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Cereal for Supper: Defining Your Luck

So, I’m walking out of a store, headed to my trusty mini-van, and I see a penny on the ground. I have no shame – I go right to it to pick it up, because “See a penny, pick it up – all the day you’ll have good luck” is a little tradition that I happily indulge in. But dang it all, the penny was on tails, and someone once told me that it’s only good luck if it’s on heads. Curses and bah humbug!

Later on I got to thinking about it and wondered why in the world someone would start that heads vs tails aspect of the lucky penny. I’ve determined that it was made up by a dirt-sensitive parent who really didn’t want her kid picking up that nasty penny from the ground. So she improvised on the fly and decades later, my mission to grab a lucky penny was thwarted. 

Then I got to wondering how the whole lucky penny thing came about in the first place. It was probably something similar. Someone saw a random penny (back when pennies were valuable) and went to pick it up. But – they were walking with a germophobic Someone Else. So, to get Someone Else to hush, they thought fast and rhymed faster, giving birth to a new lucky tradition.

Sometime in the past decade, I got an email from a friend who shared a long list of things one shouldn’t do on New Years Eve/Day because it was actually considered Bad Luck. One of those things was laundry. At the time, I remember deciding that this was a thing started by an overworked mom who was Not Gonna Do Laundry on one of the few holidays where she planned to take it easy. So, I ignored the email, because, with 3 kids, laundry was going to happen if I needed it to happen. I don’t even remember the rest of the New Year’s Bad Luck Rules. They were probably too bossy for me, so it was easy to shrug them off. 

Well my friends, here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. And you know what there is a lot of right now? How to lose weight, be stronger, take the perfect vacation, eat like someone who lives on a Grecian island, and change your whole life by investing in llama circuses. (Okay, not that last thing). While I totally get the natural New Year excitement to clean up, start fresh, and get better, sometimes the encouragement to do those things comes with a lot of other noise that we take to heart. Like that Bad Luck list of things that were made up for convenience, this extra noise and wrong stuff gets all wound up in our thoughts and keeps us from doing other, better things.

I’m all for the idea of improving over yesterday. But whatever you do with all this awesome New Year motivation and energy, be sure you’re doing it because it’s actually right for you. THEN go on and get excited! You’ll be sliding into summer before you know it, so glad that you shut off the noise and listened to your good sense. 

I wish you the Happiest New Year! And, for what it’s worth, I’m going back to picking up any ole penny I see. I think they’re all lucky. 

About The Author

Leah O'Gwynn Kackley

Leah O'Gwynn Kackley grew up in the Reservoir/Brandon and Jackson area. She holds a Mathematics degree from Mississippi University for Women where she was also a soloist with the dance department. Now, she lives with her husband, Jason, in the Rez/Fannin area and homeschools their busy kids. In her rare free time, she is also a photographer and owns Sanomo Photo, named for Sarah, Noah, and Molly - her favorite students ever. They all attend Grace Primitive Baptist Church.

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