Have you ever done something dumb just because you knew you’d get a really good lesson out of it? That’s what happened with the fortune teller in New Orleans. I was on one of my solo trips, walking around Jackson Square, when I saw one of the many fortune tellers and I thought, “Why not? Of course it’s going to be bogus, but I want to see how this works.”
It went off pretty much how you might expect, with the guy making small talk, occasionally flipping over a tarot card, and telling me a generality about myself. I did laugh at him a couple times (but in a nice way), like when he told me I was very independent. Really, guy? I just told you that I left my boyfriend working at home to come to NOLA by myself for four days. That’s not a deep insight.
But, the real lesson that I got was at the end. We were wrapping up — and he had not shifted my world outlook at all — when he named his price. But he did it in an offhand way, as he was calling over a friend he needed to talk to. That gave me no opportunity to haggle, but plenty of time to dig in my purse to come up with the bills. That was by far his slickest move of the whole exchange.
It wasn’t the best $40 I’ve ever spent, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.
DISCLAIMER: This should be unnecessary — based on the title of this post — but I’m going to say it anyway: I do not endorse or encourage following in my footsteps in any way. The reason these are not-good ideas is because there is a high likelihood that their outcomes will not be…beneficial, shall we say?
But, I’ve led a charmed life, so many of my not-good ideas have worked out for me — at least moderately well. Some have not, and that’s okay too. The only reason that I’m game to try out so many not-good ideas is that I am absolutely willing (even eager) to accept the consequences of my actions. I do not try to dodge the outcomes; I meet them head on and learn what I can from each situation. I suppose this is my form of thrill-seeking behavior. I don’t like amusement park rides, but I’ll take a roller coaster ride of a life any day. It makes me feel really alive!
No one thought it was a GOOD idea to buy the used-book store. They may have thought it sounded like a great time; what could be better than sitting in a room full of books all day? But it’s not going to make me rich. It’s probably not even going to make me any money.
And it hasn’t. It’s barely even broken even, most months. But it has bought me time to spend with my daughter. She’s spent three and a half years surrounded by books and the book-loving public. At six years old, she’s working on adding up bills and making change. She makes book recommendations to the kids who come in, and reads books to the little ones while their parents browse. She spends her summers and school holidays with me and not being raised by someone else.
So, no. It wasn’t a good idea. But it was a great adjustment to our lives that has worked well for us and allowed me the time and space to pursue all of the other interests that I have. Will they make me money? Almost certainly not. Will they entertain me? Absolutely. That’s what this blog is about. All of the not-good ideas that I have that work out well for me and my family.
Many people roll their eyes at me and my schemes. But, they work out, and then I try something else. Or they don’t, and I learn from them, and then try something else. What’s next? Who knows? Come back to find out!