Author Archives: Gratitude Squared

About Gratitude Squared

I’m Mary and write on my blog, Gratitude Squared. I prefer creativity with artistry sprinkled with bits of philosophy, previously a university scholar, compassionate for others, and deeply involved in advocacy and inclusion for human rights for people with disabilities. In 2017, I was diagnosed with a serious illness and prepared to die. However, nearly four years later I am very alive and extremely grateful to see life’s joys daily. I love sharing aspirational and inspirational messages, and want to help you find your own gratitude. Thank you for going along this journey.

Grateful For Memories

Today is a fun time for memories with family and friends. Life passes so quickly and before we know it, or sometimes suddenly our loved ones leave us. On this day, I want to pause to be grateful for memories. It is nice to look back at old photos and remember specific events throughout each life: birthdays, graduations, marriages, religious ceremonies and other milestones. Take time today to remember life events!

#gratitudelite

A Splash of Gratitude Each Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away: Meaningful Use of Time

I am nearing 5 and 1/2 years of good health after a serious scare with illness and death. I ask myself this morning, “Did I make the most and best out of the extra 5 plus years I have been graced?” What did I do with these gifted years I asked God to give me?

Each day I strive to help others. Did I make a difference in any person’s life? Could I do more? These are very important questions I am asking myself.

During these five plus years my little dog has lost his hearing. I want to hold him tight and love him more. During these recent years, I have grown closer to my son and my brother and they to me as I cherish each moment I have with them. I have made new friends, have lost some friends, and have observed the truer meanings of family and friends in life.

My weight is about the same. My teeth are not whiter although they are stronger with a few new crowns and root canals. I have more beautiful flower gardens surrounding me, and I have this gratitude blog I began. My gratitudesquared.com site provides me a summary of my actions over these recent years. So, how have I used my time? Have I used this “gift of time” wisely?

Continue reading

Grateful For Friends And Family

As summer approaches it seems the world is awakening after the pandemic and people are beginning to move around again. Perhaps because I am in Southern California I am having more guests this summer, which is great. My friends and family are gathering in my home and I am so grateful for each and every visit.

As we gather together, my flower gardens are more colorful, my fountain is flowing, the awnings are outstretched, the beach walks are longer, the food tastes better, and the anticipations of great memories and fun times are set.

As my family members and friends come and go, I want to pause to give “thanks” for these memories from Spring of 2022. I am so grateful for friends and family. How ’bout you?

#gratitudelite

I’m Grateful for Slurry Sealing

It seems that all too often we take ordinary city services for granted. Recently, my city Engineering Division performed “slurry sealing” on our city streets. It was fun to watch the drivers, walkers, bikers, dogs, baby buggies, and, of course car drivers work around the slurry trucks to try to slurry our city! In the end, everyone worked together to beautify our community. Note: other communities may call this “sealing streets”.

After this experience, I have a new appreciation for traffic control barricades, and City Project Managers who kindly managed everyone to complete this improvement project! Be grateful and give gratitude for city services. They have a tough job of “people control” to lay the rubber down, seal cracks, and improve the pavements on which we drive daily.

Give thanks today for “Slurry Sealing”!

#gratitudezero

Grateful For Religions

On this Good Friday I have been invited to my first Passover meal with friends. As this is Easter weekend I am reminded of so much pain and suffering and so I want to offer gratitude for the life we all celebrate together. Many people are not as fortunate this year.

Please give thanks and never take your blessings for granted. Have a blessed and wonderful holy weekend.

#gratitudelite

Grateful For Thoughtfulness

It seems like people are unsettled these days with so many life issues facing all of us: prices are increasing, tensions are escalating with the War, the pandemic is still lurking around us, political differences of opinion are constantly played out on the news, and other stresses generally surround us. Within these various situations, when I observe moments of “thoughtfulness” between strangers as well as friends and family, I appreciate seeing such gestures between fellow human beings.

Today, I would like to encourage each of us to smile at someone you don’t know, to say “hello” and “thank you” more often, to open doors for someone whose arms are full of groceries or their children, to send a kind text to at least three people, to buy a cup of coffee for a friend, to invite an elderly person near you to chat for a bit, to allow a stranger who asks to pet your dog, and to ask a family member or friend if they need your help.

I believe if we are each a little more thoughtful towards other persons and their potential needs, it will create a bit of peace and calm around us, if even for a moment. Do you agree?

#gratitudelite

Grateful For Thankfulness

This is a wonderful day. The sun is shining in Southern CA, my son is visiting me from the Midwest, my friends call me regularly and invite me to dinner or some fun event, and I watched Judge Jackson give a speech after her Supreme Court confirmation.

