February 13th, 2018
Get Your Hopes Up
I was having a conversation not long ago with my son. He was making plans to set off on a new adventure which would dramatically change the trajectory of his life
I was listing off all the new opportunities, the things he could do and try, and then he said, “I think you are more excited than I am.” (setting aside the super-excited and somewhat sad feeling of watching your now grown child successfully fly)
I stopped and said, “Why is that?”
“Well, what if it doesn’t come together, I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
I think I might have stopped breathing momentarily.
I said, “I’ve lived my whole life not getting my hopes up, it’s a terrible way to live.”
You think not getting your hopes up is going to protect you from being disappointed, soften the blow of a failure, ease the realization that you haven’t made it as far as you thought you should be.
I’ll tell you what else it protected me from; a lot of joy and the ability to really embrace a triumph.
I’m not sure I could count the times I’ve heard, “I’m not going to get my hopes up, I don’t want to be disappointed.” It’s an all too common refrain.
Yes, life can be disappointing.
You can be disappointed with your work, left feeling unfulfilled.
You can disappoint yourself by not following through.
You can be disappointed by others due to their actions or behaviour, or your interpretation of said actions and behaviour.
Life can be messy.
Somehow, we learned that not getting our hopes up would help. Really?
So, making our lives even tinier would be…better?
What if we got our hopes up?
What if we did the work to get the result we wanted?
What if we celebrated that success and started working on the next plan?
What if we recognized a setback for what it is? Something that happened.
I’m practicing getting my hopes up, I am celebrating every success, no matter how miniscule it may seem. I am filled with joy watching my son step into the next chapter of his life. Like the words in my song, “ no more waiting for a special occasion”