‘The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.’
— Paul Tillich
Up at the Russian River, in the town of Guerneville, a lot of the cabins have names. My father remembers a few, one was named “Rushin’ Rest,” and the Powers’ cabin was named “Powerhouse;” a St. Mary’s alum’s cabin was “Moraga Manor” and my favorite, our friends’ house, was the “ITLDO”.
We’d be parked in front of their garage where the sign hung. It took me awhile to figure out what “ITLDO” meant. As I studied it, I thought, maybe it some kind of acronym….I like the door open…nah, that didn’t make sense. I kept saying the word in my head and then said it out loud – bingo…”IT WILL DO.” The story is, it is assumed, that after construction, though not perfect, though not exactly according to specifications, the owner or someone said… “ITLDO!”
Of course, that “ITLDO” attitude applies to other areas of life. I remember feverishly (literally, it was hot in Moraga that day) finishing my last college paper on, of course, the day it was due. After it was done, though not perfect, I printed it out and muttered “ITLDO”. I got a C on it, I think. When I graduated two days later, though I was not an honors student or had a report card with straight A’s, I did have a St. Mary’s College diploma. “ITLDO.”
I have a confession to make, a little secret that I am quite ashamed of. I’m messy. Growing up, my side of the room was always messy, just ask my sister. When the kids came along, the house was, of course, messier. Once I passed the 5 kid mark, most folks (there was an exception or two…grrrr) understood with so many kids the house, it would naturally be messy. But, I confess, I have always been messy, messy room, messy desk, messy life. So I can’t let the kids take the rap anymore – it is mea culpa.
To overcome this unclean habit, I spent the last two decades trying to conquer it. I made lists, I followed programs, I even prayed a lot. Sometimes I would get it together, but, alas, I couldn’t keep it together. Lately, though, I have even applied the “ITLDO” mentality to my housework. I follow a little of Flylady’s advice, and do 15 minute increments. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as I get something done. “ITLDO.”
I suppose the “ITLDO” mentality is being content, being content with what you have, what you have done and with who you are. When I look in the mirror and see the face I’ve looked at for fif…a long time, instead of stressing out that I don’t look as young as I used to, I smile and say, “ITLDO”. When I get discouraged about my weight, I remember how good my body has been to me, how healthy I have been, and gratefully say, “ITLDO” When I get to the end of this column and after I review each paragraph, I will come to a point when I hit SUBMIT because “ITLDO”.