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Posts tagged ‘Gratitude’

Giving Thanks Every Day

The other day Americans celebrated Thanksgiving.  It is a great holiday devoted to family and gratitude and—more and more—football and the start of the race to the stores to buy way too much for Christmas.  Still, it is nice to take the time to voice our gratitude and appreciation for all we have.

Gratitude is the key, one that can help make life better in so many ways.  If one appreciates life and all its messy details—and better yet—voices that appreciation, then it is hard to remain sad or grumpy or resentful of others.  And, as Jospeh B. Wirthlin explains, noticing all the little things that make life worth living, often, means we will not ever truly take them for granted, an accident of life that is too easy to happen in the hecticness of day-to-day living:

“The more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us.  That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds—even those we love.  Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”

I enjoyed the holiday and all the memories it awakens. Mom and Dad are always with me in spirit on that day.  I make a pork roast (my tradition) in part because it was a favorite of Mom and Dad too.  I also take some time to reflect on my life and what all I appreciate these days.  It is another habit of mine, associated with the holiday.

Here are a few of things I am appreciative of today:

I appreciate family and friends.  The holidays are a good reminder to tell those special people how you feel.  It is not wise to make them read your mind. My sister Barbara routinely shares Mary Engelbreit’s delightful art with me.  How great is that?

I am retired, a fact that still surprises me most days.  But I am grateful that I have funds enough to live a good life.  I can buy pretty much what I want and keep myself well stocked with books and movies to enjoy as I relax.  The most recent book by Barbara Kingsolver is at the top of my list:  Unsheltered.

I am basically healthy, although I am not able to walk as I used to.  But I still travel and am thrilled to find scenic routes that help me enjoy glorious Nature wherever I travel.

I love Nature.  Autumn especially is such a glorious time of year—the beauty is almost overwhelming! The photos here are from my most recent trip to enjoy the fall colors.

I appreciate that the recent elections are over, so the dreaded political advertising is over for a bit.  I also like the election results. Having the elected representatives more closely matching what seems to be the ideological split in the country seems wise.  Maybe those elected politicians (I cannot call them “leaders” on either side of the aisle) will finally start working together to better the country.  I am hopeful, although not optimistic.

I appreciate all the fire fighters and first responders who come to help, no matter what tragedy they are called to.  And I am so grateful for the charities that come forward to help survivors try to reclaim their lives.  The fires most recently in California are horrible, so small victories are applauded.  One of the three fires is contained and another almost so.  The rains have not caused mudslides.  I feel I must add “yet,” but I am still appreciative today for the good news.

I appreciate that my apartment complex allows residents to have pets.  I get to see and greet dogs as they head out with owners.  Cats are around too.  A couple take afternoon naps on my patio, occasionally noticing me through the sliding glass door and giving me that why-did-you-disturb-me look.  I love it!

I love that colder weather has finally arrived.  I realize that is relative, and if I lived where it snowed and regularly dropped below freezing and stayed there, I might reassess.  But in California, I now get to snuggle under an extra blanket and pull out my sweaters. And it rained a bit yesterday in my area—yeah!

I love the anticipation of Christmas. Not the commercials and sales or even the every-hour-on-the-hour movies about the cheerful Christmas spirit, but the memories that surface of past holidays, the plans for gifts that will be just right for loved ones, the favorite movies and songs that are nostalgic as well as bittersweet at times, and even the traditional sweets and goodies that are served throughout the holidays.  It is a great time to remind others of the joy and wonder of Christmas.

Every day is a miracle.  We need to consciously look for the wonder around us on a daily basis.  Of what are you most appreciative today?

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Quotes about Appreciation & Gratitude

“If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don’t appreciate the moment until it’s passed.”   Kanye West

“There’s so much to appreciate about my life every single day, and I make a big point of taking time to smell the roses and noticing how lucky I am. I never want to take that for granted.”   Josie Maran

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness—it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”   Brene Brown

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”   Albert Schweitzer

“What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it—would you be likely to give them another?  Life if the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.”   Ralph Marston

“We don’t need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in different things. You want the vegetables—the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers—to retain their identity. You appreciate differences.”   Jane Elliot

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”   Melody Beattie

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”   William Arthur Ward

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness if the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”   Denis Waitley

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”   Dalai Lama

“Once we discover how to appreciate the timeless values in our daily experiences, we can enjoy the best things in life.”   Jerome K. Jerome

“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say.  I say that one a lot.  Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”   Alice Walker

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”   Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.”   Mary Kay Ash

