Friday, August 24, 2007

A Perfect Storm: Overcoming 'Bad Luck'

Sometimes Life likes to throw a perfect storm of negativity at us to see how we'll react. As a Job-like frenzy of ill fate falls across our path like a wind-blown tree, we're forced to decide whether to forge ahead or turn tail and run.

Yesterday was just such a trying occasion for good friends of mine who needed to prepare for a big catering job, and I had a front row seat to the drama as it unfolded. I won't go into the details here, but just as we got past one problem another popped up to test us. At times it seemed like the divine powers had lined up against the job and didn't want us to succeed.

The culmination of the day of bad luck was the damaging thunderstorms that hit Chicago yesterday afternoon, causing a very inconvenient power outage. I know we all felt like tossing in the towel a few times during the day, but we held it together and got through it. The prep work is now done, although a little later than we hoped, and the success is a little sweeter because of the tribulations we had to overcome. It will help us to appreciate those boring days when nothing unexpected happens, and everything goes according to plan.

As bad as it seemed at the time, it also could have been a lot worse. For example, today is the anniversary of the AD 79 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried Pompeii and two other Roman cities in volcanic ash, killing thousands.

Rather than shoveling out ash, I just have to dig into my music libary and pull out an appropriate little tune. When things don't go our way, it's tempting to blame bad luck. We'll get a lot further, however, by looking at it as an opportunity to prove ourselves; a challenging maze of circumstance to navigate. I've always been fond of puzzles. That thunderstorm was actually pretty cool to watch too (check out this YouTube video), as long as you were safely inside.

Bad Luck
by Social Distortion

Some people like to gamble,
But you, you always lose.
Some people like to rock 'n' roll,
You're always singin' the blues
You gotta nasty disposition,
No one really knows the reason why,
You gotta bad, bad reputation,
Gonna hang your head down and cry...

You got bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck
You got bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck

Thirteen's my lucky number,
To you it means stay inside.
Black cat done crossed my path,
No reason to run and hide.
You're looking through a cracked mirror,
No one really knows the reason why.
Your enemies are gettin' nearer,
Gonna hang down your head and cry

You got bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck
You got bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck

Some people go to church on Sundays,
Others they pray at home.
You tell them that there ain't no God,
that they're better off standin' alone.
You're always scratchin'
At the eight ball,
No one really knows the reason why.
You get to the top and then you fall,
Gonna hang down your head and cry.

You got bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck
You got bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck
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