And I'll be honest: sometimes it's just plain stressful. It's just one more thing to remember, to take care of, to mark off the list. But I like lists, and stress, well, it's a motivating thing, so I usually remember.
Fortunately, I remembered this morning. My alarm went off, I blurted out "rabbit rabbit rabbit," and then--as if seeing myself from afar--I realized how nutty this whole rabbit business is. Really.
Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure it's a superstition that I'm stuck with for life. It's like a birth mark . . . or maybe just a bad carpet stain. It's not going anywhere.
The good news: I'm not the only one who does this. Tod does it, too.
If so, do you know the origins of this nutty superstition? I did not until I wiki-ed it just now. According to wikipedia, which is never wrong, this whole nutty rabbit business is a common British superstition. Wikipedia says:
The most common modern version states that a person should say "rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit", "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit", "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits", "rabbit, rabbit", or simply "white rabbits" upon waking on the first day of each new month, and on doing so will receive good luck for the duration of that month. In the United States, the tradition is especially common in Nantucket, Cape Cod other towns within Massachusetts and throughout Vermont, notably in Middlebury and Chester.
The exact origin of the superstition is unknown, though it has appeared in print at least as early as 1922:
“Why,” the man in the brown hat laughed at him, “I thought everybody knew ’Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’ If you say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’—three times, just like that—first thing in the morning on the first of the month, even before you say your prayers, you’ll get a present before the end of the month.”
However, some reports place its origins even earlier, into the 1800s. Today it has spread to most of the English-speaking countries of the world, although, like all folklore, determining its exact area of distribution is difficult. This superstition is related to the broader belief in the rabbit or hare being a "lucky" animal, as exhibited in the practice of carrying a rabbit's foot for luck. Some have also believed it represents jumping into the future and moving ahead with life and happiness.
All of this is to say that it's a new month, and a new month is sort of like a new year to me. That is, a new month is a great time to make a list--a list of things I want to do, things I'd like to work on, things I hope to accomplish. You get the idea.
So, in honor of the 30 days of November, here are 30 things on my list, in no particular order:
1. Start the month with "rabbit rabbit rabbit" (DONE!)
2. Walk to work more often. (I did today, but I'd like to do it more regularly.)
3. Sew a baby quilt.
4. Wash my car.
5. Send someone a letter each week.
6. Try a new yoga studio.
7. Get a haircut!
8. Make a grocery list before shopping and--most importantly--stick to it! (No more impulse buys!)
9. Learn to play backgammon.
10. Cook all of the chicken breasts in my freezer.
11. Clean my baseboards.
12. Donate 30 things I don't use to Goodwill.
13. Make eye contact, even when I'm busy.
14. Drink more water.
15. Read two books.
16. Teach Zelda a new trick.
17. Learn a new word or two.
18. Attend two more home Carolina football games! (Go Cocks!)
19. Blog more; blog better.
20. Clean out my dresser.
21. Change the batteries in my smoke detectors.
22. Water and fertilize my houseplants.
23. Research DSLR cameras. (Zelda told me she wanted to buy me one for Christmas.)
24. Go to happy hour with friends.
25. Watch a funny movie.
26. Take a couple walks on the beach.
27. Try a new restaurant.
28. Bake cookies, from scratch.
29. Light more candles.
30. Turn off the lights at 10:30 on "school nights."
I'll let you know at the end of the month how well I do with this list.
(By the way, if you enjoy reading about lists and checking them twice, then check out one of my favorite blogs, Pancakes and French Fries. The author recently completed a 31-day series of living by this William Morris quote: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." I loved it.)
And now, since we're talking about lists and goals and all that good stuff, I just have to brag for a minute. Not about me. About my sister. She accomplished a long-time goal of hers on Saturday, completing her first marathon . . . and in amazing time, too--only 4 hours and 12 minutes, which definitely puts my first (and only) marathon time to shame.
Holy smokes, Cole! I'm so proud of you. (And I'm really sorry for thoroughly embarrassing you, but I couldn't resist. Because that's what sisters are for, right?)