Last night I dreamed that some of my dreams came true. Francesco (read this for a romantic story of star-crossed love) got his act together (twenty years ago) and we ran off together to the mountains where we hiked and climbed blissfully forever. Then I dreamed on was on the Swiss National Ski team. Yep. Who wants to wake up from THAT?
I’ve been disappointed a lot in life, but that does not make me unique. It makes me like everyone else.
There are about nine million and a half cliched homilies for dealing with disappointment and as itchy as those things are, they’re pretty right on. The most annoying is “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” The Rolling Stones even got in on the disappointment train telling us that we don’t always get what we want but we just might find “you get what you need.” Yeah, well, that’s easy to see in the rear view mirror.
My mom was always trying to protect me from disappointment when I was a kid. “Don’t get your hopes up,” was one of her mottos. By definition, HOPE is UP, but… I got her message which is really that no matter how good hope feels, it’s not reality, and, uh, uh-oh, another rock reference, “future is uncertain and the end is always near.” And, anyway, not hoping doesn’t protect you from disappointment. It just prevents one from hoping and hope is necessary to humans. Of course, my mom had a pop-music axiom for when I came out all disappointed on the other side of hope, “I never promised you a rose garden.” I hated that but I’ve wanted to use it a few times on other people, my niece for example.
My biggest disappointment lately was Bygone Era Books going out of business after it had agreed to publish The Brothers Path. Honestly, that upset me a lot. One thing worse that disappointment is betrayal and that icky little factor was a pungent ingredient in my disappointment. Betrayal makes me angry and anger is more difficult for me to contend with (especially when it’s useless) than simple disappointment. But.no one promised me a rose garden. I struggled through that with the help of a Michael Murphy song, “Cowboy Logic” where it says, “If it hurts, hide it. Just pick yourself up and get back on again.” I knew I’d have to do that and I knew I would. It was just a publishing contract. People lose their loved ones, their lives, body parts, their aspirations, their homes every minute of every day on this planet. Even the publisher was in a worse place than I; he’d been forced to abandon his dream.
So there you are. I have nothing new or meaningful to add to this topic of disappointment. I hope that’s not too disappointing. The best cure I’ve found is to look around at what is NOT disappointing and count your blessings as my Aunt Jo taught me years ago after my cousins hung my Tiny Tears Doll from a branch of a cottonwood tree.