There are little treats in life that have the power of making us smile. One of those is the fortune cookie. Its simple statements such as “Dance like no one is watching” or “You’re never too old to learn” have the potential of creating happy thoughts. And we need a lot of happy thoughts in these particular times, right?
We, middle-aged people tend to be very serious and sometimes very boring. We often forgot the art of surprising ourselves and others. But I believe it is important to carve out time for playful, silly moments like this to let our imagination run free. Our mental wellbeing will be grateful for that because when we give ourselves treats, we feel not only re-energized, cared for, and contented, but we also have the chance to boost our self-command—and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.
You know, there’s something kind of fun and magical about breaking open a fortune cookie to see what words of wisdom are printed on the little strip inside. Of course, they’re too ridiculous to be taken seriously but let me say sometimes they are able to bring hope as well as inspirations for conversations at dinner time with friends. And, even though quite rare, sometimes fortune cookies say just what you need to hear. The message the cookie holds might be a good metaphor for discovering our own inner wisdom: a way to crack open our hard outer shell. A shell that in midlife might be very tough to break. Next time, if the message really speaks to you, tuck it inside your pocket and use it as a way to reflect on your current situation.
As for predicting the future, no, fortune cookies don’t have special powers of foresight. The fortune cookie you open at a Chinese restaurant came into your hands randomly. If it happens to contain a fortune that comes true, it’s just coincidence. Besides, many fortunes don’t even predict the future. Instead, they may offer simple advice that may or may not be helpful. However, even though your fortune might not always come true, the idea ‘you will be meeting a tall, dark and handsome stranger‘ would probably put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Be wise, age playfully!