Day 571: Anxiety

Yesterday, I posted a video of Frank Sinatra singing “What’s New?”

Today, I’m posting a video of  Mel Brooks singing a song about anxiety, in the style of Frank Sinatra.

 (found on YouTube here)


Well, I think it’s about time I wrote a post about anxiety. Don’t you agree?

Yesterday, anxiety was definitely a theme, in several ways.  For example:

  1. I did a therapy group last evening, where we focused on anxiety.
  2. Ten minutes before we started the group, I realized I had left my bag — containing my monetary “must-haves” — on the sidewalk of one of the busiest streets in Boston.
  3. Twenty minutes after we ended the group, I realized I had conducted the entire group with enough food stuck in my teeth to resemble some sort of dental salad bar.


Here’s some good news:

  1. The group members said they felt markedly less anxious by the end of our time together.
  2. When I went to retrieve my bag, it was still there.
  3. At least we  know I’m taking good-enough care of myself to eat some friggin’ thing, in the time between the two consecutive groups I facilitate on Thursdays.

I don’t have any photos of the above, but I can show you these, taken yesterday after dark (a time that heightens anxiety in many people):

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And while the scare-chemical of adrenaline was still hanging around for me while I was snapping those shots above,  I felt safe enough last night. No anxiety — high or low —  for me.

Unlike what Mel Brooks sings, regarding him vs. anxiety,  I win!

Let’s celebrate that with another song, on this Friday morning. Here’s Robert Cray, with some bluesy advice:



Thanks to Mel Brooks, Robert Cray, those who sing about anxiety in any way, groups (of all kinds) that help each other let go of anxiety, and to you — of course!  – for keeping me company, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 570: What’s New?

What’s New?” is a jazz standard I first encountered in the 1960′s.

Here are two versions of it, from YouTube.  Linda Rondstadt:

(found here)

and Frank Sinatra:

(found here)

“What’s New?” is another post title I haven’t used yet, although I have written these posts:

Day 162:  What’s in a name?

Day 218: What’s the problem?

Day 268: What’s $ got to do with it?

Day 401: What’s wrong?

Day 495:  What’s underneath? and

Day 557:  What’s missing?

What’s new?  I’ll tell you, first, what’s NOT new: My starting out a blog post post with a choice of songs AND a review of the past.

So what IS new? Yesterday, eight people came to my Wednesday group.  In my therapy groups, people can participate when and how often they choose, so that many people (new and old) showing up is …. wonderful.

Something we discussed, in group yesterday, is how trying something new can raise anxiety and fear, but also excitement and hope.

So what else is new?  Well, I took some photos yesterday and, for whatever reasons, I was focusing on the new:

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Here’s something else that’s NOT new, this morning:  I’ve included too many photos to adequately explain now, before I leave for work.  I do want to tell you this, though: the gentleman showing off his new camera, above, is my co-worker Mark,  whom bf Michael and I ran into last night, unexpectedly. Also, what do  you think those berry-looking things are, in the last two photos?  They looked new to Michael and me, so we asked somebody about them, who was kind enough to answer, peel one, and give it to us.

What else is new, for you?

Thanks to Linda Rondstadt, Frank Sinatra, Bob Haggart and Johnny Burke (the creators of “What’s New?”), Michael, Mark, and the nice guy at Whole Foods last night; to people in my therapy groups; to those who try new things; and to you — of course! — whether this is all new to you, or not.

Categories: friendship, humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 569: Ain’t that peculiar?

Let’s start today’s post with another song I love:   “Ain’t That Peculiar,” performed by Marvin Gaye and written by Smokey Robinson and some of his Miracles.

Here’s the version I’m used to:

(found here on YouTube)

And, ain’t it peculiar that — even though I love that song and a capella music, too — I just found, for the first time, an a capella version of it?

(found here on YouTube)

According to the Wikipedia page about “Ain’t That Peculiar,” the song is “about the torment of a painful relationship.”

The painful relationship I am most aware of —  right now, in my life — is the relationship between me and

  • my fears,
  • doubts, and
  • too-harsh inner critic.

This is on my mind, at the moment, because one of my patients got turned down by an insurance company for long-term disability, even though she cannot work, due to her depression.  I’ve heard that initial turn-downs are a matter-of-course, these days. I have to believe that our appeal will be successful. But I just found out, yesterday, that all her treaters, including me, have to submit all supporting arguments by this Friday, or her appeal will be denied.

