Hope & Infinite Hope

I drove up to the Skagit today to visit my mom in her new place. Going north on I-5, we approached an overpass, with a chain link fence. My eyes drifted to the one word someone had woven into the steel: HOPE. The lettering was crooked. But it stood out against a caged sky.

If they looked up, all drivers could see it. Couldn’t photograph it. Because you’re barreling up the highway doing 65 or 70. It made me smile.

Of course it conjures Obama. Of course it brings up the resistance of now. That one simple word reminded me: we are all human. We all feel hope. We all live through despair. We all overcome. We sometimes utterly fail. But there is always hope. In unexpected places.

Driving south after our visit, I wasn’t expecting anything else related to HOPE. What I do, in my day-to-day, is try to keep my own fire burning. Optimism and peace are things I go for. In the past, I’ve done the opposite. I’ve lived my roiling years. But that way destroys me.

On the same fence, somewhere around Lynnwood, the same person had woven the words INFINITE HOPE. I smiled.Going north, HOPE. Going south, INFINITE HOPE.

Today, my sister, sister-in-law, nephew, our babysitter and a bunch of people we know marched in NYC, DC, Seattle & Bellingham. I know turnouts were huge and that makes me so happy.

We are a united people, and I feel so reassured.

My New Year’s

This new year’s I’m committing to more connection with friends, more self-care and less running around. I know we’re all busy with family, work and all sorts of commitments. But it gets to be too much, and we move from one thing to the next so fast now. There’s no reflection. I know I need that. And to just exhale.

For myself, I’m swimming which I love. I’ll apply for at least 3 writers’ residencies and see how I do. And I’ve got to send my story around before March 31.

For myself, I’m swimming which I love. I’ll apply for at least 3 writers’ residencies and see how I do. And I’ve got to send my story around before March 31.

I’ve invited a few cool women to a monthly women’s group so we’ll see how that goes. I also need to READ more. I’ve been pretty lazy in the department.

My goals for Jack are around his reading, social life and sports. I’ve ramped up his reading time and it’s starting to show – it’s really coming along. I’d love him to be reading Harry Potter in a year. It’s definitely a stretch goal!

We’ve kept up his Special Olympics sports since summer when golf started – golf was a surprise winner, and my friend just gave us some hand-me-down clubs. It’s a small gesture but I need to let the good things just build and expand like that. As far as the sports, I’m keeping an open mind and seeing what fits well for him. He’s done basketball with S.O. but it was mostly adults, so that wasn’t perfect. His swimming starts next week and I’ll report on his progress here. I know there are more kids in swimming. He’s taken 1:1 lessons for most of his life but it’s still hard to put it all together for crawl stroke. His S.O. team will practice in the deep end so he’ll have to break his habit of kicking off the floor of the shallow end. It’s probably just what he needs, and I’ll be in there to spot him.

So, into the new year, bravely. Slowing down, though, is a priority. I think I’ve already proven I’m capable of doing a lot. This year is about doing less, and doing the things that matter most. Ready, steady: Go!