At a company that I worked for a while back, the atmosphere was dark and heavy. People often described the job as “Well, it is what it is.” Body language and facial expressions left no doubt that what it was, well, was yucky.
After years of hearing this “It is what it is” crap, it became kind of ingrained in my subconscious. This phrase popped up in all kinds of situations that were unpleasant. “It is what it is” makes you feel powerless, even desperate.
I was thinking about it this morning as I drove to work. It’s New Year’s Day. I had gotten up extra early (hello, can you say 4:15AM?) so I could make a stop on my way. My quest for an early morning breakfast treat (a small baked good; not too much to ask for, right?) proved fruitless, because even though the McD’s and Dunkin Donuts in Sanford and Wells are open at 5AM, the McD”s and Dunkin Donuts in Kennebunk, alas, are not.
There I sat at 4:55AM, waiting for the drive thru to open up. At 5:03AM it occurred to me to give a quick check of the hours sign at the front door and I realized my error. I got on the highway, thinking that I would still have just enough time to go to the DD’s close to my job (the bad one that I have been avoiding since the cashier dumped an early morning coffee on a colleague).
I made it in time, got to the drive thru, and (hurray!) ordered my coffee and muffin. The clerk interrupted my happy dance to say, “Well, the muffins aren’t ready yet.”
My first thought was (you guessed it), “It is what it is.” Then, it occurred to me that this is indicative a Bad Attitude. I am not going to start my new year off with that old shoe on my foot. I’m going to put my best foot forward in 2013 and so I’ve adopted a new mantra:
“It is what you make it.”
When I got home from work, my daughter (who knew nothing about my morning) had a surprise waiting for me on the kitchen island:
Bran muffin from Hannaford
This reminded me of another (worthy) mantra:
“Life is good.”