Saturday, July 12, 2008
I'll take a miracle
Once upon a time when I was a little girl, (and a teen-age girl, and an older, bigger girl) I used to wish on stars, and birthday cake candles, and dandelion clocks. I don't remember what I would wish for, but I do remember that I was superstitious, and would not wish for things that I felt were "important." That was because I believed that some things would only be truly worthwhile if I worked for them. If they came by "magic," then they would not be so valuable.
And what was so important that I could not accept it from a wish? Well, even as a young child I wanted to lose weight (I know that creates a whole new topic for discussion, but at least I was savvy enough to realize that it would be odd to go from chubby to skinny in a moment). I felt that unless I had work and sweat and struggle for it, it would not be real.
Then, when I was a little older, I wished that Mr. Right (in the person of certain teenage boys) would look my way... but again, I didn't want my wish granted by the genie in a bottle; I wanted it to be "real."
One thing I never needed to wish for was to do well in school and get good grades. I was able to do that on my own. (Although I was was known to say a quick prayer before math tests—I was completely open to a little divine intervention there!)
Nowadays I am a little more skeptical about wishing on stars and birthday cakes. But I also realize that no matter how much hard work and effort you put into something, luck and fate and chance are always going to play a part. And these days, I am more than willing to take a little help from the gods.
I often say a little prayer for the kids I work with, because I know that their fates are sometimes beyond my ability to control. All I ask is "make it right." And over the past 10 years, I can only think of two or three cases where I truly felt the outcome was not the right one.
On the less serious side, I also know that my race results are as much dependent on the winds of fortune as they are on my own efforts. Yes, I can run 30+ miles a week and do some speed work and long runs, and yoga and Pilates to strengthen my core; and while this will undoubtedly help with my speed and endurance, my performance on any given day is subject to any number of flukes. Will I break 25 minutes in a 5K? Will I get under two hours in my next half-marathon? I'm training for these things, but I wouldn't say no to a bit of fairy dust on my shoes to help me along.
Maybe it's time to break that wishbone I've been saving from a past roasted chicken... or not. There's plenty of things to wish for in future. And if the stars, or the candles on my next birthday cake, or any other divine granters of desire want to step in, I've got a long list of dreams to fulfill. And if they want to knock off 10 pounds, or send Mr. Right my way? You won't hear any complaints from me!