Superstition aint the way…

Some days...

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



Brilliant blog posts on

20 thoughts on “Superstition aint the way…

  1. I now see where I’ve been going wrong! That elephant poo really changed my destiny… (How wrong does that sound). Actually, I think I’m the anti-superstitious person. I don’t believe in the superstitions and hate when people tell me I’m lucky for certain things. Many of things I’m so ‘lucky’ about are things I’ve made happen or worked hard at. No luck there, as you say, I made my luck. I definitely think it’s time to grow up and move on from the rocket underpants and make your (one’s) own luck! A great take on the this particularly prompt Sam!

    • Ah thanks Fiona! You have definitely made your own luck – I think anyone who starts their own business does that. Superstitions are just a bit of nonsense really, but quite interesting from a historical point of view to find out how they originated!

  2. Great take on the theme hon. Totally agree that a negative mindset can very quick turn into self fulfilling prophecy territory. Great tips on getting yourself back to happy – especially the last one 😉 I never wash my hair on a Tuesday, so hopefully it’ll work out fine for me xx #ThePrompt

  3. I was so superstitious when pregnant! I’d close my eyes at magpies and pretend not to see them! I wore the sane necklace every day and same clothes to my scans! Weirdo. I blame my hormones lol 😉 Your post does make you think about positivity and I take heed!

    • Wow you really were a bit superstitious weren’t you?! I don’t know what it was about the magpies but that was the one thing that really affected me! I’m glad if you can take some of my positivity tips and run with them! Its got to be better than living in constant fear or anxiety, right?

  4. Fab take on the theme Sam and great post! I keep seeing lone magpies at the mo and have to keep reminding myself its nonsense! So glad I’m not the only one! In many ways I am not superstitious at all, as I think its all a bit daft… And yet I live in constant fear almost of jinxing myself, never say the ‘q’ word at work, never say its a good day, until the end of the day. Never forget how lucky you are as the moment you take it for granted is the moment fate will bite you in the bum. I know its daft rationally, but for some reason I cant stop it!! Loving all those superstitions at the end!! Xx

    • I have to admit ”don’t speak too soon” is quite a frequent thought going through my head! The superstitions are quite amusing arent’ they? I wasn’t sure how to approach this prompt to begin with because I felt it was begging for a post about having a bad day and not being able to pick yourself up out of the flump, but it turned out quite well I feel 🙂

    • Its worth a little bit of Googling I reckon Denise – some of these things have very ancient origins – lots of them have to do with the idea of offending the Gods. They’ve just filtered through to the modern day for no good reason!

  5. Love your take on #ThePrompt and you’re absolutely right, I really believe we make our own luck (although I do sometimes wonder about some poor friends of ours for whom, if it can go wrong it does… I’m pretty sure they’re not doing anything to make that happen!). Superstitions are a funny thing really, the historical sources of some of them are interesting though! Thanks so much for linking up x

  6. I totally agree in self fulfilling prophesies and your advice for injecting some light is so good. Going for a walk is great therapy but doing it in -25 like we get here, not so much! On days like that I go with the G&T and minstrels 😉

  7. In the happiness tip, when everything is so heavy for me I really go out for fresh air. I even bring my son with me so that we can have a clear mind when we go back home. When its him who is causing my headache, we go out together but I give us a bit of space from each other. I wish meditation would help but I just cant really do it. Your post is so honest. Funny and poignant at the same time =) #ThePrompt

    • Aw thanks Merlinda. I sometimes need to take my own advice mind you! Meditation can be a difficult thing to contemplate – sometimes I just try and imagine I’m staring at an orange – just examining every little thing about it. I know it sounds weird but that focussed mind really stops you from thinking about anything else – effectively it gives your mind a break. It doesn’t have to be an orange! 🙂

  8. I love the superstitions at the end, although most of them sound made up to me! I know the knife one though as it is the same in France. I’m mostly not superstitious and tell myself that I am master of my own destiny and to go out and make it what I want it to be…..or on a bad day you can find me on the sofa drinking wine 😉

    • They do all sound made up don’t they! In actual fact I only made up the one about the elephant… Yes, I must say wine does have quite a strong draw for me too on a bad day 🙂

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