Monday, October 12, 2020

A Balance of Hope

Hope is in the air (the blogging air, see Mali and Mel) and it's made me think on my complex relationship with the concept.

I am capable of hoping was against the odds and looking for all the ways things can go right, instead of wrong. I loved that in the presentation I saw as part of our conference day Friday hope was defined as "finding something positive to hang on to, believing that at some point things will get better." That is a lovely, realistic definition. 

Sometimes my kind of hope can be misconstrued as callous. I have been on the receiving end of calls from family telling me that someone got a bad diagnosis, or is waiting for scary test results. I am not a crier in these cases. I feel that I need to save my tears for when there's really something to cry about. 

I guess it's more pragmatic than callous, but it's really hope -- everything is going to work out, and there's no sense getting super upset until the news is REALLY really bad. This pretty much only works for things that are real. I'm capable of imagining and then getting plenty upset over all kinds of horrific things that never come to pass.

I was not great at managing hope in infertility and adoption. I either swung to complete magical thinking (this WILL happen! Because I'm going to do all the wacky  things possible to guarantee  it!) or utter despair (actually apologizing to my embryos AS THEY WERE BEING TRANSFERRED towards the end because I was sure my uterus was going to murder them).

Hope is funny. You can have too much, and too little. It's sort of like a spice -- too much and it's overpowering, too little and nothing tastes good. Finding that just-right balance can be tricky.

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3 comments:

  1. Hope - the Goldilocks Zone! Yes, you've got it. Too much (or as I say, "blind" hope) doesn't help any more than seeing nothing but doom and gloom ahead of you.

    I will admit, when you were so hopeful for adoption, I was afraid for you. But it helped you through that time, until it didn't, so I guess it served its purpose then too.

    Don't you just love it when someone's post (Mel's) sparks conversations about the same topic?

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  2. PS. I've JUST read Loribeth's latest post talking about despair and hope, from a line in a novel. Very relevant too.

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  3. Oh, yes to how you and Mali are phrasing this -- the Goldilocks Zone, the spice you want just the right amount of or it's no good.

    Thanks for helping me to finally get a grasp on Hope. I'd been thinking about it in the binary (you have it or you don't; you're an optimist or a pessimist), but perhaps the more helpful way is a spectrum.

    This is revolutionary for me.

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