Great Good Fortune
I recently had dinner with a friend at a Chinese restaurant.
I remember when it was not difficult to find a restaurant that specialized in Mandarin or Hunan or Szechuan cuisine. Now, it seems, there are so many Thai and Korean and Vietnamese eateries, that finding a place simply for good pot stickers and hoisin sauce has become more challenging.
My friend and I discovered one such place close to where he lives. They serve cold Tsing Tao beer, too. A bonus!
There used to be a saying about eating Chinese food, about how, even after a big meal, feeling full is short-lived.
Whether this is due to the proportion of rice to protein (and the speed required for digesting each), or whether this is a plot hatched by Idaho Potato Growers Association to fill American plates with starches that have skins, many people claim to have experienced this.
Regardless of how full I felt when I pushed the mostly empty plate of spicy garlic sauce away, my eyes lit up when the young waiter, probably a nephew of the owner, brought out a small white plate with two almond cookies and two fortune cookies.
No matter how full I felt at the moment, I couldn’t NOT break the almond cookie into chunks and wash them down with my tiny handle-less cup of jasmine tea.
And the fortune cookies…. individually wrapped in thin cellophane before pandemic eating made individually wrapped treats pretty common, I couldn’t wait to crack one open.
Pretty plain and tasteless, these cookies do not have much to offer as a dessert. And yet, my sense of anticipation showed me that I was hungry for something they offered.
Reassurance or a cause for optimism? The sense that getting a “random” message actually operates according to some plan?
I love noticing how unexpected words or events can change my perspective.
In unpacking my end-of-meal treat, I anticipated receiving a message that was just for me, like someone was telling me, “It’s okay. Everything is okay.”
I gave myself permission to hold the packaged cookie to my lips and tear the wrapper open with my teeth.
I held it between my thumb and index finger and squeezed until the hardened dough started crumbling.
The new generation of fortune cookies introduced an unfamiliar twist. Aphorisms and lucky numbers are printed on one side of the two-inch strip of paper. Advertising appears on the other side.
I zoomed in on the words, “Hiring? We’ll serve up qualified candidates fast,” wondering how the message could be for me then realized the words were from ZipRecruiter™.
I deferred to my dining companion to read his fortune out loud, taking note of the advertisement on the reverse side as the words tumbled out of his mouth.
While his message was about the coming of a BIG event, I zeroed in on the words, “DUDE WIPES…available from amazon.”
I opened my strip of paper and read my fortune out loud. I smiled.
You are more appreciated that you think.
I loved the thought. I could not imagine a more wonderful sentiment; that a positive state of mind and radiating good energy is welcome even though it’s not called out.
Something I was hungry for WAS satisfied.
That’s my great, good fortune.
As long as I can appreciate things in life as it is, and, as long as I feel I am appreciated for what I contribute or what I can bring out in others, everything is okay.
Trusting that you are appreciated is no small thing.
Re-printed with permission.
Deborah Hawkins has been blogging on gratitude and mindfulness for over a decade, posting over 500 essays. In December of 2019, she brought out two books, The Best of No Small Thing — Mindful Meditations, a collection of favorite blogs, and Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life — Making the Uplifting Experience of Gratitude Intentional, a workbook on her process. Through her books, classes, and coaching, she teaches people how to identify things to be grateful for in everyday experiences.
Visit Deborah at: Visit No Small Thing