Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to have a good day

Today was one of those days that usually cause me to have meltdowns. I have cramps. I'm overtired. My husband was late coming home from work. The speech path was here, and came late. The news is awful. The kids are grumpy and whiny. But I did okay. Oh sure, the house is a mess and I'm in bed at 9, but I had a good day. And why? Mostly because I decided to. :)

I had an hour with Crackle in the playroom. I like to do two or three, but one was enough today. And it was fabulous. He was so with it. So interested. So playful and fun. He laughed. He played. It was a blast. We played a game where he touched the block and I gave him spins. If he touched the other block, I dropped him onto the bed (He LOVES that). He requested more singing so many times. And every time I hit a note a bit wrong, he winced and plugged his ears. And I laughed. He gave me a look when I started singing his favourite song that was a bit, oh, I don't know, disappointed? And I realized I wasn't singing it in the same key as the CD, so I switched keys, and he grinned at me with absolute joy. I bet that for 45 minutes or more of the 60 minutes I was in there, he was interacting. It. Was. MAGNIFICENT. He's never had that kind of attention. So I'm holding on to this. And I'm flying.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hope is everywhere!

My daughter, whom I refer to as Snap, is 17. She's full of cynical disdain for the world at one moment and unbridled hope and enthusiasm in the next. I love it. She was in one of her 'disgusted with Mom's new outlook' moments, and skeptically said, "You can find something to be hopeful about in any situation?" And I said, "I hope so" (and grinned at her, annoying her to no end and amusing me to the same extent), and she said, "Oh yeah, well how about this?" and showed me the story of the young lesbian woman who was beaten almost to death by her girlfriend's brother, on Thanksgiving. I looked at the story, and was horrified by the extent of the woman's injuries (for your own sake, just don't Google it. You can't unsee things). I asked Snap how she'd heard. She said it was all over the internet. And I said, "Well, there's your hope. People are outraged by this. Not that many years ago, this wouldn't even have been news. It would have just been another dyke getting what was coming to her. Now, it's an outrage. Now it's something that horrifies people. There's your hope."

She shook her head at me and left. But she knew I was right. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Hope.. wait, that's Star Wars, not Jesus

I didn't quite intend to start a hope blog the week before advent started, but here we are. Hope is one of the themes of advent for many reasons, but no small part of it is the hope that Jesus would bring peace, a new reign of love. Yeah, we screwed that up but good, didn't we? :) The man spoke of love, we nailed him to a couple of boards and put him on display. He told us to go forth and spread the word, and we killed people who didn't believe the way we told them to. He told us to love our neighbours, and we used him as justification to hate them because they were gay. Or Muslim. Um, oops?

But you know, it's never too late. There is new hope ever single day. Every day, I can be a better person than I was yesterday. Every day I can say no to greed, to judgement, to hatred, to fear, and just embrace love. And I love that. I love getting a new start. Oh sure, there's the pesky having to take responsibility for what I did yesterday, but approach that with love and wow.

And you don't have to believe in Jesus to do any of this. As one of my friends, an atheist, says, "Be good. For goodness' sake". Yeah. Just be good because. Because. Because it feels good. That's cool. I'm not going to say there's no hope for you if you're not a believer. Who the hell am I to say that? Nuh uh.

My little church is going through a very rough patch right now. We have no money. Something has to change.  And that's really hard for a lot of people. But you know, the church was founded on the idea of change and resurrection, so I think we'll survive. And if we don't, well, there are other churches. They're changing too. The christian church will survive. That much I am sure of. I hope that it changes. Because right now, we're failing the people. The job of the church is to serve the community, and we're not doing that. We're serving pretty much only the community members who actually show up on Sunday mornings. Too many churches are worried about how to get asses into pews (and onto committees), and not looking at the bigger picture, which is that the needs of the communities have changed, and the churches haven't. People don't need social clubs with a bit of service and worship thrown in. I don't know exactly what we need, but it isn't that.

I have a bit of a vision of what a church could look like in the future. A coffee shop with meeting rooms. A place where people could come in, get a cup of coffee (assuming the coffee bean isn't extinct by then!) and chat with the people around them. There might be a room with a clothing exchange, a computer exchange/repair shop, and a little chapel for those who'd like to sit and have some place quiet to just be with themselves or God. Maybe a social worker and a counsellor for those who might have needs of that sort. A community centre for all. Not just the downtrodden and needy. A nifty place where anyone might feel comfortable to grab a cuppa joe and chat with whomever is there.

I think Jesus would approve. And I'm pretty sure the rest of the gods and prophets would be okay with it too. :)

High hopes? I hope so.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hope abounds!

Hope abounds! Today something magnificent happened. I stepped out of my comfort zone and offered to help someone with some personal shit she's going through with the Option Process (a dialogue process I learned at my Son-Rise courses), and she accepted. She told me she'd been praying for help, and for the courage to ask for help, and that she prayed for hours yesterday, and today I "out of the blue" offered to help. She told me she thinks I'm God's answer to her prayer. Eeep. No pressure, right? :) But, that's the awesome thing about the Option Process. I just have to ask the questions. She's the one with the answers. There's no counselling, no advice, and no pressure. I can do that. Feel free to ask me about this if you're interested. It's not an exaggeration to say that it has literally changed my life. I am choosing to be happy most of the time. And when I'm not, I'm accepting my unhappiness or anger and embracing it as okay for me right now.

Here's what's fantastic about hope. She's been through hell. I'd guessed that much. But not only did she not give up, she's made herself awesome. And she's smart enough to know she needs some help. AND she was willing to say "Yes! I want that help". That's pretty much hope incarnate. She's willing to try. And so am I.

It's really cool to love someone not because they deserve it, but because I've decided to. Try that sometime. It's a fabulous experience. If we love first, and act second, the world could be an amazing place. I have hope that this is possible. No, I am completely convinced this is possible. Where hope comes into play is getting people past their judgements, because that isn't easy.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Only Hope

For those who know me, welcome. This blog will be a lot different from my other one. This one is to help me. If it entertains you too, awesome. If not, that's okay too. This is not for politics. Not for feminism. Not for socialism. Not even for autism. This blog is about hope, and everywhere I see it in the world. It's about the hopes I have. And the successes I see. So some of it (okay, a lot) will be about my kids and their accomplishments. Some will be good news stories. Some will be about things I see on the news. Some will be quotes and pick me ups.

I called this "No False Hope" because I stopped believing in false hope some time back. Hope is just hope. It's believing in something being possible, and attempting to make that happen. And if it never happens, it never happened. There was still hope. Hope means, "I'll try".

I have hope that my kids will recover completely. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But I have hope. And I will try to make that happen.

I have hope that one day women will be treated with the same dignity and respect that is afforded to men. That we will one day make as much money, and have the same opportunities. And I will try to make that happen.

I have hope that poverty will end. And I will try to make that happen.

I have hope that compassion will triumph over greed. And I will try to make that happen.

I have hope that there will be a cure and even better preventions for cancer. I'm not a researcher, but I can donate money to help make that happen.

Anyway, this is the new blog. I hope you enjoy it. (See what I did there?)