Sunday Reflection: In Gratitude for the Simple Things We Have

in Proof of Brainlast month

I found myself sitting here — alternately staring at the screen, and then going through my copious notes with ideas for blog posts, and then back again — for a good 45 minutes.

The end result? Absolutely Nothing. That was almost five hours ago...

THis flower has more going on than my brain....

Not that there was a shortage of good ideas; there was just a shortage of motivation. The mere thought of putting a variety of "interesting" topics in writing and making sure it all flowed for 1,000 words or so was exhausting.


"You're getting OLD, dude!" I said to myself... but maybe that was just a platitude; the usual type of self-directed pseudo put-down I tend to use whenever I feel stuck and unmotivated.

"But why are we trying to be so gosh-darn SERIOUS, all the time?"

In part, it was my 40 years of "writing-for-publication" conditioning that was rearing its ugly head — it has never been easy for me to write just for the sake of it without trying to convey some sort of meaningful message "that COULD be published."

"That's kinda ironic, don'tcha think? You hate READING serious stuff, and much prefer personal stories and insights."

It's the truth. I do.

Positive, Negative or... Memorable?

Some weeks back, someone asked me what seemed like a fairly simple question: "What are the five most memorable things that have happened in your life?"

It's actually not such an easy question. Do we mean the five things we remember most vividly, or the five most positive memories? Or something completely different?

Which led me down a completely different path of thinking.


Earlier today, I was reading posts on the Proof of Brain Community Website and specifically came across a post by @bitcoinflood partially entitled What is POB All About?.

My primary takeway was to extend that question to ask a much bigger question: "What is LIFE All About?" as I considered the context of just how much time we (meaning "humans") spend bellyaching about everything around us; the people who annoy us; the beliefs we find offensive; the things that make us feel pain; our jobs; our spouses; our friends.... always looking around and scanning the horizon for what is wrong and then launching into lamenting and complaining.


Weird... and Irrational

We humans are weird and irrational, because so often we even complain about positive people, trying to pass them off as "fakes" and "in denial," rather than appreciating the fact that they have actually found a path that seems to make them truly happy. So let's label them as "Pollyannas" and belittle them, right?

And yet? So often we give extensive lip service to our dislike of life's "Negative Nancy's" claiming that we "can't stand" to be around all their naysaying... all while sitting in our own pools of negative bitterness.

For all the talk we generate about "having a positive attitude" and the "value of optimism" and "setting an inspiring example," is that really the best we can do?

That was the point at which I gave up on the whole idea of creating some "deep and meaningful" post for today, because I realized that I would almost inevitably be talking about some kind of problem that was worth complaining about and perhaps worthy of seeking a solution to.

Which brings me back to the five most memorable things that have happened in my life.


I still don't know what they are, after a further 30 minutes of contemplation.

So How About Just Having a Little GRATITUDE?

But I can identify five things I am very grateful for, in this moment of my life, and maybe that's a really good start... because it seems like finding these things inevitably invites us to remember that what often "gets us down" tends to be the result trying to think on a scale that is too big, when the truly good things that are actually making a difference are already right here, right now!

In no particular order:

I'm grateful for my cat Shadow — known to a few of you as @curatorcat — who is (quite literally) my shadow most of the time. He almost always keeps me company from his cat bed that has become a permanent fixture on top of my file cabinet drawer. About every hour or so he lets me know that I am taking life too seriously by getting up, coming over and standing on my desk... between me and the monitor... purring and demanding attention. He keeps things simple..

Shadow, AKA @curatorcat

I'm grateful for the rain that's falling outside. It's a silent and gentle summer rain that's watering our vegetable garden and makes everything lush and green around here. I love the color green. There's a good reason why Washington state is known as "The Evergreen State."

I'm grateful for being married to someone whose understanding of "separate togetherness" is virtually identical to my own. We both work from home. We're "together" — in our respective home offices, much of the time — pretty much 24/7/365 and yet we virtually never argue or fight, but we love each other deeply and are also each other's best friends.

I'm grateful for my generally much above average health — something I have been grateful for pretty much since first understanding the importance of gratitude — which enables me to pretty not worry about health issues, at age 60 and counting. I look around at so many of my peers, struggling with this, that and the other that prevent them from doing what they want... and I have much gratitude. Aging is hell...


I am grateful for the smoked mackerel we had for dinner, a little while ago. Smoked mackerel is one of our favorite things; something we always enjoy while we're staying in Denmark... but also something that does not exist on the US West Coast. In fact, it barely exists in the US, period. A few weeks ago, I found a small fish smokery on the east coast that's actually willing to ship these fish across the country. Had some the day before yesterday; had the last this evening. Yum!

So to end this, these are the things that actually matter, right now... and the most memorable events? Well, they are some part of the memory bank, which can be nice to think about, but they are not here and now. And all we actually have is "here and now." The past is already written in the history books, and there's nothing we can do to change OR re-live it. It has become static; constant; sometimes idealized through the rose-colored lenses of passing time. The future is always in motion, and remains just a possibility we actually have relatively little control over. Every action we take right now can potentially change the future.... so why worry?

What are YOU grateful for?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week ahead!

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Created at 20210613 22:44 PDT



Does shadow get any smoked mackerel?

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Oh yes, he had a delish treat of all the scrapings off the skins! Best cat treat ever....

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This reminds me to be grateful for all things that fall within my awareness. (Sometimes I don't like some of those things though, lol.) It is difficult for me to single out one thing or another to be grateful for because there is so much out there. It also changes from moment to moment.