Friday, June 5, 2009

Wishin' and Prayin'

I'm not an especially assertive person. A few of you have sent me Facebook messages telling me that I seem so much bolder than you remember me in middle school, high school, college, prison, wherever we saw one another last. (Okay, not prison. Just making sure you pay attention.) I appreciate your messages, but as I read them they cause me to giggle through my coffee, because I'm only bold in my "virtual" world. My friend has a magnet on her fridge that says "I wish I were the person my dog thinks I am." I think I need one that says, "I wish I were the person my Facebook friends think I've become."

But wishing only gets us so far. I could wish for a lot of things. I used to make quite a habit of wishing. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I had finished school. I wish I had eyes like Bonnie's, hair like Kris' and a body like Ellen Pompeo's. I wish I were less neurotic, and didn't care so much about things that don't matter. I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom, I wish I could get a multi-book contract, I wish I were more proficient on piano. I wish, I wish, I wish. Wishing gets singularly dull after a while. I wish I could stop wishing.

Wish granted! I've decided to trade wishing for hoping. The key, of course, is to know the difference. You have to sort out the changeable from the unchangeable. Reciting the serenity prayer helps, if you can get through it without feeling like Stuart Smalley. If you can do that, then you might be able to eventually trade the hoping for praying and mingle the prayer with action.

My son Jaden's kindergarten teacher last year taught the kids an invaluable little mantra: "'Ya git whatcha git and you don't throw a fit." Maybe that's a magnet I need on my fridge. It's true, after all; we "git" what we "git." What we're responsible for is what we do with what we "git." And all the wishing in the world won't change that.

I think I'm starting to get it. It has taken 32 years, but I'm starting to understand. And who knows? If I continue to listen to the wisdom of kindergarten teachers, I may just become the person my Facebook friends think I am.

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