Why I’ve declared war on the word ‘lucky’.

Put your hand up if someone has recently told you how ‘lucky’ you are?

Keep those puppies up if they said this because you just won $1000 in the lotto or you scored an obligation-free trip overseas.

I see no hands raised.

As of now I’m declaring war on the misuse of the word lucky because there’s very few instances that it’s okay to tell someone they are such.

The other day I was called lucky because I was kid-free for the day – but luck wasn’t involved, this was no random win. I book my kids in to daycare so I can work from home without having to play trains/diggers/tow trucks.

I’m also regularly told how lucky I am to have such a helpful husband who actually does his share of the cooking and parenting. Again not lucky, it’s called being married to a woman who believes everyone has to pull their own weight.

Just writing this is getting me all hot and bothered under the collar because as far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as luck. It’s a load of bullshit.

I believe in karma, hard work, determination, opportunity, persistence and planning ahead and every now and then I believe that risks pay off.

luck_opportunity_preparation

As a handy reference here’s some occasions when it’s fine to tell someone they are lucky and some when it’s not okay!

When it’s okay to call someone lucky:

  • They find $20 while running in a random park, this is the universe’s way of rewarding you getting off your arse and exercising.
  • A coin gold magically appears on the floor of their car when it’s crazy hair gold coin donation day at school.
  • They fall awkwardly at netball because they are dreadfully unco (me) and they don’t sprain their ankle for the 4th time.
  • They win a prize in a game of chance.
  • They look like sex bombs with both blonde and brunette hair – (I have paraphrased but thanks Kirsten for saying so).
  • Anything that flies shits on them, sorry but kids shitting on them isn’t good luck it’s disgusting.
  • Someone’s husband always cooks dinner because he likes it and wants to.
  • They win a trip overseas and only took one raffle ticket.
  • Their kid sleeps through their night and they haven’t made a conscious effort to make that happen.

When it’s not find to tell someone they are lucky:

  • They work from home.
  • They work out of the home.
  • They work both in and out of the home.
  • Their husband folds the washing, changes nappies, baths the kids, read to his kids, takes the kids to the park by himself.
  • They get to go to the gym in the morning alone.
  • They are in fabulous shape and extremely fit.
  • They get to go away for three days without their kids.
  • They have a free weekend away.
  • They are doing what they love in life.

And the reason it’s not okay to say the above things to someone is because it’s good management, sacrifice and their expert juggling skills that allow them to do such things, not good luck.

I’m a lot more mindful about when I tell someone they are lucky, because it can actually be insulting to tell someone who has made a huge sacrifice that they have only got where they are because of luck.

Luck – it’s just another four-letter word as far as I’m concerned.

Been told you’re lucky recently? And was it luck or because you’re shit-hot at making things happen?

Has anything actually lucky happened to you recently? Won a competition/prize/holiday?

Comments

  1. Yep, I was lucky I was only mildly electrocuted on the weekend instead of seriously electrocuted. That’s luck!

  2. Very good points, I think I’ve been guilty more than once thinking someone or myself even was lucky when there’s actually much more to it that that. You’re right, often it is way more about hard work than random luck. Most of the time I call myself lucky because I’ve got four kids and it all gets a bit hard sometimes but the way I stay grounded is to remind myself how lucky I am to have had four healthy kids, when I know there are some who would love to have more kids but can’t for various reasons. Great post x

  3. The whole ‘lucky’ because you have a husband who pulls his weight thing, argh! I bet no one tells my hubby that he is lucky that I cook dinner, clean, do the washing etc. I’m not lucky, just smart that I didn’t marry a chauvinist. Just like when people ask is hubby ‘babysitting’. No, he is looking after his own children. It isn’t called babysitting when I do it.

  4. Once my daughter opened a chocolate frog we’d bought for some kind of fundraiser, and inside the packet were TWO chocolate frogs! 8 years later we still fondly reminisce about that moment every time someone mentions being “lucky”.

    • Funny you should mention the chocolate frogs. My daughter opened one over the weekend and it was upside down in the packet. I told her this was extremely rare and it meant she would have good luck all day. Lol. She was so wide eyed 🙂

  5. Agree wholeheartedly! A wise man once told me ‘You make your own luck’.
    More often than not what people brand as luck is actually hard work and doing what others put in the too hard basket.

  6. I hear you! Especially on the husband thing! That’s not luck! It’s called a man who is doing what he should do anyway. At least in my household that’s what it has to be! x

  7. Hey Emily,

    When you put it like that, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I never saw the term lucky as an insult but maybe a replacement for another descriptive word to say impressed.

