Day 1217: It’s May!

May I share this song about May, from the musical Camelot?

May I also share that I used to sing and dance to the music of  Camelot alone in my basement during the early 1960s and then got to do that on stage in the 1970s?

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May I point out that I’m to the right of the Maypole and the sheepdog?

May I share LOTS of photos from yesterday’s Sheep Shearing Festival?

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May I apologize for how long it took to load and/or look at all those photos?

May I say how much fun I always have at the Sheep Shearing Festival? May I also say that missing it last year (because of cardiac-related surgery) and the year before (because of pneumonia) made me appreciate it, even more?

May I show you two more photos, taken on this 1st day of May?

 

May I sheepishly ask you to leave a comment?

Many May thanks to all who helped me create this May Day post and to you — of course! — for visiting as you may.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 1216: So what if …?

One of the stress-relieving “antidotes” I give people in therapy is this:

The So What? Technique. Consider that an anxiety-producing possibility (even the worst case scenario) might not be as bad as you fear. For example, “So what if this one person doesn’t like me? Not everybody is going to like me.” or “So what if I lose my cell phone? It’ll be an incredible hassle, but I’ll be able to deal with it.”

So what if …

  1. I’ve already blogged about this technique before, over a thousand days ago?
  2. I confuse the link icon with the quote icon on WordPress all the time?
  3. I considered many different topics for today’s post before I settled on this one and one of those other topics might have made a “better” blog post?
  4. “Better” and “worse” are relative and subjective?
  5. My patients have to do without me for one week while I’m on vacation?
  6. We can’t  please everybody all the time?
  7. Nobody’s perfect?
  8. It’s difficult to balance other people’s needs with our own needs?
  9. I dropped my iPhone this week and the glass is now a little cracked?
  10. Somebody tried to log into my Facebook account from India yesterday?
  11. I probably won’t get a call back when I audition for “The Voice” for the second time, in June?
  12. I might make some mistakes when I sing at an Open Mic next Friday?
  13. My son is going far away from home to the University of Edinburgh this year?
  14. Something always needs repairing and around here, it’s usually one of the two toilets?
  15. I can’t say “yes” to every social invitation?
  16. People are inevitably going to hurt other people’s feelings, some times?
  17. Not everybody is going to feel the same way about us that we feel about them?
  18. The flowering trees in the Boston area might not be as spectacular this spring, because of the April snow?
  19. One of our cats sticks to me like glue and the other one runs away from me?
  20. My cardiologist says I can’t ride mopeds or scooters any more?
  21. My son can’t attend the annual Sheepshearing Festival in Waltham, Massachusetts today with me and my boyfriend because he’s doing a run-through of another play he wrote with his friend Cameron?
  22. This list is so long that people might be skimming it, at this point?
  23. I keep adding to this list even after I published this post?
  24. These are the only pictures I have to share with you today?

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So what if you can’t choose a favorite picture there?

So what if you don’t like this tune, which I LOVE?

So what if I never locate a copy of the Berklee College of Music recruitment video I helped create in the 1990s, which used that tune in the opening?

So what if people don’t leave a lot of comments about this post?

So what if I need to write another blog post approximately  24 hours after I publish this one? I love doing this, every day. Thank you for being a part of it, here and now.

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1215: Stress

Even though I stress stress as an important topic in my work and in this blog, I’ve only stressed the word stress in three previous post titles:

Day 508:  Stress, anybody?

Day 858:  A dozen ways to melt away your stress

Day 1067:  Anxiety, depression, and stress

Now, I’d like to stress the importance of a telephone exchange I had with my boyfriend Michael, last night, at the end of a stressful day at work:

Me: Michael,  I always get more stressed at work right before I’m taking time off, right?

Michael: Oh, I can’t tell the difference, baby.

I then released some stress by laughing out loud at the thought that even though it’s soooooo obvious to me when I’m feeling more stress, it might not be obvious to others, even those who know me very well.

Laughter is good for stress.

I also released some stress by laughing out loud  earlier this week, when a beloved friend — who also stresses a lot but doesn’t show it — stressed that her husband likes to liken her to a duck: calm and serene above the surface of the water while paddling rapidly, unseen,  below.

Let’s see, what else do I want to stress about stress, in this stressful post?

