My Cup Runneth Over With Gratitude!

Elder Taoist
Reciprocal
Published in
6 min readNov 17, 2022

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Gratitude helped me become a much less depressed and depressing person.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This picture really resonated with me. I used to be surrounded by things to be grateful for, not the least of which was the beauty of nature in the places I have lived, and I could not see them due to my sadness and depression. Sadness that was mostly caused by the stories in my own head.

Now that I have had 70+ years of living on this amazing planet, I have learned a lot of useful lessons. And while many of them were painful at the time, I am grateful for each one. For without them I would not be the joyful person I am today!

I started this piece several days back and got stuck. I started a list of the things for which I was most grateful, providing a description of how those items had made my life so much better. However, I found that going into the details behind why I was grateful for those things, I was digging up the depression and sadness triggers that these items helped me get over. And it was making me depressed all over again!

So I took a break and mulled over what, if anything, I wanted to say. I realized that where I am today is a much healthier emotional place. A place where digging up old, forgotten pain was not helpful. Those things are long past and should stay there.

The next insight I had was that healthy gratitude is really a right here, right now thing. While there are many things for which my gratitude has roots in the past, feelings of gratitude should be in the present, or they are simply memories of being grateful which is not the same thing. So I’m starting a new list of things for which I am grateful right now.

A short list of things for which I am grateful today

My wife

She is the love of my life and brings me joy every day.

Being retired

I now have all the time in the world to enjoy all those things I had to put off in my working years.

Being in nature

When anything is out of balance, going out my front door for a walk in the forest in which I live quickly helps me get centred. I have written about nature several times in Medium. Here is a recent piece that speaks to my love of walking in the outdoors:

Books

My favourite sedentary pastime is reading. I am a life long learner and spend more time learning things, now that I am retired, than I have since I graduated from university 50 years ago. Books are my go to friends.

Medium

This community has put me in touch with a number of excellent writers who provide encouragement for my writing. More about my enjoyment of writing on Medium can be found here:

Tea and chocolate

Starting a day without tea, and maybe a bit of extra dark chocolate, would be sad. It is a long time habit; maybe even an addiction. But, in my opinion, a healthy addiction.

My health

While I’m in my 70s, I am still active and feel wonderful. I take no medicines except an occasional anti-histamine when my allergies kick in. I have no physical or emotional health issues. I eat an organic, plant-based diet, much of which I grow myself. And I have some long lived ancestors so I expect to be around on Medium for a long time to come. One of my favourite health routines is walking, to places like this:

Living in peace and quiet

I live in the country in an area that has seen no armed conflict since 1859. And that was a border dispute that was triggered by a pig being shot for straying into someone’s garden and digging up potatoes. The only casualty of the dispute was the pig. Given the history of our contentious planet, this is a very peaceful locale, which suits my introverted nature.

Those are the highlights of the things for which I am grateful. At any given moment there are many other reasons to be grateful and I try to notice as many as I can.

But now it is time to make myself some tea. And have a bit of chocolate.

I am frequently inspired by other writers on Medium. Here are some I’ve particularly enjoyed reading recently:

My article was prompted by

’s Colors of Life article:

This article by

is probably my favourite read this week. It is a story of love and kindness at the end of life. It made me teary eyed.

This piece by

seems particularly appropriate as it deals with her gratitude regarding Medium readers and writers. Thank you Jenny!

I wish to thank new people who recently chose to follow me and my writing. Your interest encourages me to continue writing.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you for following me!

Additionally, I would like to thank people who recently engaged with my writing. Given the changes going on at Medium, it is unclear when and how individual articles are distributed, hence this list of tags. If any of you would like to be excluded from my tags in the future, please, please let me know!

, , , , , , B. Lorraine Smith, Baird Brightman, Barbara Mac,BEDRI, , , Blogs by J,Bobi Ombui Aguilera, , , Caroline de Braganza, , , , Christyl Rivers, Phd.,Colleen Wieghorst, , Crystal Abrahams,Dan J, , David Gamble, David Perlmutter, Debika Kumari, Debra Groves Harman, MEd, , DL Nemeril, Dr. Fatima Imam, Dr. Preeti Singh, Dr Victoria Powell, Duncan Klein, , Elizabeth Kaldeck Smith, , , GB Rogut, Gauri Sirur, , Habib Rehman, Hein de Haan, Hemanth, , , Hussan Ara, , , Iva Ursano, Jackie Schuld, , Jane Grismer, , , , , , , , , , , John Baxter Weekes,John Rollason, , , , Judi Schwartz, kasey sparks, , Kiera(n) Jaegar, Kimberly Carlson Aesara, Krystal Morgan, , , , , , Margie Willis, , , Martin von Mars, , , Mawde Olssen, , Mette Harrison, Mia Verita, Michele Maize, Michelle Marie Warner, , Mukundarajan V N, , , , Paul Neelon, , , ✏️Pencil + Ashes (Ash), , Plum Street Chili, Rachael Bao, , Rebecca Romanelli, , Robin Christine Honigsberg, Saba Haider, c Sahil Patel, , , Sofia A. Koutlaki,Succex,Szonja Hollos,Teresa Roberts,The Accidental Monster,The Autlaw, , Tita and Keg, , Toya Qualls-Barnette,Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles,Vin Bhalerao. Wendy St. John,William J Spirdione,Yana Bostongirl,Zuzanna Żak

And finally, I want to thank

, , and as the editors of Reciprocal for the incredible support they provide to writers.

I wish you well!

The Elder Taoist ☯

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Elder Taoist
Reciprocal

Septuagenarian Autistic/Asperger with HSP and OCD tendencies. Does math for fun. Endlessly curious about connectedness of nature, from stars to trees to bugs.