To welcome in the New Year on January 3, 2022 KGUA Radio Morning Writer’s Hour hosted by Mark Gross and Peggy Berryhill in Gualala, California, we are asked to freewrite to this prompt:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. Chas. Dickens
A Season of Light, A Season of Darkness
Hey, I got my health at 74, that definitely makes it a season of light.
On the other hand, Covid uncertainty and vaccination hostility darken my mood.
Happy and healthy grandchildren, Owen, Max, Brooks, Charlotte, and Reese, add life-affirming light to my days.
The need to debate and dominate over listening and conversation casts a shadow on the landscape.
Friends from Santa Barbara to Kittery Point shine their light for me.
Opportunity to freewrite weekly for KGUA Radio Writers gives meaning to my mornings, an outlet for me to tell my story.
Friendship over brewskis after pickleball and ping pong makes me a happy boy.
Satisfying relationships our own children – with Molly and Tip over wine, opening presents with Robyn, and morning coffee and biscuits with Will and Laurel.
Light shines when I “let go” of my need to control the uncontrollable. For example, currently there has been much uncertainty for the past week about our JetBlue flight to California today. Travel delays might happen due to weather (8-12″ of snow in Boston yesterday) or Covid issues, ours or the flight crew. I am working with the belief that when the time is right (not when we are scheduled), we will get to California. (See below for further explanation.)
As you can see, I have much light in my life. Privilege plays its role, attitude steers the ship, and relationships shine their light on me day in and day out.
Words – 223
The Daily Word (Unity) from December 30, 2021 articulates beautifully about what I am trying to say about “letting go.”
…trying to control events can feel exhausting.
…I accept circumstances as they are.
…I still work toward desired outcomes, but now my energy is cooperative, not combative. I release my need for specific outcomes, instead desiring the highest and best for all involved.
I find ease in accepting what is and surrendering to what could be.
Sure, developing such a belief is not walk in the park. It continues to take lots of practice.
Let Ryan Holliday citing Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, in the Daily Stoic for January 1st, have the last word. Remember that the Stoics of Roman times valued discipline, justice, courage, and wisdom. They were not a sad, impassionate and resigned.
The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t.
If we can focus on making clear what parts of our days are within our control and what parts are not, we will be happier.