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Monday, July 18, 2011

Accepting The Unexpected, The Undesired

Various titles for this post have been floating in my mind.  I don't know if this is the right one, but it does seem foolish to waste time on titling rather than writing.  Is there a verb "to title," meaning to compose/write a good title, or is my mind functioning more in Hebrew than English or some invented grammar?

My recent visit to the states put a bit of stress on my abilities to accept the unexpected, the unwanted, undesired.  To simplify, we frequently emphasize that we want something, even though we don't need it.  For example, the travel agent who booked my trip originally gave me the Thursday Delta flight which was scheduled to land on Friday.  I made it very clear that I wanted to swim in the pool Friday morning and therefore had to leave New York on Wednesday and land on Thursday.  I had no doubt that it would be the best plan.  But what happened?  While the hundreds of passengers were patiently waiting in JFK it was first announced that the flight would be delayed and then suddenly it was cancelled.  With the help of agents, protexia and Delta staff, we all found alternative flights.  And, you guessed it, I ended up on that same Thursday/Friday flight I had originally refused/rejected.

While we were waiting on line to be helped by the Delta staff, we talked.  Basically, we all did our best to rationalize that it wasn't a tragedy in the making.  There had to be something good in staying extra time in New York.  I made it clear that it was better that it happened to that flight than the day before when my daughter and infant granddaughter flew back to Israel.  After that bit of "understanding," I totally took the blame for the flight cancellation, because I had been "sorry," not upset, that I hadn't had a chance to go through the Lord & Taylor bargain racks.  Delta (or was it G-d Almighty?) was about to give me Thursday for that treat.

Another difficult thing to accept was to see how much my mother had deteriorated physically and mentally in the past year.  It was very unexpected.  But on the other hand, she's breaking records every day she's alive.  Nobody in her family had ever lived so long.  Both she and her five years younger sister have reached ages much older than their seven elder siblings. (There are no known cousins, aunts or uncles to compare them to.)  My father is also breaking records every morning he gets up.  That's how I must look at it.

I'm not sure who's the source to this, but it's true that we must learn to accept what we can't control.  It's just not worth the aggravation to fight it, whether you call it G-d's will or just plain fate.

Enjoy life, even when it seems more like a harrowing rollercoaster.  B"H, mine has been more like a kiddie ride of late.  May G-d give me the strength to handle it when it gets tougher.


jkw said...

To accept that which you cannot change is the prayer of Alcoholics anonymous.It goes something like this.
G-d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Batya said...

That's interesting. Is it used in other self-help therapies?

jkw said...

No I don't think so.
Its history can be found here.

Batya said...

It's interesting that the message is very popular with all sorts of people.

Keli Ata said...

Right jwk.

It's called the Serenity Prayer.

True Batya:) My mother had a copy of the prayer in our kitchen.

Keli Ata said...

A couple of follow comments:

Subliminal has a slight variation on the prayer in the chorus to his song Tikvah:

"Give me the hope to accept what there isn't
The strength to change what there is. "

It is indeed universal.

Batya said...

Keli, thanks