Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th of April has dawned; the most recent in a hat-trick of grey days when the weather has conspired to drag our moods down. Superstition dictates this is an unlucky day, that you might be safer to stay under the quilt, but we have a full compliment of trainees in the workshop, rearing to go at 9am.

Of course, we always keep a wary eye out for hazards and aim to stay safe, regardless of the date, but why not make this a day to count our blessings?

We asked around the trainees, “What was the ‘luckiest’ thing that ever happened to you?”

While we think “luck” is random and happens by chance, the word comes from middle English and originally just meant good fortune or blessing. Way back about 2,000 years, Seneca (a Roman philosopher) said that “Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.” In other words, it’s not random at all. Good choices make it happen. And that is exactly what we found out from our trainees.

Andrew doesn’t hesitate with his answer: “The luckiest thing was starting with AA. That’s the best thing. I’ve been 8 weeks sober now. I couldn’t go on like I was.” It wasn’t by chance that Andrew went to a meeting. He was prepared to take an opportunity.

Lee tells us meeting his fiancee changed everything for him “It gave me something to live for because when I was drinking and that, I didn’t have anything.” Behind that statement is actually a lot of hard work, commitment, and help where it was needed.

“The Big Man Upstairs stopped me from topping myself.” says, Graham, who is always willing to tell the story of how he was stopped in his tracks while preparing to commit suicide.

Tony doesn’t hesitate with his answer either. “My three children, and coming to Handcrafted,” he says.

We were not fishing for anyone to big-up Handcrafted but it was encouraging to hear that we have been ‘lucky’ for some of our trainees too. At Handcrafted, we don’t believe in Friday the 13th. We want to talk about solutions, not problems. We want to find out what worked and what went right, so we can build on people’s individual strengths and prove that they can do amazing things.

On of our core values is “Empowerment”. That’s a fancy way of saying that none of us has to be a victim of fate; we can take control in small ways. We’ve found that even just deciding to turn up at the workshop a couple of days a week can start to change the story.

I’ll leave the last word to Brian:

“Coming here. Because after all that happened in the accident, I can come here two days a week when I would just be sitting in the house. But everyone is here together. I’m making things and doing something useful.”

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