Not being able to govern events, I govern myself. – Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)
I love this quote. Its basic premise is something I’ve been trying very hard to incorporate into my life for the past 9 months or so, after living 32 years basically angry at a world that I thought was persecuting me. I realized about two years ago that if I stubbornly insist on a particular acquisition (like a MINI Cooper) or achievement (like a loss of 10 pounds) or event (like receiving an apology) before I’ll let go of anger or allow myself to be happy, well, I’ll never be happy. It’s still difficult sometimes to be OK even if things aren’t perfect, but I’ve been striving to accept “life on life’s terms” (as they say in AA and Al-Anon).
As part of this attitude, I’ve also learned to examine stressful situations to see the ways I’m contributing to them instead of automatically playing the victim. Even if I’m resentful at someone for a legitimate reason, I’m part of the problem if I just sit there and seethe instead of expressing my thoughts or actively working to improve the situation. If I’ve taken on too much, I have to learn to say no instead of complaining about how busy I am. Oftentimes I find that I’m a crazymaker in my own life, and that things I think are vitally important, well, aren’t.
Which leads me to another point: I probably won’t be posting very much over the next couple of weeks or so because I have another project that absolutely has to take priority. I’ve been afraid of a hiatus because, among other things, I’ve worried about losing readers – or worse, being one of those boring writers who never posts anything. Well, that’s just a chance I’ll have to take. If you love me, you’ll come back when I do. And if you don’t love me, why are you reading this?