It seems to me that the absolute star of accepting change is the Dalai Lama, the easy, gentle master of living in the moment and understanding that life is nothing but transition. My sister is not the Dalai Lama; no one has ever gotten them confused. My sister's approach to change, although not approved by the International Council for the Happy-Go-Lucky, is novel and effective.

Me: Hi, it's me. I just wanted to let you know that x (a member of my side of our extended family) wants to bring someone to Thanksgiving/Passover/anything.

She: Oh. S***. The table will be so crowded.

Me: Umm...

She: It'll be awful. People will be sitting on the patio, practically.

Me: Umm...

She: I'm not making something vegan, dammit.

Me: Umm...

She: Is he/she nice?

Me: Yes.

She: Are they in love?

Me: Looks that way.

She: [Pause] Okay.

Me: Okay? It's okay?

She: [Sweetly] Well, of course. [Patiently] There's plenty of room.

So, maybe, there's an alternative to beatific acceptance of change. Maybe a little grousing helps. Maybe some frank grumbling smooths the way for some genuine acceptance. Maybe the trick is to acknowledge that change is sometimes wonderful, sometimes not, often disturbing, and always happening. Then, make room at the table.

My sister, the Dolly Lama.

Advice for a Better You


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