This morning I felt especially thankful for my life, my family, my little buddy and doggie who is always by my side, and my friends. As I reflect on this day, I remind myself to express thankfulness for all that I have.

I think too often we are quick to complain when we are unhappy or disappointed in life, but I believe we need to remember to be quick to be thankful each day for all that we have and experience. As I try to walk the path to gratitude I want to express thankfulness as often as possible. How ’bout you?

#gratitudelite

Grateful For Credibility

Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in as well as being convincing and believable. I like this concept. During these days of watching the news, or talking with friends and neighbors or colleagues, it seems difficult to determine what to believe about many different topics. Whose story do I trust? I do not like to argue with people, and I strive to respect the various opinions, as I typically do not know a person’s personal experiences and backgrounds.

I am finding that many days I am growing tired of so much information and apparent differences in viewpoints regarding economics, inflation, politics, the war, selection of judges, school curriculum, and on and on. I would like to have peace and quiet and harmony around me. I would love to be with happy, satisfied people who are grateful for their lives. I love to spend time around people I trust.

Thus, today I am grateful for credibility. In addition to credibility I will also add positivity and joy. It makes me feel good inside when I spend time with people who give to others, helpful people, kind people, people who are trustworthy and people who offer hope to all. Where possible, I find deep gratitude when I spend time with credible people.What do you think?

#gratitudelite

Grateful I May Alter My Attitude

I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.

Henry David Thoreau

As I continue to watch the horror on TV of women and children caught up in a war, my heart is breaking and I offer prayers, but the tears flow as I watch and watch and watch…

Today I decided to listen to a video duet of Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena posted by a friend following Liz Dhein Fiore. I do not know if they are really singing the song “Endless Love” but it looks and sounds real and that happy time depicted made me feel happy for a moment. I also began to watch the 2015 TV series on Netflix in which Zelenskyy played a high school history teacher who became president. Who would have predicted that seven years later parts of that series would become true?

I do not ever remember a time when I have watched so many people around the world be so helpful to others. I feel such pride in the humanity I see against the ugly actions captured by film crews daily. The human drama we are watching makes one nearly look away…

To alter my attitude after a brief glimpse at the TV screen I searched for some favorite songs and started a playlist to create the feelings of flowers all around me in contrast to the thorns on TV. Of course I love the duet described above, and also I love Eres Tu by Mocedades, Jose Maria Napoleon (Official music video, July 31, 2020), and I love the song from the movie Coco: Remember Me on Netflix on August 1, 2019. I wish I could include such here for all of you to enjoy as well. Perhaps I will learn to link these songs with permission some day.

In the meantime, I want you to know that you may also alter your attitudes through “gratitude” for whatever makes you feel joyful, hopeful, or helpful in your life.

I invite you to share your gratitude with others as we suffer through this terrible period in our collective histories. Blessings to all.

With gratitude, Mary

#gratitudeultra

Gratitude to the President of Ukraine

President Zelenskyy is a wartime hero, a global leader, and a model citizen harnessing the power of social media to teach important lessons re: humanity to all persons throughout the world. From the horrors of the war by Russia, Ukrainians’ heroism, bravery, and courage are displayed daily, 24/7, for all of us to witness and from which we may learn important lessons for life.

To be able to witness the impact that one man has around the entire globe is awe inspiring.

I pray everyday that Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, will live as we all need his messages:

  • Follow your moral compass with honor in the face of horror.
  • Human suffering may be overcome through bravery and inspiration.
  • Hope springs forward from ordinary citizens who are inspired.
  • A Spirit of Community reminds us to not leave our friends or our neighbors in the face of adversity.
  • The best of humanity emerges through kindness and unprecedented support of strangers.
  • “Be all you can be” is a true statement that will come true through aspiration.
  • Wartime politics is a “mirror” through which we reflect who we truly are.

I will always remember President Zelenskyy because his words, his leadership model, his moral compass have challenged the world. I ask myself:

Where was I during the Russian War against Ukraine, and what did I do for the good of humanity?

How did a single man, an actor, become a politician who united Europe through NATO, who eliminated, in part, the partisan actions within the USA Congress, who demonstrated global outreach positively through the internet, who dared to sit in his office and wait for Putin to attack him, have such a profound impact around the globe?

President Zelenskyy gives me HOPE and I am so pleased to live during his leadership.

#gratitudeultra

Note: the image was selected from a Tweet by #bettemidler @BetteMidler on March 4, 2022.