Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Whatever! (For All Those Things We Cannot Change)

So many times I hear people giving the advice that if you don't like something, change it. It's good, sound advice. I myself have done just that, many-a-time. But let's face it: there are a lot of factors and situations in life that we simply don't have much control over. Or so little control over them that we barely make a dent in their outcomes.  It's those situations, predicaments, dilemmas, messes, whatever you want to call them, that I'd like to address now. 

I don't know about everyone else, but sometimes it seems I'm dealing with so much stuff that I literally feel like I'm blowing in the wind. Drifting, if you will, through the days. Praying or hoping to just get through until it's time for bed, time to shut down and not have to worry about another thing, if only for a few short hours. Those things I can't change, those are the ones that make me want to simply shut my eyes and not wake up for a good, long time.

Even though I'd like to crawl in a hole and hide sometimes (wouldn't that be so easy every now and again?), I'm not a depressed person. No, not at all. Am I sometimes a little down in the dumps? Sure. It's hard not to be during those times when you feel like you have a million pounds of junk sitting on your shoulders, weighing you down until you're about knee-deep in a pile of dump! But, I usually pull myself back out pretty easily. And, do you want to know how? A good old healthy dose of the Whatevers. That's how!

For some people, it might be giving it to God. For others, it might be letting it go. However you slice it, everyone needs to have their own personal way of saying whatever, because we cannot change everything. We certainly can't change what other people say or do. We can't change the fact that the check was not in the mail like it was promised. (Believe me, I know a little about that one!)  We cannot always make our own children do what they are supposed to or act how we would like. (Yep, I know a little about that one, too!) Those outside forces that are beyond our control tend to be the most frustrating because they are, well, beyond our control. If we could control them, they wouldn't really be much of a problem at all, would they? :) Sometimes they're big; sometimes they're small. But either way, they're just plain annoying.

So, when I start to feel like something beyond my control is dragging me down into the Pit of Despair (yes, I love The Princess Bride!), I try to find an inner peace, if you will, by simply saying to myself, whatever! Because, in my mind, that about sums it up. If someone wants to be a jerk and say mean things... whatever. If I'm late to a meeting because I had to pull over and let my car cool down for awhile... whatever. If my child wants to have a really loud screaming fit in Meijer... whatever! If I can't pay my phone bill exactly on time because my renter didn't send his check to me when it was due... whatever! So what if my payment is a few days late anyway? It really isn't the end of the world, now is it? Nope. It sure is not!

Please don't think I advocate a careless attitude toward things. On the contrary, I'm a highly responsible person. I sincerely love having my bills paid on time, my kids well-behaved at the store and prompt arrivals at meetings and events. I do everything I can, everything in my power, to make these things happen. But when things get beyond my control, then it's time to say whatever. We all need to find the serenity to accept those things that we cannot change. Life is full of them, and they'll make us crazy if we let them. Find what tactic works for you and, when outside forces are trying your patience, take a big ol' healthy swig of it! :) It's the best thing you can do for yourself (and probably your blood pressure too!)

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