Friday, October 4, 2013

It Is What It Is

How many times do you find yourself exhausted from dealing with everyday life? How often do you feel like you’re in a battle with the way things actually are and the way you want them to be? How often do you become frustrated with waiting—in line at the store, in a traffic jam, for soccer practice to be over, for the kids to go to bed—only to realize that you waited the entire day away without anything remarkable to say about it? Or, have you been waiting for your next big break, whether for a job you want, for your kids to outgrow their tantrums, or for your hard work to finally get recognized, but in the mean time you feel miserably unsettled?

This week I have been reading The In-Between, by Jeff Goins. It is an inspirational book for those who feel stuck in all the waiting of life. Through the use of his own experiences and reflecting on what others have taught him, Goins emphasizes that it is waiting periods in which we learn and grow the most. In other words, the waiting is necessary in order to create the most abundant life.
At one point in the book, Goins says simply, “It is what it is.” I’ve heard this phrase many times before but never really put much thought into what it means. But this time, it made perfect sense to me. The “it” is life. Life is what it is. It happens. It is different for everybody. Some people have better luck than others, and that’s just how it is. But what truly matters is how we choose to accept the path our lives take. We can look at our lives with scorn and be forever miserable, or we can choose to learn from the twists and turns and open our hearts and minds to the waiting.
I can make a list several pages long about all the things I’ve been waiting for. I’ll admit that military life has greatly influenced the length of this list. But when I focus all my energy on what I don’t have right now, I miss out on what I do have, many of which actually come from being a military wife. As much I desire the things which aren’t available to me because we are a military family, I know that this life has already given me more than I could have ever hoped for in the nine years I have been a part of it.

It is what it is. This is life, right here, right now. I am a military wife. My kids are at a difficult age. I live in a ridiculously crowded area with too much traffic. That which I cannot change, I must simply accept. I must surrender the battle with my expectations and just let it be. If I must wait, then so be it. There is plenty of goodness in this life to fill my soul until the next big thing gets here. And when that happens, I want to know that I didn’t spend my time waiting in vain, but I accepted with gratitude each and every day as a valuable piece to the story of my life.

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