Hope: Losing it and Getting it Back

I wanted this blog to take the reader through a natural progression of life and love issues after divorce. I’m going to diverge a bit today because blog posts — just like life — do not necessarily follow a nice, neat, chronological order.

Today’s subject is hope – why it’s so important and how you get it back when you seem to have misplaced it. For our conversation, we need breakfast comfort food for lunch: blueberry pancakes.

Hope is the thing that keeps me going when slogging through bad dating profiles. It’s the thing that helps me bounce back after finding out a promising man is America’s Most Wanted Romance Scammer. And it is the lifeline I hold onto after an awkward first date that begs for termination after 10 minutes.

Sometimes life happens — to revisit a cliché — and I lose my optimism. Loss of hope can be triggered by matters of the heart, medical concerns, financial worries, or an unexpected reminder of my defunct marriage. And when all four happen at once — watch out!

Fortunately, with the passing of time, I’ve been able to shorten “hopeless” interludes and jumpstart myself back to a hopeful place.

Here are some things that I think about to make me feel better and some actions that I’ve found to be helpful. I’d love to know what works for you.

Points to Ponder to Revive Hope: 

  • Given mathematical probability, percentages based on direct e-mail marketing, and random karma, it is just a matter of time before that guy who likes me is actually someone I like.
  • A lot of men want a relationship too – just read the profiles.
  • Anything can happen at any time. But most of it won’t happen inside your house or apartment. Get out!

Things to Do:

  • Think about the universal need to connect with other people and realize it will help you. On Oscar night, a man on POF (Plenty of Fish) emailed me to ask if I was watching the Oscar’s or Downtown Abbey.

We ended up “watching the Oscar’s together,” commenting on who we wanted to win and the quality of the performances. We both loved Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music. Will I ever meet this guy? Hard to know. We have continued to exchange emails and just yesterday he suggested a phone call. Even if we never meet, we carried on a nice “virtual conversation” for an evening. That’s worth something.

  • Keep a lot of irons in the fire. At any one time, I am on three dating sites to maximize opportunities (opportunities = hope).
  • Consider an occasional email exchange with young and/or out-of-town men just to kvetch about the often-frustrating online dating process. Creating solidarity helps me feel better. I know I am not alone in the quest to not be alone.
  • Do something that empowers you – whether it is proactively contacting a potential match or initiating a fun activity such as PaintNite for you and your friends.
  • Plan a vacation or day trip. Having something to look forward to does wonders for increasing your hope quotient.
  • Exercise really does help. I have found boxing with a trainer to be amazingly therapeutic.

I wanted to write this post because I began the week in a less hopeful place. I feel better now. Just thinking about these truths and putting them down on paper — or rather the computer — helped.

As one of my favorite writers Anne Lamott says about writing and life in Bird by Bird, “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”

What keeps you going?

2 thoughts on “Hope: Losing it and Getting it Back

  1. Really enjoyed your post on hope. You have a gift for talking about serious topics in a clever way with just the right amount of humor – a light touch with heavy stuff. W.M.


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