“Really appreciate the sunset as you’re driving home, cursing all the terrible drivers on the road.  Be where you are when you’re there rather than out there in the future or back there in the past.”  Valerie Harper

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the times when we may pick up the fruit.”   Anton Chekhov

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”   Eckhart Tolle

“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.”  Elie Wisesel

“Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.”   Louie Schwartzberg

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”   Voltaire

“People will never forget how you made them feel.”   Maya Angelou

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”   Vincent Van Gogh

“If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation would be in all the hearts to behold the miraculous change.”   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”   Anne Frank

“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you.  Go outside and turn attention to the many miracles around you.  This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.”   Wayne Dyer

“Feeling gratitude isn’t born in us—it’s something we are taught, and in turn, we teach our children.”   Joyce Brothers

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world will never starve for wonder, but only for want of wonder.”   G. K. Chesterson


Making 2016 a G.R.E.A.T. Journey

redwood path

The New Year is already two weeks old.  My birthday was just the other day.  Those facts mean it is time for me to do some thinking and planning to make 2016 a great journey through life.  A good journey involves some plans and destinations as well as a bit of spontaneity and serendipity as well as lots of nature.  For some, each year’s journey starts by making resolutions. I do not.  As others have said, if you are really wanting to make a major change in your life, why wait for a new year.  Just start the adventure!

TearsGoals and plans for a new year make more sense.  But, of course, those need to be realistic and broad enough to not just give you a chance to fail.  You know, I will be more active in the new year rather than I will go to the gym an hour every day.  One missed weekend at the gym and you are a failure vs. having an off weekend.  I tend to agree with Mma. Ramostwe, the main character in Alexander McCall Smith’s series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  She basically says that humans tend to do what they do, over and over again:

“The trouble with plans, she thought, was that they tended to be expressions of hope. Everybody, it seemed, felt that they should have a plan, but for most people the plan merely said what they would like to happen rather than what they would actually achieve.  Most people did what they wanted to do, whether or not that was what their plan said they should do.  So plans were useful only in revealing what people wished for. If you wanted to know what they would actually do, then the only way of finding out was by watching them and seeing what they did.  Then you would know what they might do in the future—because most people did what they had always done.”  

All this means is that as my new journey begins, I am not making any specific plans.  I made some last year:  blog more (did not), read more (did), travel (did), eat better (did some, but not consistently) and complete various household projects (did a few).  This year, I still have the same basic projects and am hopeful I will be more productive than last year.  My plan is to focus more on attitude and perspective as well as on enjoying the adventure.  These are the real factors that can determine whether 2016 will be a G.R.E.A.T. year or not.


Basically, I know my year will be G.R.E.A.T. because I commit myself to following the best path possible through the new year: 

GRATITUDE:   There is always something to be grateful for or a grateful way to look at whatever happens. For example, rather than being bummed that I was in a fender bender right before Christmas, I am thankful that no one was hurt and the older gentleman who hit me had insurance.  I always keep a gratitude journal but plan to be even more proactive in finding ways to appreciate all going on around me.  And I will share my appreciation and gratitude with others.  Gratitude—like laughter and happiness—can be contagious!  I vow to acknowledge and voice gratitude frequently!

reflection 5REFLECTION:  Looking back over what has happened, what worked and what didn’t is the true heart of learning. The old adage about experience being the best teacher is only half right.  It is easy to do dumb things over and over again.  What really matters is reflecting on the mistakes, outcomes, successes to become more conscious of the consequences, of the changes or action needed to improve the future.  Without reflection there is no real learning. I vow to reflect on each day and its lessons every week!

EXPECTATIONS:  It is rather easy to go through each day, week, even month just doing the norm, making it from morning to night and then starting all over again.  Something to celebrate surfaces when meeting or exceeding expectations.  Setting those expectations is the key. They cannot be set so high that they can never be reached, but not so low that they do not off the challenge to do more, to push beyond the comfort zone.  Realistic expectations lead to accomplishments which lead to celebrating each small step toward success.  Clear expectations lead to productivity rather than just activity.    I vow to have realistic but definite expectations!

IMG_8534IMG_8526ATTENTIVE:  Too many days are spent on auto-pilot, just going through the routine, getting from point A to point B.  When I was working full time and putting in way too many hours a week, chasing deadlines, it was too easy to never notice the little things that really do matter.  The smile or tear of a colleague, the gorgeous clouds, the rainbow amidst the storm, the stranger who holds a door for you or needs help picking up packages.  Of course, being busy is not the only reason the details—especially of nature—are too often overlooked.  The other day I actually did not notice blooming camellias on the bush outside my door until I was returning home several hours later.  I vow to be more consistently attentive this year! 

