Here’s Hoping


By Elena Greco

Image by Myriams-Fotos on Pixabay

Typical reading time: 2 minutes

January 20, 2024

I’ve spent the better part of the last month feeling hopeless. This brought me to the question: What exactly is hope? Where did mine go? How do I get it back?

I came to realize that you must have something to hope for, that hope isn’t a mood or a state, but a longing for something you can envision and for which you have a belief, no matter how tentative, that it can come to be.

I can hope for warm weather, for example. I can’t just sit here hoping, because that makes no sense, not without a vision of something to hope for.

What you hope for must also be somewhere in the vicinity of reality. I probably couldn’t hope, for example, to be twenty-one again. I couldn’t hope to be tall. (Sad.) I could hope to attain some level of fitness. I could hope for something that seems a bit of a stretch but might be possible with some real commitment, like performing in another concert or wearing pants that don’t have an elastic waistband.

I’m beginning to think that hope is a necessary component of a good, meaningful life. Because when I experienced loss of hope this month, I became sad. I found it hard to put one foot in front of the other. I stopped practicing and I stopped writing very much (or very well). I seemed to be moving in slow motion. I sensed that I had lost something.

That led me to notice that what I had lost was hope, and that I had better get some quickly if I expected to get anything done, or really to have a life at all that consisted of more than watching television or the weather outside the window.

I identified the primary culprit for my loss of hope and set about seeing if I could salvage that hope, or, assuming that hope was a ship that had sailed (like my waistline), if I could find a different but related hope that might tide me over.

I did. It required that I rearrange my thinking a bit and work at it for a couple of days. Turns out, hope is sometimes hard to get! But it can be had if you look for it and work at it a while.

I will leave the story a mystery for now (a story for another time), but I did want you to know that hope is a necessary thing, and that if you’ve lost yours, you can find it again.

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