Hope and Time Perspectives

Hope is a feeling of desire for a particular something to happen; a want.

Everyone needs to have at least some hope in order to keep their present morale up. Hope strengthens the immune system and consequently physical health.


“Live in the present, because that is all you have, the “NOW.”

How many times have you heard this admonition? Yet, the past and future are important also. It is a sort of illusion of time.


Although your life is the present, the past has influenced your present greatly and the future is the need which is essential to the present’s morale, having something to look forward to. Take away a person’s future and their present collapses.


The future will become the present, so you want to prepare for it. The present is important because it’s your reality. It’s also the time to prepare for a later reality, the future.


You need hope to keep moving forward. But with hope, letdown is possible!

Where there is little or no hope, there is hopelessness, otherwise known as depression.


Resignation is the reaction to depression. It is a feeling of accepting the knowledge that what has been desired will NOT be attained. But you still keep on, keeping on!


“Time is flying!” How many times have you heard that?

Time goes faster when you’re older for a few reasons:

When we are old, we have more past than future.

The young perceive a vast amount of time ahead of them, so time goes slower for them.

After fifty or so, our physical body slows down, so time appears to go by faster, because we are slower, but really time continues to move at the same rate!


In middle-age, everything comes and then is gone. The phrase: “And this too will pass,” is used constantly and it applies to everything and everyone.


If we are lucky enough to reach old age, the realization that we are no longer middle-aged is a devastating loss, but we must confront it.


In old age we start thinking about certain questions:

“What was the point of it all, this thing called life?”

“What is death?”

As far as the point of it all, you create your own meaning in life, it’s your responsibility.

Life is when the heart is beating, the blood keeps circulating, the lungs breathe and your brain still perceives. One is ALIVE, you eat, sleep, feel pain and joy.

In Death, there is a permanent cessation of all the vital functions: breathing ceases, the heart stops and the brain no longer reacts to stimuli, one cannot experience, think or feel. You become a corpse, fit for the worms to feed on or if cremated, ashes. There is nothing before birth and nothing after death!

So, in old age we must learn how to face death serenely, because it’s part of life.


I conclude this article with:





Moods and Attitudes

What is your mood right now? Good or bad? Can moods be controlled? Each moment you are thinking, you’re a thinking machine, and these thoughts have an impact on the way you feel.


At this moment you’re probably thinking: Who’s this guy Writer Dave and what does he know about mood therapy? So, you’re feeling angry and annoyed.

OR: Maybe you’re feeling positive and interested. Maybe this guy Writer Dave has some information on the subject. Maybe I can learn something helpful.


So you see, your thoughts are creating your feelings and your moods. Lets define mood: it’s a state of mind; it can be good or angry, sullen and irritable.


Through cognitive therapy you can control your moods and ride the storm. All your moods, good or bad, are created by your “cognitions” or thoughts. Your thoughts at this moment actually create your mood emotion. Another thing to recognize is that your turmoil contains gross distortions and these are what make you feel upset.


Now, when you are in a bad mood, your self-image collapses, your thoughts and actions defeat you. So, what are these twisted thoughts or distortions?

Black and white thinking is one, because you failed at something you think: “That’s it, I’m a failure, a zero” Black or white, there is no gray area. Life is never just one way or another, there are always gray areas.


Sometimes you take your emotions as the absolute truth. Ex- I feel like a failure, therefore I am a failure, this is emotional reasoning which is twisted. In the end you start blaming yourself for your distorted thinking and there is no basis for doing so.


So, what can be done to control your negative moods? These are the moods that lead to self-esteem loss and a tendency to do nothing. Because when you’re in a bad mood you don’t feel like doing much and you think you are worthless.


You need to confront your internal critic, who tells you that you are no good and inferior to other people. Ex- “I never do anything right,” this is self-criticism. Now say to yourself, “Nonsense! I do a lot of things right,” this is your rational self-defense. You feel better right away by defending against the critic.