TIME:  168.  That’s how many hours we each have a week.  The trick to effective time management is recognizing that and using the available time strategically.  That strategy involves being conscious and deliberate with the use of time.  That means fewer hours mindlessly dozing in front of the TV or missing fun opportunities because time has been mindlessly wasted on doing not much of anything.  I vow to use my time purposely!


My 2016 will be a grand adventure.  What are your plans for the new year?

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“If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.”   Oscar Wilde

“Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”  Voltaire

“If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.”  Cavett Robert

“It’s so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to.”  Annie Gottlier

“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts.  It’s what you do with what you have left.”  Hubert Humphrey

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  Winston Churchill

“There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.”  Robert Brault

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”  George Santayana

“So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key.”  The Eagles, “Already Gone”

“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.”  Samuel Johnson

“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.”  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Every thought is a seed.  If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.”  Bill Meyer

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.  One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”  Mahatma Gandhi

“Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”  David Ben-Gurion

“There is a saying among prospectors: ‘Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.’”  Robert Flaherty

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”  Buddha

“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”  Anne Frank

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”  Patricia Neal

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” 
William James

“Sometimes life’s Hell.  But hey!  Whatever gets the marshmallows toasty.”  J. Andrew Helt

Gratitude. . . for pet peeves

business man with laptop over head - madYou know pet peeves.  Those minor annoyances, those personal complaints that just drive you crazy!  They may not bother everyone in the same way—that’s part of the quirkiness of pet peeves.  But when they irritate you, your reaction is extreme, agitated.  Pet peeves make you cringe much like hearing finger nails on a chalkboard.  These disturbing little actions by others can make me want to scream—and I am usually pretty calm.  Whoopi Goldberg explains how her level of irritation can jump to an even higher level:  “I don’t have pet peeves like some people. I have whole kennels of irritation.”

I am not at such an extreme level. . . yet.  But I am spending much too much time focusing on these negative pet peeves.  This realization came when I read a posting on HeatherBlog called “Profound loss, profound gratitude.”  She shared a personal loss and her decision to not dwell on the negative but to embrace life and look for what she had to be grateful for, even in troubling times. Her whole approach to life made me see my own complaining as a pet peeve I usually deplore in others.   I hate complainers who do nothing about the problem situation but whine and whine.  I am embarrassed to say I was becoming one of those people!

Earlier this year, I recommitted myself to being grateful, to expressing my thanks and appreciation more consistently and more often.  It is not a new focus as I have talked about gratitude several times in the past.  My problem is that lately I’ve been noticing pet peeves more and more often.  To try to change that reality, I have decided to step-up and turn my pet peeves into points of gratitude.

My List of Pet Peeves and Their Corresponding Gratitude:

PET PEEVE 1:  Stupid Drivers.  These drivers dangerously zip through traffic, driving much faster than the flow of traffic and cutting folks off in the process.  They include motorcycle drivers who drive between lanes, speeding up the space between cars.

GRATITUDE 1: These drivers are actually few and far between; that’s why I notice them.  So when I do, I will now express thanks for the bulk of drivers who are careful and sane as we all speed along.

PET PEEVE 2:  Guilt-Inducing Messages.  These emails and Facebook posts try to guilt their readers into sending the nonsense message on with such lines as “Let’s see how many people will not be afraid to repost in fear of offending someone. . . or to show how caring a person you are. . . or to prove you love God like I do.”  You get the idea.

GRATITUDE 2:  I am smart enough not to fall for such drivel and can simply delete to my heart’s content.  I never sent chain letters on when they would arrive in an envelope from the postal service either. I will be thankful for not succumbing to peer pressure, even in such silly matters.

PET PEEVE 3:  Entertainment News.  How can stories about what celebrities do, who they date, what they wear, who tweeted what be news?

GRATITUDE 3:  I can be sensible and discriminating enough to just not watch, even though these segments are often hidden in the Evening News Show.  How ridiculous is that? I will be thankful for all channels of quality programming I can turn to.

PET PEEVE 4:  Liars.  These are not the people who say they like your hair even if they don’t or kids who deny doing something wrong.  I mean the adults who purposefully obfuscate things to make themselves look better, who share details out of context and thus change meaning, who out and out lie on important matters.

GRATITUDE 4:  Most friends and most of the others I encounter are not out-and-out liars, and I can try to avoid the ones who are. I will be thankful for honesty and integrity, especially when I am faced with someone who does not exhibit those traits.

