Without Hope or Agenda

hedgehog assThere have been no fewer than sixteen (one-six) beginnings to this blog post that I’ve deleted. This is number seventeen. And the only reason I’m spelling out sixteen and seventeen at this point is so I can feel a bit better about myself as a writer. YAAAAAAAAY! I wrote something today!

If you imaging that said in a Kermit the Frog or otherwise Muppets-style voice, it’s much more impressive.

Exactly 365 days ago, I wrote about blue balls and lighting fires. The next day, I gave you a holiday-flavored Bitch Slap about truth as I prepared to set out on a mobile phase of my life. And on December 22, 2011, I find myself at a bit of a loss for words, which pretty much sucks since I’m supposed to deliver something pithy to your inbox today before I close for the holidays at 2pm today. Shit, shit, shit.

The only thing that comes to mind is the phrase “without hope or agenda.” It’s from the movie Love, Actually — a film that finds its way into my DVD player on occasion. Aside from the part where a member of the Prime Minister’s household drops the f-bomb, there’s something about this scene that just makes me think…

what will you endeavor to do today without hope or agenda?

We all have some sort of agenda and are whores for something. Self-interest begins at the genetic level, as we’re built to survive. But with the holidays looming, isn’t now a fine time to realize that the best things in life the ones we undertake without hope or agenda?

Over the past year, I’ve had some of the most enjoyable days, blissful dates, and otherwise memorable moments because I said fuck it and let go. Without hope or agenda, I jumped in (with equal parts smiling and skepticism). And you know what? Coming out on the other side was a goddamned riot. There hasn’t been once where I walked away from a sans hope/agenda moment and gone Well, that was about as memorable as Paris Hilton in a spelling bee.

So, all I’ve got today is a question for you: what will you endeavor to undertake without hope or agenda?

And that’s all I’ve got today. So happy fuckin’ holidays – without hope or agenda. Thanks for reading and even more importantly, thanks for commenting and all of the emails I get in response to my blogs every week. They really are the best part of what I’m lucky enough to do for a living.

38 replies
  1. James Johnson
    James Johnson says:

    What will I endeavor to undertake without hope or agenda? My writing–novels, blog, etc. I’m gonna let the doubts go and just jump in.

    And to one of the coolest redheads around, I have to say thanks for sharing your thoughts, witticisms, and opinions about the world around you, as well as your more personal insights.

    And just as important, thanks for making me laugh on those shitty days where I needed it.

    You make us think, you make us criticize, you make us wonder. Keep it up, girl, you make  difference.

    Happy holidays.

  2. Annie Sisk
    Annie Sisk says:

    Oh, one of my favorite movies of all time. (Did you know the Rowan Atkinson character was originally intended to be an angel? If you watch it again knowing that, it’s like a whole new movie. Still awesome.) That scene in particular is like a mini-course in philosophy. Have the courage to speak your truth. Speak it solely because it IS your truth, and then walk away saying “Enough now” — no expectations, no ulterior motives — “without hope or agenda.”

  3. Kim Doyal The WordPress Chick
    Kim Doyal The WordPress Chick says:

    Without hope or Agenda….(I love this movie too… 😉 )
    I’m taking my 14 yr. old daughter into San Francisco to shop at some vintage clothing stores and am NOT going to worry about money, enough gifts, etc. I intend to enjoy each moment.

    I’m simply going to enjoy the day with this amazing child who is brave enough not to follow the crowd and be her own woman (albeit a young woman).
    I couldn’t ask for better kids… they’re amazing people.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. Liza Pierce
    Liza Pierce says:

    I watched Love Actually way too many times and I love this scene. I am not sure if you’re aware that the video you used is tampered (the notes are different – watch) – I love the original better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n39jYAfn7no&feature=related

    Anyway, I love your post. I truly do.   Merry Christmas to you (without hopes or agenda) 🙂

  5. Sandi Amorim
    Sandi Amorim says:

    As if I didn’t have enough reasons to love you. I’ve often jokingly (but not really) said, “Hope is for Catholics” to much debate and make-wrong. How could I say that, people need hope, blah blah blah. Actually, no they don’t. And now, instead of arguing I’ll just send them to you 😉 

    For all you be for all us readers, thanks so much.

  6. Ana Lucia Novak
    Ana Lucia Novak says:

    I appreciate this post and the added touch of the video: one of my favorite scenes of the movie. I have phases in my life where I just dive in both feet making life an adventure thereby growing me up and enhancing my confidence. I totally enjoy your blogs by the way. Wishing you love, warmth and peace !

  7. Sherree W.
    Sherree W. says:

    Wow, I posted last night that I was in the mood to watch “Love Actually.” What is it about this movie that moves people so much?