Are any of my pictures from yesterday related to stress?

 

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One thing I want to stress about those photos above: I found the person who owns the yellow moped that looks EXACTLY like the one I owned and loved for decades before giving it away when I moved in 2011.  I’m afraid I may have stressed out the owner of that moped, yesterday morning:

(In a new Greek restaurant, near where the moped is always parked)

Me: Hi! I’m looking for the owner of the yellow moped outside.

Guy who works at Greek restaurant: That’s me. Why?  Is there a PROBLEM?

Note that I’m stressing the word “problem” in that exchange.  Why?  Because people tend to stress the importance of problems, and that causes stress.

After talking to the moped owner for a few minutes, I found out there is no way to determine whether that yellow moped and my moped are one and the same.  How stressed am I about that?  Not at all.

I don’t want to stress you out, but I cannot stress how much I love getting comments here. However, as I wrote in a therapy group last night, “It takes bravery to share. You need to feel safe enough to share. It’s okay to share or not share. You decide.”

I  am now deciding to share this stress-relieving music by Stevie Wonder  on my last work day before a week’s vacation.

In this stressful life, I like to stress gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this post. And I’d especially like to stress my gratitude to you for visiting this blog today.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, group psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1214: Relationship Managers

What is a relationship manager?

I think we are all relationship managers.  That is, we all manage different relationships throughout our lives.

In what ways are you a relationship manager?

One of the most important relationships I manage is that with my 18-year-old son, Aaron, who will be managing new relationships  at University of Edinburgh this fall.

Yesterday, Aaron and I met with somebody who is officially a relationship manager.

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Jose, who works for our local bank,  managed to improve Aaron’s relationship with money by  managing to approve him for a credit card.  Aaron and I told Jose we really appreciated the way he managed our financial relationships.

After we managed our new relationship with Jose, Aaron wanted to manage his relationship to some lines from a  Shakespeare play he’s appearing in soon, so we rehearsed a scene where Prince Hal is trying to manage his relationship with his father, King Henry IV. Aaron managed to memorize this line about  Prince Hal managing two different relationships:

I will redeem all this on Percy’s head,
And, in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you that I am your son..

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Aaron, my bold son,  is glorious at managing lines and also his relationship with his mother.

I shall now manage my relationship with my readers by sharing all the other photos I managed to take yesterday.  Do any of them relate to relationship managers or management?

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As a psychotherapist, I see relationship managers and relationship management everywhere, all the time. As a blogger this morning, I almost managed to choose two different titles from those relationship-manager pictures, above.

I wonder how I would have managed my relationship with this blog if I had chosen either of these alternate titles for today’s post:

Day 1214: Our Humble Beginnings

Day 1214: Muster Point

I actually managed my relationship with that second title by writing this introduction before I managed to choose today’s topic:

Do any of the people mustering here, at this point, know what a muster point is?

A muster point is a pre-determined spot that everyone is aware of.

Will you manage your relationship with me by managing a comment in the muster point below this post?

My final blogging relationship management, for now, is to thank all who helped me create  this  post and you — of course! — for all the relationship managing and mustering you’re doing, today.

 

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1213: Intent

Yesterday, my intent was to write about “Purpose.”

Today, my purpose is to write about “Intent.”

Where did this purposeful intent come from? From a discussion, yesterday, in a therapy session.

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It was my intent to  suggest, there, that people ask that intentional question when somebody has said something confusing, confounding, or hurtful.

Here are all the other photos I took yesterday, with intent.

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Can you guess my intent in taking any of those photos?  I hope the intent of this post tells you that you can always intentionally ask.

What music do I intend to include here?

I am intentionally inspired by my own photos to include this

… and this:

Is it your intent to leave a comment today?

It is my intent to thank all who helped me create this post and you — of course! — no matter what your intent for visiting here and now.

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

Day 1212: Purpose

On purpose, I took this photo yesterday:

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What are your first associations with the word “Purpose”?

When I take photos, it’s more intuitive than purposeful. But I purposely have faith that each of the photos will serve a purpose in this blog.

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One of my co-workers sent me those, on purpose, through the office mail. I think her purpose was to amuse me and to connect with our mutual love of cats and experience of the local weather.