PET PEEVE 5:  Rude Talkers.  These people chat incessantly through movies or concerts and talk loudly on their cellphones in public places like restaurants or churches.  These people never put their cellphones on vibrate, even when out in public.

GRATITUDE 5:  I am not one of those people.  These jerks are not as numerous as they seemed to be years ago—and I am thankful for the many people who do not practice this rude behavior.

PET PEEVE 6:  Litterers.  These people just throw trash or cigarettes out their car windows, leave garbage—often including kids’ dirty diapers—in parking lots, and do not pick up trash thrown at receptacles but missed.  The earth is our home!

GRATITUDE 6:  I will be thankful for the kind responsible souls who actually stop and pick up trash wherever they see it as they walk along.  We all need to start practicing this thoughtful behavior.

PET PEEVE 7:  Indestructible Packaging.  These are not the packing peanuts and such that are not biodegradable—but they are bad.  These are the wrappings on things like DVDs and CDs and child-proofed bottles that are absolutely impossible to open without contortions and sharp objects.

GRATITUDE 7:  I am thankful that I ever get those packages opened at all.  And that some packaging is actually being simplified.  Yeah.

PET PEEVE 8:  Annoying Drivers.  These are the people who never turn off their turn signals—or turn without ever turning them on.  They drive 10-15 miles under the speed limit, in the left lane.  They never let others merge in when stopped and waiting in a long line.  People like that.

GRATITUDE 8:  I give thanks for the drivers who say, “Sorry” if they do something silly or problematic on the road, who let others merge easily, and who even say “thanks” when you are helpful and responsive to them.  These people make my day.

PET PEEVE 9:  Non-responders.  You know these people.  They do not say thank-you for gifts, do not acknowledge emails or e-greeting cards, ask questions of you but do not answer your questions of them, ask for updates but do not even say “got it” when you do send it on. I guess it is a seeming air of entitlement that ignores anyone but themselves that underlies their behavior—and it irks me.

GRATITUDE 9:  I am very thankful for friends and family who are responsive and appreciative.  Besides, I can always stop sending to the jerks or stop expecting them to give a polite response.

queen of the worldI must admit, compiling this list helped me focus ultimately on the good, not the irritation.  It felt right to turn pet peeves into expressions of gratitude.  Since the only thing I can control is my behavior and reactions, then I vow to stay positive.  Honest.

What is irritating you lately?  How can you turn it into something positive?

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Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  G. B. Stern

There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you’re busy interrupting.  Mark Twain

 Always forgive your enemies–nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.  Kingsley Amis

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.  Mark Twain

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.  Elizabeth Taylor

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing.  The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.  Mark Twain

NOTE:  The two photos are from Microsoft Word ClipArt files.  The words are mine.

Thankful for Mom & Memories

A little note:  I have not been posting on my blog for quite a few months.  I have been starting entries—book reviews and favorite places, teaching tips and passing thoughts and gratitudes—just not getting them into final form.  But today, I feel the need to share.  And although a silent member lately, my blogging community seemed the place to post my thoughts.  Besides, it is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the love, gratitude and ideas shared by my fellow bloggers.  I am also thankful for my mom who taught me to love all of nature.  Her favorite flower–or one of them–was lilacs.


It is a bittersweet Thanksgiving, even though the actual events of the day are about the same as the last couple of years.  But this year, I cannot call and talk to my mom.  She died on Saturday, 3 November, ending her pain and suffering from extensive arthritis.  She was ready to go on to Heaven and see her parents and siblings—but we were not ready for her to go.  My dad is doing okay.  For the last year or so, they have lived separately because his medical needs demanded he live in a convalescent hospital while my mom’s needs allowed her to remain in a retirement center.  The two buildings were literally right next to each other, sharing a parking lot.  My sister—thank goodness—brought my dad over for a visit the day before she slipped away.

Two years ago, when they both moved into the retirement center together, the family dinners on Thanksgiving ended.  I would still cook a turkey and would still visit Mom and Dad, but the big dinners no longer took place.  In fact, the several years before the move, I finally convinced Mom that she no longer needed to cook.  We brought the feast in from Marie Callenders—and it was great.  Even lots of good leftovers.  We could still set the table with the good dishes and share together what we appreciated throughout the year.  We did not have all the special foods—the orange cinnamon jello salad, her holiday butter cookies or puppy chow, or handmade mashed potatoes and apple pie—but the food itself was the least important or memorable part of the day.

