An Appealing Idea


Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
– American minister and author Norman Vincent Peale was born on this day in 1898 (died 1993).

True story. When I was working in New York City I went one Sunday along with friends to hear Dr. Peale speak at Riverside Church. Because we were unfamiliar with the subway system we got there late and were relegated to watch the sermon on closed circuit television rather than being able to enter the sanctuary. Wasn’t quite the same, but at least I’ve been there.

I digress.

I get my propensity to worry genetically. Also a true story.

I have to work at not worrying about things. What I really have to do is work to not worry about things over which I have no control.

And, that’s a whole lot.

There’s a certain amount of freedom in accepting that. Still, it’s not easy to do.

I have, at this point, absolutely no control over whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be our next president. One of them will. Count on it.

It was the realization a few years ago that my involvement in politics was having no direct impact, other than to piss of friends on Facebook, that made me step out of the process.

Sure, I believe my vote matters. It will be important to voice my opinion that neither of the two major party choices are acceptable.

I’m enough of a realist to know that I won’t be able to change the outcome. But that’s no reason to compromise what I believe. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

One of them will be president. Regardless of which one, it’s still going to suck. Just don’t blame me.

What I have to do instead is focus on the things where I can make a difference. In my day job I teach an employee development class where we talk about our Circle of Control. In short, don’t waste energy worrying about those things over which you have no influence. Focus instead on what you can do.

Available in The Write Side Shop (click the pic).

Available in The Write Side Shop (click the pic).

Conceptually, it’s pretty simple. Until you try to implement it.

Ironically, I’m not particularly happy with the things I currently can’t control in my day job. Still, I’m working on it.

One of the things I can control, or at least I think I can, is my schedule which happens to currently be out of control.

No, that’s not quite it. I know exactly what has to be done and when it has to be done. It’s just that, once again, it’s over booked. I was naive enough to think that not being in rehearsals or performances for a show would free up my schedule and I could get caught up on everything.

Enter writing class and weekend job.

I know what you’re thinking. I can control those. Of course I can.

I think all I’m really saying is that they got here really fast. The writing class is almost over (mid-June-ish) and the second job is only on weekends and holidays.

But I can promise you that there’s a beach week on this year’s calendar. You may have to do without the brilliant posts for a week, but you can follow me on Instagram for sunrise pictures.

I digress.

Life isn’t easy. The world can be an ugly place. We can’t fix it all, and we’re not called to.

We’re just called to do the good where we can, to control the things we can.

And do our best not to worry about it.

Also born on this day in 1938, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, Johnny Paycheck (died 2003).

I take the writing class, the writing jobs, the weekend job, the graphics work and other things I do as a means to one day being able to retire from the day job. When I do, this just might be my theme song.

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