How to survive things you can’t change.

pallet wood sofa with sign fabric |
Pallet sofa sign fabric post HERE

Every morning, I bring my coffee out to the pallet wood sofa to begin my day.

This is the spot where I linger a little too long, waiting until the mental morning fog lifts.

It usually takes about 2 cups…

pallet wood furniture cleaned off for fall |
This little spot became my BFF. It was always there to greet me without fail nor questions, inviting me to just be. A little sanctuary where I didn’t have to make any decisions.

pallet wood furniture with sign stenciled material |
pallet wood furniture cleaned off for fall |
I have never known a summer quite like the one we’ve just had. An endless heat wave started and ended each day, resulting in the hottest summer nights I’ve ever had the pleasure to actually LIVE in.

Oh the bike rides! Entering the forest was like rolling through a scratch and sniff fragrant storybook. The scent of pine filled the air, while the trees temporarily removed the intense heat offering a brief relief.

Even our drying river created private beaches!

And let’s not forget about the abundant sweet blackberry snacks along the way.

It’s been magnificent.

pallet wood furniture cleaned off for fall |
pallet wood furniture cleaned off for fall |
So after many MANY days of this new-to-us heat, the clouds finally moved in, the inside rooms grew dark and it started to rain.

cabin inspired patio |
West coasters in BC are not new to rain. We pay a hefty price for our green. We basically are the Canadian version of Ireland.

I think. I’ve yet to go there but I’ve been staring madly at the place for a few years now. It’s definitely calling me. Maybe next year I’ll have the nerve to finally leave North America on my own?

I’m shaking in my need-summer-back bare feet just thinking about it… we’ll chat about unfounded fears another time. Heh.

garland styled lights strung from a patio roof |
However when I woke yesterday, I pined to sit on my outdoor sofa.

So I wandered over to my indoor sofa instead.

Egads. That’s when my eyes darted around my home and saw all the things that need tending to.

Wasn’t exactly what I had in mind here! My quiet mindful time gazing at nature that didn’t need me for anything wasn’t there.

Yes. This rain country residing Canadian is fighting fall thankyouverymuch.

cleaning up the pallet wood patio for fall |
All the pads and pillows came indoors because the roof somewhat leaks on occasion.

All outdoor cozy comforts are gone.

buffalo checked seat cushion for an outdoor bistro area|
outdoor wicker bistro area|
Summer cabin bistro sitting area post HERE

I’m sure there will be some sunny days ahead so I can enjoy my outdoor bistro area again… I can hope!

And for those days, I’ll no doubt bring out all the fluffy touches once again, and perhaps even light up that propane fire pit while I cozy up under a blanket or two.

cleaning up the patio for fall|
An end of an outdoor season is so much like real life. Seasons will always revolve and change. The transition can be met with resistance, or we can simply roll with things we cannot change finding the good in them. 

So why do we get so stuck in these ‘things’ that we sometimes just can’t shake?

I suppose it’s because we found so much value in them? We grieve when there’s a change we haven’t prepared for.

One of my behaviour classes was on how to cope with things we can’t change but wish we could. The premise was about buying time so we could tolerate the moment until it could pass.

Our homework was to set up a Tool Kit of sorts of enjoyable distractions that could buy us time during that tolerance transition.

Tuxedo cats |
How to set up a de-stress Tool Kit

1. Make a list of little things you enjoy doing. Mini vacations if you will. Ideas:

ie: watching a favorite show, petting your cats, sinking in allowing your first cup of coffee to do all the talking, a bike ride, a walk, sitting under your favorite tree, whatever YOU enjoy…

White mug of coffee on a rustic coffee bean stenciled wood coaster |
Making scrap wood coasters post HERE

2. Find a box, and place physical objects in the box that bring you instant joy. Ideas:

stress ball, favorite scented lotion, picture of your fav vacation spot (that you will be going to soon, otherwise I think this would depress me! haha), a magazine or book, your fav loose leaf herbal tea (make it special!), chocolate…

So when you hit a place that throws you in a slump, bring out your tool kit, pick an item on the list or pull out one of your chosen trinkets and become super mindful of THAT moment. Let the rest go. For now.

Here are some other helpful tips from my manual spun with some of my own words… 

– – – – –

We all have choices on how we accept something. We can either:

* solve the problem (if possible)

* change how you feel about it

* accept it

* stay miserable

* act on your impulsive urges, making things worse.

When you can’t solve the problem or change your emotions, try acceptance.

Acceptance is indeed a choice.

It’s like coming to a fork in the road. Turn to the rejecting side, and you’ll likely be met with unhappiness, disappointment, depression, bitterness… etc. Turn to the accepting side, and you will find that life IS worth living, even during painful moments. And quite possibly, you may come to some very unexpected circumstances that could end up better than ever.

