My husband loves to read autobiographies of entrepreneurs like Richard Branson. Stories of how today’s successful innovators first found inspiration, what they had to overcome, how they failed and failed and failed before finally finding success. And often how they proceeded to fail again but knew to keep moving forward.
Yet, when we stumble and fall, he sometimes becomes more discouraged than expected. Often, it’s just his way of unloading some grief, but I always take his pain to heart and try to fix it. I’m a man like that and sometimes don’t know how to just listen and not fix.
When we hit particularly rough patches that begin to wear us down, I tell Maguire that this struggle is just a chapter in the greater autobiography of our lives. This challenge is the rising action before the climax of our novel. Without this hurdle, we would never be moved to find the stepping stones that will raise us to the next level.
These hard days of Broke Young Family are a chapter in the book our lives’. One chapter. We will make it to the climax.
We remind each other of that when times get tough, when money runs out, when it simply seems like we can’t bear any more burden. It lets us step back and look at our lives from a broader view. It gives us hope and helps us keep moving forward.
This Christmas, we are very nearly out of money. Hospital bills are piled in front of me (love you, Olive-at-archive-reading-age, you were 100% worth it and Mommy is just a little tired in 2009), December’s utility bills have yet to be paid, we’re behind by half a payment on student loans (loans which outweigh our mortgage, thank you), and no Christmas gifts have been purchased, yet.
I sort of want to cry a little.
But I know. I know that ten five years from now (how hopeful am I willing to be here, huh?) , we’ll look back at these hard days of Broke Young Family and remember them fondly. We’ll remember them as simpler times and miss the baby fat of our youth and our young.
I know that things will get better. I have hope and I believe.
I believe in us.
This holiday season, I am returning to a place of what surely seemed like lost hope to me, once upon a time, and I’m paying it forward. Because I do have hope and I also believe in the power of giving, particularly when you have nothing left to give.
I am giving my voice and my precious energy to something that I’ve shared with you before:
Tide Loads of Hope is returning to New Orleans this weekend, no new natural disaster in sight, and delivering free laundry services to families in need. This time, I’m going with them, getting my hands dirty (or is it clean?) with Deb on the Rocks and Mishelle of Secret Agent Mama, thanks to an insightful sponsorship that I’m proud to acknowledge.
Together we are asking and answering the question “How do the holidays fill you with loads of hope?” and we’re inviting you to do the same.
Join the Loads of Hope for the Holidays carnival, hosted by Blog Nosh Magazine (for which I am founder and editor-in-chief) and sponsored by Tide Loads of Hope, and spread your own personal message of hope. The stories we are receiving so far are stunning in their intimacy, heartening in their humor, and inspiring in their hope. We would be honored for you to add your voice to this resounding chorus of talent.
Lend your voices now, then participate live during a two day event in New Orleans, Sunday and Monday, December 13 and 14, (with a special surprise event on Saturday to be announced soon!) as we tweet stories of resilience from laundry recipients and volunteers on the ground. Follow along on twitter via #loadsofhope and be sure to follow @TideLoadsofHope.
More importantly, engage with us and tweet back your own messages of hope, helping us show the residents of the Gulf Coast that their voices are still heard and their stories still remembered. The Loads of Hope truck just completed a stop in Atlanta, GA, and will be on their way to Louisville, KY, so help us spread the word and reach out to families in need of a break.
Help us show them that this time of heart wrenching blows to pride and confidence is a vital chapter in the story of their lives. But only one chapter. So much beauty is yet to unfold in the pages ahead. Our character development has just begun.
From failing, you learn. From success… not so much.
~~~*I found the exact Meet the Robinsons quote at I Don’t Like to Write but I Still Want to Blog, along with video of the scene. Quote is at minute 9:32. Thanks, Elle!
Loads of Hope for the HolidaysWhen you join the carnival with your messages of hope, be sure to invite your own readers to participate in this online event by linking to the chocolate-covered center of the carnival at Blog Nosh Magazine. You are invited to grab any of the Tide Loads of Hope graphics you see there and here, including the tee shirt badge below (linked to http://tideloadsofhope.com), as all proceeds from sales of Tide Vintage Tees support the truck and keep it on the road, ready to help when disaster strikes nationwide.
How do the holidays fill you with loads of hope?