It’s still what it is, regardless of what the Times says

On New Year’s Day I was sitting in my parent’s living room, next to my father, reading the L.A. Times.  I came across this op-ed piece that day which lamented the use of cliches and asked us all to stopy using them.  There was one sentence that caught my eye:

“It is what it is. We defy anyone to explain how this phrase contributes anything to logic or language.”

I can’t argue, really, but it called to mind a blog entry I wrote shortly after my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  The editorial bugged me at the time, and now that I’ve reread what I wrote back then, I guess I have to say, I’m not sure how this phrase contributes to logic or language, but it contributes to the emotional survival of this woman. I’m not trying to be hip or edgy or anything when I say it. It’s my mantra these days, because I can’t change it and I need to know that I can’t change what will come, just how I respond to the moment.

It still is what it was. It will continue to be what it is until the day that it isn’t. That he isn’t.

I wish I could come up with an original, “hip” response to what my family is living these days, but I can’t. So I hope you all can forgive me my cliche and my edgy attitude. It is what it is.


About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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6 Responses to It’s still what it is, regardless of what the Times says

  1. uuMomma says:

    Thanks to you all for stopping by and for your kind words and encouragement.


  2. S. Krauss says:

    Just found your site & glad I did. It is what it is and thre’s no changing it unless God changes His mind. My 12 yr.old daughter went stone deaf 3 years ago. Did everything under the sun to find out why & who could reverse it. And I mean everything from the top notch Drs. to Tarot readers. 3 years later when people ask how she’s doing, I say she’s GREAT.
    She has taught me ‘It is what it is” and she make the very best of it and does it well.


  3. That phrase – it is what it is – is something of a mantra at my work place. Sometimes it frustrates me to no end, because I can clearly see how things could be done better. The bosses don’t want to hear it, so us employee’s end up muttering “it is what it is” to ourselves all day.

    I think what frustrates me about this phrase is when it’s used as a justification not to do something about an issue we do have control over. Obviously, this isn’t the case when we have no true control over the situation.



  4. Karen says:

    I’ll take real over “hip” any day. And it’s often my mantra, too.

    Sending you hugs as you continue to face what it is.


  5. radical mama says:

    I use that phrase all the time. Especially to A, who thinks all things are not what they are unless it happens to fit her desires at the time. Isn’t that what it means? Some things can’t be changed, so accept it? Seems fairly rational to me.

    Hipness is overrated, especially when you are dealing with grief or other major changes. The Times is overrated, too. 😉


  6. mskitty says:

    How is your dad doing, Momma? I hope he’s (and you all) are managing fairly well. Glad to hear from you again!

    I get so impatient with columnists or other commentators who feel as though their particular preferences ought to be observed by everyone else, whether it’s fashion or figures of speech or whatever. For crying out loud, whatever makes them think they can dictate to the rest of us? I’m amazed by the arrogance they display.

    You go ahead and use whatever phrases work for you and don’t feel you have to apologize. It’s the opinionators who ought to apologize for trying to tell us how to talk and feel and look and …..well, you get my drift!

    And hang in there. It is what it is! And nobody knows it better than you do.


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