Day 2373: Maintaining Positive Mental Health

In yesterday’s mostly positive post, I shared this information about maintaining positive mental health:

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Tip 1: Connect with others.

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Tip 2: Be physically active.

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Tip 3: Get professional help if needed (not pictured, but click on the link if needed).

Tip 4: Celebrate every moment.

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Tip 5: Be aware of the time, so you can savor it without rushing.

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Tip 6: Try not to get overwhelmed by all the data out there.

Tip 7: Observe, just notice.

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Tip 8: Welcome everyone and everything.

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Tip 9: Travel thoughtfully.

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Tip 10: Spend time with people you love.

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Tips 11 and 12: Smile and travel light.

Tip 13: Use any excuse …

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… to share music you love (here and here on YouTube):

Tip 14:  Practice the helpful antidote to the cognitive distortion of mind reading  by reality testing — asking for reactions from people you respect (that’s you, readers!)

Tip 15: Express gratitude, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 2372: Better Speech and Hearing Month

If this is Better Speech and Hearing Month,

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why aren’t we hearing better speeches this month? Instead, we’re hearing speeches, again, about our U.S. President being a “stable genius.”  

Considering the speeches we’re hearing this month, I would prefer stillness. 

Therefore, I am not going to make any speeches this month.  I’m just going to share all the photos I’ve been taking, looking for better stable geniuses around me. I hope these pictures help  you feel better, hear and now.

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I will share this: I’ve been hearing better speeches about my Coping and Healing groups during Better Speech and Hearing Month, which makes it easier to share groups I love.

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How might you celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month?

Personally, I’m looking forward to hearing better speeches (and maybe new comedy monologues) from my son, Aaron, who arrives from Edinburgh today!

Now, let’s hear  “A Very Stable Genius” by Randy Rainbow:

I’m going to be celebrating Lasagna Awareness Month by hearing Randy Rainbow live in Boston.

I look forward to hearing my readers’ speeches in the comments section, below.

It’s better, during any month, to share gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create all of my blog posts during Better Speech and Hearing Month, and — of course! — thanks to YOU,  as always, for hearing me out.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2371: Stillness

Yesterday, in the stillness of the night, I facilitated a Coping and Healing group where we focused on the topic of “stillness.”

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After everybody had shared their thoughts on stillness and we had finished wrap-up with three minutes remaining until the end of the group, I suggested we spend that time in stillness.

Do you see stillness in any of my other new photos?

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During the stillness of the latest software update for my laptop, I started writing this post on my phone.

I am going to break the stillness here with the songs I mentioned in my written thoughts on stillness, shown above.

Fred Parris and The Five Satins recorded that song in the stillness of a Catholic school basement in 1955.

Here are Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel still  performing “Still Crazy After All These Years” in Central Park on September 19, 1981.

What are your thoughts on stillness?

I’m still ending every blog post with gratitude, so please accept the stillness of my thanks for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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After I published this post, I discovered that my only other post about “stillness” was published exactly four years ago, to the day. What are the odds of that?

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2370: Based on a true story

All my blog posts are based on a true story, so it’s true that I love starting today’s blog post with a true image from my true friend Barbara’s truly lovely home.

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Yesterday, Barbara

  • went with me to see guitarist Pat Metheny for Barbara’s first time,
  • had the best fish dish of her entire life,
  • took selfies of herself and her friend of sixty-three years (me),
  • swapped amazing stories with her friend,
  • admired the gorgeous concert venue in Rockport Massachusetts,
  • experienced the wonder of synchronicity,
  • was, as usual, a wonderful friend,
  • enjoyed many adventures, and

these are all true stories!

We have proof that these stories are true, because of all these true photographs:

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Barbara and I both agreed that we truly enjoyed Pat last night especially when he involved more instruments than just one solo guitar. I told her the true story of his development of his own incredible Orchestrion, of which he had a small sample on stage with him last night.  I also told her the true story of how I saw Pat play at the Orpheum theater in Boston a decade ago when his Orchestrion album came out, and how truly amazing that was.  She wished she could have seen more of that, so this is truly for you, Barbara:

 

I’m looking forward to all your true stories, below.

My gratitude is always based on true stories, so thanks to Barbara,  to true friendship, to Pat Metheny, to all who helped me create today’s true post and — truly! — to YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2369: Celebrating

On the two thousandth, three hundredth, and sixty-ninth consecutive day of this blog, I am celebrating the first use of the word “Celebrating” in a post title.

