Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well.

We rewatched The Shawshank Redemption and the above quote has stuck with me ever since; for over two months now. Most people quote the “get busy living or get busy dying” quote when they think of Shawshank, but it was this quote that hit me full-on in the chest.

2015, for many reasons, has been really a tough year for me. I’ve had a hard time having hope. I can list off reasons why I’m not hopeful. News about climate change and how we are screwing our planet for the future, all the repeated articles and stories on women in tech, the continued “hot drama” that pops up everywhere based on whatever the Twittersphere decides to react without thinking.

When we rewatched Shawshank, as we were on the verge of going on vacation, I wasn’t feeling very hopeful. In fact, I was feeling quite hopeless. In the face of these large issues, where I’m trying to do my part—yes, I recycle, I compost, we don’t drive much, we are cutting back on flying, what more can I do?—I feel like it doesn’t matter what I do because I have so little power to cause change.

So that quote above, that hit me like a ton of bricks. Then I went on vacation, a road trip for over 2 weeks along the coast of California, and I unplugged. I stayed offline, for the most part, away from the drama, away from bad news, and just enjoyed being with the dinosaurs (the Redwoods).

During the trip, I was able to get back the feeling of hope. I’m not sure if it’s because I see the good now as well as the bad, but it’s back. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I’m pickier about what I choose to read online and I see so many good people I know doing good things in the world.

I’m trying my hardest to focus on the good rather than the bad, to keep my sense of hope intact.