It’s known as the Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
It’s the kind of saying that appears on a poster taped to the ceiling in the dentist’s office and you can look up and read it while you’re getting your teeth drilled. It’s a cliche, and like most writers, I am locked in mortal battle against cliches.
Plus, I don’t pray and I don’t believe in God. Not a bit. I’m more of an evolutionary science type of disciple.
And yet, there’s one word in that prayer that keeps haunting me: Accept.
I say haunting because the idea of acceptance lingers in my consciousness, persistent and recurrent. But I haven’t always been the most skillful or graceful accepter, which is a problem because this fall, I need to summon all the acceptance I can muster up.
Three huge impacts on my life are looming:
- My agent will be shopping my latest novel, THIS GAME WE PLAY, to publishers.
- There is a presidential election that is giving me serious jitters.
- My young adult daughter had decided to take on the challenge of a lifetime.
The source of my angst is that I have no control over the outcome of any of these three situations. I can’t do anything except wait, hope, and cast magic spells. And I must accept whatever happens. I’m just not sure how to do that.
Another word to live by: Savor
I’ve also adopted savor as a word to live by. Recently, I’ve savored the mundane task of shaving and I’ve also savored wind chimes when there has been no wind and underripe raspberries.