The secret to life, as far as I am concerned, is in doing stuff. I see it this way: you can lean back on the couch and grab the remote or you can lean forward, over your skis, and let gravity take over. I like gravity and the idea of enthusiastically participating in my life. I like passion. Leaning forward is intrinsically hopeful.
We are going to Italy in October, a week in the countryside with a rental car and a Michelin guidebook. And, while I fully expect the trip to be wonderful, it is the anticipation and planning that lights up every day until we leave. Teresa and I will have read every guidebook Amazon has to sell us and mapped out 25 possible day trips for our 7 days on the ground. I’ll have completed an Italian course and will drive the local Italian restaurant servers crazy by ordering in Italian until we go. Yes, I can pronounce Pasta Fagiole and I am going to be obnoxious about it. The trip becomes a cause, something to hope for, and it is hope that keeps life interesting.
In the Christian New Testament it is said that Faith, Hope, and Love abide and we are quick to proclaim our faith or speak of the pompitus of love (blame Steve Miller for that one).In general; I think Hope is underrated. While love may be the stuff of poets and faith the tool of the devout, hope is what keeps me going. Hope is what moves us to put money away for a rainy day, start a creative project or embark on a trip to a foreign land. Hope is the notion that we can survive a probably fatal disease, finish a 5K, or write a novel. Hope tells us that something better is coming, even if we don’t know when. Hope keeps us from taking to the couch and giving up.
I am curious about life and one of my hopes is that I will continue to learn about everything I can for as long as I live. It’s that hope that keeps life interesting and God knows, I get bored easily. The trip to Italy puts that curiosity in context, I have a lot to learn before I go off and learn some more. In much the same way, I have advocated the “Creative Life” because it puts everything else in your day in context. The painter sees colors and scenes, the writer hears phrases and stories, and the musician feels music in the wind. The hope that something creative will come out of our day is what makes a creative life worth living, it is what makes daily life a work of art.
Life belongs to the young, some will tell you, and it is in keeping hope and enthusiasm in your life that you stay young at heart. Energy comes more easily to those who have passion and an overall interest in their lives. For me, at least, that passion comes with any opportunity I have to have a new experience or come to a little better understanding of the world. Over the last few years I became a gardner, a hobby that requires no small amount of hope. We plant things because we hope they will take root and grow, happiness, as a gardner, involves seeing your plan defeat weeds and fulfill your vision for a beautiful garden. My garden has taught me a lot about life: have a plan, pay attention, and surrender to hope.
I hope you plant a creative seed today.