Monday, September 2, 2019

Starting off on the Right Foot

Have you heard that expression, before?  If so, you'll know it means you are making a good start to whatever it is that you are doing; not necessarily, actually stepping out with your right foot to go somewhere!  In English, the word "right" can mean "correct" (and, by extension, "good"), as well as one side of your body, and the phrase, "Starting off on the right foot" is an idiom.  But, I don't know if there is a tradition of stepping out with your right foot being considered the right/correct thing to do in western culture.

In Sri Lanka, it is considered auspicious to step out on an important journey with your right foot. However, in Sinhala, the native language of the country (also known as Sinhalese, which is the anglicized name), the word for "correct" is different from the word for the right side of the body, while the word for the right side of the body is the same as the word for the direction south!  (But, our word for the left side of the body is not the same as the word for north!). 

I have read that some scholars believe that the same word being used for both the right side of the body with the direction south is an indication of how the Indo-Europeans oriented themselves as they spread across the globe:

One of the Books in my Collection

Ha, ha, I was told to step out with my right/south foot, after I got married, when I was leaving the wedding venue; I did and my marriage "headed south", which is another saying, but, this time, it is an American saying, I believe, meaning things failed!

Anyway, all that was in prelude to my post, which was about starting off the month of September "on the right foot", as they say!  LOL.  Also, because I know that some of you are thinking of starting the monthly balanced life goals/wheel, I thought that I would indicate, in my post, how I go about incorporating those goals into my daily life.

So, with that intent, yesterday, it being the first of the month, I prepared milk rice for breakfast, as that is an auspicious food to eat on special occasions (the 1st of the month being considered an auspicious day as it is a new beginning).  I made an offering of a bowl of milk rice at the altar, which is what I normally do whenever I make milk rice.  That would be the Spiritual spoke of my Balanced Life Wheel, which was further plumped when I meditated, later in the evening, as I watered the garden (Garden spoke of the monthly goals), and, still later, when I said my nightly prayers. 

Neighbor T called for our weekly phone chat, shortly after I had my morning tea (Community), and I spoke with cousin P and friend R, later in the day, and exchanged emails with a friend (Family/Friends) and commented on other blogs, etc. (more Community).

It was hot during the day.  I took it easy and relaxed with the fans going on full blast (no, I didn't go to the room and turn on the a/c).  I watched some TV, read, played online games (I am now addicted to nonograms, thanks to Eileen who mentioned them in one of her blog posts!) (Leisure/Me-time).

Later, in the evening, after it had cooled off, I went for a short walk, for 20 minutes.  I am determined to get back to my walking, this month.  I walked 10 minutes in one direction (in the opposite direction of the two doughnut shops!  LOL!)  Then, I turned around and walked back!  Also, throughout the day, I drank my 8 cups of water.  I weighed myself, too, in the morning.  I'd like to be able to say I ate plenty of vegetables, but, I didn't, unless I count the onions I had with the milk rice in the morning (cooked as a relish), or the tomatoes in the canned pasta sauce I used to make the spaghetti sauce for my dinner!  (Health and Well Being)

I didn't do any specific housecleaning tasks, but, I washed the dishes and scrubbed the kitchen sink, wiped the stove top and counters after I cooked, swept the bathroom floor, and cleaned the litter box, which are all part of my daily maintenance tasks (House).

I also kept in touch with my daughter throughout the day - she phone me in the morning to wish me good morning, we texted each other during the day, and we video chatted at night.  (Daughter). 

Yesterday, I was grateful for:
- A new month and new beginnings
- Fans and electricity to run them
- All the modern ways of keeping in touch with family and friends
- Being able to water the garden
- Cooler evenings

How was your Sunday?  Do you do anything special to observe the first day of the month?  Do you know of any traditions where stepping out on one particular foot is considered to be better luck than on the other?  What do you do to make sure that something you might do is off to a good start?


  1. the latin word for 'right' is the source of 'dextrous' or clever with your hands and the latin word for left is the source for 'sinister'. My grandmother used to get really upset if I didn't put my right shoe on first and she always stirred cooking to the right. Words (and people) are funny things. I didn't know about it being associated with 'south' though. Interesting stuff.

    1. Yes, and, apparently, the right was associated with male and the left with female, thus, in heraldry, "bar dexter" and "bar sinister". :) I love reading about stuff like that!

  2. I wonder if this expression comes from the military originally, because it is essential to start off on the "right" (correct) foot in order to be in sync with everyone else.

    I guess we got off on the right foot for September because all the family were together. Now I'm trying to stay on the right foot catching up with some of the laundry, both our clothes not caught up with last week, and beach towels and bathroom towels from the visit.

    1. The military might be a possible place of origin, although, I always thought they called out, "Left, right, left" when marching!

      Yay for getting off on the right foot with family togetherness! Hope you get caught up with the laundry over the next couple of days. :)

  3. I didn't know that! Thank you! I love reading about stuff like that as well.

  4. Never heard of it being associated with south either. We were taught that historically, anything associated with the left was considered to be evil and unlucky so by default, right means the opposite.

    1. According to the book I mentioned in the post, the Irish word for right also means south! But, I don't know if that is correct or not.

  5. It's also a yoga thing the specific use of whatever foot you put down first. Interesting. But yes, setting out on the right foot with whatever you're doing, as in doing the correct thing; I too am a great believer in that.

    1. That's interesting. At the temple, when we walk around the Bo tree, we are told to walk with our right side to the tree (walk clockwise).


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