I admit it: I’m one of those people who checks their horoscope.

But since it bothers me to know how my day’s going to go before I’ve suffered through it, I always wait until the evening to flip open the paper and see how things went.

I just would rather live the day first, then see how I did compared with how I was supposed to do. Kind of like finding out the grade on a test prior to taking it: If I’m already going to get an “A,” why bother studying?

That’s pretty much how I feel about feng shui, our cover story for this month. This design and lifestyle philosophy is growing in popularity here in our neighborhood, but like a horoscope, it’s not necessarily something you want to start talking about with the first person you run across.

What if they don’t tend to believe that positioning a pair of candles in the kitchen can make you incredibly irresistible to the opposite sex?

On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with a philosophy that espouses enhancing life in rather simple ways – clearing clutter, getting a healthy plant.

Feng shui doesn’t promise wealth, although the implication is clearly there. It doesn’t promise to solve all of life’s problems, but adherence to the principles supposedly shortens the path to happiness.

And really, how can a little planning be a bad thing in trying to steer a successful path?

A good, thoughtful question, one I hope you will find some answers to after reading our cover story.

Well, my workday actually is over now, and my mind is relatively uncluttered (thanks, in part, to contemplating feng shui), so I can safely read my horoscope:

“Somebody may ask you to do something that goes against your grain. How will you get out of this? Don’t be rude; that won’t help. Instead, explain your obviously better plan to this misguided person.”

You know, my wife just called and “suggested” I pick up some cheese on the way home. I was busy when she called, and she was closer to the store, but exercising enormous restraint, I didn’t tell her what I thought about her idea.

That would have been rude, right? Instead, I just cleaned a little space on my desk, gazed out my office window and contemplated the wisdom of explaining my obviously better plan to this clearly misguided person.

And I concluded that if I kept my mouth closed and came home with some mozzarella, I would feel more tranquil about my prospects to live yet another peaceful day.

The horoscope was right: I passed today’s test.