How to Stay Hopeful in Hard Times

by | Sep 2020

A daughter sits on her father's shoulders.


Optimism will find its way around.

We’re experiencing times when it’s easy to feel swept up and overwhelmed by the news, a pandemic and divisions in the wider society. The country feels bruised and charged; and while it’s important not to ignore suffering, it is also important to utilize facts to reset reality, in order to not succumb to a loss of optimism—which can lead to hopelessness and chaos. How do we get our cup filled and lean into the learning, without a glass half full of negativity?

It is difficult to not focus on fear versus working hard on having a sunny outlook—recounting what we actually do have. The state of being content, in every generation, inevitably disappears, so how do we grab onto those fleeting joys daily? Our outlook on life shapes our involvement in our community, with our family, work, school, neighbors. If we try harder on the latter; would not the world take care of itself?

Whether optimism is coaxed by another’s thoughtful gestures or if some are just blessed with the magic of nature and nurture to see each day as a blessing, practicing optimism gives us faith that all will work out in a given situation, as it often, yet certainly not always, does.

Being optimistic is contagious. So is pessimism. In a world that cannot stop talking 24/7, invite in compassion and love. Don’t let others tell you what you don’t have. If we incorporate enough of our joyous moments in our lives and hit pause when they come, appreciating all that we truly have, we may figure out what our founders truly meant by our individual rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Margaret Wachholz is the campus marketing director at Woodbury Senior Living. In her column, she shares observations and wisdom about aging and senior living in our community.


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