I’m not very good at waiting.
I try distracting myself with other tasks. Yesterday, I even washed my car. It had been so long, and my car was so dirty, half the neighbourhood came out to watch and take photos. It may end up in my local paper. I thought it was going to get to the point where I’d have to do some ironing…
But no. As of today, the wait is over. Or just beginning. I don’t know yet, do I? And I can’t find out today.
Because today I saw one magpie on my way to work. My lucky top is in the wash, and then needs to go in the never-to-be-ironed ironing pile before I can wear it again and I didn’t even get out of the office for a coffee.
Now… if it had been yesterday, that would have been a different matter. Yesterday, I was wearing my lucky top, I saw two lots of two magpies (that doesn’t count as four, because I saw them separately. Two pairs, double joy.) When I went into Costa Coffee, my favourite table was free – and it’s not just my favourite table, it’s my lucky table. If I sit there and check my emails – I’ll get good news. It’s happened three times now so it’s definitely true.
But this particular email, the one I’ve been waiting for, didn’t come through yesterday; it came through this morning, when all of the signs were wrong… Does it mean it’s definitely bad news? And will it really make a difference if I wait until the signs are better to open it ?
I could borrow next door’s black cat – force it to cross my path, lay a trail of cat treats. But I’m never sure if that’s good luck or bad luck?
Or I could drive around until I see two magpies…
Or I could just open the email.
Why do we writers put ourselves through this? End up reduced to the point of pushing a black cat along in front of us, buying twelve magazines in order to find one that has good stars for the month? Or is that just me? Please tell me some of you have lucky exam pants or lucky interview socks, or a special pen that’s the only one you can use if you want a piece of writing to go well?
It’s probably a rejection. I shall prepare myself for it to be a rejection. I have wine, I have chocolate, I can cope.
But what if it’s a yes? What if this is the one? The good news, the acceptance, the winner, the squillion pound book deal? Isn’t that why we put ourselves through it? Because of that What If? The rejections mean a momentary pang of disappointment. But an acceptance – the acceptance – could change my life…
If the signs are right, of course.
So will this be a yes? Only one way to find out… see you all later, I’m off to open some emails…