Putting Yourself in Hope’s Way

I’ve had a weird year. I’m not going into it. Some things have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, somethings have crashed and burned, some things drag dully on till you don’t know if you can go on dealing with them (the post about the central heating fiasco will probably appear in the New Year when I’ve calmed down some!). But I’m looking forward to something better in 2013.

I’m not a big fan of the kind of self-help book that assures you that you can build your own fantasy world, live the dream, achieve success in anything you set out to do. So much depends on stuff you can’t control, skills you’re born with, or not, people you meet, or don’t, the places you just happen to be, books you happen to read at the right time, even sheer dumb luck. On the other hand, however, you can even the odds a little.

In my youth I was a folk singer. I really thought I could have been a contender. And maybe I could, if I’d found a club, joined a band, met a musician who could have pushed me beyond my amateur level, maybe — maybe –. But I didn’t. And the reason is that I didn’t go out and about in the folk scene often enough, or ask for enough help and advice or learn enough skills or take the whole thing seriously enough. And so you could use the shorthand and say, truthfully, I didn’t want it enough.

Wanting doesn’t guarantee success. But if you’re having enough fun trying, it won’t do you any harm. And if you protect yourself too fiercely against disappointment, don’t put yourself in hope’s way, you can pretty much guarantee failure. So next year, I’m going to be working hard, polishing some skills, taking chances, trying experiments. I’m going to be putting myself in hope’s way. Happy New Year everyone!

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