The Power of Saying, “It Is What It Is”


Have you ever had a day that made you wonder " Hmm, what the heck is going on?!"

I experienced one recently. It all started when my flight got canceled. Then my new flight had mechanical issues, and bad storms were brewing between Houston and Dallas.

A few hours later, when I finally got back to Dallas, I discovered that the airport valet had lost my car key. The staff were frantically running around trying to find it. When they finally did, somehow my black convertible had turned into a red Infiniti. When they really found my car, they said it had died in the valet lane midday and still wouldn't start.

So, I pulled the jumper cables out of my trunk, and fortunately the car started after a little boost. I drove to my dealership a few blocks away, knowing it was closed. What did I have to lose by driving over? A security guard happened to be walking outside, took pity on me and let me park inside — after I reminded her that hail and tornadoes were coming. I called an Uber and quickly crammed my bag with things from my car, including a water bottle. When we arrived at my house, I picked up my bag to get my wallet. Water was seeping out of the bottom — it had spilled all over my laptop and papers during my Uber ride home. Minutes later, my whole bathroom had sheets of wet paper laid out to dry. To top it all off? A couple of days later, I lost my driver's license.

As all of this weirdness was unfolding, I just kept thinking, "What should I be taking from this?" That one little question made a huge difference for me in the moment. It reminded me that this series of events was out of my control but that I could still choose how I responded. By repeating “It is what it is” and asking “What should I be taking from this?,” I stayed calm and curious about what was happening. As I've written before, true resilience means paying attention to your thoughts and feelings and realizing that you can make a different choice.

Meanwhile, my laptop is perfectly fine, my car is fixed after three more trips to the dealership and I made some new friends in line at DPS when I went to get a new driver's license. But the biggest surprise? My doorbell rang a few days later, and someone had found my original license (I had dropped it while I was out on a run) and stopped by to return it. What a great act of kindness.

To prepare for the next time your day throws you for a loop, remember that it is what it is. The question is, “What do you want to do about it?” This week, notice what you’re thinking and feeling and make a deliberate choice about how you want to show up — a choice that reflects the person you want to be.