Luck O’ The Irish, by Deb Eve

brownwaite_small “Are you Irish?” a friend asked me about a week ago when we were talking about St. Patrick’s Day. “Yes,” I answered automatically. And then my brain caught up with my mouth. “Uh, no, I guess I’m not Irish. Nope, not Irish at all,” I had to admit. But it really took me a minute to figure that out.

The truth is, I feel Irish. I mean, I ought to be Irish. My husband is Irish on three sides which makes our children Irish. So, in a way doesn’t that also make me Irish? When St. John and I got married, we went to Ireland on our honeymoon, visited dear old family friends who are Irish-Irish (as in LIVE in Ireland). My son is named for my mother’s dearly departed best friend – who was born and raised, and is now buried, in Ireland. And as if that weren’t enough, St. John and I met – at our soon-to-be-famous Peace Corps interview – on St. Patrick’s Day! Now if all of that don’t make me Irish, what does?

How about this: I’m really lucky. Isn’t that what Luck O’ The Irish is all about? I don’t know if the Irish are particularly lucky (those who had to endure the potato famine and the “Troubles” may not feel so lucky), but that’s the Irish stereotype. Or maybe that just refers to leprechauns. (But I might just be short enough – and Irish enough – to pass myself off as a leprechaun.)

We’ve been blogging all week about luck. Others have said, and I certainly agree, that whether your luck is good or bad, may have less to do with what actually happens to you and more to do with how you look at it. I have certainly had my share of bad situations in my life – being molested as a teenager, getting malaria, having to be medically evacuated from Ecuador because I thought I was going crazy, being held hostage at gunpoint in my own home – are easily among those things that most people would consider bad. And yet, as I wrote in an earlier version of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA, “I have always considered myself a lucky person. And in the luckiest moment of my life, I met John.” (As I recall, that part didn’t make it into the final version of the book. But so much other good stuff did, that you won’t miss it. I promise!)

There was a time when I wondered how could I not only write that – but truly feel that – in light of what I know I’ve been through. But I do consider myself lucky. Sure I could think I’m lucky simply because I survived all of that. But I think I’m lucky because some of the worst stuff that happened to me gave me the most valuable and useful lessons. And now I get to write about it, talk about it and use it in my life. How lucky is that?

So what about you? Somehow, I don’t think I’m alone in this. What’s your bad luck story that ended up being good?

Cead mille failte!
~Deb Eve

10 Replies to “Luck O’ The Irish, by Deb Eve”

  1. Hello Eve!

    I’d blogged about my seemingly bad luck that turned out to be good…but I certainly could have blogged about being lucky in love as well. I met my wonderful husband when I was quite young, which saved me from years of dating the wrong guys!

  2. Oh this is a great topic! First of all, I wonder if most of my major life events haven’t been bad things that have somehow turned into the “best things that ever happened to me”! And secondly, I think the whole idea of bad happenstance turning to good is one of the big hallmarks of a great storytelling. Even the concept of “poetic justice” can be tied into that, especially if you use the term “good” in its broadest sense, as in “good” for the evolution of the soul of your character. Or of yourself for that matter. 🙂

  3. Oh boy…what a day for this topic…oh Eve, the Irish thing….you know I was Irish in some former lives…and you were too. I think you were my mother in one of them. I have a thing for Ireland too…do you think this is genetic???

    Anyway…luck…today I came into the office and everyone was glum…glum…glum…and it is the first day of spring…but we just got the news of the new “budget” cuts our governor proposed yesterday, and it appears state employees are facing a cut of at least 10% overall…to help deal with the huge shortfall and prevent layoffs. So in a sense everyone will share in the “belt tightening” and not just a few. Seems fair to me.

    So I am not glum…why..’cause I am lucky to have a job. And frankly, it will not effect me that much…but some of my co-workers are ready to put their houses up for sale…and all sorts of dire predictions are being made. Hey…10%…I think you can save that by being more careful in your daily spending choices…and many small adjustments without putting your house up for sale…anyway, who would buy now, and where would you go???

    But because I am not glum…and feel so lucky, I will just stay in my office and smile behind closed doors.

  4. Why do people always want to be Irish? I don’t get it. But maybe you did get some of their famous luck. Are you fond of Guinness and betting?

  5. I don’t know why anyone else would want to be Irish. But for me, it’s probably because of all the wonderful people in my life who are Irish, my love for that exquisite country and YES, I am very fond of Guinness, not to mention woody old Irish pubs with snugs and curtains on the window to “fool” the local constables after last call. So thanks for your vote, Eileen!

    And it seems obvious from this conversation – and much of the rest of the week’s – Irish or not, many of us are able to see our good luck even in the face of what might otherwise be called “bad.” So good for us!

  6. Myself, I’ve always wanted to be Italian, because the language and the country are so beautiful. I took four semesters of Italian in college and traveled there in 2000, but so far as I know, I have not a bit of Italian heritage.

    I’m Polish-German-English-Misc.

  7. Ireland… I love Ireland!

    I would say my “bad luck” has had something to do with obstacles I faced on the road to publication. I truly believe that a lot of what I dealt with changed not only my attitude about publishing, but also my attitude toward life–in that you can’t wait on specific achievements or dates or any of that to make you content. You have to enjoy every day for exactly what it is–in my case, I would be hard-pressed not to call myself lucky.

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