This post is part of the 2016 A to Z Challenge and I am looking forward to posting something new every day in April. I hadn’t meant to be away this long. <3
Well, how is this for irony?* After a spectacularly annoying morning, I decided that acceptance would be a great word to start my A-Z challenge and now, here I am at 12:29am on what is technically the 2nd of April,** forced to accept that I don’t always have control over how my day is going to unfold and forced to accept that I can’t always get everything done that I hope to accomplish in a day.
My mind gets it but my heart doesn’t. My heart wants a little more lee-way, it wants a little more kindness from the world, it wants points for trying. And it would like those points to come in the form of a little extra time when it is needed.
I know that the real world doesn’t work that way and that it is not possible for me to literally eke out extra time here and there.*** That doesn’t stop me from wishing for it though.
But, given that my wishes in that area have not yet come true, instead I am left with acceptance.
In my head, acceptance has this twisted connection with giving up, with not trying hard enough, but yet, I know better. I know from experience that once I say ‘Okay, I accept that this is a rough spot.’ Then I feel a whole lot better and I start to see solutions where none were before.
For example, once I accepted that I didn’t have as much control over this day as I was hoping to, then I could relax a bit and ‘roll with the punches’ – as my Dad has been advising me to do my whole life (not one of my strengths, that). I could spend less energy in struggling against what was happening (no crises, just annoyances) and spend more energy in figuring out solutions and ways to feel better.
And once I accepted that I wasn’t going to get everything that I set out to do done today, then I could focus more on making good choices about what really needed to get accomplished and what I could put off to another day. That felt a lot less stressful and, again, it let me put my focus where it was most useful.
I still don’t like it though, I don’t like having to tell myself to dial it back. I don’t like having to navigate the way that acceptance sometimes feels like ‘giving up’ – it’s totally not, I get that, but it’s where my mind goes first. I guess I have to ACCEPT that it is going to feel like that before it feels better.
I just keep hoping that over time I will learn to do the acceptance thing a bit more automatically. Sure, it comes easier than it used to and I tend to reach the point where I recognize that it is time for accept things as they are much more quickly than I once did, but it still doesn’t come naturally.
Maybe I have to accept that it might never feel natural but that it will always serve me well?
So far, acceptance has a 100% success rate in helping me feel better. My brain gets it, but that heart? She’s as stubborn as all hell.
I just have to accept that about her.
*Let’s not quibble about whether this is true irony or me using some sort of mistaken interpretation of it. I’m sure that once you read on, you will see the weirdness of me picking this word today.
**Since I haven’t been to bed yet, I am deciding that it still counts as April 1st. It’s all one damn long day, really.
***I also know that, depending on how I proceed, it is possible for me to FEEL like I have some extra time and that perception is a HUGE part of my relationship with time but that’s a whole separate post.