July 17-B, 2022

Maine Islands 07 09/30/2010 Oil Paint Rendered, BW — Penobscot Bay, Deer Island, Maine
There is always something
to not like about our life,
about life generally,
about the experience of being alive.

If we let that become A Thing,
we get divorced,
quit our job,
move to a different location,
take up drinking and/or drugs,
maybe enter psychotherapy,
and allow it to become 
the center of our attention,
around which everything else
competes for attention.

The unrelenting and on-going 
task of life
is to make our peace
with the way things are.

"Adjustment and accommodation, Kid.
Adjustment and accommodation."

Growing up is an eternal round
of coming to terms 
with what we do not like.

The idea is to do that 
with grace and aplomb, 
and hardly a wrinkle
in our management
of the day-to-day.

We grow up against our will
all the time.

We get tired of it.
It gets old along with us.
And we are ready to go
before that time comes around.

I keep a mental list 
of things I won't miss 
when they are gone--
or when I am,
whichever comes first.

And acquiescing to the inevitabilities
along with taking a shower
and brushing my teeth,
a regular part of each day,
in a "This is the way things are,
and this is what I can do about it,
and that's that--
and that is the way things are,"
kind of way.

I also adopt my own advice
about "No expectations
(Why would I continue to expect
things to be different than they are?),
no agendas,
no plans,
no opinions,"
and remind myself to do that regularly
throughout the day every day.

And just keep getting up and meeting
what meets me in a day,
doing what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
an letting that be that
because it is,
with as much graciousness and compassion
as I can muster,
knowing that I don't have to like it,
but it helps if I do it
like I don't mind it,
"faking it 'til I make it,"
all the way.

Like I'm playing a role
that requires a certain response
to certain things,
no matter how I feel about it,
or wish I had a different role to play.
Whenever the undesirable comes my way.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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