You know, when I think of luck, I think of Lindsay Lohan.
A few years ago, Lindsay was in a movie called Just My Luck. You probably didn’t see it, and I can’t say I’d put it on your bucket list (though I am fairly fond of the cheerful, pop soundtrack, done entirely by a band called McFly), but the premise was really interesting.
Lindsay Lohan played Ashley, a girl who is ridiculously lucky in life until she happens to kiss a tremendously unlucky guy and voila, their luck factors swap. Soon she’s down and out and he’s living the perfect life. Having been lucky her entire life, she’s completely at a loss for how to deal with a string of ridiculously bad luck, and hilarity (or at least mild amusement) ensues.
I’m not a big believer in luck, but it does strike me in my own life that for many, many years life was very tough for me. And by tough I mean almost exclusively filled with first-world problems, but certainly with their own fair share of tears and drama.
And then life wasn’t so tough anymore.
It wasn’t because I kissed the right guy at a costume party. It was because I had a good, hard look at my life, at the terrible choices I’d made and all the stupid things I’d done, and I decided I needed to change. It was long and slow, and I owed a lot of people a lot of apologies, and had a lot of decisions to make, but it did change. So when good things happen to me, I do consider myself lucky, but I invariably remember times when I was not so lucky, and that those days were largely of my own doing.
What do you think? Do we make our own luck, or are some people just naturally lucky?
And while we’re at it, would you say Lindsay Lohan is tremendously lucky, or tremendously unlucky?
15 Replies to “Deb Eleanor on Luck and Lindsay Lohan”
I think luck resides n a sliding scale. First world – third world luck can vary greatly, of course. But finding someone to love knows no economic restrictions. Having a full belly is fine, whether full of a simple bread or lobster and truffles. We put labels on luck – and undoing those labels and can bring in a whole lot more “luck.”
Lindsay Lohan? Terribly unlucky – all the money in the world can’t erase angst, drama, lack of freedom and self-control she lives with every day.
That said, I still smile when I see a penny on the ground and I sure do pick it up!
Sliding scale of luck – love it! But you’re totally right – what we consider good fortune definitely varies depending on where we are in life.
I’m the same way about pennies, though I think it’s more of a ‘cover your bases’ kind of thing.
I believe that, on a certain level, you make your own good luck, in the sense that you make decisions or see opportunities and aren’t afraid to follow. Of course, you can’t prevent the “acts of god” types of bad luck (if you are in the way of the tsunami, your number is upa nd you are not responsible…). For me it’s always just a bit of a chicken and egg situation: do I have good luck because I believe I will, or bad luck because that’s what I anticipate? I’m the first kind of person and stuff pretty much works out positively for me; my husband is a pessimist and, sure ’nuff, stuff always seem to go wrong for him. (Of course, I am a bit new age-y and he’s not, so I definitely think there’s an ability to direct your own world to a certain extent. But that’s me…)
That’s really interesting. I think the other end of the equation is how we react when things do go wrong – if we anticipate good luck, we’re likely to focus on our suspicions are confirmed, and if we anticipate bad luck, when something bad happens, we’ll say, “Well, there you go! Proof!”
I think I’m similar to you, but I wasn’t always that way, as I mentioned. I think like Elise said, we can control some things, so we might as well control those.
I can’t stand reading things about train wrecks either – all this Charlie Sheen stuff has passed me by because I was in a hotel a few weeks ago and had to turn off the tv because I was so embarrassed for him. Awful. Can’t stand to watch people self-destruct before our very eyes and call it entertainment.
It hit me later that I was perhaps a bit harsh on Lindsey Lohan. Then I thought about it some more and thought, no, darn it, we ALL have demons that we are wrestling with. Most of us struggle on without all of the resources (read: money, opportunity, access) which would help us battle them fast and better. To squander it all the way she does…no, I would *not* call her unlucky, I would call her (or Charlie Sheen or Amy Winehouse — “…they want me to go to rehab, I said, no, no, no”) foolish, or immature, or selfish or tragic. “Luck” has sort of the undertone of “things just happen to me”, and I find it hard to say that someone who repeatedly sets themself up for disaster is “unlucky” in the way the tsunami victims were unlucky…
Maybe luck is the ability to recognize opportunities, whether it is to, as you did (and as Lindsey Lohan needs to), recognize that things are not working and DO SOMETHING about it. If the definition of luck is to look in the mirror and recognize that you have become a trainwreck, then yes, these folks are unlucky.
What an interesting definition of luck – recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities – I’m becoming stronger in my own definition of luck as I read these comments.
There are people who might argue that Lindsay Lohan is a victim of the way she was raised, and she’s just had the misfortune to be struggling through the (extra, in her case) complex transition to adulthood in a very public space with too much money and too many people around her who depend on her for their living so they are unwilling to speak out. It’s very, very sad, but I also agree that there’s a point at which we become responsible for our demons and need to find our own way out, no matter how we got there.
And you’re right, a tragedy like the one in Japan very much reminds us of our priorities!
Oh, yeah: Lindsey Lohan?? I avoid reading stuff about people like this. Human train wrecks, why do we always rubberneck. Just goes to show all the money and fame and beauty in the world doesn’t make it better. What a lesson for life…
Lindsay Lohan was actually in one of my Barbie movies, of all things. When she was a sweet young thing. pre-train wreck but post Freaky Friday, she was in My Scene Goes Hollywood, playing herself. I didn’t get to meet her, but from all accounts she was sweet and lovely. While my heart doesn’t bleed for her the way it bleeds for, say, the tsunami victim who had her daughter ripped out of her arms by the hideous current, I do have sympathy for people struggling with their demons, especially if they’re only hurting themselves and not others in the process.
As for luck, yes — when we follow Joseph Campbell and follow our bliss to the proper path, “lucky” things tend to result.
I, for one, am very lucky I will get to see you in Los Angeles. I will bring ice in case your hand cramps from signing so many books.
Agreed – this goes to Kim’s comment about about a sliding scale of luck. I look at the number of child stars we have who go into meltdown and it’s horribly, horribly sad, but yes, in comparison to a tsunami victim, I can’t feel too bad. Perspective.
No, I am lucky to see YOU! Can’t wait!
I totally believe in luck, same as believing in signs. I think if you see it coming, you better do some work to make sure it doesn’t pass you by. I feel very lucky that I just got another job since I am losing the one I am in now. feel lucky for the people in my life who are so supportive and make me laugh.
I do think Lindsay is very unlucky
Now see, that’s an interesting idea – taking advantage of luck. If all we’re doing is taking advantage of opportunities, is that luck, or just good planning? This is exactly the kind of thing that makes it difficult for me to decide if I believe in luck.
THRILLED to hear about your job – I’ve been thinking of your situation and hoping it will all be for the best long-term, hard as it may be right now.
What is luck, really? Sure I have little superstitions (just in case) yet early in life I learned that by taking responsibility for my choices, being a creative problem-solver, and appreciating the present all created fortunate feelings. It worked then and still works now.
As for Lindsay and Charlie, it’s doubtful they even know who they are. (sigh)
Yes, I don’t think I could give up my superstitions either! I’m not sure what luck is, or where it comes from, but I love your attitude.
I can’t watch…it’s too sad. Somehow ended up yesterday reading about rock stars who died of drug overdoses, and it was just miserable. So easy to get lost, so hard to find our way back!
What’s truly sad is that Lindsay and Charlie are being considered “newsworthy.”
What a great perspective! I agree with you that the perception of “luck” is more about attitude than anything else.
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