Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Disappointment as Fuel for Change

"We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm now nearly 7 months through my 1 year commitment to actively search for hope every day and write about it. I'm in the thick of it and the remaining months of 2009 seem to be just around the bend. This is the side effect of working in a retail-focused business: I'm always one step ahead of myself because the industry I work in demands it. Looking for hope is sometimes an easy task and sometimes a game of hunt and peck. Some days I struggle to find something hopeful and positive, and other days it seems that the world is awash with hope, so much so that it's hard to take it all in and stay still long enough to write about it. It's these latter days that I try to focus on most.

I've become a fan of daily email delivery of my favorite blogs. I get why tools like Google Reader are valuable; I just prefer to use my gmail inbox as my to-do list. (Thank you, David Pogue, for that insight on email in-boxes!) And I like the idea that my favorite writers are sending me little bits of wisdom directly, or at least I feel like they're sending them to me directly. Daily Good, a blog that posts a daily story about some piece of goodness in the world, is one of my favorites. Their stories always begin with a quote, and it's responsible for many of the quotes that populate my "food for thought" section in the right side bar of this blog.

This week Daily Good posted up the quote above from Martin Luther King, Jr. He could have easily made the quote "We must accept disappointment, but we must never lose hope." Still powerful, still emotional, still inspirational. Instead, he chose to talk about finite disappointment and infinite hope, and link the two together. In my 7 months of writing about hope, I have found disappointment. More than I would have liked.

Just this week, I decided I had accepted enough disappointment. I'd reached the finite limit that Dr. King spoke about and then decided that I could no longer wait to do what I really wanted to do. With the help of some friends who help me think clearly, who help to bolster me up when I get a little bit down, I made a plan to turn all of my attention to what I hope to achieve and away from what's disappointed me. The hope was there all along, even through the disappointment. I just wasn't seeing it. We can all do a lot more than hope for a change; there will be no grand arrival and entrance of change. It's always there - we need only reach out and grab a hold of it.


runner52 said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now. You keep coming back to a commom always are looking to make a change in your life, you want to pursue something that makes you why not just do it? Writing about wanting to do it and doing it are two different things....a good friend of mine was in your position. She was giving the opportunity to make a major change in her life. She spent a lot of time asking other people what she should do..including me..I told her to stop asking what others think and do what she thought she should do...she finally decided to take the new job....a very big step, especially since it was a job she left 6 years ago because she thought she could not do it!6 years later it was time to go what you want to do...take the jump...the worst that could happen is you could either land on your head or on your feet.....I'm betting on the feet.....

Christa said...

Hey Runner52,
Thanks for your comment and encouragement. I'm making changes every day and hoping that writing about change and sharing inspirational stories about change will inspire others. Many of my changes have to be slower than I'd like because of my heavy debt load from school. But that's coming down bit by bit. While I'd love to just take the plunge and make every change I'd like to make today, I'm also being mindful of my financial obligations. If only higher education in this country weren't so expensive!