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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Believe in Good Luck

I'm not  a  good luck fanatic, but I do believe there is some credence to good luck. I don't rub a rabbit's foot, blow on dice before rolling them or have one special lucky number, but I still believe sometimes we are lucky. I wrote this blog for my very Irish BFF, Mary Pat O'Toole. I have spent many St. Paddy's days with her, traveled to Ireland with her and have enjoyed her friendship for over 20 years.  

About a year ago we were playing Keno at a local establishment. We had gone in on a ticket together and selected our numbers accordingly.  We were down to one last number and had two favorites from which to choose. I liked the number 17 because it was my mother's favorite number, the date in which she was buried and my parents anniversary date....ok, and it was Brian Sipes number, too...and he was kinda dreamy back in the 80's.  Mary Pat also liked 17 because that was a birthdate of one of her parents and of course it is the date of St. Paddy's day, her favorite holiday!  We both liked the number 14 due to additional significant dates in our parents' lives. Though I was leaning heavily towards 17, I let my lucky Irish friend pick and she chose 14. Well, 17 would have  gotten us $1000. We settled for the $100 payoff which was basically enough to pay our tab and I reminded her of this not-so-lucky encounter for several weeks. 

Years earlier when  Mary Pat & I  were in Ireland a bird pooped on my new Irish sweater. Given the deposit size I was certain it was a  pterodactyl   that flew over me! I ran into the restroom in hopes to restore my prized possession. An Irish woman next to me at the sink immediately asked, "Is that bird poop?" I unenthusiastically responded with an affirmative to which the woman cackled heavily and loudly. I was miffed to say the least! When she finally came up for air from her obnoxious laughter, she informed me in her Irish brogue that bird poop was good luck. I immediately questioned why, in the vast greenness of Ireland, could I not  just have found a four-leaf clover?

Well, as it turned out, that bird poop WAS good luck! I had three strange, yet wonderful, encounters with money upon my return home. I received an unexpected supplemental paycheck. Bonus! I won a scratch-off lottery for a small amount of money, but hey I won! Bonus! Finally, I received a rare, and I mean RARE, refund from my insurance company! BONUS again! I was lucky, indeed!

So, why not believe in good luck? It can't hurt? There's very little you have to invest in it to believe in it!

Happy St. Paddy's day Everyone! Believe in that good luck!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Laugh at Clowns

I don't remember when exactly it began, but as a child I  collected clowns: ceramics, paintings, music boxes and stuffed dolls.  My mother bought them for me for birthdays and Christmas. My room was covered with clowns. But oddly, my mother feared them. She found clowns creepy and disturbing and most importantly, sad. Once when I was a child I told her that when I grew up I wanted to be a clown and perform in the circus. My mother informed me that clowns lived a very sad life and that their smile was simply painted on. Deep down, they were lonely and sad and away from their families. Kinda ruined that dream real quick. 

However, years later, when I was studying to be a counselor we were asked to write down who we admired and why. I wrote about clowns. I said I admired them because they were able to maintain smiles and fun even though, according to my mother, they were really sad and lonely. I felt, at the time, that was a real sense of resiliency and because of that, I admired clowns.  I learned through my professor's lesson that often times the person we admire and the characteristics for which we admire them becomes a part of us and who we try to emulate in life. I could certainly relate as that was a somewhat turbulent time in my life, though none of my colleagues or students would ever have known it. I came to school with a smile on my face and was always trying to be the class clown...even as the teacher. 

Though I stopped collecting clowns once I became an adult, I still kept a few of the clowns my mother gave me. At times when I am feeling a bit nostalgic or melancholy, I turn to the clown on my nightstand and listen to the music box melody. It reminds me to smile and laugh despite whatever has me saddened at the moment. After all, the clowns did it for centuries. I certainly can do it!

If your children aren't creeped out by clowns like my mother was, maybe a little clown decoration in their room can be a subtle reminder to keep on smiling and laughing despite the challenges and obstacles they are facing.