I’ve decided that’s my life motto for an indefinite period of time — it is what it is.
It’s pretty apparent to most people that I’ve got a Type A personality. I like control, I like to plan, I like knowing what’s next so that I not only know what to anticipate, but I’ve also got a Plan B and Plan C. If I see something I don’t like or want to improve, I set out to fix it.
And you know what? It’s exhausting.
I also think it makes me a basket case.
The thing is (amazing what kind of revelations you can have at the gym), it’s impossible to think I can control that much, and I certainly shouldn’t be trying to do so. Not only that, but it also wreaks havoc on my mood and attitude, which isn’t at all conducive to my happiness project.
Take today, for example. We got half an inch of snow, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal. I grew up in good ol’ SoDak and I know how to handle snow. Unfortunately, I forget that being in South Dakota meant we were ready for winter weather and Missouri isn’t always on the ball. Instead of accepting it (picture a calming “it is what it is” mantra), I instead feel my blood pressure rise and frustrations brewing on my commute to work. By the time I make it to the office (still by 8:00, thank you very much), I’m flustered and not at all ready to take on the day.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You should see me with things that really get the better of me. Like I said, basket case.
So I decided it was time for a change. While I was pondering my new life motto, I actually thought about one of my favorite Elizabeth Gilbert quotes:
There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
I can choose my thoughts. I can choose to fill them with profanities as people get a little too brake happy on slick roads, or I can let it go. I can choose whether I’m going to let it ruin my day or instead I can choose to see the positive – there’s a perk to living in South Dakota!
So I’ve decided that it is what it is. I can’t change how other people drive or how they communicate with me or carry out their business or lives. I can only control my thoughts and reactions. And let’s be honest – I probably have enough crap going on in my own life that I don’t need to concern myself with all the other outside noise.
At the end of the day, it is what it is.