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Gratitude For Life

Laughing until your belly hurts, my future self, and lessons from those who raised me

By Denise E LindquistPublished about a month ago β€’ Updated about a month ago β€’ 4 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Gratitude For Life
Photo by BΔ€BI on Unsplash

The last time I laughed so hard that my belly hurt was ___________ Rupi Kaur's Gratitude Writing Prompts

When I was 24 and going to a women's support group we would laugh, I would go home with a sore face and sore sides. Why? I wasn't used to smiling or laughing. After a few months of doing that, I never have a sore face, sides, or belly from laughing as I laugh enough.

What is enough? I laugh every day! I have practiced laughter yoga and the last time I slipped into depression I laughed with a laughter yoga teacher every day for 20 minutes on Facebook Live. At first, it was regular laughter yoga, solid laughing for a minute, then slowly up to the full 20 minutes.

That happened just a few years ago, our longest winter that we had in a long time and we were still in the pandemic. My brother had died from covid and I missed my friends and family. I found out it doesn't matter if it is real laughter or fake laughter. For me, it can start fake but turn real.

I have to say that because of my experience the last time I laughed so hard that my belly hurt was in my 20s. The last big laugh I had was when my daughter gave my husband, her stepdad, a plaque that says, "Retired and working part-time as a pain in the butt!" for Fathers Day.

Of course, he blamed me for that and suggested she may get that from me! That made me laugh all the more! Maybe she might have got that idea from me. I think his pain in the buttness gets around to more than me however.

I'd like to tell my future self ___________ Rupi Kaur's Gratitude Writing Prompts

Future self? I am 70. How much more aged? If I could've told me of today what I didn't know when I was in my teens and early 20s, I would have said. Practice gratitude to get rid of my self-pity. Pray. Meditate

Thinking of suicide all of the time, then there is something wrong. Get help. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When there is suicide in the family, it makes it an option for others in the family. Why do that?

Prayer is good and if it doesn't seem to help others we are praying for, it for sure helps me. And we don't know what kind of help some may need. Sometimes it is helpful to hit their bottom. Whatever that is for them.

Meditation will keep me younger. It doesn't have to be transcendental meditation to be meditation.

I would have told myself to find a 12-step program and work those steps as they will help me to live sanely, to get and keep the promises that tell me that I will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave me.

I will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle me. I will know a new happiness and a new freedom. All 12 of the promises I have today. It would be helpful to be taught in school.

People don't know what they are missing when I hear "This is not for me." I am so glad I continue to have the supportive people in my life. Some have been there for 46 years. I will tell myself to keep that support group for the rest of my life. Keep being teachable.

I am so glad I will never be as smart as I once was!

Keep sharing with whomever you can for the rest of your life. Be more accepting of my aging self. Continue to do for me what I have learned earlier in life.

Eat less processed food. Exercise. Declutter. Continue to love, do my grief work, and help others to know what to do. Remember as I get older and things get tougher for me physically that addiction demands we stay negative.

Keeping a positive attitude is so important and it is so easy to slip into the negative with being in the company of others doing that. I learned to stick with the winners and I hope to do that right until the end.

What have you learned from those who raised you? Rupi Kaur's Gratitude Writing Prompts

My mother taught me so many things in my 55 years with her. She was so in touch with nature that she knew the weather better than the weatherman. I am sorry I didn't pay better attention to all she knew.

I heard stories growing up from the culture and daily life. All of those stories had a lesson. She shared many with me and my children. I had the benefit of her father, brothers, and sisters growing up because of her.

She thought family was so important and that we couldn't learn everything we needed to know from parents alone. My dad died when I turned ten. She made sure we knew his family also. We spent time with his dad and siblings and their families.

We had the best, even though there was addiction in the family. How blessed we were to know all of our family.

My parents believed in getting an education. My father was taught to weld and that was his trade. My mother went to school when all of her kids were grown. She went to school to be a secretary.

She pushed on the high school diploma and college. Then graduate school and she supported me to go back for a doctorate. When she was sick and died a couple of years later, I just couldn't finish without my biggest cheerleader. I have all but dissertation (ABD)

As my mother aged, she showed me by example how to live and then how to die. I was there with her when she died. Her room at the hospital was full as was a family waiting room. She comforted many, including my brother in Texas, her sister in California, and my daughter in Alaska.

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About the Creator

Denise E Lindquist

I am married with 7 children, 27 grands, and 12 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I write A Poem a Day in February for 8 years now. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. I write on Vocal/Medium weekly.

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Comments (13)

  • EMAN RAJPUT3 days ago


  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Natasha Collazo26 days ago

    Congrats on your top story! This was beautifully written

  • Annie28 days ago

    I was meant to read this and am so glad I stumbled across your piece. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your top story!

  • Hannah Moore29 days ago

    So mnny riches.

  • I am very happy! Congratulations Deniseeeee 😁😁😁!

  • Babs Iverson29 days ago

    Gratitude is important and so is family!!! Loved your story!!!β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ’• Congratulations on Top Story too!!!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! πŸŽ‰πŸ’–πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸ’–πŸŽŠ

  • Chloe Gilholy30 days ago

    Loved this, Rupi Kaur has written some lovely stuff as well.

  • Andrea Corwin 30 days ago

    Lovely! I am with you on all the points you made - meditation, laughter, nature … be kind, think kindly, stay in touch with spirit.❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Oh wowww, it's so fascinating that your mom had such a powerful insight into the weather!

  • Sweileh 888about a month ago

    Thank you I am happy with your exciting stories Watch my stories now

Denise E LindquistWritten by Denise E Lindquist

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