Almost Everything – Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott isn’t a book that shows life as a wonderful or perfect all of the time. It touches on topics of addiction, poor behaviour, the climate crisis, the political crisis and how hard family relationships can be. But in amongst all that, it shares beautiful and exquisite moments of humans and nature at its best and this does indeed give you hope that life is or can be wonderful.
Lamott writes from the personal and having lived an eclectic life, she has much to share. Lamott makes plain her foibles from the past and the present and does so in a way that doesn’t diminish the impact they can and do have but acknowledges that we can all grow, change, or improve and they don’t have to define us or the path we are on.
Almost Everything is the perfect book to read in what has been a very chaotic and challenging start to 2022 to most of us here in Australia. After each session of reading the book, I would feel more optimistic and more ready to see the positive that was around me. Lamott shares many funny, warm and emotional stories about her family in the book and reflects tenderly and with deep love even on moments that were far from perfect. It made me think considerably about family relationships and how I am raising my family.
It is a short book of 208 pages from a series of essays. It is easy to read but it is not a step by step guide on how to find hope though. Lamott writes with a wandering style, exploring topics of human fragility, aging, friendship, self-esteem, food, and family. The lessons are there for you to find and apply yourself.
I took a few notes when reading the book and jotted down some quotes that really stood out to me:
If it is someone else’s problem, you probably don’t have the solution.
Help is the sunny side of control.
Don’t let them get you to hate them.
Everything good begins with awareness, whether awakening to the momentousness of the present or to the damage we are causing.
What helps is that we are not all crazy and hopeless on the same day. One of us remembers and reminds the rest of us that when it is really dark you can see the stars. We believe grace is stronger than evil and sin.
Laughter is hope.
Just trying to do a little better today. That is the secret of life.
Only kindness, forgiveness and love can save us. Oh and grace as spiritual WD40. And walks are nice.
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Why is rarely a useful question in the hope business
If you are in need of some witty and beautiful words of hope then I can highly recommend Almost Everything – Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott.
Have you read Almost Everything – Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott? What did you think?
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