Ain’t that peculiar?  It is to me.

This situation affected my sleep last night.  Right now, I am afraid that the other treaters (the medical doctor and the medication prescriber) might not be available to help me document our case well enough, before Friday.

Ain’t that peculiar?  Both of them,  most likely, will be able — and eager — to help.  However, they haven’t responded to my email from yesterday yet, so I am expecting the worst.

Ain’t that peculiar?

The treater who prescribes the anti-depressant medication is somebody I know pretty well and respect a lot.  When we first spoke about the disability turn-down, I discovered that we both, automatically,  blamed ourselves, because we each felt our documenting notes could have been better.

Ain’t that peculiar? Anything anybody writes could be better, including medical notes. We are not to blame for the disability turn-down.   We can (and will) provide more evidence. And we both hope we will do a good enough job, with the appeal.

I am really focusing, this morning, on worst-case scenarios, about this disability case. Therapists specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might say that I’m catastrophizing about it. These therapists might say that I am blaming, minimizing/maximizing, negative filtering, fortune-telling, mind-reading, comparing, personalizing, name-calling, and experiencing every other CBT distortion on this list.

Ain’t that Peculiar?  I AM a therapist who uses CBT in my work.  And, there are many good things for me to focus on this morning, including:

  • More and more people coming to my therapy groups,
  • My patients expressing gratitude for what they are getting,
  • My feeling much healthier these days, after some scary medical experiences this year, and
  • Lots of positive and hopeful developments, in my personal and work life.

And yet, I am focusing, this morning, on worry about this woman and her getting turned down for an extension of her long-term disability, by an insurance company that might initially turn down most disability requests.

Ain’t That Peculiar?

Yesterday, besides thinking about these things,  I also took several photos, which is not so peculiar.

Do you see any peculiarities here?

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Last night, when my son and I were waiting for a stand-up comedy show to start, I showed him the photos I had taken that day. I asked him if he found anything peculiar about them.  Some he did, some he didn’t.

Ain’t that peculiar?

Then, I took these photos:

IMG_7304 IMG_7305 IMG_7307

At this point, I don’t even know what is and isn’t peculiar, myself. I just know I have to get ready for work.

Thanks to Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, people I work with, my son, Cheers, and to you — of course! — for any peculiarities you might bring with you, today.

NOTE added at 2 PM, the same day: I spoke with the insurance company and found out that I had been misinformed. We have more time to appeal.  Ain’t that peculiar?

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 568: How am I supposed to feel?

“How am I supposed to feel?”

I’m wondering if that’s a question you’re familiar with.

Personally, I hear questions like that a lot, at work and elsewhere. For example:

How am I supposed to feel

  • about what just happened
  • in the morning/afternoon/evening/night
  • when I’m treated that way
  • about my family
  • at this age
  • about the future
  • regarding that news
  • when I’m dealing with all this
  • after you said that
  • when things seem so dangerous
  • if I’m having a different reaction from other people
  • when the weather is like this
  • if I don’t feel like myself
  • in response to what they did
  • with this unexpected occurrence
  • when I lose people
  • about this feeling
  • here
  • now

and other questions (expressed with different feelings).

What’s the answer?

I don’t know.

Or, put another way,  there is no “supposed” about feelings.  Feelings just …. are.

How are you supposed to feel about THAT?

Or, about these photos I took yesterday?

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How was I supposed to feel, when I was taking them?

What do you think?

Thanks to everybody who contributed to the words and images here, to people who have feelings (at work and elsewhere), and to you — of course! — no matter what you are supposed to do, today.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 567: Proofs

Yesterday, as I was taking photos, I thought about a possible plan for a post here: offering a choice of two different music selections.  That’s proof of my interest in the varying needs, tastes and preferences of groups of people.

During my walk, the tune “Proof” by the Pat Metheny Group showed up in my headphones. That was proof, to me, that my  plan was a good and achievable one, because I love another song called “Proof,” also.

Here’s a live version of “Proof,” by Paul Simon, a song that gave me comfort during a difficult time in my life:

(YouTube video found here)

Here’s a live version of “Proof,” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays which, to me, is more proof that Metheny and Mays were a kick-ass jazz team.

(YouTube video found here)

Choose your preferred Proof, as you please.

