Spark of Hope #119 – The first day of statistics class I made the mistake of looking ahead. My textbook held words and equations akin to a foreign language. There I sat, as a panicked and overwhelmed math-phobic. Instead of focusing on the current chapter, I had taken on the whole book. Decades of lessons have come from that experience. In working with parents of defiant teens I’d remind them, “you’re new at this .. focus on doing your best with what you know in the given moment.” In working with families coping with cancer and Alzheimer’s, the message is mirrored. “Use what you know, try not to fret over what you don’t .. it will cause you worry, anxiety, and panic.” Yesterday, exhaustion brought back me back to the lessons of statistics. As if desperate to be heard, my mother kept smacking my arm. I was listening! But Alzheimer’s kept botching her words! So, I did my best with what I had in the given moment. I hugged her, I made her laugh, I took her into the sunshine. Then, the other side of caregiving hit me in the face. As the doctor put my father through an oxygen saturation test, I felt as though the wind was knocked out of me too. Within 10 steps his level was depleting. No wonder the smallest things have been such a struggle lately. Worry, anxiety, and panic ran through me. Then, the lesson took over. Don’t look too far ahead. Life can be quite a complex book. Keep your eyes on one chapter at a time. Perhaps, even a page at a time. Sometimes, it pays to go backwards. Pat yourself on the back. Thank God for the gift of refreshed hope – you’ve come a long way baby!
P.S. Don’t quit. This math-phobe aced Statistics I & II. Calm down and keep the faith.
Hope is like a spark; if the conditions are right, it can spread like wildfire. Hope feeds the soul, ignites passion, and inspires others. Tucked inside each of us is a child-like spark that says: never forget to dream, play and imagine. HOPE is the extraordinary spark that says Huge Outcomes are Possible Everyday!