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I am also celebrating

  • the rich availability of relevant imagery all around me,
  • seeing my guitar hero, Pat Metheny, with one of my friendship heroes later today,
  • my son’s imminent arrival from Scotland on a newly-instituted direct flight from Edinburgh to Boston,
  • the popularity of my Coping and Healing therapy groups at work,
  • the resilience of the people I meet every day,
  • my own resilience,
  • the relative absence of carpenter ants in our home-by-the sea, Squanticello,
  • visitors to my blog,
  • Boston accents (deemed the second sexiest in the United States),
  • different ideas,
  • puns (and more “elevated” forms of humor),
  • brains,
  • hearts,
  • guts,
  • gifts,
  • smiles,
  • keepers,
  • art,
  • wishes,
  • self-expression,
  • baseball season,
  • flowering trees and flowers,
  • sunshine,
  • freedom,
  • deliberately and consciously leaving behind guilt, shame, and fear with every step, and
  • whatever else I can find to celebrate, every precious moment.

I am celebrating all those things, and more, by sharing my images from yesterday.

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I am also celebrating a new sidewalk, above,  which will prevent the kind of trips that landed me on the ground with a torn rotator cuff fifteen months ago.

I’m celebrating trees and Pat Metheny with this tune that was playing yesterday while I was walking that new, safer sidewalk to work.

What might you be celebrating, here and now?

As always, this blog celebrates the power of gratitude, every day.

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2368: The little things

Five hundred and seventy-eight little days ago (but who’s counting these little things?), little ol’ me wrote a little blog post,  Day 1790: Thankful for the little things.  Yesterday, I was a little perturbed by many little things when I was writing yesterday’s little post, so  I sent Michael this little email:

Hello my darling,
I would say we have an infestation of ants .  This is based on many of them crawling on me this morning while I was blogging, which is a new experience for me here at Squanticello.  Let us research kind ways to invite them to leave.
Much love,
Ann

When I got home from work, Michael was more than a little freaked out at the not-so-little size of the invaders, which turned out to be carpenter ants. He said, “Usually I don’t think of insects as animals, but these enormous winged things are definitely animals.” Michael spent many little moments yesterday identifying the big ants’ little points of entry and applying spray that is kind to little things like children and pets.

I didn’t take any pictures of those little things, but I invite you to spot the little things in today’s little photos.

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I don’t see any little or large ants as I’m creating this little post, so I’d say that Michael’s efforts paid off, in a big way.

Here‘s “The Little Things You Do Together” from a little musical called Company:

Here are the great lyrics to “The Little Things You Do Together”  by that musical giant, Stephen Sondheim:

It’s the little things you do together
Do together
Do together
That make perfect relationships.
The hobbies you pursue together
Savings you accrue together
Looks you misconstrue together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s the little things you share together
Swear together
Wear together
That make perfect relationships.
The concerts you enjoy together
Neighbors you annoy together
Children you destroy together
That keep marriage intact.

It’s not so hard to be married
When two maneuver as one
It’s not so hard to be married
And Jesus Christ, is it fun.

It’s sharing little winks together
Drinks together
Kinks together
That make marriage a joy.
The bargains that you shop together
Cigarettes you stop together
Clothing that you swap together
That make perfect relationships.

It’s not talk of God and the decade ahead that
Allows you to get through the worst.
It’s “I do,” and, “You don’t,” and, “Nobody said that,”
And, “Who brought the subject up first?”

It’s the little things…
The little things, the little things, the little things

The little ways you try together
Cry together
Lie together
That make perfect relationships.
Becoming a cliche together
Growing old and gray together
Withering away together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s not so hard to be married,
It’s much the simplest of crimes.
It’s not so hard to be married,
I’ve done it three or four times.

It’s people that you hate together
Bait together
Date together
That make marriage a joy.
It’s things like using force together
Shouting till you’re hoarse together
Getting a divorce together
That make perfect relationships.
Uh uh
Kiss kiss
Mmmm mmmmm.

I’m greatly looking forward to all your little comments, below.

Gratitude for the little things helps me deal with all the little and big things every day, so big thanks to those who help me create this little blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Soon after publishing this post, I made up some new little lyrics for that song, more relevant for tall Michael and little me:

It’s battling ants together
Making sure you dance together
Keeping the romance together
That make perfect relationships.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2367: I’m a fan

I’m a fan of:

 

 

What are you a fan of?

I’m also a fan of gratitude, as I hope you know.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2366: Visitors may catch a glance

Yesterday, when I was catching a glance of millions of things, I noticed this sign:

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It was not a summer’s day, but I’m always looking to catch a glance of snowy egrets, as you shall see at a glance.

