2 articles Tag Superstition

Holding My Breath

If you read this blog regularly or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m a pretty ‘heart-on-sleeve’ kinda gal. There are very few subjects that I won’t write about; the way I see it – my space, my rules. I’ve always been the same and those close to me have often remarked that they worry my openness will leave me vulnerable as not everyone in the world is nice. The thing is, try as I might, I can’t help myself. It’s no coincidence that my Mum called me ‘Gob on a Stick’ when I was a kid!

However, just recently, there have been some things that I can’t gab about, either to readers or Real Life Friends, and it’s making me feel peculiar.

I’ve written before about how superstitious I am and how at times it’s felt like it’s taking over my life, walking along the street by myself, avoiding the cracks and saluting the magpies, but at the moment I’m under the curse of the jinx. There are things going on, both good and bad, and if I talk about them I might jinx them. I know how stupid that sounds, like by mentioning something I’m going to somehow change the course of future events, but it’s just the way my mind works. There’s logic in there somewhere – if I DON’T talk about it and anything goes wrong, I know I didn’t jinx it by talking about it, does that make any sense?

The problem with this is that I feel like I’m holding my breath. I’ve taken a deep breath in and I have¬†no idea¬†when I’m going to be able to exhale again. It’s a frustrating feeling that I don’t like very much. As a control freak, it’s not all that conducive to my usual way of doing things, you know? The stuff that’s going on is only partially in my control and it’s not that great for my frame of mind.

All I know is, once this week is over, I’ll know where I stand a little bit more and hopefully things will start to fall into our new version of normal. But until then, if you only get one-word answers out of me, don’t be too surprised!

Superstition Ain’t the Way!

I’ll set the scene for you: I’m on the phone, I’m looking for a pen. I walk into the room that my husband and I share (he uses his half as office space, I use my half as sewing space and general dumping ground for the things which have no home elsewhere). I stop. I look at his desk. My heart starts thumping.

There is a PAIR OF SHOES on his DESK.

‘So, what?’ you may ask.

This is HORRIFYING to me.

Not for the hygiene issues. Not for the fact that something is out-of-place. It’s the fact that shoes are on the table…and that’s BAD LUCK.

Yes. I am one of those women who, despite being an intelligent, (mostly) together person, despite my deep faith in science and fact and reason, is ridiculously superstitious.

The shoe thing isn’t even one of my original superstitions, that was inherited from my Husband’s side of the family. No, mine are too numerous to list, but I’ll name a few:

Stepping on cracks in the pavement, opening crisp bags the right way up, counting the stairs as I go up and down, not stepping on single drains, or rows of three drains (two in a row is okay, in fact that’s good luck), saluting magpies, touching wood after saying something iffy, and on and on and on.

The magpies are the worst. If I were walking along a crowded street, totally alone, my compulsion to salute a lone magpie is so strong that I would still do it. I’ve had days where I didn’t salute in time and was convinced something bad was going to happen. On the flip side, I’ve had days where I’ve seen multiple sets of two magpies together throughout the day, and have been convinced all day that something great was going to happen. I’ve bought lottery tickets on the strength of magpie sightings.

And it all seems so ridiculous. Sometimes, I have an almost out-of-body experience and see myself, walking along the street, dodging drains, saluting magpies, avoiding cracks and I think “Wow, if I knew me, I would avoid me”. I must look like a drunkard or an escaped mental patient, swaying along, waving my arms around. But even this realisation isn’t enough to stop me.

Because, and this is the really mental part; I’m convinced that if I stop, that will be the moment that I find out that it was true, all along, and bad things will start to happen. And at the risk of being a bit too controversial, isn’t that how the church sucked all those people in all those years ago?!

“We can’t prove that there’s a man in the sky, listening to our prayers and causing natural disasters, but you’d best believe in him, JUST IN CASE.”

Seems a bit silly when you put it like that, doesn’t it? But I’m not here for a theological debate.

I wonder if there will ever be a time when I’ll be, er, well, sane enough to stop all of these little avoidances, which probably make my day just a smidge harder than it really needs to be? But if I’m honest, I can’t see an end in sight. Because there’s always the ‘what if?’. There’s still a minute, infinitesimal chance that it does work and if I stop, a plane will crash down on me when I pop to the shops to get some milk… *touches wood*.

So until someone can unequivocally prove to me that my hopping and saluting DOESN’T work, I think I’ll carry on.

Just in case.