Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
I am not a control freak. I easily delegate, happily let others get on with whatever their thang happens to be, accept the changing tides and times. Heck, I’m even happy enough grasping the idea that comfort zones need a slap upside the head from time-to-time and change can be a good thing.
I’ve lived long enough to get that bumps in the road make sense when looking back on the journey, that time heals wounds (or vice versa), that good things come to those who wait, and all those other aphorisms routinely trotted out when life is crappy.
When the list of things I have absolutely zero control, influence, even minor sway over is thirty times more impressive than the couple of bulls whose horns I can manage to take … well …
I try to grow hope.
Hope: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; optimism, expectation, expectancy; confidence, conviction, assurance; promise, possibility. Yeah, there more versions of hope than there are shards of broken glass on a beach, and although forming an aspiration or two is easy enough, expectations that plans or designs will provide assurance, or even possibility, rather lack conviction. As Robert Burns so well put it, albeit most likely with a touch of whiskey and haggis on his breath … which may account for all Scots talking funny …
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Having found my bootstraps on many occasions and tugging fiercely, often for years, I am well practiced. My kids’ lives are sorted safely, securely and happily, so I can put down the lead umbrella I’ve been holding since the age of seventeen. I can take care of myself. I don’t need saving or completing and I’m okay with seeing to my own daily needs.
Ain’t life grand?
Compared to some, mine is pretty great — roof overhead, wine in the fridge — and I’m not knocking what I have, what I have worked for, or the plans I’ve made that actually almost worked out. Neither am I regretting … anything.
I am, however, doubting an adage I once trusted; that things happen for reasons and in their own time.
Another relationship ending disappointingly, thousands of miles between me and my kids, a tenacious tether to property, advancing age that has done jack shit to lower my desires or expectations … all beyond any jurisdiction I find in my realm.
Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent. ~ Mignon McLaughlin
I know I don’t have many years left, more behind me than ahead, and very much want to live fully, but am feeling restraints it seems I have no power to loosen. Doing what I can … involving myself in endeavors I find worthy, learning stuff I’ve not paused to cozy up to in the past, conversing with those I like, admire or disagree with … fills time and brings some relief, but I’m frustrated as I feel days and weeks and months and years flash past … and don’t mind.
Some would call it ‘being at loose ends’, but it feels more like the tank is running low, and although I’d like a refill there doesn’t seem to be fuel around and I don’t know where to even look anymore.
The free-floating anxiety I’ve experienced in the past is returning and I find myself again constantly checking the sky for shit asteroids, even though I know damned well you never see them coming.
I have been, however, gently nurturing a few seeds of hope. I’ll see my small kids in a couple of months — always a bright light that warms. I’ll continue to try to sell my place to free myself up for more travel, more adventures. I’ll finish that fuckin’ book I’ve been working on. I’ll continue to lend my voice to those who think it will help.
I’m not 80 … part of the hill is still before me … and a quarter tank just might get me further than I think.
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~ Anne Lamott