Saturday, November 27, 2010

It Is What It Is

I’ve got a motto…
’It is what it is’.
That usually works in most situations.
I mean, think about it. How much control do we really have on the world?
Well, it depends on what we’re talking about.
Life can throw us some curveballs. And we cannot always be ready for every single one, no matter how much we prepare for 'life'. (I’m a planner, if you haven’t noticed.)
But years of getting curveballs has taught me this: While I may not have control over what happens, I do have control over what I think, how I feel and how I act. And in the end, no one has responsibility for that except for me. Whether I am acting or reacting, it is all about me.
Don’t confuse ‘It’s all about me’ with, ‘boo hoo, something horrible has happened and oooohhh you don’t understand, don’t you feel sorry for me?’.
The ‘all about me part’ is this: ‘No matter what is going on around me, I am in control of myself, my words and my actions, and I will have no one to blame or look to but myself regarding how I think or feel about them. Correct. I do not have control over some of the situations, but I will always have the power to control how I respond to them.
Do I like schedules that change? Nope.
Do I like the courts particular decisions on some things? Not at allllll.
Do I like the weather every day of the week? No, not always.
Do I like how the Browns lose so often? Ummmmm..@*&$  NO!!!!!!
Do I have any control over these things? Not even remotely.
If I HAD control… I’d tell my significant other’s work that their time frame of distributing the schedule sucks, I’d tell the court it’s absurd for Thanksgiving to work out like this every year, I’d tell Mother Nature that the weather sucks in November and March, and I’d tell Coach Mangini ‘don’t ever put in another quarter back other than Colt McCoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’
But, I can’t do that. And even if I did, it wouldn’t matter.
I have always seemed to have a short temper, or enjoyed getting mad. I haven’t figured out which.
But, regardless, it has never been productive. So, last month, I decided that anger wasn’t an emotion that I wanted to participate in. Ha! Yes.. that was my epiphany. Thank you.
While I am not proud of how many years it has taken me to realize this, I am proud that I finally have realized it.
Life is full of learning and I I’ve always said, from the day we are born to the day we die, we will learn something new. There is no predetermined time frame for when  we learn  what we learn, just whether we finally learn it, or not, is the important thing.
I can’t solve a single thing by being angry, period.
I can yell at the T.V., complain to co-workers, and yell at my significant other, but none of it I is going to help. It is what it is, and it’s out of my control.
So now… I’m happy knowing that I have a calm that envelopes me and my emotions because I know that I cannot control the world, people, or the things that happen to me…but that I CAN control ME and how I behave. And that I can be at peace when I am being peaceful.
I know that I mention the Last Lecture often in my blogs. It’s because it truly resonates with me. I heard about Randy’s story a couple of years before he died, and before the book actually came out. I had hoped that he would be one of those people who could put it all into perspective. (I’ve always had a belief that those who have a limited time will be the ones who tell us what really matters.) And he did.
I gained a certain respect and perspective, listening to someone speak, who was left with an unexpected (and short) time-frame in which to live, as Randy Pausch was. He told us that with small children, a perfect wife and a life full of prosperity, and a future full of dreams, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and had a choice of how to react. Die the day of the diagnosis, or live while dying?  It’s all in how we handle what we are given.
I believe that we should not wait, but live with purpose and gratefulness always, while we are living.
Thank you to Randy Pausch for spending his last months pouring out his heart and soul, to tell us what really matters. Thank you to his wife, family and friends who admired his purpose and goals. Reading his book changed my life and I would be shocked if it didn’t change others.
I am about to embark on another long trip to retrieve the greatest gifts in my life. I hope your Thanksgiving was joyful. Enjoy today and share with those you love, what you are grateful for.
And act accordingly.

A cloudy sky doesn't mean you have to have a cloudy attitude.

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