Monthly Archives: February 2021

Your Choice: Gratitude Zero, Gratitude Lite, or Gratitude Ultra

This is my 32nd post on gratitude, and we have learned so much. To the extent to which you want to practice gratitude, I invite you to consider the various pathways from which you may select your “state of gratitude”. I borrow labels for your choices from current soft drinks, political strategists, podcasts, and traditional print literatures.

Gratitude may be expressed at any point along a continuum. In my post “What Money Can’t Buy”, I discussed intentional acts from sporadically grateful to always grateful. Thus, imagine a horizontal line from left to right with little markings (like on a ruler) to indicate your “extent of gratitude”.

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Pets Give Us Joy

I always say that whenever people decided to domesticate dogs from the wolf, it was a brilliant idea! People say that “dog” is “God” spelled backwards and I believe it. Dogs are such good companions to us, our children, to the elderly, to persons in prison, individuals who are ill or are physically challenged. Pets, in general, offer such a wonderful addition to our lives, and contribute to us in many different ways.

I found it interesting to learn that approximately 76% of all households own a pet in comparison to 28% of households (married and single-parent) have children, or 85 million have pets and 35 million have children. In 2017, one (1) billion dollars was spent on private health insurance for pets. Trends in pet dogs is the expansion of the family to include dogs within our everyday activities, routines, and lifestyles.

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Nature Gives Us Joy and Renews

This morning I woke to bright sunshine. It surprised me so early in the morning as typically the sun begins to shine around 10 a.m. As my morning routine began with a glance at my computer, I found something perfect for today!

Nature Deficit Disorder

What made this phrase so perfect is because I suspect that many of you in Texas, on the East coast, and Canada are experiencing this disorder just about this time of year (February) with the tough winter you have had. The dark, gloomy, cold, chilling winter has given you all a “nature deficit disorder”.

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What Money Can’t Buy

I like to think about gratitude as a “state of being”, but I am searching to learn how to keep myself in that “state” throughout the days and weeks. On I found an opinion piece by Bishop Joseph W. Walker III about gratitude. One particular point he made was:

Add up the things in your life that money cannot buy.

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Impermanence. This Too Shall Pass.

My son gave me a cute little pocket gratitude journal from Pockitudes. It was perfect timing for his gift because this last week of February 2021seems full of strife: women in my local book club are stressed, the warranty for my new touring coach seems to be worthless, and my little Cockapoo had to go to the Vet. It seemed really hard to express joy and gratitude to you today! Thankfully, I found something to tell you!

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In Memory of More Than 500,000 Deaths

Today is a day of remembrance of the more than 500,000 precious lives lost from the ongoing pandemic in the USA. Let us take a moment of silence to remember each of those individuals as well as their families and friends who have died.

My mother was a poet and one of my favorite of her poems was about death, because it is really not about dying but about life and a future. I share it with you now to give you comfort and peace for your loved ones.

This Is Not Goodbye My Dear

This is not goodbye, my dear,
That body of clay I’ve left it here.
To live in the celestial Heaven above,
Where all is peace and joy and love.

I’ll speak to you through the stars at night.
I’ll glitter and twinkle and you’ll know I’m alright.
I’ll speak to you through those drops of rain.
I’ll speak this way again and again.

I’ll speak to you through the falling snow
I’ll touch you gently and then you’ll know.
That love’s a bond that can’t be broken,
The snow flake, the rain drop, will be our token.

I’ll speak to you through the song of the bird,
In a song, a language like you’ve never heard.
I’ll speak to you through the stormy night,
Through the thunder roar and the streaks of light.

I’ll speak to you through the baby coo.
A message dear, just for you.
I’ll see in your eye that tiny tear,
Remember, my love, I’m really near.

God changed my body to another form,
His way is right have no alarm.
He changed my body from a house of clay,
To a glorified one where I’ll live fore aye.

In that rain, that snow, and those stars in the sky,
I take many forms, but I did not die.
For life’s dimension is unending,
This is not the end,
Just a grand beginning.

© Marian E. Blake

My mother was a minister too and wrote many comforting poems for members in her churches. For other poems to honor and remember your loved ones, please see her poetry below. Peace be with you on this day and always.

Huer, M.B. (2013) A House Inside of Me Poetry by Marian Elsie Blake. Huer LLC, pp. 104-105.

A House Inside of Me is available on

This is #gratitudelite. See the post on February 28, 2021 for definitions of gratitude categories.

Little Things Make The World Go Round

This morning on the Today Show they featured a woman who had a second face transplant. Her past boyfriend tossed acid on her and burned her face. A terrible story of domestic abuse surviving for anyone. But, not Carmen Tarleton!

She met the donor family of the second face transplant. It was such a joyful event for all, but what impressed me the most was her joy that now she can wear earrings again. And, she can finally wear glasses because now she has ears!

Be grateful for what you have! If Carmen can be happy, so can you!

This is #gratitudelite. See the post on February 28, 2021 for definitions of gratitude categories.

I Am Taking My Mom For A Walk

Interesting story today. I have a wonderful son who lives out of State. Whenever he comes to visit his friends, he comes to visit me too. This morning we greeted our neighbor, sitting on a curb and smoking as he always does, as we walked past him. I said my usual “hello” and we exchanged updates about our neighbors, and then my son said to him, “I am taking my mom for a walk”! It sounded so funny. I guess my son views me sometimes as a pet. I walk my dog. He walks his mom!

I am grateful that my son takes me for a walk!

This is #gratitudezero. See the post on February 28, 2021 for definitions of gratitude categories.

I Found A Surprise After Breakfast

This morning I went out for breakfast outside. It is a lovely, sunny, but breezy day, and I enjoyed getting out of the house during the pandemic. The breakfast was nice, but under the chocolate roll that I gobbled down with morning coffee, I found the word “YUM” on the plate.

YUM made my day! Thank you YUM…

This is #gratitudezero. See the post on February 28, 2021 for definitions of gratitude categories.

What Are You Waiting For?

This morning I stood on the pier and watched all the surfers waiting in the water for the perfect wave to catch. They waited a long time, then tried one, and it passed over them. Next one guy tried again. Several guys had a few brief runs. Others sat on their boards in the water, relaxing, watching, and learning about the ocean; looking for the best wave of the day to try again. Apparently, surfers love this process.

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