Are you hopeful? It’s such a short simple question but I am finding it so profound right now. My answer is more complex than the question, remember now, I tend to be a self-proclaimed control freak and overthinker. As I sit here this morning, I do indeed feel hopeful. However, that seems to ebb and flow with the direction of the day. For example, this morning I was up and out of the house with a cup of coffee at 4:30. The Bibbed Wonder and I had coffee and a good conversation before we went to the barn. The barn chores went smoothly, Eugene the pig took his bottle, the baby goats went into their stall to be fed in an easy, if chaotic manner, the girls were polite little ladies on the stand, the chickens drank their half gallon of goats milk and provided more eggs than the day before, and GramBarb was in the kitchen making cinnamon rolls when we came in (huge perk of social distancing with my mother-in-law, she is an incredible cook). I have continued the morning with mundane household chores like laundry, (my personal nemesis), taking an online course, writing thank you notes, and mailing packages, and now writing. As I look out over the back yard, Jordan, Eric, Jordan’s bestie, Abigail, and Abigail’s dad are cleaning out the 4-H piglets stall and prepping the garden. I do indeed feel hopeful. Not only my child but a child I have become quite fond of are learning lessons that cannot be taught in school. They are learning the importance of the role one takes on with the care of other creatures. The importance of providing a clean, safe, nurturing, engaging environment. They are learning the importance of the stewardship of our land. It cannot just be taken from, it has to be fed, cared for, and nurtured like any living being. They are building relationships with each other. Fathers are teaching their daughters the importance of good character, integrity, and unconditional love. All things I hope my daughter looks for in a life partner…in the very distant future of course. I am indeed hopeful.
What is missing from my day? Did anyone notice anything missing from my day? I noticed something and it seems small but it has a huge impact on how I view my world, our community, and the future. Television, that is what is missing. I did not wake up at 6 o’clock and plop my behind onto the couch and enjoy my cup of coffee with the news. I can’t even say I enjoy my coffee while watching the news. I am a better person without the influence of news media. I am less fearful, less stressed, more hopeful when I go about my day taking care of things that I have to and sprinkling in things I enjoy. I know it is important to stay informed, especially now with everything so quickly changing and uncertain. I am not saying I will never check in; I am saying I am better when I check in less frequently. It does none of us any good to sit and watch this unfold constantly. It is better for us as an individual and as a whole to act. I humbly suggest try taking care of what needs done, sprinkle in a bit of what makes you happy, and be present: check on those neighbors you haven’t seen for a bit, create something that makes you feel happy when you see it, taste it, smell it, take that class or read that book, learn that skill or take a long hot bath, play that game, or grow that garden, or take on a new furry friend. Don’t wait for the media, the government, or the powers that be to give you hope. Be the creator of hope for yourself and others. Later today, I intend to “soap” random and not so random houses. Not the small-scale vandalism that was practiced during Halloween of my youth, but acts of hope and kindness to make this a little better for someone who may need it. It not only brightens someone’s day, I hope. It makes me feel like I have done something to make my world and my community a little bit better. It is not a major act but it’s an act I can manage.
I challenge you to spread some hope. No matter how small, no act of kindness is insignificant. So, let me ask you dear reader, Are you hopeful? As always, stay safe, stay smart, stay hopeful, and wash those hands.