The Calvin and Hobbes quote from the cartoon above is this week’s Prompt from Sara over at Mum Turned Mom.
I don’t think of myself as a particularly superstitious person but sometimes find myself shying away from walking under a ladder, or refusing to cross paths with a black cat half way up a flight of stairs* (* that one doesn’t come up very often). I like to think this is just sensible behaviour though (a workman might drop a bucket of paint on your head for example) but I know some people are absolutely religious about their superstitious ways. The one thing that really stuck in my head when I was pregnant the first time was the old adage on magpie sightings “One is for sorrow, two is for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy”. I kept seeing one lone magpie everywhere I looked and it completely freaked me out! Nuts obvs.
I think there is an element of self-fulfilling prophesy with negative superstition – we can blame any number of mishaps on the fact that its Friday 13th or because an umbrella was opened indoors. But it’s the positive superstitions that get me. When your lucky rocket ship underpants don’t work any more, I’d say it’s time to grow up and move on. It’s often said that we make our own luck – you’re not going to win that windfall unless you enter the lottery after all. Maybe this is also true of bad days, negative slumps. Again I veer into territory which is not in any way meant to target those suffering from clinical depression, but for the rest of us, there are strategies to beating a bad day without resorting to the supposedly magical properties of your grundies.
I’m also veering into ‘Happiness Project’ territory now, because I’d say there are a few very simple ways to inject a little light into a dark day:
- Phone a friend (now you’re thinking that this is interchangeable with the lifelines on WWTBAM – it isn’t, the audience are rubbish at anything beyond the most basic knowledge of Coronation Street regulars.
- Fresh air and exercise. Not always possible in winter/if you’re stuck at home alone with small children at night, but a good idea in theory.
- Meditation. Go to your ‘happy place’ for a while (even if it is just the local chip shop)
- Get a mantra. Weird as it may seem, just reminding yourself of the bigger picture sometimes takes the pain of the present moment away (“At least Postman Pat’s round is not in my post code”, etc.)
- Laughter is the best medicine. Get someone to tickle you or, failing that, a quick perusal of any political party manifesto should bring tears to your eyes one way or the other.
- Failing all of the above, a large G&T and a family sized packet of minstrels should do the trick.
Just for the fun of it here are some examples of real superstitions knocking about out there (look out for the one I made up – special re-tweets for anyone who gets it!):
- It is bad luck to chase someone whilst holding a broom
- An acorn at the window will keep lightning out
- If a friend gives you a knife you should give him a coin or your friendship will soon be broken (sounds like a dodgy arms deal gone wrong to me but what do I know?!)
- It is good luck to encounter a goat on the way to a meeting
- Getting pooed on by a bird is good luck
- Getting pooed on by an elephant is bad luck
- Never wash your hair on a Tuesday