Just know, acceptance does not mean approval. However it’s a lifeskill that will help you get through some tough times you can’t change at the moment anyway.

– – – – –

Here, lemme give this a go…

White and black buffalo checked coffee table |
Buffalo check table post HERE

Ikea sofa with throw pillows and a stenciled snowflake design |
Snowflake pillow sofa post HERE

“I accept that it could rain for DAYYYYSSSSS on end (sob) so don’t mind me as I grab another coffee and dream up ways to make my indoor sofa spot more welcoming each morning…”

How did I do?!

Now excuse me while I go find all those pillows again…

p.s. I just made a list of some things that bothered me. Fall weather was one.

But I also noted I had the power to change most of them.

While I can’t change the weather, I can choose where to live… or even how to revamp the patio for all season enjoyment… another dream revamp for the list!

This post proved to be a a real eye opener…


What are you having trouble accepting? Are you fighting the changing season too?

And where do you spend your first coffee? I could use some fresh ideas..

Read more Therapy 101 posts HERE

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Categories: Junk Drawer

17 thoughts on “How to survive things you can’t change.

  1. I too sit in the morning, waiting for my first or second cup of coffee to clear the morning brain fog. My back deck and Florida room are my go to places. But I grab my phone and begin with emails or the bible verse of the day or brainless surfing. I love your idea of letting the coffee do the talking. Your post today was a great read. Thanks for the continual inspiration.

  2. fall is so beautiful in NC…hop a plane and come for a visit!

    when I was a kid I loved summer…go figure…now I love the seasons.

    it maybe my move to NC as I know what you’re talking about growing up on Vancouver Island.

    as much as I don’t care for winter…I have grown to “not mind it” we get lot’s of sunshine with cool temps. seasons bring a change in food, clothing, chores, and our schedules…with that each one has a look forward to and I grab onto that!

    if you think of fall…what do you love about…must be one thing or two…maybe the cozy fire or the warm meals.

    i would agree that living in certain locations can have some longing for warm vacations…for most people. moving can change that…I never think of warm vacations anymore

  3. morning Donna,
    I am a true summer girl through and through! I can remember when I was a little girl and it was raining ,I would sit on the floor in front of the tv with my bowl of coco puffs and watch cartoons and my favorite ones were the ones where the sun was shining and the characters were walking outside with the birds singing! I think that when it’s cold and rainy outside, it takes away some of our options, even if we CHOOSE to stay inside on a sunny day, at least we have the option to go outside? I hope that you have a great day today no matter what you do?

  4. Good Morning Donna,
    Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons of the year. I love the change in temps. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area so I prefer cool mornings (overcast), warm days and cool evenings. I travel to the Sierra Mountains to see Fall colors. This October I have three trips planned there all for photography.
    I enjoy my morning coffee either on my front porch or back patio. Since there is heavy fog this AM, it is coffee on the porch. Later today it will be a bike ride to the farmers market. And a walk with the dog.

    I am really enjoying your blog and site. When I see pallets, and other items you share, I look at them different. There is a stack of pallets on my walk in the mornings,,,,,I might work up the nerve to ask for a couple of them. I need a potting bench and I have thoughts of building one, thanks to you. So many projects, so little time.

    Still thinking about the travel trailer… decisions yet.

    Have a great day

  5. I too have always felt the dreaded fall anxiety in mid September and October. I usually have at least two days of intense angst. I have learned to recognize it, feel it and remind myself of the things I do enjoy about fall. Like…apple and pumpkin pie, all things cinnamon and spice, indoor projects that I put on hold, so I can play in the yard during the summer. Then I don’t feel so bad. I love to bake which I can’t do in the summer because it heats up the house ( no A/C), so let the baking begin!

  6. I am one that fights the change to winter. Though Fall is beautiful here in the mountains of N. California the chilly morning and evenings serve as a reminder that winter is well on its way. Being one that suffers from SAD, I hear you that it can make for a dread that is not easy to put aside.
    I have the OTT lights that help. Snow and rain get in my way of what I want to do and I tend to resent that. I am an outdoors girl all the way, being stuck indoors is so claustrophobic for me.
    The tropics always call to me in January through April, whether it be Hawaii or Florida, getting away to the sunshine and warmth even for a week can make a big difference in my demeanor in the dark days of winter though we have not gotten to do a trip like that in over 10 years.
    That being said, I feel every word you are saying here.

