Coming to Terms

Acceptance Part II and a Bit of Amsterdam

I’ve been trying to change several things about myself for a long, long time. Age helps you realize that there are things we cannot change. Acceptance is healthier and easier.

I’m in Amsterdam; a very tidy, liberal and picturesque city. It’s easy to walk and reflect, sit by a canal and ponder, or just allow your mind to wonder aimlessly. I write about acceptance a lot, I know. I have come to learn that denial is not sustainable or attractive.

I’m trying hard, I truly am

Today is a good day to be grateful. It’s a beautiful spring day and I’m seeing a friend I rarely get to see. Today is not a day for feeling sorry for myself. Someone outside looking in might think I have nothing to sulk about, but in truth our demons can be invisible to others.

Today is more about acceptance. I apologize a lot, too much I think. I shouldn’t have said that, I should be more sensitive to how you’re feeling, I’m an idiot. Yes, I have uttered these words because I want to be liked and make myself smaller; less of a bully perhaps.

I am learning to accept the following:

I have physical limitations.

I beat my body up running marathons when I was young and fit and now I’m paying for it. There are things I can do to minimize the discomfort, but to say it’s frustrating is an understatement. Giving up some of the activities I was loved has been difficult. I’m finding news ways to challenge myself and push through the pain. This is one of those issues I believe you have to experience to truly understand the mental and emotional impact.

I am an older man.

When you have a voice inside your head saying you’re young and vital, it’s natural to believe it’s true. In truth, it’s better for me to accept reality. I am 63. It took some time and life experiences to get here. Embracing the truth and planning for the future will serve me well. Messages from the media and others may lead you to think you are done with the best part of your life; I know in my heart that the best is yet to come.

I am not the sharpest tack in the box.

This is not me being self-deprecating. I having always been aware of my intellectual limitations. I work hard to be informed and I use my average intelligence to gain as much knowledge as is possible. I think it’s unfortunate to believe you are smarter than you actually are. Humility and acceptance are better qualities for getting along with others. Some mistake humilty for conceit, but that’s more their problem than mine.

I may never love again.

It’s not sad or self-defeating or giving-up, it’s truth. I have been very fortunate to have been deeply in love multiple times. I know the space you have to be in to allow yourself to feel deep, unselfish, passionate love. For reasons I’m choosing not to divulge, I am not currently in this space. I hope that I will someday open myself up to these intense feelings, but for now I am happy to continue to fall in love with myself. Some say that this is necessary for the former to happen. I don’t know what is true for others; what I do know for certain, is that I have a lot to learn before I can give and receive a lasting love. The good news is that I embrace this truth and I accept what is or is not to be.

I like my creature comforts.

I have come to learn that there are many things I no longer wish to endure:

  • Two foot snow banks that I have dig my way out of.
  • People who are not genuine.
  • Individuals who lack empathy and understanding.
  • Lies
  • Drama
  • A twin bed
  • A man who is not a car mechanic and has dirt under his fingernails.
  • An excess amount of cologne or gnarly toenails.
  • People who talk and talk and do not listen.
  • People who ask you how you are, but couldn’t care less.
  • People who cut to the front of the line.
  • Haters

Try this exercise; it’s good to read these back to yourself and feel good about your list.

Many of you will read this and think it’s poppycock and ridiculous, others will relate, and still others will wonder why I am sharing such inane thoughts. It’s all good.

Amsterdam

What I can tell you about Amsterdam, is that it’s worth visiting: beauty everywhere, wonderful people who for the most part speak English, culturally rich and diverse, great food, easy to get around, not cheap but not London, and a good place for reflection.

See subscribe buttons on previous posts, not sure why but I couldn’t add it on my phone app. I promise to add it when I get home.

Heading home Wednesday for a long awaited visit from my good friend David. I have a few trips in the next few months… To be continued.

Note:

This was the first time I have gone on holiday and left my laptop at home. Writing on a phone is not easy when your fingers are the size large sausages. Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors.

By CP

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959. I've lived in several different places, but this is the first time I have resided overseas. My career has gone in multiple directions; however, education is my passion. My Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University has opened many doors and for that I am grateful. Writing has become a pastime I enjoy and hope to further pursue. The future holds no limitations and I am keeping all of my options open. I have landed in Portugal and there is a vast and beautiful world to explore.

7 comments

  1. Very interesting reading your experiences Chris, got me through my trip home to Scotland 😀 Hope to hook up again and discuss your thoughts, preferably without a mallet within reach 😎

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading my blog Malcom and say hello to Christine for me. The summer will fly by (I hope); I prefer fall and spring.

      Like

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