4.07.2013

Childhood Misfortune

When I was a child, I used to believe that my family had the worst luck.  Everyone in the entire world was more fortunate than us.  (Aren't these the global, dramatic statements made by many a child?)  I was convinced that we had consistent bad luck!

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I grew up in an old farm house.  The farm was no longer a "working farm" but there was an old barn across our driveway in which I used to play, and the house was old and rickety.  Looking back, it was the absolute best place to grow up and I would never change a bit of living there.  But during my childhood, all I could think about was how my friends' houses were better, newer, shinier... whatever.  How my friends' parents' cars were better, newer, shinier than ours.  How I lived in my sister's hand-me-down clothing when my friends were wearing Jordache jeans. 

Sometime in my middle-school years, I learned the legend of the horseshoe:

When kept as a talisman, a horseshoe is said to bring good luck. Some believe that to hang it with the ends pointing upwards is good luck as it acts as a storage container of sorts for any good luck that happens to be floating by, whereas to hang it with the ends pointing down, is bad luck as all the good luck will fall out.  (source: wikipedia)

We had a  horseshoe as one of the many bits and mementos decorating our enclosed back porch.  It hung upside down, with the ends pointing down and I remember sitting on the back step, listening to my parents talk in the background and staring at that... blaming that rusty old horseshoe for all of our misfortune.

Of course, so many years later, I look back and realize how very fortunate we were.  My parents worked hard at many jobs, to raise and support five girls.  We had clothing, food, heat, a roof over our head and, in later years, cable TV with premium movie channels (oh-so important to a teenager growing up in the 80's with I-want-my-I-want-my-MTV).  The cars we drove were always beaters, held together with gum and duct tape (I do exaggerate a little here), but you know what?  They ran.  They got us from point A to point B.  We were all healthy.  I had a natural playground in my yard with an acre of land that backed up to woods and a creek.  It was a fantastic childhood. 

It wasn't until now... when Inside Out started to explore Fortune... that I looked up that old legend of the horseshoe.  I wanted to see if I had heard that correctly, which I had.  But then, I found this:

Others believe that the horseshoe should be hung the other way (with the ends pointing down), as it will then release its luck to the people around it. (source: wikipedia)

And looking back, you know what I think?  I know that this is what is true.  I had a very fortune-filled childhood. 

For more perspectives on our topic of the month, Fortune, please come visit our message boards... join us in our exploration.  Or share your fortune stories in the comments below - I'd love to hear them!


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