  7. hi donna, rarely do i comment, but as i read, i complete get what you are saying haha we here in bc aka boulder city nevada went from spring to summer in what seems like one day to the tune of 117 degrees yikes can i handle it yes thanks to the ac but hiding inside is not my usual. i love summer but please give me a break lol anyway as i read i saw your beauty of a porch in walters hands and enclosing it so you a dont have to bring in those beautiful cushions b so you can open the enclosure for air flow or remove screens whatever you make of it and just enjoying it throughout the year with that great heater! it would also be a cush between your home wall and possibly save on energy, you can, if anyone can, make it happen, i love your website, i did leave for a while but im back your home is beautiful and a wonderful base camp! i yearn for a 2 bedroom cottage here in town however real estate has gone wild yet again! i will stay in my 1973 single story no stairs for me, i am seasoned haha and love where i am planted. i too have a handy friend who is helping me at present so excited my goal for this winter is to bring my washer dryer in from the garage, try doing laundry in 117 deg tried even at 11pm evening nope haha water runs down the face, not pleasant so we will fix it yes? love your writing and thank you we had our coffee together this morning! 🙂 kat

  8. Having just moved from sunny California to the Pacific Northwest I too am having a difficult time adjusting to the change in seasons….or in my case, to the acceptance of rain. Our first rainstorm of the season arrived this week and I have found myself longing for my sunny, warm California days. Your post about making the decision to accept the things you have no control over really hit home today. Although I moved to a beautiful area, it was a move motivated by necessity, not choice. Your message of Choosing to accept was one I needed to hear… Thank you!

  9. You have been talking in the abstract for quite awhile, and I wonder what’s wrong. Specifically. Why is it that you are in therapy? These are all questions that most people won’t ask because it’s too private. Well…I want to know. If it’s general depression and nothing in particular, I get it. If a certain situation has sent you into a tail spin, I get it. And, no matter what you are going through, why not tell us, because someone will get it, and most of us will understand. I don’t think there is a reason to hide. If you are talking about IT, give IT a name. It will help us to understand. If you don’t want to give it a name, maybe a diary for your eyes only is the route to go.

    • Hi Fonda, I share a lot on the blog if it pertains to just me. However when it involves others, I don’t lay out specifics in order to protect their privacy.

      I have mentioned in the past about going through empty nest changes as one thing, so perhaps that helps?

      The posts are geared to help equip others with the right tools to help with any issues, not just focusing on mine.

      I will continue to share the tips publicly as long as there’s interest… if they bother anyone else, feel free to chime in!

      • Well said Donna…I for one don’t need a “reason” for what you are going through, your message, I suspect, would be the same even if you did share. I truly appreciate what you do share….. It seems I come across your blog postings at just the right time and they always seem relevant to what I need to hear at that particular time. I’m not usually one to coment, but please keep up the encouraging words!

      • I respect your boundries Donna (no names needed). This is your blog and you get to choose what you post. Many times your posts resonate with me, with things I am going through or have been though. You are always inspiring and motivating.

        Thank you and keep the blog coming!

        My two cents. 🙂

  10. Hi! We’re living in Ireland for a spell due to the hubby’s work. I’d say it (or London) is a good place to get your feet wet (no rain pun intended) if you want to travel to Europe by yourself. The people are really quite helpful and friendly. Language is not a barrier – except they do post all the signs in Irish and English. What I’ve enjoyed the most is the landscape. It is definitely a balm for the soul. Just expect the rain, no matter what month you come and try to avoid August…way too many tourists then! Ha!

  11. Good post. I would love to write eloquently and inspire/help someone. As it is I don’t feel eloquent. It’s the middle of the night and I am awake. I suffer with a condition referred to as restless leg syndrome. I am also awake because my mind and heart are trouble d. Work is hard. But that’s nothing new to everyone. I am trying to figure where to draw the line there. Trying to live with the missing of loved ones who have passed on and missing our youngest son who is in the military and we haven’t seen him in almost a year. And then to top it off I am wearing a heart monitor for a month as I will be having a procedure done to take care of a problem with my heart. Sorry, just feeling a little overwhelmed. I just talk to God aLOT! And I keep on trying. Much to be thankful for. Your posts are helpful and much appreciated. The specifics of dealing with things and knowing one is not alone helps tremendously. I don’t give up. I might for an hour or so but then I get back on my horse, so to speak! Thank you for your time and all the honesty with which you have shared your journey. It is wonderful and when I am more awake I would welcome the opportunity to make more sense or be more helpful. Have a wonderful day Donna! You are a welcome blessing!

  12. Well, Donna, I started with your newsletter but hopped over to this post. This was a really good one….I feel the same way about winter as you do fall, mostly because our fall in WV is still pretty glorious, I’m not gonna lie. Even our winters have gotten milder, but I just can’t stand the gloomy days, dirty streets and long nights. I spend my time in the sunroom and let myself sink into magazines, blogs and other reading material.
    My tool kit involves a routine breakfast with coffee, and a walk – always – about 3 miles, and I’m good to handle whatever else the day brings. Even the bitter cold.
    Cheers to little things that get us through.

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