Janet Sumner Johnson
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When Fortunes Come True

May 18, 2015 Uncategorized 5 comments

My family and I really like Chinese food. Our favorite part (okay, maybe tied with eating all the yummy food) is opening our fortune cookies.

I always get the best fortune.

Seriously. Like, even my kids want my fortune.

I’m just lucky that way.

Here is my latest.

*All your hard work will soon pay off*

So to understand how great this fortune is, you need to know why we were eating Chinese.

Why, you ask?  Because I’d just spent a week packing and cleaning to get our house ready to sell–solid days of doing nothing but that–and I didn’t want to dirty my newly immaculate kitchen.

As you can imagine, I was thrilled with this fortune! Because who wants to do a bunch of hard work and not have it pay off, right?

And happy for me, this fortune cookie really was all-knowing. Our house sold, and we are feeling all kinds of relieved.

The thing is, since that time, I’ve had an epiphany. This fortune came true not because of some omniscient cookie. This fortune came true because hard work ALWAYS pays off.

It just doesn’t always pay off in the way we would like.

For example:
Remember that manuscript you wrote and edited, then finally tucked away in a drawer? Remember that laundry you folded that your toddler then unfolded? Remember that bed you made that you then unmade later that SAME DAY??

Every one of those situations included pay-off. Think of the practice and skills that were gained in writing that manuscript. Think of the work ethic your toddler gained by watching your example. Think of the peace that made-up bed exuded in your room all day long (and peace exuding is totally a thing).

Hard work always pays off.

So don’t you go fearing that your efforts will be a waste. They won’t. Even if you don’t get what you want, they. are. not. wasted.

Peace out and work on my friends.


5 Responses to “When Fortunes Come True”

  1. I love this, Janet, and totally needed to read it today. I find myself getting most frustrated by variations of your second example, in which all my hard work is undone in moments by a playful, or careless, toddler. It's so good to remind myself that the work in itself is good. A friend recommended an excellent little book to me: "The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women's Work"–it totally changed my attitude about work and helped me take more joy in it. And your post was the perfect reminder of all the truths that came to me while I read it. So thank you!

  2. Love your positive thinking! Hard work always does pay off — even in teaching you that hard work is an essential part of life. People who think everything should come to them easily have a poor grasp of reality and are destined for disappointment.

    Consider at all those Kardashians who are on TV for NO GOOD REASON. I mean, I still don't understand why they had a TV show. Fame was easy. Someone handed it to them. Do any of them look happy? Even the slightest?

  3. I never thought about it, but making the bed does exude peace everytime you walk into your bedroom. I go through stages where I don't bother, but I'm always happier with myself when I do. Thank you for this perfect little lesson! The toddler work ethic was good too!

  4. MikeS says:

    Great message. Hard work always pays off, even if the pay off is a lesson you don't plan to repeat. I'm gonna use this with my scouts.

  5. Slamdunk says:

    Wow, you have your hands full, Janet.

    I like your message with work makes winners. The Mrs. refuses to say good luck to anyone, only good skill. She emphasizes the same message: make things happen on your own via work.

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