We are always seeking the next moment, when the present moment is all we have. We spend a lot of time on “what happened?” And “what next?” But no so much on “what is happening?”
Of course we need to assess what happened and where it might be going, but all we can actually affect is this moment, moment to moment. In that context “It is what it is” becomes an important recognition, not a resignation — Not “it is what it is and we can’t do anything about it,” but “it is what it is and we we must work with what it is, not what it used to be or what we wish it would be.”
We always want to be doing something else, somewhere else. We worship at the altar of “anything but this.” But this is what we have, this is all there is. It is what it is, but look at all that it is!
In this context, “It is what it is” becomes more than an annoying shrug.