Don't be upset with what you get

Coastline Pilot

"All I want is a little more than I'll ever get." — Ashleigh Brilliant

Brilliant, all right!

Blustery winds have blown skies into clear blue for most of the week. The air is filled with birdsong even as tiny goldfinches and sparrows battle the gusts filling our canyon.

The air is still late winter cool as Memorial Day weekend approaches. Home from a week of babysitting my two young grandsons, I am enjoying what peace there is…and yet wanting more of something.

"You get what you get and you don't get upset." A twinkle in his eye, my 3-year-old grandson, Hank, made this statement as retort when told I did not like his behavior of the moment.

What? My mind flitted about trying to put this into perspective. First of all, where had he heard this? Did he really understand it? Was it a smart aleck retort or one that held wisdom? I thought, by the sparkling grin on his face, that he knew he had zinged me with this one.

Later in the week, this phrase was still rumbling around in my brain. It seemed almost to be trying to remind me of some important piece of wisdom. I allowed my thoughts to wander back over the year and a half just past.

The world has seen some change and many struggles in this time. Economic woes have plagued far too many of us for far too long. Strife continues in too many parts of the world. Too many people are dying what often seem unnecessary deaths.

Yet, dismal as all of this sounds, many have risen above all of it and found ways to make what they have been given work for them in one way or another.

You get what you get and, not only do you not get upset, but you gather resources and make the proverbial lemonade from lemons.

This is what so many people — young and old and from all walks of life — have done.

Daily, I find signs of optimism and hope all around me. I'm sure all of you do as well.

Neighbor Michelle has taken out grass to provide more space for "farming" and is growing huge amounts of vegetables and her fruit trees are abundant.

She has always had a green thumb, but she has nevertheless topped herself with this plethora of foodstuffs.

And this is added to raising two teenage daughters alone and getting laid off and finding a new job. You don't get upset; you get to work.

Other friends have found other ways. Anne, who claimed not to be a numbers person for years, found a new career as a bank teller when husband, Joe, lost his job. Joe has now formed his own company and, along with caring for their two young daughters, does contract work in industrial design.

When the land planning company he worked for closed its doors, Glenn used his skills as a fine carpenter to find work to tide him over while still pursuing other avenues in land planning and design. He also found he had more time to help his single daughter with care of his granddaughter.

Innovative. Enthusiastic. Creative. These words and more apply to the many ways we all have found to make it work when we have not gotten what we wanted from life.

Paths have changed direction. Many have done so for the betterment of all involved. It is all regenerative and hopeful to my mind. I have taken young Hank's words to heart in ways he could never imagine.

Wanting more than you get is not really such a bad thing, is it? It keeps us going for more. It keeps us optimistic. You get what you get and you don't get upset. Thanks, Hank, for the not so gentle (and perhaps unintended) reminder.

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