Claremore Daily Progress

Columnists

December 6, 2010

My life as a fortune cookie

CLAREMORE — Daily life forces us into routines.

You get up, eat your oatmeal, brush your teeth.

These are the daily rituals we live by in order to function smoothly within society.

Imagine if I showed up at work one day without having combed my hair and brushed my teeth.

I might even still be dressed in my pajamas.

My pjs usually consist of a brown t-shirt with the words, “Wanted Longer Weekends,” on front and pink cotton pj pants with Asian designs.

My homemade, terry cloth houseshoes are different sizes. I tried to make graduation gifts one year and was left with pink and blue pairs that couldn’t conceivably fit any normal person’s feet. Still, why throw perfectly good slippers away? They are machine washable after all.

Not exactly an outfit designed to make me dressed for success.

We all depend on our routines. As much fun as it might be to imagine a quirky day at the office with unkempt hair and wearing pjs, actually experiencing such a day would be a nightmare.

We can perform our daily rituals as if sleepwalking, or we can embrace awareness, live in the now, and be fully present to each moment of our lives, including brushing our teeth.

Uh, hmmm....

In addition to these mundane routines, I have other habitual tendencies that simplify my life.

For example about four days a week I eat a frozen meal for lunch.

I have a strong preference toward Asian meal selections. For dessert, I often toss a fortune cookie into my lunch box. These are bought by the boxful at the grocery. They taste as yummy as the ones at the Asian buffet, and are a light 25 calories more or less.

Best of all, these tasty little cookies come with a cheerful fortune tucked inside.

It’s possible I give a little too much credit to the predictions of fortune cookies, however.

I remember eating dinner out with my then-prospective husband about 25 years ago. We were on a date at a Chinese restaurant, and I was wondering whether he was “the one.”

“Stop looking. Perfection is right in front of you,” said the fortune cookie I opened at the end of our meal that night.

I looked at him sitting across the table and decided then and there to marry him.

And while we did end up divorced, it took us 18 years to screw things up to the point they weren’t fixable, so I don’t blame the fortune cookie.

Fortunes are cheerful and fun and optimistic.

“You won’t be bored for long!” one recently promised. “New adventures are on their way.”

Others promise windfalls of money or that I will be showered with good luck.

And somehow after opening such a fortune, I start to FEEL luckier somehow.

Recently, I opened one of my daily fortunes and read it.

“Oh no,” I groaned. “I’m going to lose my job.”

My coworkers were shocked until they read it. “Your life will be peaceful and happy,” it read.

The only way a news reporter’s life is peaceful is if she leaves the job.

Happiness, on the other hand, is a state of mind – or so they tell me.

With a name like Joy, you’d think happiness would come easily, and some days it does. I’ve had a blessed life.

Other times, it can seem a burden to live up to such a cheerful name. I’ve had my share of down times just like everyone.

I have learned that when I embrace gratitude and keep a positive attitude, I am happier no matter what the circumstances.

Today, I’m feeling lucky.

According to my fortune there are “many unexpected and thrilling surprises” in store for me.

 

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