For instance, a couple of months ago, one of my kids was involved in a minor car accident. She was making a right turn at an intersection and was sideswiped by another vehicle that was going straight (coming from her left). I won’t go into the details, but I’m guessing she’ll be deemed partially at fault, which means our rates will go up. And, we don’t have coverage that’s going to pay for her damage because it’s a 14-year-old car. So her car is banged up and my rates are going to go up; I can’t afford to fix the car and a rate increase is going to involve some creative budgeting. Bad luck? Why did this happen? Woe is me? All of the above? Sure, it’s easy to feel that way, but take a look from the positive side: No one was hurt in the accident and her car will be perfectly fine to drive once we reattach her side mirror. So, did Bad Luck cause the accident, which is the way I’ve always seen these things, or did Good Luck prevent it from being worse?
Another car story: Recently, the phone rang at 8:00 on a Sunday morning. It was my other daughter; she was driving to work and the van broke down on 146N, in just about the worst possible spot (no breakdown lane). Bad luck? You betcha! But, look at it from the opposite perspective: It happened early on a Sunday morning, when there was very little traffic, on a bright, sunny day, so the visibility was excellent. What if it had happened on her way home some night at 11:15 in a downpour? Big difference. Luckily, the van has come back to life -if it was a cat, I’d be concerned that it was around Life 8 at this point -so it’s still functional (as functional as a 10-year-old vehicle with 216,000 miles can be, anyway). Which brings me to another point. I’m not thrilled with the fact that we’re driving around in a crappy, 10-year-old minivan with that kind of mileage on it. But, if I spin positive, it could very well have died 60,000 miles ago, no?
My point is, sometimes bad luck is more a matter of how we interpret our circumstances than anything else. Me, I’m a card-carrying pessimist. “Everything and everybody are against me.” “Why can’t I catch a break?” “Waaaa-waaaa-waaa.” I’ve always told people I’m not a pessimist, but a realist. I say I see the reality in situations. Well, I’m here to say, with God as my witness, that that’s basically crap. Mindset is important and, since I’ve been making an effort to be more positive, I haven’t seen that little black cloud hovering over me. So, if you’re like me and always seeing the negative in everything, try and look at things from other angles. Find the positive. Sometimes it really is a matter of perspective.