So, you can change your mood from bad to good by changing the way you think. You are not only a thinker, you are a doer too. So instead of doing nothing, get going and do something like investing time in a hobby.


Attitudes and moods are similar states; if you have a good attitude toward things you will have a good mood. Lets define attitude: it’s a way of thinking or feeling about something.


Our moods and attitudes directly affect how we feel about everything in life. Without the right attitudes we will never have the happiness or success that we so badly want. We ARE our attitudes and our attitudes ARE us!


So, you must take responsibility for your moods and attitudes. What do you say to yourself to promote that?

You say: “I take responsibility for my thoughts and attitudes and moods. I am in control of my mind.” You feel better already, right?

Now talk to yourself about your self-esteem.

You say: “I am unique and special. I like who I am and I feel good.”

Also: “ I like who I am, and it’s great to be me.”


So now, you are beginning to believe the BEST about yourself, each day and in any circumstance. Think this way and you will feel good. It’s your CHOICE! Live fully and think good thoughts.



The Muse

I was sitting in my favorite booth in my favorite restaurant/tavern, mulling over some notes on a book I was writing, or trying to write. I was wondering if the plot was good enough to cover 250 pages. I didn’t want to get stuck in the middle wondering how to proceed.


“May I join you?” A soft voice was speaking.

I looked up from my papers to see a slim, mature woman dressed in a white silk dress with a short matching cape draped over her shoulders.

“Of course,” I mumbled.

She sat opposite me in the green upholstered booth. She had a margarita in her hand. I was staring at a beautiful woman with honey blond hair. Her crimson red lipstick sent an inviting message.

“Do I know you from somewhere?” I stammered.

She shook her head and her long dangling earrings wiggled.

“No,” she whispered, “but I saw you looking so serious at your papers, that I was intrigued to find out what you were doing.”

“I’m trying to figure out the structure of my new book.”

“You need a muse to help you.”

“Funny you should say that, I was looking for a muse to give me inspiration.”

“Well, I’m available for muse duty,” she smiled.

She took a sip of her drink, keeping her green eyes focused on me. Her eyes seemed to penetrate my very soul.

I took a big gulp of my beer and asked:

“Are you familiar with a muse’s duties?”

“Oh yes, I’ve been a muse before. I can help your soul by taking away the awful burden of responsibility for the outcome of your creative efforts.”

She reached across the table and held my hand and smiled. I felt myself melting under her stare.

I composed myself and said:

“Can you define for me the work that a writer’s muse does?”

“I would be happy to, Dave.”

“How did you know my name?” I said, abruptly.

“I noticed it on your papers, Writer Dave, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is.” I said in wonderment.

We both sat looking into each other’s eye, at one point I thought the booth was on fire, the heat was so intense.

Her eyebrows were arched above her sweeping eyelashes, her green eyes flashing, when she said:

“The muse is the feminine part of the male writer. Her job is to penetrate the writer and bring out the creative work from the womb of his mind. It’s a sort of gender reversal. I can provide a source of inspiration for you, a sense of passion to create better works.”


The waiter came and asked if I wanted another beer, but he didn’t even notice the woman in white opposite me.

“Yes please, another beer plus a shot of whisky. I needed another stiff drink.

The woman in white was still there looking at me with those dreamy eyes. She had hardly touched her margarita. She was stroking my hand now and the hairs on the back of my neck stood erect.

Her voice was all around me, whispering in my ears. I could feel her warm breath!

“Dave, I will make you a creative whirlwind propelling you to high levels of artistic creativity.”

My hormones were starting to stimulate me to a high level of emotional intensity. I was enjoying the rush of creative juices.

She spoke again:

“All my powers are rushing through you. Are you happy now? Do you understand that everything I do, I do it for you?”

She stood up and gave me a long hug.

The next thing I knew, I had my head in my folded arms on the table in slumber mode. The waiter was shaking me.

“Where is the lady in white?” I mumbled.

“There’s no lady here, just you,” said the waiter, quizzically.

