Amanda has been writing for about as long as she can remember. She was always the kid walking around with a tattered old binder of her poetry. She used to ride her bike around her block waiting for her muse to come and provide her with inspiration. These days, daily life offers her plenty of inspiration, and she writes because it is the only way she knows how to make sense of the world. Amanda is a stay at home mama to her two young girls, and she tries to fill their days with reading, loving, and creating. She blogs about all of this and more at Indisposable Mama. When she's not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found knitting crazy hats to photograph her children in. Surely those photographs will be priceless in the years to come, either as reminders of fond memories or as great fodder for blackmail. Find more posts from her here.
I have been thinking a lot about hope lately. When I look around me, there is so little of it to be found. It seems almost as if people are afraid of hope.
If you listen to our political discourse (from both sides,) you will hear public figures talking about how the other side's options will never work. If we elect the "wrong" people, our country will go downhill. If we make the wrong choice (and someone always thinks a choice is wrong,) we will end up in a land of despair.
We hear it when people talk about our society as a whole. They will talk about how our cultural values are in the gutter and we are getting further and further away from some past ideal. Hope isn't preached; instead we lament the present.
And in my house at least, my kids hear it too much in the way I speak about my life and the way I carry out my days.
Growing up, I was an eternal optimist. I had a deeply held belief that things would work out for the best. Even if something bad did happen, some other opportunity always came along that made things better. I had an unlimited belief in the goodness of the world and in my own ability to capitalize on that goodness.
And then somewhere along the way it got lost. I now find myself facing challenges and instead of hoping for and working for the best (or even just for the better,) I find myself wallowing in what is. I don't take enough risks anymore. I don't dare to believe that change is possible.
In many ways, I am living a dream life right now staying home with my two little girls. We spend our days how we want to, and every day I am bombarded with kisses and hugs and eyes that see the wonder in the world. But as any stay at home mom will tell you, it's not all smiles and giggles. The job also comes with a lot of fatigue, lost patience, and burn out. Good and bad though, I know without a doubt, I will mourn these days when they have past.
And so in honor of these days and the memories we are creating, I am going to work on bringing hope back into my home. From here on out, I am making this affirmation on behalf of my family.
We believe in hope.
We believe in positive change.
We work to change that which we do not like.
We have confidence in our ability to make change happen, and we also trust in our ability to handle any hardships that come our way. We are strong, and we are capable.
Always, we will look forward to the rainbow that follows the rain.
As with any change, our journey away from despair towards hope will take time and will be a bumpy road, but part of hope is not giving up. And I won't give up because my children deserve to know that there is always a chance for things to get better as long as we are willing to fight for it.