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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Feeling Lucky? We Could All Use a Bit of Luck!

By Lisa Adams Walter

The dawn of March makes many of us feel green, in the spirited, let’s have some fun, St. Patrick’s Day is coming, sort of way. Thinking ahead to what here in the United States has become known as a day filled with the frivolity and luck, made me think about the feelings of luck overall.

It is a bit exhilarating when one experiences luck! Yet, what is it that defines luck, and what makes one feel... lucky?

Of course, there are two types of luck: good luck and bad luck. I will admit, I prefer the first. I am all for good luck!

Many sources historically attribute the word luck of Middle Dutch origin, coming from luc, a shortening of gheluc which means “happiness, good fortune,” yet it may have made its way into the English language as a gambling term. Thank goodness I am not a gambler, I’ve never felt particularly lucky when parting with my cash.

The Irish seemed lucky in earlier centuries here in America, as many were involved in mining. Therefore, when a fortune was discovered deep underground, the mining term the “Luck of the Irish” was born due to the heritage of many hardworking miners.

There is also a certain amount of superstition associated with luck. Many athletes wear lucky items, such as a lucky jersey or lucky socks, these are known as lucky charms (and not the edible type!). Some fans sport a lucky hat or sit in a lucky area of a stadium or arena to help their hopefully-winning team.

Some of us claim that we have a lucky number, I certainly have mine. We all know that there really isn’t anything positive associated with a VERY superstitious number: 13. Have you ever noticed that in hotels and high-rises (not common around here), the thirteenth floor is often missing from the elevator control panel? Clearly, that floor exists. But it isn’t called 13! Architects reassign the floor numbers to appease human distress. I discovered that the superstition associated with that number between 12 and 14 is so common that it even has its very own name, triskaidekaphobia. Thankfully thirteen does not adversely impact me, I have NO idea how that is pronounced.

It seems that most of us associate luck with positive feelings. I have been fortunate to find dozens of four-leaf clovers over the years. For some possible lucky reason, I have repeatedly been spotting them near my home over the past three years. I cannot help but to think that there must be a pot of gold nearby too. Fingers crossed!

According to Psychology Today, luck may strongly be an attitude, “Clearly, believing oneself to be lucky is a more optimistic attitude than considering oneself unlucky, and can lead to taking greater and more frequent risks that can potentially result in greater rewards.”

Definitely, I am a “the glass is half full” kind of gal! Okay, perhaps my positivity is the key that makes me feel lucky. Why not? If I have a choice, I would rather feel lucky than not. “Count your blessings,” I often exclaim!

Which leads me back to St. Patrick’s Day. It’s always fun to hunt for leprechauns, dress up in green, avoid getting pinched, enjoy some corned beef and cabbage, meet up with some friends, and have an Irish coffee or green beer on March 17.

This year, while we can still meet up in our safe bubbles, public celebrations will not be happening. I am counting my blessings, that we have all made it through this past year all the way to now. Like many of you, my family has suffered some heartbreaking and devastating losses. Let’s think positive, hope for health and safety, and count on a bit of luck. Join me in celebrating at home this month, and feeling lucky that we can be together in our small groups, looking forward to many celebrations to come!



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