Taking the full measure of life

Serenity & Inspiration

October 22nd, 2009 · 11 Comments

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God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change:

  • uncertainty about where we’ll be living in a year (or less), and the emotional toll that brings;
  • ambivalence about whether my chosen grad school was the right path;
  • the fact that some of my queries will be rejected;
  • the exhaustion I’m experiencing lately;
  • the fact that Dan can’t be an equal partner in the upkeep of our house and lives right now;
  • the emotional struggle that fall and winter always brings;

courage to change the things I can:

  • move my body lots daily, even if the only actual ‘exercise’ is just a walk;
  • continue to cook healthy, moderate-fat, high-vegetable, high-whole-grain meals for us on a near-daily basis;
  • sit on the porch when it’s sunny and warm and do work there;
  • sit under my SAD lamp while eating breakfast each morning;
  • do part of my class readings in advance, each morning, so that I keep up;
  • finish my re-write for a class paper by tomorrow night, rather than waiting till just before it’s due;
  • seek out time with friends twice a week;
  • engage in co-creation at school by posting in the appropriate forum about what bothers me—trying to find solutions instead of just feeling irritation;
  • visit possible shared work spaces next Wednesday afternoon;
  • do a daily activity that’s just for me, because it inspires me differently than other things;
  • send off the queries anyway, even with the possibility of rejection at hand, starting with one prepared by tonight for my writing critique group to check for me;

and wisdom to know the difference.

I’m not alone here.  You’ve made that clear through comments and emails I’ve gotten since yesterday.  So . . . what do you need to accept? What actions can you take right now to change what’s been bothering you?

Tags: sturm and drang

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin R // Oct 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    You can’t take the sky from me…

    Been watching the show “Firefly” recently, so a post about “Serenity” reminded me of that. (Dan will probably know what I’m talking about, if you don’t. 😉 ) And of course you used to use the nickname “firefly” online, didn’t you? So there’s another thing.

    Anyway, I know you can do it, because you are awesome.

    For me, a change I needed to make was to come up with a better budgeting system, which I think I have done. Now the trick is to stick to it.

  • 2 Kristen // Oct 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I remember when my husband was wrapping up his dissertation, preparing for his defense and how stressful/chaotic that was. I was also 9 months pregnant, which only added to it.

    Good luck with everything. I know you will succeed. You are a strong person.

  • 3 Margaret // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    what a lovely exercise. and concise way to frame problem.

    right now i don’t know the difference and that is the hard part isn’t it? working on it. thanks for the language.

  • 4 TBill // Oct 25, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Have you used the SAD lamp for long? What differences have you noticed? Considering one for my daughter.


  • 5 sally // Oct 26, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Hey, Traci. I started using a 10,000-lux, full-spectrum lamp for 30 minutes at a distance of 12-18 inches from me each morning (as soon as I’m up, while I’m eating breakfast, checking email, etc.) last year. I use it from the first time I start feeling a bit down in the fall until the light is bright and strong again in the spring. I was pretty skeptical initially, but it definitely helps. I wouldn’t consider it a cure-all, but I really look forward to my time with the lamp now, and if I don’t use it for a couple of days, I can tell in how I feel.

  • 6 sarah // Oct 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    So nice to see you writing again! And yes, we’re all here for you, & for each other. Never forget that!

    As for the things I need to accept – I really need to realize that reaching a healthy weight is both something that will be gradual & can’t happen if I only wish for it. I need to live my life now, rather than continually wait for the right circumstances or the right surroundings. Happiness isn’t a place to find, it’s a thing to be.

  • 7 Meg Wolff // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Hi Sally,
    You’re post reminds me of a quote I just read in a little book by Taro Gold, ” We can try many ways to get rid of the darkness, but non is as effective as simply increasing the light.” It looks like you are doing just that, Sally. xox

  • 8 Laura // Oct 29, 2009 at 9:20 am

    I love this post. It reminds me of the necessity of focusing on being instead of always worrying about what is or is not going to happen. I think I need to make my own list like this.

  • 9 Amanda // Nov 4, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I need to make a list too. Wow. What a simple way to organize the things that bother us, yet I have never even thought of doing this. Great idea Sally!

  • 10 Lesley // Nov 6, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Oh Sarah, your comment speaks to me so clearly. Yes to all.

    And Sally, Kevin is right — you *are* awesome, and yes you can.

    Things I can change — working with a professional to help my son let go of so much anger (instead of worrying and feeling helpless); spend blow money on healthier foods, if I’m so darned determined to buy food on a whim. Two is a good start here. Thanks for sharing, Sally, as always.

  • 11 Pam // Jun 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    so good to find your site. I am fighting some food allergies and I know I need to get into acceptance. I was there but I have gone back to the other side.

    looking forward to discovering more here…
    thank you

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