Good Fortune, Bad Timing

Life doesn’t ask you whether it’s a good time to halve your income, send you a case of back pain, or reveal that your brother has lost his job and needs support. Sometimes, all three might happen at once. Ironically, we’re often well-prepared for more bad news. We may whine and say, “Why me? Why me again?” but since we’re already dealing with one crisis, a second one might just faze us a little less. “Oh well, guess I’ll figure this out, too.”

We half-expect bad fortune to be ill-timed because, well, that’s what bad luck is all about. With good fortune, however, we can have a much tougher time. We’re skeptical of lucky breaks in general, let alone multiple of them occurring in our lives at once. But if we don’t believe we deserve some good luck — and we hardly ever do — we might outright refuse to accept it or, at the very least, talk it down into our current, acceptable level of misery.

“I don’t deserve this.” “This will never last.” “Life is being too good to me.” But good fortune, too, cannot be timed. You must accept and savor it whenever it comes. Sometimes, you’ll find a $50 dollar bill on your way home from a bad day at work. Sometimes, your job search may go nowhere for months, but in the meantime, love will find you. Don’t treat these blessings as glitches in the Matrix. Recognize them for what they are: a stroke of luck at an odd time.

Perhaps, good fortune at a bad time is not meant to remind you of your challenging situation. Maybe, it is simply a reminder that better times are to come again. An auspicious sign that you’re on your way up instead of down — and even if it wasn’t, wouldn’t you much rather interpret it that way?

Choose optimism regardless of what fate delivers in the mail, and then go and apply yourself to it. Sooner or later, your world will lighten up again — and it won’t require any lucky breaks at all.