    Without hope or agenda…I am going to put one foot in front of the other and move forward in 2012 without (self) doubting every step I take.

    There are not enough thanks for the awesome things you wrote this year that resonated with me, made me sit up and think, and on occasion, gave me that crucial “thump” upside the head when I needed it most. And, thanks for making me laugh for the same reasons.

    Have a wonderful holiday. 

  8. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    I have always said something similar: Hope for nothing and just see what happens. Many people see it as a negative saying, but all it means it just try. Even if it doesn’t work out at least you will have that experience. Even if everyone else doesn’t get it: do it for you.

  9. Shelly Kramer
    Shelly Kramer says:

    Happy Holidays to you, my dear! Hope you have some delightful days in store and that you have a cute little brown purse with you along the way:)) 


    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      You bet I do, lady – it made its holiday debut at dinner with Kelly and LeVar and is excited for MANY more outings. Oh – and I’m only taking it to the GOOD restaurants 😉 Love you and thanks for being a part of my life, my year, my business, and well, me.

  10. Mediamichele
    Mediamichele says:

    Amazing again – I haven’t been able to get past 10 sentences on my blog for nearly a month – maybe too many emails, too many forms, too many phone calls that just have me worn out, but when I read the lines you have written about “without hope or agenda” and watch the clip (love the movie), I’m inspired to just take a deep breath, let it go and just write what comes and see what happens.  Hope you have another incredible year and a great holiday. Thanks for your ever constant inspiration and truth..

  11. BibliophileGirl
    BibliophileGirl says:

    I can say I had a wonderful year, and much of it due to an attitude of “without hope or agenda”.  Okay, it was more “without agenda”. Either way, I enjoy reading whatever you have to say ~ I always get something from it. Often it’s a laugh, and it usually comes with a side of insight or knowledge.

    Thanks for writing such an entertaining and informative blog. In the meantime, I wish you a very kick-ass holiday off! 😉

  12. Bill Dorman
    Bill Dorman says:

    So happy fuckin’ holidays; it that like Merry Christmas in Denver? Kind of edgy, huh?

    I am the master of just showing up; that’s how much hope and agenda I have, and every day is a good day for me……..just sayin’……..

    Here’s to an adventurous and prosperous 2012; I have enjoyed making your acquaintance. 

  13. Vitina54
    Vitina54 says:

    Really quite remarkable how you sum up the best part of that movie.  You have inspired me to do something “Without Hope or Agenda” that I’ve been thinking of doing for some time now, but haven’t out of fear.  Not only have I been thinking of doing this but it was this movie and that exact scene that inspires this action.  To add one more “sign” to the reasons for grabbing the bulls by the balls, is the person for whom this action is intended, is the person who posted your blog and led me to your page.  Briliant! 

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I’ve got to – much sooner than my husband realizes – walk away from my paying job and into my writing life. I know this is coming. I’m not sure precisely when. I’m pretty sure before the year-from-now we agreed upon. The first novel is now published. She second one is almost ready to start sending around. 

  15. D
    D says:

    I watch this movie every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving, and this is one of my favorite scenes. 
    Happy Holidays, Lovely.  I hope you have a great one!

  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I have never liked people who are calculating everything and clearly focused only on themselves and a particular outcome. Needless to say I really enjoyed reading this. People need to embrace serendipity and trust that by just being themselves they cannot lose in life.

  17. Bonnie Moore
    Bonnie Moore says:

    Happy Holidays! Your blogs are not only informative, but a hoot at best. Thank you for all the enjoyable commentaries. You put a lot of effort into your writing, and it’s most appreciated.  I always look forward to your posts. 

  18. Philip Mann
    Philip Mann says:

    I think that living without hope or agenda is different than living without direction.  I choose to interpret the sentiment as a zen-like approach wherein we take what comes and adapt ourselves to the best outcome in the situation.  Not looking back or comparing with the notional “woulda-coulda-shoulda” outcomes that never happened is a key point.  To that end, the future for me is without hope or agenda, and I look forward to each new experience that comes my way.

    Have a great big Happy, Ms Erika!

  19. Gdeluca
    Gdeluca says:

    Thanks so much for writing this – it’s just what I needed to hear as I head toward Christmas being single for the first time in 29 years.  No hope or agenda sounds like just the ticket I need to go with the flow and see what happens, and I will be glad for whatever comes my way.  

  20. Leon Noone
    Leon Noone says:

    G’Day Erika,
    I’m never stuck for words. Have a fabulous Christmas. Make it the sort of Christmas that the people who love you most would want for you.

    Q. Why do so many women fall pregnant at Christmas?
    A. ’cause the parcel you carry yourself gets home first.

    OK, OK, it’s a bit feeble. But they say his heart’s in the right place…….

    Take care of yourself.

    Best Wishes


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