"I decided to practice radical hope" writes Anne Lamott in her exceptional book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.
Hope. Thesaurus.com offers anticipation, buoyancy, confidence, enthusiasm, euphoria, expectancy, hopefulness, optimism, reliance, sanguinity as synonyms for hope.
In my life hope has been AWOL for a while. Years. Apparently one night it climbed the fence and disappeared down the road, like a dog who's finally had enough. Hope's older, fatter, slower brother Duty stuck around. The magic of the food bowl, I guess.
In the absence of hope I made do with duty. O, he's a good boy and he helps out a lot. If hope's gone, duty will carry you through a lot of situations. Now don't get me wrong; hope reappeared briefly from time to time, enough to decimate the kibble bag and hump my leg before he made his escape again and galloped off to enjoy whatever in his life pulled at him.
Then...something happened about two weeks ago.
Hope came back and he stuck around for awhile. He didn't move in, true, he never staked out a spot on the rag rug in the kitchen, but he stayed for longer than he ever has before.
Also, two weeks ago I started seeing a counselor once a week: Dr. O.
More in a bit...