The serenity to accept the things I cannot change:
- Other people. I want, at some point, to stop feeling resentment about what people do or do not do. I cannot change who people are any more than I can change the color of my eyes, but it does not prevent me from silently looking for change. Telling a person to change will not make them change. I want to learn to accept people as they are and hope less for change and more for understanding. Ultimately, I want only to know that my feelings and my desire to see change in others are valid. At the same time, I know that wanting that validation is part of wanting other people to change, which is a paradox I cannot overcome. I want to find some kind of compromise of the two that I can accept without resentment.
The courage to change the things I can:
- Myself. I've allowed myself to be consumed by my feelings about my circumstances (life, love, work) and not given myself any time for reflection and growth. This is, in part, a consequence of "other people" (see above) but also my inability to value myself. I have spent so little of my life doing things for myself; my goals have always been driven by "other people." I cannot make other people recognize my need for "me time," but I will make time in my day--even if only for five minutes--to do something only for me. (Right now, even my attempts to take undisturbed showers are vain. A tiny person will inevitably make his presence known.)
- Superficial things. This summer, I will make a short list of home improvements that I can realistically accomplish, alone or with minimal assistance. Among the items will be repainting the bedrooms (particularly mine because I have come to understand that the pink is not a good color), hanging more pictures of us, and consolidating my "teacher stuff" in the basement.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I recognize that my power to work miracles is limited. I am not delusional. However, I know that no matter how hard I try to change my own perception and feelings of other people and things, that tiny speck of hope for change will linger somewhere deep down. I think my ultimate goal is just to get myself to a place where I find myself "in a funk" less often because I accept that certain things cannot be changed and I have the courage to live fully and completely and love myself.