God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me. —Author unknown
I’m not always the most observant person. You’ve heard of those people who fall into holes while looking at their phone and walking down the street? I will do that one day.
I get tunnel vision on the sidewalk, in my car, in front of my computer, on the way to the restroom. It happens and when I “wake up,” I will shake my head back into the present, hear noises again and my peripheral vision returns.
Either I’m deeply thoughtful or, well…something else.
Along with attempting to control these brain freezes, I am trying to be more aware of cues the world sends to me. For instance, if I hear multiple stories about a certain subject, I wonder if there might be a reason this certain topic keeps appearing to me.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard a phrase deliberately used in two totally different areas of my life.
“It is what it is.”
I’ve heard this before and it’s always reminded me of something Matthew McConaughey would have said in the movie “Dazed and Confused.”
I heard it used again just a couple of weeks ago regarding a complaint from another company, which accused me of undermining a project in order to make someone else look bad.
I’ve been in the workforce for many years and this is the first time I’ve been called out for sabotage. It was completely ridiculous considering I have enough on my plate without trying to squeeze in the manipulation and destruction of others. And the simple fact that I don’t play that way. I feel good about how it was dealt with and I know those who are reasonable know the truth.
One response from this situation, “It is what it is.” That’s for sure.
We made it to church this past Sunday, and happily so since the young kids took over the service for the day. The children’s sermon was going great. My daughter was waving to me, the kids were hyped up and listening intently to their leader.
She talked about things not going like we plan. How we build up this amazing image in our heads of how something is going to go and then—BAM. It falls apart and it’s just all wrong. So we get angry, we want to scream, we want to yell. She pulled a sign out of a box and a little boy read it to the congregation.
“It is what it is,” he read.
Suddenly, this little five-word phrase was freaking me out a bit. If the first time I heard it was a whisper in my ear, this second time, which was physically written on a piece of cardboard, could be considered a slap on my face.
So, what am I supposed to apply this to? What should I get from this?
I decided there’s not necessarily one big thing because I thought of too many little things. My car’s A/C blower only works on level five. I hit the dash a lot. My hair is dry and nothing works on it. I curse every Garnier commercial that shows up on my television. These are annoying daily things that could use some “It is what it is” attention.
Because as annoying as these things are, they are just that…annoying things. The end of the children’s sermon was about collecting soda-can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, so families have a place to stay while their sick children are in the hospital.
Poor me and my dry hair. I reminded myself and my kids today that we’re all imperfect and we get caught up in our big and small problems. And that’s OK because we’re human. And sometimes those little things really can suck. But we have to be able to pull ourselves back and channel better thoughts than the ones we’re letting ourselves sink into.
It’s a good time to be more observant of what’s going on around us and start repeating, “It is what it is.”
And for a little more enticement, channel Matthew McConaughey voice to say it. (It can’t hurt.)
Comments or questions on this column can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.