Know when to cringe…

I know intellectually that fortune cookies are just stuffed with random truisms in a factory somewhere and there is no magic in the “fortune” I receive.  Yet I always read them and ponder them as if they have been sent by the universe to communicate with me.  Ridiculous, I know…why would the universe wait for the rare occasions when I get to eat Chinese food to communicate with me?  I don’t think the universe is that subtle or that patient – at least not when it comes to me.

But those fortune cookie fortunes still get me every single time.  Often I keep the really good ones until they disinegrate.  I have a few in my wallet right now.  My oldest one floating around amongst my change in my wallet says:  The wise thing to do is to prepare for the unexpected.

Amazing, right?  After all, that is my mantra as someone who eats, breathes and sleeps emergency management.  What are the odds that I would just randomly get that fortune out of the thousands of possibilities?

I guess one could just chalk it up as coincidence, but over and over I have opened my fortune cookie to find a fortune that uniquely fits me.  That is why they continue to suck me in despite the fact that my thinking self attempts to rationalize them away.

Last night Mike and I had Chinese food.  We don’t have it all that often because Cheyenne is not a fan of it.  We wait until she is at her dad’s house visiting to indulge in all our favorites and the fortune cookies.  Mike could care less about his fortune – I don’t even think he reads them (I think he is is likely tempting fate, but since I would sound like an irrational nut job saying that I bite my tongue).  I take great care to read my fortune before I even think about eating the cookie – my homage to being respectful of the universe’s voice (in case it is the universe’s voice – which I kind of know it isn’t, but I am not tempting fate).

Last night I found my fortune to be a bit troubling and somewhat mocking.  It gave me pause…since when do fortunes from fortune cookies mock?  The fortune said the following: The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

Oh, I cringed alright…I cringed at the thought that I was either currently repeating past mistakes or about to repeat past mistakes.  I started thinking about all the things I had done recently and the other things that were soon to be on the horizon. I thought that perhaps I could stop myself before I repeated a past mistake if I could really focus and figure out what mistake it was (I have made a few…a few thousand).  I thought and I thought and I thought and then it came to me.

The mistake I keep repeating and cringe at was staring me in the face all along – it is believing the fortune from the fortune cookie is uniquely speaking to me. Oh for goodness sake! How silly of me.  I threw out the fortune.

Uh, yeah - I didn’t throw out the other ones in my wallet though – just in case. ;-)

Day one thousand one hundred and fifty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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