Here are some random thoughts and opinions I have about proof, today:

  • If we start out with a premise, we can see proof for our existing beliefs, no matter where we look.
  • If we are open to new perspectives, we might be able to adjust our conclusions as new evidence comes in (although that can be challenging).
  • We seem to need proofs, of many kinds, to make meaning.

I wonder what “proof” means to you?

Here are some photos I took yesterday.  They are all proof of something, aren’t they?

IMG_7180 IMG_7185 IMG_7194 IMG_7195 IMG_7198 IMG_7204 IMG_7205 IMG_7210 IMG_7220

IMG_7222 IMG_7225 IMG_7236IMG_7241 IMG_7243 IMG_7244  IMG_7246 IMG_7247 IMG_7249

For one thing, there’s proof, in those images, that today is trash day in these parts. Also, I see  proof that a local supermarket has interesting taste in cake choices. And, that somebody collects snow globes.

What other proofs might you experience here?

Many thanks to Paul Simon, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, and others who make beautiful sounds; to my neighborhood (including the local supermarket); to all those who wag more and bark less; to human beings who balance proof, meaning, change, and confusion as best they can; to people who offer proof of kindness, creativity, flexibility, and kindness every day;  and to you — of course! — for proof of your humanity, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 566: Must Haves

Today, I’m starting  with something that used to be a Must Have, for my blog posts: a search, on Google Images, for the title.

Here’s what came up, just now, for “Must Haves”:


(image found here)


(image found here)


(image found here)

Breastfeeding Must Haves

(image found here)

pregnancy must-haves

(image found here)


(image found here)


(image found here)

Monday Must Haves May 11

(image found here)

I must have something wrong with me, dear readers. I mean, I’ve had one (or maybe two) of all those Must Haves. So what does that make me?  A Have Not?

What do you think?

Now I’m wondering why I must have stopped visiting Google Images for photos.  Perhaps, because I …

  1. lost track of doing that,
  2. had fears of consequences, for using images that weren’t mine,
  3. felt like I had “been there/done that,”
  4. had better things to do.

I have not one, single, perfect explanation for this notable change in my blog posts.

I will tell you this, though.  While I must have had good reasons for excluding Google Images in my blog posts lately, I have not any regrets for including them here, today.

I must have something else i can show you before I end this post. How about some photos  from yesterday’s walk?

Must-have confession: I forgot to take my must-have photography equipment with me, but boyfriend Michael was there, and generously offered his iPhone instead.

photofrommichael photo 1 (8) photo 2 (8) photo 1 (7)

Ooops! I must have lost track of one of those must-have shots from yesterday. Hold on …

Found it!

photo 2 (9)

Thanks to Michael, my other Must Haves, and to you — of course! — for whatever Must Haves you must have, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 565: Anyone can whistle

My son, who’s been rehearsing in a local production of a  Stephen Sondheim musical, has to whistle in the play, as part of his role.

Whistling doesn’t come naturally to him, and he has expressed some reactions to that, including the observation that most people can whistle.

Why does my son have trouble whistling?

I’m not sure, but I will tell you this:  his mother’s not such a great whistler, either.

Coincidentally, Stephen Sondheim, when he was quite young, wrote a musical called Anyone Can Whistle

Regular readers of this blog may know (1) the thought  “anyone can whistle” is an example of some cognitive distortions (listed here) and (2) I love Stephen Sondheim (see here, here, and here).

In any case, here is the title song from Anyone Can Whistle:

I chose that video version (found here) of “Anyone Can Whistle” because:

  • I am fascinated with the process of rehearsing,
  • I’ve never seen the show on stage (even though I know the original cast album by heart),
  • I like watching people’s faces, and
  • I loved the way Sutton Foster sings it there.

In case it wasn’t easy for you to hear the words to “Anyone Can Whistle” in that video, here they are:

Anyone can whistle, that’s what they say, easy
Anyone can whistle, any old day, easy
It’s all so simple, relax, let go, let fly
So someone tell me, why can’t I?

