Abandon Hope!

As I am writing this, it is snowing again! Although I’m done with tax paperwork, I’m still processing an annoying insurance issue. The garage door broke and I can’t get my car out. Maybe it’s a blessing, because now I can’t see the Check Engine Light. I still am not finding time to write. When I’m this grumpy, I don’t want sunshiny saccharine consolation. I do like “get real” advice.

Pema Chodron writes that “…abandoning hope is an affirmation, the beginning of the beginning. You could even put ‘Abandon hope’ on your refrigerator door instead of more conventional aspirations like ‘Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.’ She also writes that “Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, to make friends with yourself, to not run away from yourself, to return to the bare bones, no matter what is going on.”

In other words, you deal with the reality of yourself and your situation. It’s the only way to get from here to there. Thich Nhat Hanh writes that “Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.” Maybe I’ll find some time to write soon. I’ll stay alive to opportunities and in the meantime, enjoy bits of “get real” wit and wisdom like these from Jane Austen:

“Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”

“And pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.”

“Do not give way to useless alarm; though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.”

“Every moment has its pleasures and its hope.”

“I will not say that your mulberry trees are dead; but I am afraid they are not alive.”

When you’re grumpy, what helps? Do you have a favorite quote, from Jane or anyone else?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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11 years ago

Bits of consolation:

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

I was watching Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class on the OWN network last night and one of the things she said struck me:

“Every single thing that has happened in your life is preparing you for what is to come.”

You are a very well-prepared person, Elena!

11 years ago

Man plans; God laughs.

Bill Cosby taught me at a very young age: Never say, “It couldn’t be worse, because that’s when it becomes worse.”

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

OMG Elena! My garage door broke yesterday too, and my car is stuck inside until someone can fix it. Must be the bad garage door fairies…

I love those quotes so much. I actually find the notion of impermanence and non-attachment comforting (if also challenging)

Elena Greene
11 years ago

Anonymous, I love those, especially the last.

Diane, I’m not sure I want to know what I’m preparing for!

Judy, your quotes are great too.

Amanda, too bad about those garage door fairies! Hope it gets fixed soon…

11 years ago

Isn’t it strange that things like this come in groups? But then I have found they always work themselves out for a reason you never expected.

I have several quotes that I fall back on, but the one that fits this occasion the best – my all time fav:

Fake it till you make it!


Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

First of all, I am glad I don’t have a garage!

Love everyone’s quotes. I do like the last Jane Austen quote just because it is SO her!

O Divine One, my Dad used to say something similar to your Oprah quote. “Character is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” (Some of us have REALLY big characters. LOL)

Some of my favorite quotes :

“When you’re going through hell, keep going!” Winston Churchill

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.”
Bern Williams

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
Audrey Hepburn

and this one hangs on the wall behind my desk.

“May of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas Edison

Hang in there, Elena!

11 years ago

I love these quotes. I obviously haven’t read enough of her work. The more I hear about her and “from” her, the more I like the woman.

My own favorite piece of advice, ridiculous as it is: ” If you don’t leave, you can’t come back.”

Elena Greene
11 years ago

Artemis and Louisa, I love all those!

Pat, I like yours too. To me it says that making a decision gives you the chance to figure out if it was right and move on.

Elena Greene
11 years ago

I also think giving up writing is a great thing to do when discouraged or blocked. I’ve managed to give up writing for maybe 10 seconds at a time. 🙂