“It is what it is” is a phrase I’ve encountered in a couple of places recently. On the one hand, it’s a silly platitude. Obviously it is what it is; what else could it be? Still, as with most platitudes, there is some truth in there. Sometimes things just are what they are.
In an ideal world, I would be working full time or at least four days a week, sleeping no less than seven hours on work nights and no more than eight hours on non-work nights. I would be doing an hour and a half of Torah study a day, mostly “serious” stuff, Talmud and Tanakh (Bible) with commentaries. I would be davening (praying) on time and usually with a minyan (prayer quorum). I would be working regularly on the book I’m writing and jogging for half an hour a couple of times a week. I would socialize sometimes and get to my depression support group regularly.
The reality is very different. I am not achieving any of these targets. Some, like my sleep, need to be changed urgently (when I am consistently getting only six or even five hours of sleep before work, I come close to falling asleep at my desk mid-morning, especially as I don’t drink coffee! Bananas are good for waking up, I’ve discovered). Others feasibly could wait a bit. For instance, Torah study tends to be an average of about forty-five minutes a day, which isn’t too bad, but some days I do considerably more and other days considerably less.
I’m trying to accept that I can’t turn my life around overnight. I’ve been depressed pretty much all my adult life. Work and leisure time patterns that most people build up slowly in their teens and early twenties are suddenly being thrust upon me (and this is without the stresses and time consumption of dating – I’m phoning someone today to try to arrange a date, hopefully). I’m trying to keep my head above the water and not relapse into depression and OCD, although this is harder some days that others. Sometimes “It is what it is” is all there is to hold on to.