No Such Thing As Lucky

This is the first in a new series called ‘Monday Musings’. For a long time I have been yearning to write more. You know, really write. In fact, I have written so many posts in my head that I should be quite the seasoned writer by now. But alas, I am probably somewhat still rather mediocre. That being said, I always loved to write and share my thoughts. Whether it was in the form of diary writing as a child or eulogising on my Myspace ‘Notes’ as a student. I have a long history of getting words down. Thinking about it, one of the main reasons I started Rosalilium was my compulsion to keep writing every day after my original travel blog of 2008-2009 was over, and my daily writing for my Masters degree had forged a pretty solid habit.

I learned a lot about writing during my postgraduate studies. I was by no means accomplished in any way. But I did gain a bit of confidence and reconciled that actually if I did write every day there is a chance I might improve on this writing malarky. Marry that with an almost obsession about sharing my thoughts daily (sorry to all those who knew me growing up, I really was quite the chatterbox) and you have the makings of a blogger.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I started to feel rather despondent with Rosalilium last year. My juices had run dry and I wasn’t really feeling any particular direction.

Then, after several more posts being written in my head I had an epiphany. Maybe I should, you know, write more on my blog. Tis my blog after all.

It occurred to me that I could share both opinion pieces alongside personal style, easy-to-make recipes, interior ponderings and general pretty things. Hell, that’s what the magazines have been doing for years. Why not create more of what feels good?

And so… after quite a rambling introduction … here is the first instalment of Monday Musings. Hope you like it, do let me know your thoughts in the comments as it’s most useful to know what my readers are thinking.


No Such Thing As Lucky

No Such Thing As Lucky

I don’t really believe in luck. But I do believe in fate. Is that even possible? Aren’t they one and the same?

Well, for me, they are not.

Luck implies that the recipient is passive, that something great happens by itself. Whereas with fate I believe that some things are meant to happen, that there is journey or lesson in life and with that is a sense of agency from the participant.

But I’m not here to talk about fate. I want to address luck.

You see, luck is a term that is bandied around too easily. “Oh, so-and-so is so lucky because they have x, y and z.”.

No, just no.

So-and-so most likely has x, y and z because they worked damn hard for it.

One recent example that has cropped up time and time again on my social media feeds is that “Zoella is so lucky … blah, blah, blah (insert comment about her looks, friends, contacts, family, general nonsense). She’s so lucky that she got this opportunity, or that opportunity”.

Now, I have a major problem with this point of view because it completely negates the hard work and dedication this brilliant young woman has put into her craft (yes, vlogging is a craft. As someone who spent most of the past year getting to grips with filming and editing, I can attest that it is incredibly time consuming and takes skill). Zoe is 25 year-old woman who has spent the past 5/6 years learning her craft, building her audience and most importantly, showing up. She makes her own videos, she is engaging and she is successful for it. There’s no luck in that. All I see is hard work.

Recently, I have been on the receiving end of a few ‘lucky’ comments. Whilst I am absolutely sure they were said with the most genuine of intentions, they still kind of hurt.

You see, when you say I’m lucky for an opportunity that I know has taken years of hard work, sacrifice and pain to get to, well, it diminishes all that I’ve done.

Going abroad for a few months. That wasn’t about luck. It was a necessity. For us, we needed to do that for a number of reasons (believe or not it was cheaper to fly out to and live in Thailand for four months than being here). Having the opportunity to do things such as spending the best day ever with the elephants, that wasn’t luck, that was work that made that possible.

I haven’t received so-called ‘freebies’ because I’m lucky. I was offered them as review items for this blog. A blog that takes a huge amount of work to maintain, for a review that is actually work (did you know it can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours per blog post?).

My hair isn’t long because I’m lucky (yes, I have had this a few times). My hair, sometimes bane of my existence, has taken years of growth and patience to get this long. Believe me, it’s far from perfect and not helped when crazy hairdressers cut most of it off. Like most women, I wish I could change my hair somewhat, whether it is having it a bit thicker, or losing it’s persistence to go a bit frizzy in humidity. My hair is hard work to maintain and take care, something I take pride in when I can.

