Saturday, February 1, 2020

Get Lucky (Year Of The Rat)

It's the Year of the Rat, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar.

I was born in the Year of the Rat, many moons ago.

Whoops! Guess I just gave my age away there. But that's not the point I wish to make.

Such convergence means fortune will smile upon me more favourably this year. Supposedly. According to Chinese tradition. It's written in the stars. Or the gravitational force of the moon. Whatever.

Anyway, point is, I'm going to get really, really lucky in Year 2020. Hooray!

No, wait, what's that word again...



* * *

I'm not a superstitious person.

The closest Oriental mystical belief I subscribe is karma. Cause and effect. What goes around, comes around. Heaven and hell? Hah! You wish! Use too much plastic, and you'll be reborn as a fish!

Astrology? Not my cup of tea. The idea that our lives are controlled by external forces beyond our control doesn't fit quite well with the idea that our actions carry consequences.

Feng-shui? Bullshit. The reason why it appears to work is because of a placebo effect. The power of belief. Self-fulfilling prophecies. There's no harm decorating your home or office with tortoises and dragons, of course. But ultimately, whether you fail or succeed in life is all dependent on YOU - and not because you place them too close together at the wrong angles that the dragon didn't catch enough of the sunlight, got jealous and ate the tortoise.

But I must say, this zodiac thing is really working hard in convincing me otherwise. It's just pass January, and I'm already seeing a lot of luck falling my way...

* * *

Ang pow - I got two ang pows from the same aunty - one containing RM20, another with RM100. I suspected there was a mistake, and told my Mom who told my aunty. True enough, it was a mistake. Thanks to my honesty, I'm poorer by a few red notes (hopefully, richer in spirit - karma, take note!)

Gambling - There's a slight generational gap in my family. The adults are over 30, whilst the kids scream and run around the house to chase down imaginary enemies (or invisible evil spirits, perhaps). So Uncle Raphael became the 'house' for blackjack (minimum bet: 10 cents). Despite my best efforts, my cards just didn't let me to 'fong sui' by drawing more cards in 'risky' spots - I kept hitting 21 (even AA once - triple!) from my initial two cards. So I pocketed most of their money within an hour. Sorry, kids!

Pay - In my line of work, I'm used to getting delayed payment. Well, that's the nature of bureaucracy and the service industry. So it's quite a surprise I received two timely payments in January (one being an advance deposit being work was even done). Best thing is, I wasn't expecting such early payment nor asked for it.

Health check - We Chinese are not purely money-minded, of course. Health is wealth. Prosperity doesn't mean much if we can't live long enough to enjoy the fruits of our fortune. So I just received the report of a medical check-up - no negative signs! My cholesterol was slightly on the high side during my last check-up - now it's back to normal. Step aside, Kon Marie, for the real expert on Zen minimalism is here...

Thanks for the ang-pow money, kids!

* * *

It's still early days, of course.

Maybe it's all a coincidence. Maybe it's a confirmation bias - I'm finding patterns just because I'm subconsciously looking for them. Maybe my luck will fall away as the year progresses.

Still, true winners make their own luck. Fortune favours the brave.

After all, rats are tenacious buggers. They're quick as lightning. They'll chew and wriggle their way through any barrier.

So no matter the year, I'm still bound to get lucky.

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