Just Life

Choose | October 2021.

Hello friends! The calendar tells me October is nearly over and it’s time for another OLW update. Way back on October 4, I chose to focus on hope this month. One of my favorite Instagram follows @sharonsaysso posted a series of slides about hope that resonated.

Hope was my OLW back in 2019. 2021 me is proud of the work I did back then and it felt good to revisit some of those lessons (2021 me is also really in awe of the frequency with which 2019 me posted!) One of the biggest was that Hope is a muscle – it needs to be regularly exercised to get stronger, and if it’s not used, it atrophies.

October threw me and my family some big challenges. My Hope muscle got a workout. I spent some unhelpful (and in the moment gratifying) time focusing on choices I didn’t get to make. but Hope helped. Hope gave me back some agency.

Sharon’s slides focus on Hope as an antidote to fear. Honestly, for me, it’s more an antidote to anger – to striking out against things I can’t control, or shutting down to isolate myself from them. Hope helps me face what is. 

One of my favorite practices from 2019 was to list where I saw hope – I added it into my morning journaling practice and those notes are a map into my heart, and into all that was happening in our country and the world back then. This month I saw hope in vaccine boosters. friendships. medical technology. remembering my dad (he would’ve been 84 on the 14th!). good books telling hard stories. the changing seasons. and the Braves. y’all!!! we are TIED after the first two games of the World Series. (and if you are not a Braves fan, please don’t tell me!)

Where did you find hope this month?

Thank you to Carolyn for hosting this meetup … and for allowing me a couple of extra days to get my thoughts together.

8 Comments

  • Juliann

    I am finding hope in the news about a vaccine for children, for boosters, for friends who have battled COVID beginning to heal. There is hope in the way the sun bounces off the yellow leaves and in the crunch of those leaves under my feet.
    There is a lot of cheering for the Braves in our house from the fan of another team who would rather see Atlanta win than that other team.

  • Kat

    Hope is a good reminder… and I really like your muscle analogy. Hope in a vacuum is not hope, it requires work to have hope, to seek hope, to spread hope, to be hope.

    (and sometimes it is very okay to be angry… just sayin’)

  • Sarah

    I’ll admit that in the past month or so, things were looking bleak, but the fact that vaccines for younger kids seem to be just days away (kiddo has an appointment next Saturday, pending final approval!) and that the numbers of cases are dropping in the past week or so has me feeling more hopeful.

    Can I confess that I didn’t even realize the World Series has started? I really don’t care much about baseball (it’s very hard to be a baseball fan when you live in Pittsburgh!), but I’ll be happy to root for the Braves on your behalf!

  • Carolyn

    First, Mary, sending love and–hope!–for resolution there.
    This post speaks with conviction, I think, to the real difference our words can make in our lives…to the gift we give our future selves when we bring an intention (like yours) to the practice.
    And…like Sarah, I had no idea the World Series was happening!?! Is it early this year? Seems early. (Then again, I really wouldn’t know.) So–Go, Braves! Guess I better go Google who the other team is.
    Happy week-ending to you :).

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    Hope seems like an excellent word to focus on right now. I’m planning to go back and read some of your 2019 posts because I wasn’t following you back then! Hope is something I’ve also been focusing on this week and I could use some of your wisdom right now! Thanks for sharing the link to those posts 🙂

    This is another example of how focusing on these OLWs can be life changing. It would be easy for me to fall into the trap of feeling angry and desperate right now, but remembering my word – Stillness – has gotten me through. Now I’m going to be thinking about Hope in conjunction with Stillness. So many possibilities!!

    Thanks for your post this month, Mary. They are always uplifting and thought provoking!

  • kym

    I’m glad your “old word” brought some comfort back to you in what sounds like a not-good time. And . . . I also didn’t know about the World Series or who was playing. But sending you good juju anyway . . .

  • Jane

    I like the idea that hope is a muscle that needs to be exercised. I see hope when I look into the faces of my grandchildren. I am hopeful about the vaccine being available for kiddos. The changing seasons also give me hope. I am sorry the past few weeks have presented some challenges. Your honesty feels hopeful to me.