John Leonard an audience of one.

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Acceptance

I’ve been through a hell of a lot in 2011, and along the way there has been a fair bit of loathing, anger and downright misery.

My anger has not been limited to just the disease I had - the frustration garnered from a total lack of control over my health or the cures that brought me back to the position that I am in today have manifested themselves in a myriad of other ways.

Take for example, my almost famous bouts of road rage. Thankfully they are limited to me shouting at other drivers while safely cosseted in my car, but when they sweep over me it takes a significant wilful effort to stop them utterly taking over.

I get angry in queues, when other people don’t take up available space in front of them, and countless other ways that I will boil and simmer about on the other blog that I have created for just that purpose.

Anger is a horrible, insidious thing. Giving in to it achieves nothing, but suppressing it makes a person even worse, eaten away by all the things they can’t control, and bottling it all up for the inevitable outburst at a loved one.

2012 is therefore going to be my year of simple acceptance. For example, I can’t change the fact that Xfactor is on the TV, or that the hideous manipulation of the general public that is inherent to these types of programme is always going to continue as long as there is a willing audience. I can’t change the fact that I simply don’t enjoy Radio 1 any more. These are things for which I no longer fit into the target demographic. When designing another ‘talent’ show, the producers don’t consider a 41 year old man to be their key audience member. Rather than ranting and raving about it, I have to simply breathe, be calm, and accept it.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

(Reinhold Neibuhr)

Acceptance is a hard thing to properly internalise, but it’s something that is worth the effort.