WHITNEY CAIN, PHD

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Everyone's a Winner

I don’t usually win stuff. My high score in bowling is 88.  My horses come in last.  Of the many scratch-offs I’ve scratched, my grand total is $6.00.  One time I did win a floral arrangement at a board social, but since winners from other tables tried to foist their arrangements on me and the flowers were droopy upon home arrival, winning was likely only in the eye of this beholder.  

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This tough luck on the winning circuits has given me a chip on my shoulder about prizes for participation and celebrations for stuff you’re just supposed to do.  I’m the grumpy parent who votes against yearend trophies for the team.  I didn’t get teary at my kids’ preschool or fifth grade graduations because I couldn’t figure out what job they would get with those credentials.  

Yet, my luck on the winning circuits might have changed.  A few weeks ago I wrote about selecting my NCAA bracket with the steadfast assistance of my Magic Eight ball.  My family snickered at my strategy, but guess who’s giggling now – that’s right, my Eight Ball and I won the bracket pool.  Bam.

So just like that my bah humbug to trophies and celebrations has been turned on its pointy little head.  Just like that I’m suggesting great big participation trophies for the last game and wondering what flavor cupcakes I’ll contribute to the Fifth Grade Graduation.  Just like that I’m considering doing more research on this year’s Derby contenders and investing in a bowling tutor.

And there’s the reminder.  When we feel good and worthy and lucky, the idea that tomorrow will be like today isn’t so bad.  When times are leaner, today predicting tomorrow is not one bit comforting.  It doesn’t have to be true, either. In fact, it’s a silly, mean misconception that a tough today means a tough tomorrow.  It might, but it just as easily might not and each of us deserves the grace of hope in a lucky day on the horizon.  

I don’t know if this big win is a new tide for me and my luck or if it’s a fluke.  Regardless, I’ll take this day where everyone – including my Magic Eight Ball and me – is a winner.  Then I’ll raise you one, too.

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Photo Credit:  Animated Heaven. (February 2, 2015.) Golden trophy.  Retrieved from animatedheaven.weebly.com/

Whitney Cain