I feel like we hide behind ‘lucky’. We use it as an excuse. A reasoning. A way to explain away why we haven’t achieved. A word that distracts us from what we already have. 

Another great example is the competition blogger Super Lucky Di. I mean, she uses the term lucky in her blog name, but she is not lucky per se. She is smart, strategic and dedicated. Winning didn’t happen to her. She made it happen.

We are all, myself included, susceptible to overusing, and perhaps misusing, the word lucky. We might even be guilty of giving in to envy.  But I believe we need to recognise that in ourselves, take stock of what we really mean by lucky, and take a moment to delve a bit deeper into another person’s ‘luck’.

    1. Yey! Snap! Off to read your post now.

      Agreed on the priorities. That’s a big thing for me at the moment. Always, always looking at my priorities.

      And thank you. 😀

  1. This is a great post – thank you. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of “lucky” comments in the past year, but I am only able to do what I’m doing now thanks to 15 years of hard hard work in a stressful environment – we saved hard too. So not down to luck. Somehow I still catch myself saying that I’m lucky though – maybe that’s more to do with being British than anything else though!

    1. Kate, you’re doing what you do because you are hard-working, talented and darn good at what you do. So here’s to you and every success that comes from your hard work.

  2. I agree that we bandy the word luck around too much when what has really happened is a lot of darn hard work. But there are some elements of luck in life, such as being blessed with good genes that mean you can grow a mane of stunning chestnut hair that others envy.
    Loving the idea of Monday Musings and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on life.

  3. So right, I think bloggers and vloggers get these “luck” comments a lot because many people still don’t understand what we do all day. They think we fire out blog posts in 5 minutes and companies throw free stuff at us. Most of them don’t see all the hard work that goes into our blogs. The research, the writing, the editing, the photos, videos, social promotion and networking….

  4. I enjoyed your musings very much – and thankyou for your kind adjectives! My motto is very much ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’ and I do laugh when people tell me how very unlucky they are! “Do you enter competitions?” I ask – “No, I just buy lottery tickets” they say, “and I never win anything”! Luck is about skill, judgement and lots of positive thinking, even in the shitty times. I read Sarah Rooftops’ post above and thought her suggestions were excellent!

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog. And trying your guacamole recipe, which sounds delicious!

  5. I used to be an “art blogger”. I slaved over my artwork – I was prolific – hardly missed a day’s blogging in almost 4 years. I was on 3 design teams over the years, including one based in Holland and one in the USA! There were many deadlines and many things I didn’t really like/enjoy using and I resigned (gratefully) from them all in the end. Many other artists/art-bloggers told me how “lucky” I was and I was constantly “stalked” by a rival!!!
    I think this attitude almost ruined my creative streak, as did the pressure and I stopped blogging until last year, when we adopted a rescue puppy. We already had a rescue dog which belongs to my DD and I thought it would be both productive and interesting to document the process of rescuing, as opposed to buying from a breeder because we are also involved in helping a Dog Rescue Organisation. So, I’ve had the blog up and running for over a year, but I probably blog once a week on average now – when something happens or I try a new recipe, or I’m not overly busy comping (I’m a Di Coke comping buddy!!). I’d like to review products for Pet Food companies, for example, but I also know how much effort goes into a good blog post, and editing photos, etc.
    And then, of course, we rescue Staffs – relentless chewers and destroyers of “average” or “conventional” pet toys, so very few companies could realistically accommodate us!!
    Keep blogging/writing as and when YOU want to, would be my pennyworth! After all, as you say, it’s YOUR blog…
    I do agree with your views on Zoella and Di, of course. As Di herself says, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.

  6. People do use the term lucky weirdly in general I think – I’ve heard it often in regards to my parents who have just moved to a lovely bungalow and got a new automatic car… however, my Dad has a degenerative back problem and its getting much worse. He’s not lucky to have those two things – he needs them to get around and live comfortably without worry. He’s unlucky to have such a bad back.

