I may not have hope, but for now, I can spice up my life.  I can wear a different shirt every day.  I can rearrange my tiny apartment to suit me.  I can write many e-mails to people around the world.  I can write to my dog.  I can write to God.  I can write to myself.  One of these people might write back.

Although I eat very little, I can season my food differently each time I eat it.  My food is colorful.  I arrange it pleasingly on my plate.  I garnish it.  I eat with a fancy napkin.  I have several tables in my apartment, and I can eat at a different table at each meal.  I can choose to heat my food, or I can eat it ice cold.

Though it is a very small town, only four square miles, there are many streets here to explore.  I have lived here nearly 25 years and I have yet to see all the nooks and crannies of the neighborhoods here.  But every day, my dog and I take the same route.  Why?  Why not spice it up?  Well, I am a person who likes regularity, and they say that dogs like to do the exact same thing every day for some reason.  So we take the same route.

But I listen to different music each time we walk.  The weather is always different.  My thoughts are always different.  Whether I am feeling hopeful, sad, depressed, or full of anticipation for the day ahead, each walk is vastly different from the other.  Yes, our walks are spiced up.

Although I do not have hope, I can do things to spice up my life.  I can knit using colorful yarns with varying textures.  I can make dog sweaters.  I can make hats for myself to match.  My dog and I can go in style.

And going in style we do.  Because every day, when we walk down the street, I say to myself, “This is my dog.  This is my creature, that I care for, that I love and cherish, that each day greets me with a wag and a sniff awaiting a treat.  And I brush this dog’s teeth twice a day every day and she’s got the most shining smile in town.

I may not have a shining smile to match hers, but we go in style.  I may not smile at all.  I may not have a drop of happiness in me.  But I know how to spice up my life.  So I do so.  And this simple task is a comfort to me.

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