Friday, March 16, 2012

No Taco Bell

I guess I believe in the wheel of fortune. I don’t mean the game show, because I am really tired of that show and I can’t believe it’s still on the air. I was a tiny child when it first came on and my grandmother would eat crackers and cheese and she’d shout out answers and call all the contestants idiots. My poor grandma has been dead for over a decade. The show goes on…

Wait. I’m talking about the medieval “Lady Fortuna.” The philosophical notion that we’re all on a spinning wheel and sometimes we’re lucky and sometimes we’re unlucky and we go around and around and have little control and so all we can do is shrug and say, “I can’t control that. So it goes… So it goes…”

Oh yes. I have had good years and I have had bad years.

Woo! In 2007, I got a book contract and my radio show was picked up by public radio and money flowed in and I thought: My ship is here, baby! I bought some nice furniture.

What?! In 2008, my radio show was done and the economy went south and my editor was laid off and my hot water heater exploded and ruined a bunch of my tenants’ junk and I ran up credit card debt just to stay alive. I thought: We’re all gonna die!

We did not all die.

Bad luck didn't come from bad behavior. Really, I am not in control of my water heater or my publisher or the economy. Crap happens. Instead of freaking out, I needed to shrug. Get to work. Keep plugging away. Instead, I began to eat at Taco Bell almost daily, because I was trying to fill the hole in my heart.

And then, for no apparent reason, things got better! And then worse! And then better!

Here’s what I’ve noticed, though: as long as I keep working hard, good stuff happens more often than not. Here’s also what I’ve noticed: If I eat at Taco Bell too much, I don’t fit in my pants and I don’t want to leave the house, because my pants don’t fit and I find that embarrassing. I can control trouble caused by Taco Bell.

Yes, luck comes to those who work hard. I have a higher percentage of lucky days if I work hard. But I always try to keep in mind, especially when I’m high on the smell of my own sweet success: the wheel of fortune is spinning and bad stuff is going to happen and that’s as big a part of life as anything. I also have to remember this: don’t worry about the various trouble you can’t control. Face the trouble. Nod at it. Get back to work.

Also, don’t go to Taco Bell.

-- Geoff Herbach


  1. Yes, a cycle, a circle, just wait long enough and things will turn around. Good to keep the ego on an even keel. Thank for this post.

  2. Ha! I just had Taco Bell last night. Now I feel horrible. Anywho, as they say "Just keep on truckin!"

  3. Great post. I like your perspective. I'm going to hang onto this bit: "as long as I keep working hard, good stuff happens more often than not." -- and also that Taco Bell advice ;)

  4. Hard work: good for pants, good for writing. Thanks for the post :)

  5. I don't want to put the Taco Bell onus on anyone else. I have noticed it is my personal danger zone!

  6. "And then, for no apparent reason, things got better! And then worse! And then better!"

    This is almost identical to a line in my latest book. Can't believe I'm the only one who has drawn this conclusion about life! ;-D

    It's like the saying about weather in certain places: if you don't like it, just wait 5 minutes and it will change. In life, the changes often take longer than 5 minutes, but they always come.

  7. I feel a little odd that I followed the reasoning of this entire post. . .

  8. HA! I loved this post! It was so spot on about luck and the game show Wheel of Fortune. As for Taco Bell, like with all so-bad-but-so-good things, I've had to learn to exercise moderation. Serious moderation because there's one just two blocks down from my house.

  9. Love it!! You have such a great attitude and hopefully a pair or two of stretchy pants--for taco bell emergencies LOL!

  10. "Face the trouble. Nod at it. Get back to work." Amen.