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I also caught a glance of this t-shirt but not the glance of the owner.

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That t-shirt says  “Lonely Forever Club,” which caused me to catch a glance of other people on their own, at least for the moment.

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While I was taking those photos alone, I caught a glance of an inadvertent change of filter, which I changed back.

Sometimes I feel like a visitor and sometimes I feel like I belong. The difference often depends on how I’m filtering what I’m glancing.

Visitors may catch a glance of ellipses, memorials, flowering trees, numbers, waves, stones, pets, weirdness, whimsey, money, health, kindness, a kite, a robot, resting places, the past, sweets, gardens, groups, a pug imitating Napoleon, connections, and different perspectives.

 

Did you catch that glance of Oscar almost making a break for it, last night? Here’s another glance of that.

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I’m curious what my visitors are catching a glance of, here and now.

Today I’m going to catch a glance of a fund-raiser for group psychotherapy, spanakopita (which Michael is making for the fund-raiser), and the ending of Game of Thrones (even though I’ve just recently started catching glances of that series).

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube for “Game of Thrones at a glance.”

I then caught a glance of Emilia Clarke on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert show, describing catching a glance of death in real life and also the end of Game of Thrones.

Now I’m ready to catch all the glances of this new day.  And I look forward to catching a glance of comments, below.

Finally, here’s a glance of gratitude for all, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2365: Millions of Ideas

Over my long life, I’ve had millions of ideas.

Some of them are private and hidden.

Some of them are inexplicable.

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Some of them are rebellious.

Some of them are blooming.

Some of them seem random but aren’t.

Some of them are beautiful.

Some of them seem repetitive.

What do they all have in common?

Hope is what they all have in common. And I hope you share some of your millions of ideas, below.

I have some ideas about which music to share (here and here on YouTube).

Here’s another idea: music is like a time machine for me.

Millions of thanks to those whose ideas helped inspire today’s post and — of course! — to YOU, for all the ideas you bring, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2364: Where would you go in a time machine?

Yesterday, before I met my dear friend Megan and her wonderful daughter Kathryn for lunch and a stroll at a nearby beach, I was reading many of my past blog posts (including ones with Megan here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here and here).

Whenever I read my past blog posts, it’s like traveling in a time machine.  For example, when I was reading all those posts about Megan, I definitely traveled through time …. all the way back to 2013, my first year of blogging, and beyond!

This week, I’ve spent some time traveling in the time machine of memory to my May vacation week of exactly one year ago, during which somebody made me lunch and then travelled in a time machine to recount years of resentments.  Personally, when I travel in my time machine, I prefer to visit moments of love, not  times of resentment (even though my time machine goes everywhere, to moments of pleasure and pain).

My time with Megan and her daughter, yesterday, was truly a reparative experience, which I hope you can see, as you take the time to travel through my latest photos:

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Throughout time, I’ve been sending photos of pugs to my friend Jenn, because she loves them.  Yesterday, I sent Jenn that photo of Megan’s neighbor’s dog, Ruby.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?  One place I would (and do) revisit is the first time I heard Pat Metheny play, at the Paradise Theater in Boston in 1979.  On that day, I heard and saw Pat and his group play music from the album American Garage and I was never the same again.  Here and now, I’m traveling in my  personal time machine to the FUTURE — next week, when I’ll be seeing Pat live, again, playing solo guitar.

YouTube is a kind of time machine, too, allowing me to travel back to 1979,  the year of American Garage (and, coincidentally, the year that Megan was born!)

Here’s a comment about that video of the Pat Metheny Group circa 1979, in which nctomatoman is time traveling:

nctomatoman
1 year ago
My first Pat Metheny concert was in 1980 at the chapel on the UVermont campus in Burlington. He played this, Unity Village, Phase Dance, San Lorenzo – and an early version of As Fall Witchita, among other songs. Breathtaking – changed my musical life for good and I’ve seen Pat nearly 20 times in concert – Waltham, Philadelphia, Seattle, Raleigh….The Way Up, to me, is the peak of his art. I so hope that the PMG reunites, though the Unity Group is wonderful as well.

The last line of that comment and the word “wonderful” takes me back to yesterday, when I took this photo …

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…. assuming, at the time, that the title for today’s blog post would be “Wonderful.”

So, my wonderful readers, where would you go in a time machine?

Now I’m going to travel through time to recall years of gratitude, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, for all those who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

 

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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