What Is, Is


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. —Reinholt Niebuhr
     I got into an argument with my daughter the other day. You see, we live just outside the city limits, and because we live in the “country,” we have limited choices when it comes to Internet providers. Our service–for lack of a better word–sucks. My daughter is in graduate school, and much of what she does is online. She is constantly frustrated by low speed and unreliable service, and she lets me know she is. One day, it just got to me.
     “Listen,” I told her. “You’re not paying for Internet. I am. Beggars can’t be choosers. What we have is what we have.”
     “But I’m so frustrated,” she said. “I feel like you’re being ripped off.”
     I shrugged. I’d looked several times before, and there weren’t any better options.
     Like the Serenity Prayer above, sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in. And sometimes you have to accept things for the way that are.
I am not a pacifist when it comes to social and spiritual crusades. I am not afraid to wade into the fray. But over the years I have learned, as a hospital administrator once told me in an interview, to “choose your battles.” Some things are worth fighting for, and some things just aren’t.
     When it comes to writing, those who self publish know that finishing a manuscript isn’t the end; it’s just the beginning. There is editing, formatting, cover art, back cover copy and a whole lot of marketing that has to happen next. But there comes a day when you have to step back and let your book fend for itself. Sink or swim.
     And that’s not always easy. As a parent, I wish every day that I could face my children’s challenges myself, because I, in my infinite wisdom (yeah, right) would do a much better job than they would. The reality is that I have learned from my mistakes, and if I want my kids to learn, they have to make mistakes too. I just have to be willing to let them.
     And so, as they say, what is, is. The book will succeed, or it won’t. As Rocky Balboa says, it’s not how hard you’re hit, it’s whether you get up and continue the fight.
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