    I know its not the same thing in terms of ‘making your own luck’ – but I do think people use lucky as a way to say “I wish I had those things” without thinking of what came before it – whether its hard work, lots of effort and sacrifices – or a terrible situation where you have to improve things to be able to function often at your own expense.

    Keep up the musing posts love, its great to read more of your writing – maybe I’ll even get the courage to write something soon hahaha.

  7. YES! YES! YES! This post sums up everything I am feeling right now. I wrote something a little similar a few days ago, on the same note – about dreams, after a long lasting dispute which led me to realise that like you rightly point out – it’s not a matter of luck, it’s a matter of hard work. It’s just a sad state of affairs that people brandish the word ‘lucky’ around.

    Great post, I am bookmarking it, because I don’t doubt I will be back to read it over again.
    p.s You are my Thailand inspiration, we visiting in just under 7 weeks time! And the elephant sanctury is on our agenda.
    x x x

  8. I guess when people say, “Lucky!” they mean- you are fortunate to be in the circumstance you are currently in and I envy you that. I am sure they are not meaning to belittle your hardwork and dedication but simply, the word lucky inplies a wistful wish to be where you are. It’s very easy not to know the hardwork behind something. For instance, my school children often say I am lucky to be able to play music like I can. I do feel fortunate to be able to do that, yet of course, I had to work really hard for much of my life, spending most of my free time at rehearsals x

  9. Great piece.

    I don’t believe in luck or fate. I’m one of those cynical people who believes in time and circumstance, hard work and effort to get to where you want to be. I don’t think things are planned out, that I’m leading a life that’s already been written, but I do think the decisions I make today will have consequences tomorrow.

    People like Zoella, for example, are extremely fortunate to have cornered their market at the time they did – when blogging wasn’t something everything took up. They work hard – harder than other bloggers who haven’t seen the same success? I don’t think so – but it’s being in the right time and the right place for most people. Couple that with hard work, and it’s a winning combination.

    Luck isn’t based on chance. It’s strategy, planning, hard graft, and the circumstances at the time.

  10. So here is that reply I have been threatening/promising. There is a blog post in here somewhere.

    I consider myself to be extremely lucky.

    The health issues I have are treatable and I live in a time and part of the world where I have easy access to that treatment. That is amazing.

    I love learning and I got to go to university and learn and meet people and change the way I saw the world.

    I got to meet Mr Mac. When he moved to Canada indefinitely two days after we finally said “I love you” we did not bemoan our luck. We felt happy to have met someone to love and miss. It is a priviledge.

    I’ve had some pretty sh*tty experiences but for me I needed them to learn to chill out. So I am pretty lucky there too.

    Last year was hard. Really hard, but I have been lucky there. I have met and made some wonderful friends and I had some excellent experiences, excellent support and excellent healthcare. For me that is lucky.

    I do think if you close your heart and mind you miss experiences for “luck”. I do believe luck takes a little bit of work from the person who has it too. But I think most of us who are able to read this post are already pretty lucky in some ways.

    None of this puts down the HUGE amount of work you and others have put into making their lives the lives they want to live. None of this puts down the faith you have shown in yourself and the universe in taking a leap when you could have stayed put and been miserable.

    When I see people who are making their dreams happen I think “good for you” where it is something that works for them but that I would not like I remember Amy Poehler “good for her, not for me” and crack on with making my life something I enjoy, even if that is just finding joy in the life I already have.

    Recently I realised you don’t have to be extreme to be extraordinary. Recently I realised how much of a privilege getting to live an ordinary life is. That makes me feel lucky.

    Sure when the systems are down at work and I cannot access my beloved spreadsheets I can grumble with the rest of them, but I never grumble long, not any more, not now I know how lucky I am and how unimportant I am in the grand scale of the universe, while being lucky enough to be extremely important to a few people who are pretty darn important to me.

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