Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I'd like to tell you that I'm a Zen master and that Acceptance is my middle name.  Sadly, this is not the case.  Despite chronic optimism, I too am prone to doubt, fear, and most of all, fighting reality, trying to will things into being the way I want them, rather than the way they are.

(Case in point: my marriage.  There were some pretty serious signs that it was over before it began, but I told myself that if I just tried harder I could make it wonderful.  We all know how that ended, 13 years later, in divorce.)

I think I really blew my interview on Friday.  I won't go into the details, but please know that I'm not just being hard on myself, there were several missteps.  I could have done better, and I'm sure of that.  I know that I did not effectively convey what I wanted to convey, and that the interviewers (two of them) seemed to receive me rather coolly, and not with warmth.  I got rattled on one question, and on the others I didn't quite get to the essence of the answers.  It was an off day, not indicative of my skills.

Instant panic.

Over the weekend, I tried to come to terms with what I did and did not do well.  I've looked at it from every angle, and concluded that it is possible, or likely, that the last interviewers would not have been impressed by me.  Given that they're the head honchos, it would not surprise me if the job was not offered to me.

I do not exactly feel acceptance about this.  After the panic came sadness.  I thought this was the perfect job, such a good fit for both sides.  I've done so well in the interviews up until now, I really had a great chance at it!

But now the odds are not in my favor, and I have to find a way to accept that.

It's not easy to accept what we do not wish to accept.  I want to protest, and say, "NO!" the way a toddler does.  I want to snatch at the object, claiming "MINE!" and marching away with it.  Of course, this won't work. (It doesn't even work for toddlers; their mothers come along and say "now, now, give the truck back to Tommy" and such.)  Like a toddler, I want to lie on the floor and kick and yell "But I waaaaaaaannnnnnnt it!"

Of course that won't help.

So now I'm trying to see the good in all of this, trying to cultivate an acceptance that I don't quite feel.

Trying to imagine the job that is an even better fit for me.
Trying to picture what I can accomplish in my current job before I move on.
Trying to see what lessons are to be learned in this situation.
Trying to embrace all of the goodness in my life, and let the goodness outshine the shadow.

I haven't heard back anything officially, but my intellect and gut both say that I blew it.  It is what it is.

So, now I'm working with my heart, trying to soothe my own disappointment, to imagine a different future, to make the best of where I am.  I guess that's what acceptance is: it's simply refusing to throw the tantrum.  It's not a lack of feeling, it's a choice to guide my feelings rather than letting them flood me.  The older I get, the more that I see how this approach is useful, and gives me what I really want.

Crying over cancer just made me....drained.  Fighting cancer made me feel powerful.
Avoiding the problems in my marriage made them worse.  Confronting them gave me hope.
Fighting to keep my marriage made me exhausted.  Ending my marriage gave me my life back.

I wanted to be healthy, to have a romantic partnership based on trust and caring.  Wanting those things did not make them come true, though, and acknowledging that was the first step towards healing.

Sure, I fight acceptance, spinning in my bed at night wondering "what if" and "if only", but I know that my best course is to work on acceptance.

Who knows what the future will bring.  I will work hard to bring goodness to my life, to nurture the goodness already in my life.  There are sure to be many more curve balls, of course, and I will strive to accept them.

Today, I'm working on acceptance.*

*and also checking my phone every three minutes to see if they've called.

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