him.
I don’t win things. I don’t win Oprah’s give-aways, I don’t even win the Women’s Health Magazine daily online drawings that I continue to enter every day just because sometimes they do have really great stuff. I won’t win the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes – I entered maybe a dozen times, not the allowed two entries per day like the woman who works just across the hall from me. More entries wouldn’t have changed the outcome.
I used to think that my inability to win raffles, drawings and poker games was a sign that I’m not lucky. But at some point, I realized that I was thinking about luck the wrong way.
I could win a case of wine, or I could be hired for a job that allows me to be able to buy a house at a time when the market is down, the house I want has been on the market for six months, and the 30-year interest rate is 5 percent. Luck is missing out on a $3,000 gift card in the Vermont Public Radio pledge drive but getting enough back on your taxes that you can suddenly afford the new Mac laptop you want to replace your 5-year-old desktop model.
Luck is having a door open when you most need to get through it. Luck is picking the right path, so that as you move along it, the obstacles fall away.
I figure that if I won that dream home, I’d take the cash instead of the house, sell the Denali and pocket the other $500 grand in cash. That way I could pay the taxes and have plenty of money – invested wisely – to retire. But if lightning doesn’t strike, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on and be grateful for the real luck that comes my way.