Friday, April 25, 2014

Week Seventeen – Tempting Fate!

No matter how hard you try, there is never a good moment for things to happen and they will happen against all odds!

 Many years ago, when I was still young (notice how I am saying here I am still young!) I bit into a hard piece of bread and one of my tooth chipped. This happens to many of us and you just simply go to the dentist, he looks at it and fixes it. It was December in this particular occasion and I managed to get an appointment just before Christmas! How lucky I hear you say… indeed. However, what was to come became the worst nightmare of my life!

Dentists like to fiddle with our teeth, and often they want to fix other things you don’t need fixing (they sound like mechanics who always want to fix what is not wrong with your car) My dentist worked on my chipped tooth and, yes, he tampered with the others while I sat in the chair hoping the pain would go away! On the 22nd December I left the surgery feeling better having had a filling and some other stuff done to my mouth. By the way, the dentist was going on a three-week vacation to Australia the next day. 23rd of December I was feeling good, 24th of December I was still feeling good and yes, you already guessed, 25th of December I woke up with possibly the worst toothache I have ever experienced in my life! 25th of December when no one, and I mean no one works! Against all odds, I was faced with the most excruciating pain ever know to mankind and no one to help me! It took 2 days before I could see an emergency dentist who then proceeded to charge me the largest amount of money, which was more painful that the toothache I had!

This sort of thing always happens when it shouldn’t! And this week was no exception!

Good Friday, I woke up to a broken boiler! Good Friday! A 4-day long weekend ahead of us! Why does it always happen when no one works? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Has it ever happen to you? I am sure everyone, at some point or another, have face this situation, it is just they way life it, and you can’t avoid it.

What is interesting is why does it always happen when you least want it? And do we “tempt fate” as they say? My boiler broke down when my family was away in Spain and on the Thursday night as we Skyped before their arrival on Saturday morning my son said to me “Dad, please make sure the heating is on when we get in, it will be nice to have a warm house when we arrive” Every time we come back form vacation the house is so cold, but this time, as I was there, I could make sure it was warm before they arrived; but alas, it was not meant to be! Was this coincidence that he made a comment or was he “tempting fate”? Was our boiler barking down in such a long weekend just luck or it was meant to be? Why this specific day? I was at home for four days before the weekend, why didn’t it break then when I could get it fixed? Is this a strange phenomenon or really just bad luck? I do remember thinking back when I had my tooth saga “should I wait to get my tooth fixed after Christmas?” somehow I knew there will be days ahead when things may be more difficult if you have complications. Was I “tempting fate” or “jinksing it” as they call it?

This go me thinking and I looked at other events similar to this to see if what I was observing was just coincidence or there was something bigger that drove this.

One of the most memorable experiences that jumped in my mind was a few years ago when I started travelling and I had booked a coach to get to the airport, which was very tight in terms to time. My flight was very early and it was a choice between arriving an hour before my flight (which is just about enough if you only have hand luggage) or leave 5 hours before and wait at the airport in the hard cold plastic chairs. So I went for the one-hour option. As I waited at the station I kept on thinking, “it’ll be alright, I have plenty to time” and as the coach arrive I saw it was a brand new vehicle, making me think “oh good, it’s a new coach, at least it won’t break down!” What I am about to tell you is nothing but the truth. We set off to the airport and after about an hour, just halfway there, the coach began to jerk. Within a minute the driver pulled and the engine stopped. And I promise you as I stand here before you, the brand new 54 seater coach had broken down! I could not believe it! Was this really happening? I didn’t make my flight and I often think did I “jinks” it or was it just pure coincidence?

I’m a great believer that everything happens for a reason. Nothing is by chance and that things are meant to happen. Ever since that day I have never booked a ticket where I only have an hour to get to my flight, as a frequent traveller is not a risk I can afford to take and so perhaps that day was meant to happen to show me that I cannot take the risk as there is always a chance that the coach will break down.

Think of times when this has happened to you, was it coincidence or was fate telling you something? Is fate what determines what happens in our lives and thus when you tempt it, it back-fires? If my son hadn’t said “make sure the house is nice a warm” the boiler wouldn’t have broken down? If I hadn’t said “at least the coach won’t break down” I would have not missed my flight? I guess this is one of the many mysteries of life that we human being we will never know, but for sure, I know that every time I don’t want something to happen, I try not to tempt fate and think of something else!

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