Cross your fingers while touching wood

March 19, 2012 § 5 Comments

I’ve never considered myself to be a superstitious person. All that about umbrellas being put up indoors or smashed mirrors and seven years – clearly nonsense. My mum will never put new shoes on a table. What an earth can that be about?

But that was before. Nowadays, I am highly superstitious. It’s way too risky to say, “Yes, I feel better.” That’s like tempting all the illness, bad luck fates that ever were. If I were religious, it would be different. I could say something like, “Yes, I feel better, thanks be to God”. Instead, I have to say, “Yes, fingers crossed, I’m continuing to improve,” or, more pathetically still, “Hopefully, I will be feeling better by then.” I’m not above touching wood, for goodness sake. There have to be some words or a gesture to support the feeling better/things might be alright line. (See, I can’t even comfortable say that things “will” be alright; they only “might” be alright – hopefully, fingers crossed, please God, etc. [the “please God” isn’t really something I can use but I’m more than happy for anyone else to have a go with that.])

The difficulty becomes more acute when planning for the future. Doing anything that involves assuming I might be fit and well in a month, in the summer, beyond, seems like taunting those same illness fates. I haven’t bought any new clothes, for example, and I’m finding it hard to think about getting fit again – that’s a huge investment in the future, after all. Today, I couldn’t bring myself to post the deposit for our summer holiday (Russell offered to do it, bless him). I even hesitated to renew the Family Railcard.

Is this all a sign that I am slowly going bonkers? If the cancer is coming back, I think medical opinion would suggest that it’s doing so regardless of whether we have an up to date Family Railcard. And I’m not proud of behaving with no more enlightenment than a medieval peasant, thinking I can control this by not buying a new pair of jeans (or whatever the medieval equivalent was, a new long frock, presumably). I suppose it’s about control. None of this is in my control, after all or the bits I could control, I’ve done. So now, after all the science, it is rather down to luck, which is just superstition in another guise.

So fingers cross people, fingers crossed.

§ 5 Responses to Cross your fingers while touching wood

  • The deposit has been posted. Aargh!

  • Liz Heaney says:

    I like the Arabic phrase ‘ Inshallah’ – God willing. Seems to be used a lot as a figure of speech, like it would be presumptuous to answer definitely, there has to be a proviso.
    One thing you can absolutely guarantee is that there will always be dirty laundry, so you should treat yourself to some new clothes to end up in your new basket.

  • I don’t think it’s any more bonkers than thinking that buying new clothes/family vacation/railcard is a positive step and therefore will bring you good luck. But it’s a lot more fun to do those things than to not do them just in case. So I say get some clothes, plan a vacation and purchase a long term ticket to a public transport network. Getting fit though? I’d use it all as fine excuse not to that, if i were you.

  • Nougat says:

    Yesolutely, fingers permanently crossed. Lovely to hear from you.

  • Rachel says:

    I am reading two books right now, written by Patti Digh.Life is a verb and Creative is a verb.They are brilliant, I was drawn to them by the reviews on Amazon, I didn’t expect to be laughing so much. Steve keeps walking in on me with tears in my eyes thinking I’m crying!! Reading your post, I thought you might like them too. Now buy some new clothes for christsakes!!!!!!

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