“We’re not lazy in this family,” said my grandmother, giving me her stern look. “Hard work has never hurt anybody.”
Now, with my teenage body comfortably slouched as I was in a wooden rocker next to the kitchen stove, and one of my legs slung over an arm of the chair, I was perfectly willing to debate with my grandmother.
But for once, my stomach — knowing my grandmother was the only cook in the house — won a tug-of-war with my sassy mouth, and without a word of retort from me, I rose from the chair and headed outside to do my chores.
As much as my grandmother believed in work, she didn’t believe in luck. Which was kind of odd, because in a poor, often-seasonally-employed family, sometimes “the luck of the Irish” was the only hope we had.
It wasn’t until I had moved away that I learned of the old adage about hard work bringing luck, and even then, I didn’t fully buy into the necessity of the work part of that equation.
Still, I have been lucky in my life, and yes, I suppose looking back some of it was due to hard work. It turns out, my grandmother was correct: Work hasn’t hurt me.
Now along comes June Darling, and in this issue of The Good Life, she talks about luck and that both good and bad luck result from specific behaviors and ways of thinking.
She even lays out principles that can lead to having better luck in your life. It’s not exactly “Think, and you’ll grow luckier,” but she does talk about research — and offers some examples from her own life — of making your own good luck.
I have found that often, people in our magazine who are finding adventures and stepping on new paths in their lives are the ones who open themselves to just those ways of thinking.
And yes, along with thinking differently, they also put in the work.
For example, CasSondra Hogan writes in this issue how she and her friend, Jessica Baranouskas, from Entiat, wanted to open their own hair salon in CasSondra’s hometown of Brewster. Both in their 20s, they were on a tight budget.
A family friend offered them space in an old, unused house, but it was stuffed with discarded furniture and, well, junk. And, the property was not zoned for a business.
Working with the city for a rezone, and working to rehab the space was not quick or easy. And, remember their tight budget: “We lived on rice, beans and tortillas for six months while doing the work,” said CasSondra when I visited her and Jessica at their now cleverly beautiful Two Blondes Salon.
If you want to get luckier in life, I suggest you read June’s column on page 28. But don’t be surprised if being luckier doesn’t mean you’ll have to labor through some hard effort, like those two blondes of Brewster.
Getting lucky is often being in the right place at the right time — but first, you have to get yourself to that right place. That’s where you can enjoy The Good Life.