Today, less than a week since her Memorial Service, I am thinking about what all I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • All the years in my mom’s 91 years that we did have Thanksgiving dinner together, even any dinners together.  This past year, once a week I would bring mom dinner, so we could enjoy dinner and a movie in her room.  She could not always follow the movie, but she loved the company.  The night was always reminiscent of nights as a kid and even later as an adult when I would visit on vacation and we would simply watch TV together, eventually taking a break for a bedtime snack.  It was at those quiet times when Mom would finally stop fussing over everyone else and just relax and chit-chat.  I treasure all those evenings—and that she so enjoyed such simple pleasures.
  • I also treasure that Mom stayed active and alert mentally up until the end.  Of yes, she might forget what she had for dinner an hour earlier, but she recognized friends and family when they visited. And she enjoyed looking over old photos and telling stories—often the same ones over and over.  Years before when some were fussing at her doctor that she was showing signs of Alzheimer’s, I can remember how she commandeered my doctor’s appointment, so she could make her case that she was still of sound mind.  We had the same doctor as our primary care physician, and she marched in with her proof:  The check book she kept current, never missing a payment and never having an error in her math, which was more impressive knowing she did not use a calculator; the address book that showed all the birthdays she remembered with cards; and her favorite recipes that she was still cooking everyday!  In addition to the blood tests and such that he was exploring, the doctor gave her that memory test where you tell the patient three words and then after a short conversation ask the patient to recall those three words.  Mom got them right—and the doctor and I chuckled a bit when we caught eyes as he needed to check his paper to be 100% sure she was right. I am thankful for Mom’s energy, spunk and ever-alert sensitivities.
  • I am also very thankful for Dad.  He is strong and active, walking better than Mom did the last year or so.  I am hopeful that we can occasionally get out to a restaurant for some onion rings or chili or pie, things that are just not the same at the convalescent hospital cafeteria.  He, too, is very alert, recognizing family and friends and joking with the caregivers. He knows Mom is at peace now, but he is still so very sad.  His memory of past events is still very good—and he proudly notes that he fell in love with Mom at first sight across the high school cafeteria.  They married in 1941. A few months ago he underwent surgery and was adamant that his wedding ring not be taken off—he has never taken it off since their wedding ceremony 71 years ago—and he never will until he is gone!  I am thankful for their ongoing love. And that I will be able to visit with him tomorrow.

  • As Mom’s Memorial Service was so recent, I am very aware and very thankful for all the love and support that was extended about Mom and towards Dad.  The shared memories help—and the love shared by sister and nephews and aunt and cousins and my parents’ friends and neighbors helped me celebrate Mom’s life rather than just grieve over her loss.  I know she will be alive in my heart forever—and that is something else to be thankful for.
  • Of course, there are all the usual things that I value—beautiful nature all around, decent health, good friends, time to spend with family and friends, and a lifetime ahead to build more memories and share more love and gratitude.

Please do me a favor:  As the holiday season unfolds with all its headaches, stress and frustrations over not enough time or money; too little sleep; friends and family who get on your nerves no matter how much you love them; and too much eating and drinking, taka a minute to stop and say “Thank you” and “I love you” to those who matter in your life.  You never know when being able to give one more hug will no longer be a reality.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Is It 2012 Already?

I cannot believe that it is 2012 already.  Where did the time go?  I last posted around Thanksgiving—and now it is January.  I had not planned on not blogging for these last weeks of the year; it just sort of happened.  I even read other blogs rather sporadically and commented even less.  Not sure why.  But I bet there is a short story in those missing weeks.

I started looking for reasons, alphabetically:   Absentmindedness?  Accident?  Adventure?  Alien Abduction?  Asthma Attack?  Avarice?  There is probably a bit of truth and fantasy in every option.  So I will just say the time passed, and I am getting back onto my routine.  Or trying to.  Given what day it is, I resolve to post to my blog at least twice a week, as I intended when I started this adventure.  Other resolutions will be posted later, probably.

As I look back on the holiday season, I do want to say thanks to my blogging friends, who kept busy even while I was silent.  I also appreciated the time I was able to spend with my parents this year—they are both getting older with increasing problems with memory and general aches and pains.  I cannot make things better for them, but I can spend time with them and share memories, pictures, movies, chocolate, and a general good time.  My parents seemed to enjoy the little family open house early in December!

At this time of year, I also just love the Christmas Spirit—colored lights and Secret Santas and reconnecting with friends, spending time with family, enjoying holiday goodies and watching Christmas movies.  It was a good holiday. I do resolve to keep my daily gratitude journal alive, even though I do not post everything from the journal on my blog.

Happy New Year, everyone!  What are you thankful for as the old year moves on and the new year starts?  Any resolutions you want to share?

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