What 10 years of blogging has taught me . . .

Word for the Day  Gratefulness draws on the best of the human spirit in all of us.  It renews and refreshes us, and best of all it is contagious.  -Amy Edelstein-  This is officially my last habitual post here on Habitual Gratitude . You can still find me blogging on my new website A Late Bloomer Living Gratefully .  This blog won’t be gone. Hanging out on the world wide web, I will be revisiting it and inviting readers to keep checking out the other 2,820 posts that reside here.  It was time for a change though. Learning a new platform is challenging and full of fear at times, but it is also invigorating. Comfortable and complacent here, I am revitalized by a shift to a website that allows a broader approach to my writing. My new website, like me, is a work in progress and will take time to bloom fully.  My body of work, published and unpublished, is expansive. I can share more of it, and contain it in one place, at A Late Bloomer Living Gratefully. The flow of gratefulness continues.

Two Years Gone By

Today I am grateful for health care workers who keep serving and scientists who keep researching. Their tenacious efforts over these two years of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be understated. I am grateful for my own continued health and for perspective. Two years ago this weekend, my part of the world was really beginning to feel the huge impact that the pandemic was about to have on our daily lives.  I wrote 19 Gratitudes to Counter COVID-19  then. As I read it now, these words grab me: It has been crazy, uncharted territory we have found ourselves in. For those of us living in the U.S., it has really just been the last few days that have opened our eyes wide to the potential for many sick people, weeks of shutdowns, unknown economic impacts, normalcy thrown out the window in many ways we usually take for granted. What can we do to manage in such uncertain times? What can we do to keep ourselves healthy and grounded so we can be of help to others, or have a better chance of recovering

Growing and Going

  "Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still."  -Chinese Proverb- This quote caught my attention today because I often refer to myself as a slow learner and a late bloomer. It was fitting for me to weave that in to my new website's name  "A Late Bloomer Living Gratefully."  When I first started in recovery, people talked about how alcoholics stop growing emotionally when they start drinking.  I believe there is plenty of truth in that. I started drinking at 14 and stopped at 24. Ten years, and a crucial ten years in a young person's development.  Life set me up to be a slow learner and a late bloomer. I have had to learn hard lessons of acceptance along the way regarding this, but now it is also something I embrace and love about myself. A different version of this proverb has "going" instead of "growing."  Another good reminder to me. Go slowly. Have patience. Don't push my own agenda-usually ego-driven-let things

Let it Go, Let it Flow

"Let come what comes, let go what goes. See what remains." -Ramana Maharshi- Letting go can be so hard, and so necessary. It's a daily process for me, and one I will never perfect. Yet, in the practice of letting go, the rewards come. Unburdening. Clarifying. Releasing. All these and more help me maintain energy for what truly matters and where I can truly make a difference: the thoughts and actions I choose.  Hanging on depletes and drains, whether it is regret, changing bodies, evolving relationships, unhealthy perceptions or wrong-sized ego. Let go. Let go or be dragged. Letting go is a form of love. It takes courage to let go. Fear would rather have us keep a tight grip.  When I let go, it also helps the peace and gratitude flow. Even if it's only for a few minutes, that peace is enough to save me from myself. Right now, I am in the process of shifting from this blog to my new website and blog: A Late Bloomer Living Gratefully.  I have fear and uncertainty, and a

Under Construction: One Website, Billions of Cells

Living gratefully today, I am in awe of cells and the jobs they do. I am appreciating the courage and faith that continue to be developing in my life here in my late fifties. First, about those cells, another random indication like those I mentioned in yesterday's post .  There are a couple of housing developments going up in our part of town. I like to see the progress. As I ran on Saturday, it got me thinking about new construction on the cellular level. Did you know that our bodies replace somewhere around 330 billion cells each day, mostly blood cells and those in our intestines? Amazing! And it is done with no direction or guidance from our conscious self.  In contrast to those billions of cells, I have been working on a single website over recent months. Just one. My own. It is titled "A Late Bloomer Living Gratefully" and can be found here . ( ) Ten years ago this month I started this blog, my first adventure into publishing content onl

Random Indications

Living gratefully today, I rest in appreciation of daily recovery from alcoholism, the peace in family time together, and the endorphins a nice run in the rain brought me yesterday. I give thanks for random indications that every day is full of reminders and of good. Here are some: 1. A bathroom break while out doing some grocery and stock up shopping gave me the view of an empty vodka pint in the trash can in the stall I used. I wondered what story went with that bottle. My story had I been the one drinking it? Ugly.  2. A toddler in her boots zig-zagging down the trail in front of her mom on what started out as an icy morning, then March balmy, and returned to ice and snow overnight. That little girl was having a joyful outing. Simple joy.  3. I ran in a misty fog in my nice weatherproof jacket we got on Bainbridge Island, Washington in 2013 when we were there for the Seattle Marathon. It was a bit of a splurge and in part preparation for a predicted rainy start to the marathon. It h

Garbage and Recycling

Word for the Day  There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it. -Gustave Flaubert- Thursdays are garbage and recycling pickup days in our neighborhood. As I left my house yesterday morning and backed my car out of the garage, the garbage and recycling trucks came one after the other to unload our two receptacles.  I was blocked in briefly, on my way to an early meeting, with a little time to spare. It all probably took less than a minute. It was a good pause and brought a smile to my face. In my meditation time earlier, inspired by a conversation with and suggestion from a recovery friend,  I had realized I was getting stuck yet again. I had been crowding my Higher Power out. In other words, I hadn't been taking out my inner garbage. I had been recycling the kind of thinking that is defeating and exhausting. In recovery circles we call this stinking thinking. It was indeed getting smelly. I had no use for it anymore, like the household garbage we had put cur