I dislike the expression “It is what it is” but find myself falling back on it when I have nothing else to contribute to a conversation. I use it at home, at work, at play, when it’s clear there’s nothing else to say or when I don’t care to elaborate on a subject.
“My kid’s sick, I won’t be coming to work today… It is what it is.”
“I was in a car accident, dinner will be late… It is what it is.”
C’est la vie sounds better, seems good humoured, implies a certain open-armed abandon like Tony Soprano’s ‘Whatcha gonnna do?’ whereas there’s an implicit finality to ‘It is what it is.’ Full stop. End of subject. Yet some find the expression mildly profound and will often chime in: “Yes, it IS what it is, how true, how true… “
As much as I dislike it, it can be a great little standby for moments that quite clearly call for something stronger but I just can’t be bothered with a confrontation. “It is what it is (Mind Your Own Business).” “It is what it is (Bite me).”
Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping. (No wonder,eh?) They say you shouldn’t go to bed despondent. That you should resolve what’s distressing you before retiring for the evening. If you can’t sleep, you should just get up and clean the house, go ahead and bake a cake, clean out your closet. (Who are ‘they,’ anyway?) This is impractical. It would cause too much upheaval and wake everyone else in the house. We have to be at work and school in the morning, have to get up and do it all over again five days a week. Partly why I can’t sleep, I guess.
I try to reign in the heebie jeebies, the 3:00 am shoulda-woulda-couldas, but get so worked up by my thoughts in the wee hours that I start believing them. I toss and turn, envisioning So-‘n-So, who ticked me off during the day, sleeping like a baby.
Eventually I do fall asleep. And by morning, the Brain Trolls, the issues that seemed so monstrous, so dire in the wee hours — The Mortgage, The Rotting Fence, the nagging buzzing of Unfinished Business — have all gone back under the bridge.
Some of the wackier nocturnal ideas I’ve had could easily be caused by mismanaged blood sugar. But, at the risk of sounding like Popeye, I yam what I yam. I’m a writer. Not all of it can be put down to Kielbasa and crackers at midnight.
I must remember that not every thought that comes into my head is necessarily true. I have to learn to quell my thoughts. Channel my tendencies, resist the ever present impulse to write and rewrite the script, put words in people’s mouths. But, on the same hand, I must honour and accept this part of me as well. In other words, it is what it is (F@%# the begrudgers).
Courtesy of INCITE