    I got nailed on Google Plus for using the term brave when that Kardashian fellow came out and transformed into a woman. People did not like the use of brave in that respect.

    I feel lucky for finally finding what I love to do, but then again I worked bloody hard to locate it so really there was no luck in it. Talk soon.

    Rachel.

  8. Iv won a few competitions lately 🙂 I guess that’s lucky & I do agree on the luck thing to some extent, I guess for me the word is grateful. But some people have really crappy luck too, the world just tends to shit on them daily (not flying people either) my Brother is one such person, no matter how hard he tries, nothing works for him, ever.

  9. So true! People who are enjoying great lives are usually those who worked hard for it. Better to congratulate them for a job well done but I have to admit I’ve used the term lucky out of habit. 🙂

  10. Amen sister! I get so frustrated at people who say I’m lucky to get to spend time at home with my kids. Luck had nothing to do with it!

  11. I feel your pain. People have used that word on me all the time. I know they mean well but I think it rips us all off. I know we have and continue to work hard and make choices to have our ‘luck’. There are many days in each year I don’t feel lucky and I am sure my sisters boys don’t either. But we continue trying. Mel xx

  12. Absolutely agree! We make our own luck through hardwork and determination! !

  13. I’d like to say I was lucky I didnt break my tail bone when I fell onto the dogs kong on the weekend.. but I think it is not so much luck that I have some extra junk in the trunk 😉 xx

  14. Well said!

  15. “wish me luck” is getting on my nerves too

  16. I’ve heard the ‘you’re lucky you get to work from home’ thing a lot lately. I get that not everyone works in an industry that allows that flexibility, but it’s still not ‘luck’. I made it happen. Great post 🙂

  17. You’re so right. I’ve never thought about it in that detail before, but it’s so true. I guess I was called lucky this week because my husband went to a lot of effort on my birthday. Not sure I’d call that luck …

  18. Yes. Just yet! I hate it when people say you are so lucky to get invited to things/review things etc in relation to blogging when you work your ass off to get these perks! Ugh.

  19. I’m lucky to have kids, so I’ve been told. Selling our assets to raise the almost 100k it cost us for 8 years of scientists, doctors and a cast of thousands squirrelling around my nether regions had nothing to do with it. Lucky? Lucky would have been winning them on a chocolate wheel. It’s my least favourite word. Hard work. Determination. Choice. They’re much better ones xx

  20. Oh yeah this has been pissing me off so much lately with regards to my current trip.. So many people have told me I’m lucky to be able to travel, lucky I don’t have a husband and kids to worry about, am lucky that I get to experience all the wonderful things I have experienced this year, lucky I have nothing holding be back… Lucky lucky lucky… Blah blah blah…
    I call BS on all of that!!
    I’m with you 100% on this one!

  21. You have absolutely nailed it Em!

    The word “lucky” has shit me to tears for years and years.

    When I first started travelling overseas, people would tell me I’m lucky. No…I just had different priorities. I didn’t buy new clothes every week, I didn’t spend all my money at the pub and I didn’t need the latest gadgets.

    I was also willing to take a leap into the unknown. I’ve lost count of the number of times I quit my job for extended travel. (Actually, I haven’t. I’ve done it three times.) I’ve also quit it once to follow my dream of a new career.

    It’s all about sacrifices and priorities. And everyone gets to make their own choices on these. I’ve sacrificed money in the bank, promotions and delayed buying a family home. It’s not luck – it’s a choice.

    Although, now I have a mortgage and a toddler and there’s no travelling on my horizon – I’ll be content to be one of those ‘lucky’ (cough cough) ones like you who has a husband who does his fair share of domestic chores and parenting. (Also like you..it’s because he has a wife who wouldn’t accept any less!)

  22. Apparently I’m lucky to have a son who can fall asleep by himself and mostly sleeps thru since he was 1. Nothing to do with the many many nights of practice, tears, willpower, failures, trying again that eventually got us there!

    Parents of kids who didn’t sleep tell me I’m lucky I think so they don’t have to admit that maybe their child could’ve done it if they’d spent more time teaching them how.

  23. This is all so true Em. I often get told how lucky I am to be able to work from home and choose my own hours. It’s not luck. We’ve worked damn hard to put ourselves in a posiition to do so. We were at rock bottom during the GFC and hubby worked 16 hour days, and me as much as I could working while running the house to get us out of that hole. There’s no luck. It’s sacrifice, priorities, decisions and hard work. But I guess maybe I’m luck we have those attribute. Some would rather sit and wonder why they aren’t lucky. #rantover

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