And now I have to put together a church service on the theme of hope. Even though what I really want to do is crawl back into bed at least through the first week of November.
I’m sitting here looking at the cat that is curled up asleep on my desk. Unphased by the jackhammering outside or the music coming from my laptop. She looks like she could manage to sleep through the next eight weeks. Maybe she can give me some pointers.
I want to be hopeful, I really do. Nate Silver would tell me polls are encouraging, that we will likely have a new President in 2021. I should be buoyed by the signs that many white Americans are willing to wade into the conversation of racial injustice and white supremacy in new ways.
On a personal level, I should be jumping up and down that my kids’ schools have managed the incredible feat of opening for in-person learning.
I suspect I’m raining on my own parade in an attempt to manage expectations. If I get my hopes up that we’ll have a new President-elect in eight weeks and a day, if I start to feel optimistic that my kids’ in-person schooling is a done deal, I set myself up for deflating disappointment if things go differently.
I guess it is a dance that I do with the unknown, waiting to prepare myself for difficulty. I won’t have as far to fall if my expectations are kept low. But how can I thrive and soar and taste the sweetness of possibility, if I hold tight to the reins?
The metaphor that comes to mind is of a hot air balloon. Do I want to take a hot air balloon ride that is not really a ride, but rather involves hovering in place in a balloon that remains tethered to the ground? And involves me holding tightly to the rope?
Maybe I won’t fall as far if the balloon has a mechanical problem; I also won’t know the exhilaration of a view as far as the eye can see, fields and haystacks becoming a teeny miniature landscape below. I won’t feel the damp air of the clouds on my skin or sense the possibility that vastness generates.
I suppose it would be a longer fall - and I suspect my teenage daughter would tell me, it is so worth it.
So, here’s to hope and possibility. Here’s to resilience in times of grief and fatigue. Here’s to keeping on keeping on. We can do hard things.
Where are you holding tightly to the rope? What becomes possible when you loosen your grip?
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.