I shook my head and left the tavern. Out in the fresh air, I felt good because now I knew I had a muse of my own.

The book I was working on became a success and I hoped I could call on the muse again in the future. It wasn’t just a dream. I know it was real!!!



What’s It All About, Writer Dave?

As I go through the precious days until my 80th birthday, a little over 450 days from now, I think about the “Big Questions.” Why 80? Because for me I think the time is right to examine my life in terms of meaning. But you could do it at any age.


What’s it all about? This question pops into my consciousness quite often lately. The question triggers a whole raft of other questions:

Where did life come from?

Who am I?

Why am I here?

What is the purpose of life?

It also prompts you to think about your calendar of life.

The twenties: This is the peak period of youth. There are so many things you wanted to do, but the time went too fast.

The thirties: Some maturity is added to your youth. We try many things while the flame of youth still burns.

The forties: The prime of life. The fulfillment of career and family life, which is the fruition of life. Many of us would wish this period was endless, but it isn’t!

The fifties: We start thinking philosophically because we are reaping the benefit of wisdom that was not there earlier. It’s the pinnacle of your development.

The sixties: The golden years, time seems to be speeding past us. We enjoy not struggling so much and relaxing.

The seventies: There is a feeling of time slipping by. But we still have hope in our hearts for good times.

The eighties: The stage of life where you keep looking back at the past. It all goes so fast, you didn’t realize. Do people ever realize life while they are living it?

Quoting Python’s “Meaning of Life”: Are we just spiraling coils of self-replicating DNA?


Can some of the answer to our question be in looking at our origins?

From what we know the beginning started with the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago, then single-cell life forms popped out of the sea, and through evolution came the emergence of Homo Sapiens about 500,000 years ago. As science has progressed and we know more and more about our beginnings, God has been written out of the picture and all the answers religion has given us are not relevant now. So, we have to figure out our own meaning. I was wondering…

Can’t we just live our lives in the present and that in itself is our purpose?


Or, maybe we should look to the future. Does life’s purpose rely on the achievement of future goals? But, when you get old, if you’re lucky, mortality becomes a problem because then there will come a time when we have NO future! Goals are great but once they’re reached we need new goals, or emptiness takes over! So maybe, life’s purpose is to continue creating goals to live forward to, until the end.


If we live in the present moment and life’s purpose relies on living in these moments, then in the end, life’s purpose must slip away. Our attitudes toward our mortality are important to our sense of well-being.


My friend tells me, from his barstool: “We must seize the day to really live fully.”

He says: “Party on.”

With that we both ordered another beer. My friend continued: “The facts are simple, Dave, we are mortal, we are trapped in the present and we could die at any time. So, seize the day, why sit around agonizing over the meaning of life, you’re using up your moments!!!”


I left my friend, as he ordered another beer, and I walked out into the sunshine.

I thought: “What a wonderful thing “barstool wisdom” is.”


Then I remembered some of the wonderful moments I’ve had in my life and how fleeting they were. These moments made you feel ALIVE! But seize the day philosophy can be bittersweet, when you think of the joy of the moment and the pain of it passing.


Whatever we value in life, relationships, hugging your partner, creativity, learning, a good meal, should not be put off, we have to make everyday count. The great wisdom of carpe diem is that life is fleeting and we should not squander it.


Another friend of mine, who doesn’t drink, said:

“I don’t think about meaning, I just LIVE. I’m happy and I don’t ponder “Big Questions.” I must be doing something right.”


What I think he meant was he is content to do what he does and this is enough to make his life meaningful. Sometimes thinking too much about “Big Questions” can be a stumbling block to making life meaningful.


But, for myself, I can’t avoid thinking about “What’s it all about?” Thinking it through seems, to me, therapeutic, even if I don’t come to a final answer.


Thinking about the “Big Questions” helps me to have the power to find and determine my meaning. Which in turn makes me feel good. Each of us are different and we have to make many choices in life that only we can make to construct a worthwhile life.