Okay, let’s see how this works:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… How do you know you can’t change it?
That’s what the wisdom’s for.
Maybe “wisdom” is just an excuse for giving up too soon. Ever think of that? Ha!
Okay, I get it. There are some unchangeable things. Especially stuff in the past.
Except for a few Dr. Who-type scenarios, you can’t change the past, and you’ve just gotta learn to accept it. What’s done is done, and all that. It’s all over but the shouting. Katie bar the door. The generous-lunged professional female singer has performed the final aria.
Live with the outcome. Accept that you cannot change it. Your team lost? Bummer. Hey, wanna watch Supernatural?
I remember when I was like that, sort of. Through most of the 90s, I lived and breathed Phoenix Suns. The best possible thing available on TV was a Suns game. Watching it live, as it happened, commercial breaks and all. Charles Barkley. Dan Majerle. KJ. And since they were good back then, they usually ended the night on a good note. Suns win. Suns win. The next morning, my whole reason for opening the newspaper was to read the recap and enjoy the win again.
But even if it was a loss, I would read the paper to find like-minded souls to commiserate with. It didn’t wipe me out if they lost. I knew they’d bounce back, and I was like all chill and stuff.
Until that got harder and harder. A loss would put me in a funk. I took it badly, and it got worse all the time.
My solution? Stop watching the NBA. And then all sports, completely. (And Grey’s Anatomy, and other shows that deal too much in tragedy. Yes, I know it’s all fake. Shut up. I still can’t watch it.)
Ignorance is bliss. Avoid seeing it. I can’t feel bad about a game I am paying no attention to.
I couldn’t/still can’t bear the tension involved in watching the back-and-forth of basketball, football, baseball. Unless I don’t care who wins. And why would I watch if I don’t care?
(I envy those fans who care but don’t really really care. Know what I mean?)
But maybe that’s cheating–trying to find serenity that way. Avoiding the issue. Not by actually accepting difficult things, but instead by putting my fingers in my ears and chanting, “La la la la la!!! I can’t hear you!!!” I suspect I’m not the only one using this strategy, however. (I’m looking at you, climate change deniers.)
But what about things that haven’t happened yet? Stuff waiting to happen? Anxiety is mostly about things on the horizon, things yet to be, pain waiting to hurt. How much of that do we have to accept as inevitable?
Like in politics–a vile, reprehensible, crude bigot won a very important election. And now he wants to do horrible things that hurt a lot of people. Wisdom, whaddaya say? Isn’t accepting this what sheep do? Isn’t this how they control us? Teach us to go to our happy place while men without conscience steal and corrupt and destroy?
Same thing in our individual lives–how much of the shit coming down the track do we have to accept?
The courage to change the things I can…
If the door is closed, and wisdom says it’s probably locked, doesn’t courage say, “Try it anyway”? Give it a rattle. Maybe it’ll open.
I’m up for trying a few doors, seeing what opens. What did Janis Joplin say? “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” So is courage, I think. And at my age, courage also looks a lot like doing something stupid.
I’m okay with that. What have I got to lose?
Nobody answer. Seriously.