I can dance a tango, I can read Greek, easy
I can slay a dragon, any old week, easy
What’s hard is simple
What’s natural comes hard

Maybe you could show me
How to let go, lower my guard
Learn to be free
Maybe if you whistle, whistle for me

(lyrics found here)

Today, I was considering writing a post titled “Easy/Difficult,” inspired by many things, including:

  • Somebody at WordPress telling me they found the questions in yesterday’s post too difficult to answer.
  • Many people in therapy talking about what’s easy and what’s difficult for them.
  • My receiving praise, this week, for some things that come easily to me.
  • My focus on things that are difficult for me to do.
  • How human beings tend to dismiss the value of what’s easy for them to do and to magnify the importance of what’s difficult and hard.
  • How things might be easier for us if we let go of the need to be right.  For example, there were no right or wrong answers to my questions, yesterday. (But, I neglected to mention that, so how would anyone know?)

I didn’t use that title, however, because I’ve already used a similar one, a hundred-and-a-half days ago.

Also, I love this title, today.

Let’s see if I have any visuals that match today’s words.

Rats!  I don’t see any images of anyone whistling on my iPhone.  However, I did take these photos, yesterday, with varying degrees of easiness/difficulty:


IMG_7062 IMG_7068  IMG_7069 IMG_7072  IMG_7095  IMG_7139IMG_7098


IMG_7100  IMG_7103 IMG_7106

IMG_7118  IMG_7127IMG_7122

IMG_7131 IMG_7134 IMG_7135   IMG_7136 IMG_7148 IMG_7150IMG_7156 IMG_7159 IMG_7164 IMG_7165

Thanks to my son, Stephen Sondheim, and Sutton Foster; to the Fenway area of Boston (including the Rose Garden); to things that are easy and/or difficult; to people who do the best they can; and to you — of course! — for whistling by here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 564: What is the name of …

… this drink?



… these animals?

IMG_7032 photo 1 (6)


…. these flowers?

IMG_7040 IMG_7041

IMG_7043 IMG_7044


… these places?

IMG_7048 IMG_7050IMG_7049 IMG_7054 IMG_7055


… this person?



…. this song?



… and this day?


Memphis-Tennessee-Celebration-of-the-Arts-July-18-2014 Moksha-Roots-Live-Presents-A-Taste-of-Peruvian-Culture-July-18-2014- Black_Friday

(images found herehere, here, and here)


One last question: what is the name of this post?

Many thanks to Starbucks (for making a drink for me that’s not on the menu), to my boyfriend (for the photo of the two felines), to the city of Boston, to Atlanta Rhythm Section (for the song), to people everywhere who celebrate Friday (and other days), to those who shall remain nameless, and to you — of course! — for visiting here today, no matter what your name.

Categories: photojournalism, quiz, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 563: Intuition

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today, so I figured I would follow my intuition.

Recently, I took a mid-day break from my work (as a group psychotherapist at a Boston medical center). The weather was muggy and warm, but I decided to go outside to get lunch.  As usual, I let my intuition guide my way.

IMG_6975 IMG_6976  IMG_6977

IMG_6978 IMG_6980



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Later in the day, a therapy group followed its intuition to focus on self-love (instead of self-hatred). I suggested imagining an on-and-off switch, somewhere inside, that people could use.  The group suggested that my metaphor was too all-or-nothing, and thought a different kind of lighting control would be better.

IMG_7015 *

I love when others have better intuition than I do.

Right now, my intuition is telling me that somebody needs food.


What does your intuition tell you?

Thanks to all who have intuition, alone and in groups. And thanks to you — of course! — for intuiting ** your way here, today.

* The way I intuitively draw might be confusing. This might help:


(photo found here)

** My intuition told me that “intuiting” might not be a real word. Spell check disagrees.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 562: What Helps (continued)

In my office, I have lots of things on the walls, including my white board:

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… art work:

IMG_2496 IMG_2497 photo (58)


… a clock:



… and stickies of various sizes:

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That last poster-sized stickie is a list of What Helps (shown in a year-old photograph). People who do group therapy in my office have been adding to that poster for a long time.  As you can see, there wasn’t a lot of room for more additions (although we’ve been doing our best to squeeze things in).

A few days ago, I took someone’s advice and added a new poster, right next to that one, titled “What Helps (continued).” Since then, that poster remained empty of new entries.

It can be daunting to add new words to something blank, don’t you think?

Yesterday, there was a break-through:


There’s a lot more room for new entries.  Are there any you would like to add to that list?

Thanks to all those who do their best naming actions, thoughts, feeling, quotes, etc. that help them. And thanks to you — of course! — for continuing here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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