Opinion

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: An unfortunate omission

I’m a guy who’s always looking for tidbits on how to live one’s life or at least advice on how to get the most out of one’s life.

Especially lately. I don’t know, maybe it’s a bit of a midlife crisis or something but then I was an English major so I’ve always been on  a bit of a quest for knowledge, wisdom, anything that addresses the mysteries, along with the frustrations, of life.

And, pretty much from any source.

Of course the Shakespeares and Chaucers and the like have something to say about the human condition worth considering, after all we’re all dealing with “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

So any “quote of the day” feature that includes greats from the past I’m all over it. I figure it’s a good idea to listen to people who are a lot smarter than me and that those who have lived through extraordinary events might have some insights that we could also learn from.

But I also check my horoscope most days, not that I put much stock in it, but often it’s just advice anyway so I check it out, in the newspaper of course.

I’m an Aries but I’m not a typical one, according to most sources, and my wife is an Aries, and that’s supposed to be a no-no, but it’s 21 years and counting so we’re getting by just fine thank you very much.

And I just don't get why people who just happen to be born around the same time of the year should share the same characteristics as well.

I happen to think birth order in a family has way more to do with how we turn out as people than actual birth dates, but then that’s just a theory too, there is that genetic vs. environment thing.

Although, like Malcolm Gladwell, I do believe birth dates have something to do with success in sports, and if you want to know more check out his book called Outliers. Interesting stuff.

But another source I like to check from time to time, like whenever I order Chinese food, are fortune cookies.

Again, kind of like horoscopes, it’s more often advice than predictions you can count on, but they fascinate me and I even like to collect them to both see if they turn out to be true or simply offer advice I can turn to later in my life. Like I said, I’m looking for guidance here in middle life.

Here’s a sampling, and commentary, of the collection cluttering  up my personal counter space at home:

- A new work opportunity will avail itself. (very interesting for a guy in my position)

- You will take a pleasant journey to a place far away. (been trying to get to New York for awhile now, so good, good)

- Your efforts in a critical area will soon be rewarded. (kind of general but OK)

- Don’t worry about the stock market. Invest in family. (nice sentiment but have you checked the stock market lately?)

- An unexpected windfall will be yours. (I do buy lottery tickets so this is very good and one day I will try out the six numbers on the back of the message because, well, why not?)

So last weekend it was with some anticipation that I opened another fortune cookie after enjoying another fine meal from one of my favourite local establishments. Hopefully something to think about and another message to ponder and at least another small piece of paper to add to my collection of clutter at home.

But, alas, and I don’t think this has happened to me before, there was nothing.

No fortune? How could that be?

Now, intellectually, I understand it was just a quality control issue back at the factory but it bothered me more than it should have. I’ve had two fortunes on occasion, so I just pick the best one, but what am I supposed to do with none?

Luckily I just happen to have old ones lying around to replace the missing one so I’m choosing to go with the last one on the list above and I’m actually going to go and buy that lottery ticket. Maybe this will turn out to be fortunate after all.

 

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