In Others’ Words: Hope and Having

I almost didn’t post this quote today. I couldn’t decide if I liked or not. If I agreed with it or not.

And then, while I was talking with my husband about what Epicurus meant, I distilled the quote down to one word: Now.

Good ol’ Epicurus was reminding people to live in the now — not wasting today by focusing on tomorrow. And while I’m at it, don’t waste today by focusing on what somebody else is enjoying today — and then fuss that I don’t have the same thing.

My struggle with the quote — the reason I debated on posting it? We always need to be hoping for something … dreaming for something … reaching for the stars … extending our grasp … going for more …

Ah, tricky, isn’t it?

In Your Words: What’s now look like for you? What hopes have come true? And what are you hoping for?

And if I haven’t said it recently, thank you for joining the conversation. That’s why I started the blog … to get a conversation started — and then to get out of the way.

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27 Comments

  1. October 21, 2012, 11:37 pm   /  Reply

    Now looks like a little more work before bed (and surfing around for a little inspiration).

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 7:49 am   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’ve experienced that kind of now.

  2. October 21, 2012, 11:39 pm   /  Reply

    I think the quote could work for me if it began like this: ” Do not spoil what you have by spending too much time desiring what you have not. . .” Hoping (or dreaming) is important. That’s what keeps us striving. However, if we’re so consumed by our dreams that we cease to enjoy what we’ve achieved and are no longer having fun on our journeys, we could be in need of a refocus.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 7:49 am   /  Reply

      Well said, Keli.

  3. October 22, 2012, 4:13 am   /  Reply

    Yes, I agree. Holding our dreams whilst also enjoying the present is a skill that takes practice, I think. I find it tricky to teach my children – strive for the stars, but wholeheartedly embrace your now. Good food for thought, Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      Also a good point, Susannah. What, exactly, are we teaching our children?

  4. October 22, 2012, 5:31 am   /  Reply

    Oh, I like Keli’s take on the quote. I believe we all need to hope and work toward that hope. That said, it’s God who fulfills the hope within us.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for that truth-reminder, Pat.

  5. October 22, 2012, 6:27 am   /  Reply

    When I read that quote, the first word that came to mind was contentment. I’m all for dreaming big and having goals to make those dreams happen, but I read that quote as not to wish away what we have or to want what someone else has. We need to be content with what we have today. And there is truth behind the last part. I remember dreaming of being where I am today.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      Oh, contentment! Good one, LJ!

  6. October 22, 2012, 7:48 am   /  Reply

    That is definitely an interesting quote and I agree with Lisa that it evokes the thought of contentment.
    SO many of my hopes have come true. Family, home, publishing…but I still have lovely dreams of more. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Ah, so nice, isn’t it, Jessica?

  7. October 22, 2012, 7:55 am   /  Reply

    Yeah, I think it’s about pining so much for things we don’t have we lose the beauty of the now.

    I’m starting to be in awe of the idea that I get to write every day and do what I love. So few can say that. That’s huge!
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 10:03 pm   /  Reply

      It is huge, Wendy. That realization has brought me to tears.

  8. October 22, 2012, 8:35 am   /  Reply

    Oooh, I like Keli’s rewrite, too.

    I actually think sometimes we don’t hope big enough…or, we have big hopes and dreams, but they’re very narrowly focused and might keep us from seeing the wider realm of already fulfilled hopes around us. I don’t think that made any sense. But what I’m trying to say is, it’s easy to, like Wendy said, pine for something I don’t have, something very specific, but then forget the bigger hope–the hope of eternity, of an eternal purpose, of a plan for my life that’s huger and better than anything I can dream up.

    Love how you got us all thinking with this one, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 10:03 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, the eternal hope … sometimes we do lose sight of that one, don’t we?

  9. October 22, 2012, 9:18 am   /  Reply

    Like others, I both agree and disagree. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Too often I live in the future or the past, not the present. But if I were to die tonight, would I be sad that I spent my entire day thinking about tomorrow? Worrying about tomorrow? Wishing I had more, tomorrow? Yeah, I think I would. Instead, I’d want to live for today. What can I get done today, who can I hug today, what blessings can I thank God for today…?

    But I also agree that we need to have hope for the things to come. We just can’t fixate on them.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 10:02 pm   /  Reply

      Excellent perspective, Lindsay. Well said.

  10. October 22, 2012, 9:39 am   /  Reply

    What a fabulous quote! Of course we are always dreaming, but even Paul said, “I find in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” When we are content it doesn’t mean we don’t work to achieve more. After this he says later, “I strive for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

    Now, for me means being happy in the tasks that God has set before me in the place that God has given me with the people God blessed me with. The dream is still there…The dream giver is the focus…at least that is what I try to keep focused on.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 10:02 pm   /  Reply

      Lot of wisdom, Michelle.

  11. Ganise
    October 22, 2012, 3:18 pm   /  Reply

    Excellent quote, Beth. I always have to remind myself to live now!

    Thank you for sharing and you do a great job on your blog, btw!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 10:01 pm   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. October 22, 2012, 9:39 pm   /  Reply

    That’s a great point, Beth. It is tricky. I need, want, love having things to look forward to, however, I’m happier when I live now and do what is right in front of me instead of saying “if only.” I think gratitude is the answer. Be grateful for what I have, yet keep dreaming and look forward to more.

    I love your posts. They make me think.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 22, 2012, 10:01 pm   /  Reply

      Another great one-word twist on this quote: Gratitude.

      Love you, Kim!

  13. terri tiffany
    October 23, 2012, 6:29 pm   /  Reply

    Now means hope to me. Now means being happy again. Now gives me the joy in dreaming of my future. I try to live in today while dreaming of the next days. I think that’s possible:)

  14. October 25, 2012, 10:52 pm   /  Reply

    […] Monday’s blog post, “Hope and Having,” spurred a lot of conversation — including a fun bit of back and forth with my friend I call […]

  15. October 25, 2012, 11:07 pm   /  Reply

    […] In Other Words: Hope and Havingmby Beth Vogt […]

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