Fortune cookies and the dentist


We had fortune cookies after dinner tonight. The Floppy Adolescent says they taste like styrofoam, but I’ve always been partial to a bit of fortune cookie action. I also like my bag of runes, but that’s a different thing, isn’t it? A different level of divining. Anyway I haven’t got my runes with me right now, so in the absence of better methods, these are my current fortunes.

In case you can’t read them they say
Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.
Many a false step is made by standing still.

Probably you aren’t supposed to take two fortunes, but I did, because I like the biscuits.

The adversity seems a bit more 2009, but I guess the false step one is prescient. I can feel that paralysis creeping up, the one you get where you’ve got too much going on and so you do nothing not because that’s the best option but because it saves you from choosing the wrong thing to get started on.

I’ve been in Adelaide for a week, so that’s sort of one third through my time in Australia and halfway through my time in Adelaide or maybe slightly less than that so slightly more time remaining than I am thinking, but gah! Does time not fly?

This is the bit where I start getting stressed at all that I still want to do, knowing I won’t get it all done, but not quite at the place where I still pretend to myself like anything is possible. I know it’s stressing me because a few hours ago when the lads were wrestling on their bedroom floor and I said to them, ‘You need to stop, I’m feeling stressed right now,’ they did indeed stop. I guess I had my stress voice on.

There’s been quite a bit going on in the background the last month or so – you know the kinds of things that aren’t urgent or don’t affect you directly, but are big nonetheless so take a bit of (over)thinking. So there’s a bit more getting stuff sorted and arranging things and waiting for other things than I had planned for.

I much prefer the time later on (and this will be tomorrow or the next day) where a person can no longer pretend that everything will get done and starts to slash at the to-do as the priorities prioritise themselves. Actually, here’s something we can scrub off right now: dentist. I mean, am I really going to spend a precious day of my trip at the dentist when I could be having a coffee with a friend or another glass of sparkling burgundy with my cousin, or even just wandering from place to place and thinking, ‘this is winter, this is rain, how lovely does this feel’? And it’s not like there aren’t dentists in Abu Dhabi and after seven years of living there I should be able to not only make an appointment but get myself to it.

Scrub dentist from the list.

The stress, it has already lifted. That was easy.

5 thoughts on “Fortune cookies and the dentist”

  1. Ms 16, bless her, is given to playing the piano loudly as we’re racing around trying to get ready to get out the door for something, because she’s ready and she has to do something to fill the time in.

    “Please, no,” I say. And she stops. I think it’s the mummy-stress voice in action. (I do get stressed by noise, and it can overwhelm me a little, and I think the stress of flap-flap-flap-get-out-the-door turns music into noise for me.)

  2. Love those fortunes. Particularly the second. Doing nothing is a choice. Sometimes dangerous but a choice.
    I would love to scrub the dentist from my to-do list. They frighten me, despite knowing that my current dentist is a lovely woman and very gentle.
    Savour those Adelaide days…

    1. They’re terrifying. But I’m also terrified of major dental work and I’m overdue for a visit. So putting it off is a little stressful too, but yes, makes it difficult to savour my time here.

  3. Dentists have always terrified me, monumentally! Ever since sadistic School Dental Nurses, whose torture was unbelievable, I have been a devout coward, if anyone wants access to my teeth.
    I have to congratulate you on procrastination, in pursuit of comfort and joy.xx

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