Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Never Better

Hand on foggy mirrorYou never know when a strange thought is going to hit you.  Attempting to shave in front of a fogged mirror this morning, I had this flash of myself living in a backwoods cabin with only a worn out, clouded mirror for shaving, thinking,"I am never going to have a better image than what this lousy mirror is giving me right now."  I felt a momentary pang of imagined sadness thinking that this unsatisfactory reflection was the best I could ever hope for, which left me thinking of the very real, paralyzing sadness of believing that one's present circumstances would never, ever be better.

Life has not always delivered on my wish lists, but I have never for any prolonged period doubted that there would be better times.  Often I have been able to describe my circumstances as "never better!"  Yet I know there are people for whom that phrase represents a forecast rather than a review.

This is a (yet another) great time in my life.  My children are healthy and successful, we have just moved into a lovely home in a great city, and my new job is a great opportunity.  Outside of me losing a few pounds and the Cubs winning a few more games, my wish list is pretty short these days.  I am very aware that the main reason I am so optimistic about the future is that, generally speaking, the past has treated me pretty well.  Optimism is easier to maintain when it has a good track record.

Those of us for whom hope is a regular feature of life need to find ways of spreading hope.  I know I take my own hope and the reasons for it for granted.  This is one area where I have never been better, but I want to be.

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. 
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
-- Helen Keller

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