The kids have been saying it feels like Christmas. It's chilly out, there's the aroma of burning leaves in the air (it isn't my cooking this time), and of course, I'm playing Christmas music.
We live waaaay down south where the devil goes to listen to people play fiddles** (shrug). We don't get much cool weather and snow where we are, but if we moved just a couple of hours further north, it would be like living in an area that experiences four seasons. Ah. We can only hope..
Memories of sliding down steep hills of snow in a pink snowsuit that holds me immobile jump through my thoughts. Memories of earaches from cold wind whistling past my ears in autumn while I go for a walk with my family slide through. Memories of being a teenager running through the county fair with my brother and sister wearing gloves, beanies, turtlenecks, boots, no coats, floats around me.
There's something about good memories that make current life hopeful. It isn't at all likely that my family will see snow, but the memories make us feel good about this time of year. It isn't likely that consistent cold weather will blanket itself over our house for the next four months, but the memories make us feel good and hopeful. If I say out loud "I want to move north!" enough times, eventually, I'll find myself figuring out a way to do it.
Hope is amazing. Hope keeps you going. Hope tells you that today's depression and anxiety will leave soon and you can get back to living. Hope says that even though the baby isn't sleeping well and hasn't slept well in a long time, in another year, she will. Hope tells you that this degree you're working on will lead you to a more full-filling career in the future. Hope is what tells you that this trouble, this horror, this failure, this sadness, this illness, this guilt, this mistake, this poor choice, this consequence, will move along and life will feel better soon. Hope is amazing.
Actions can result from hope.
Improved life changes can come from the hope of something better.
Keep your hope.
Take your steps.
Say the words your shame doesn't want to let out.
Feel stupid saying "I'm gonna go for it"...but say it.
Feel like an idiot saying "God, please help me do this"...but say it.
Feel dumb avoiding your usual stale routine to look at the field of cotton because the fluffiness makes you feel cozy...but do it.
Feel like a silly child spinning in a circle with your eyes closed...but do it.
Hope for better to come after you've done the small thing.
Like a hot air balloon, hope soars...
...and with it, you.