Oh, are you one of the lucky ones who can smile fondly at your younger self?
As a child, I bargained with the universe to get what I wanted, and I assumed everyone else did too.
If I could just count ten telephone poles before my Mom stopped the car, she’d finally agree to buy a Dalmatian.
This never worked, but I kept trying. (The pony I wanted was a dead loss, but I thought I was close on the swimming pool in the backyard.)
I didn’t realize this kind bargaining was weird until in college I read a psychology book that described something called magical thinking.
That’s when I learned that what I was doing wasn’t just harmless daydreaming, but mere steps away from You-Need-Professional-Help-Territory.
Just the other day, though, I was even more embarrassed when I realized how this childish habit has managed to stick with me into adulthood.
(I still sorta do this.)
Of course I know this kind of cosmic dealmaking is total hooey, unicorn scat, to be exact.
Yet living 24/7 in the land of rationality has its dangers, too.
Frankly, I’m not sure I can recommend it.
The human brain is hard-wired to seek patterns, to find meaning—even where there is none.
An unblinking stare into the abyss of life’s utter randomness is enough to drive anyone nuts.
We need to blink.
We need a break from being relentlessly grown up all the time.
That tension between logic and your gut feel, between rationality and utter, delightful nonsense? That’s were the creative juice of life lies.
So take a break.
Make a deal with the cosmos.
Who knows, maybe there’ll a pony in your front yard when you get home.
What rituals from childhood give you comfort? Come on, share. We’re all friends here.