 

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I purposefully took that picture of my co-worker Megan’s white board.  Megan wrote that with the purpose of helping people improve their self-care.

I took those two photos with the purpose of documenting that THERE WERE NO MATZO BALLS in the hospital’s Matzo Ball soup when Megan and I went to lunch.

 

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I purposely took that photo of a Mongolian Lamb Stool because:

  1. I’d never seen anything like that before,
  2. We’re going to the Sheep Festival this Saturday,
  3. I believed some of my readers might like it, and
  4. I thought it was funny.

On purpose, I just linked that last line to an old blog post, because that finally answers a question I posed two years ago, which nobody here ever guessed. Sometimes it takes a while to fulfill a purpose.

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My purpose in taking that photo was that I believe we’re here to help each other, for free.

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My purpose in taking and sharing that photo is that I like to  celebrate communities everywhere.

My purpose in taking those photos is to share some things I love seeing these days.

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My purpose in taking that last photo of the day was to show that

  • things can happen — on purpose or not — to slow us down or even stop us for a while and
  • with purpose, we can overcome obstacles, especially with help from others.

I hope this post isn’t falling flat, because that is neither my intent nor my purpose.

On purpose, I now show this photo again

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to purposefully introduce some music I was singing yesterday:

I’ve been including music by Prince in this blog lately, on purpose.

While it’s not my purpose to write this blog to elicit comments, I hope you express yourself purposefully in the comment section, below.

Purposeful thank to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what your purpose is for joining me here and now.

 

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1211: The Sweet Side

What is the sweet side?

Where is the sweet side?

Last night, the sweet side was

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in my refrigerator and on the other side of this:

Now that I’m sweetly on the other side of those pictures, my sweet thoughts are that my sweet side might also include

  • hope,
  • confidence,
  • clarity,
  • awareness,
  • kindness, and
  • self-care.

Are there any sweet sides to the other photos I took yesterday?

Here’s a sweet video about sweet Prince performing  at  the Super Bowl XLI halftime show.

Please show your sweet side by leaving a comment below.

Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s sweet-side post and to you, sweetly, for visiting, here and now.


When I was on the sweet side of publishing this post, I found this sweet video of sweet Prince on the before side of his XLI Super Bowl performance:

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1210: Nature vs. nurture

It is my nature to nurture understanding and clarity, so I shall now use the nurturing capabilities of the internet to explain “nature vs. nurture.”

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One of the oldest arguments in the history of psychology is the Nature vs Nurture debate. Each of these sides have good points that it’s really hard to decide whether a person’s development is predisposed in his DNA, or a majority of it is influenced by this life experiences and his environment.
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As nature shows its beauty in Boston this weekend, I am nurturing many thoughts about nature vs nurture, today, because yesterday …
  • I saw the movie Zooptopia
  • I went to a large Passover seder where people talked about their passions, their pasts, and how nurturing elements in their lives have allowed them to overcome unhelpful aspects of their natures.
  • My boyfriend Michael and I had a conversation where he said, “I seem to be genetically disposed to not make money” and I said “I seem to be genetically disposed to not become famous.”

It seems natural, at this point,  to express my hope that this post is nurturing you to comment about any thoughts, feeling, or experiences you might have about nature vs. nurture.

Nurturing readers probably know  it’s my nature to take photos intuitively and then share them in this daily blog.

 

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If your nature is to ask questions about anything in this post, my nature is to nurture that natural curiosity.

Because my nature loves the natural beauty of spring, I shall nurture that love of nature by appreciating the beautiful weather  outside today.

Before I do, here‘s a nurturing, natural musical interpretation of the nature of New England spring, by the late Dan Gibson:

 

Natural and nurturing thanks to all who helped me create this post and — naturally! — special thanks to you for visiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 1209: Unexpected

I just had this unexpected exchange with my boyfriend Michael:

Me: Have there  been any other unexpected deaths, Michael?

Michael:  No, Ann. It looks like everybody on the planet survived the night.

Me:  That can’t be true.

Michael: Almost.

Everybody on this planet surviving any night is certainly unexpected.

I think my question this morning to Michael probably wasn’t unexpected by him, because we  spent some time last night talking, processing, and trying to make meaning of the unexpected deaths  of Prince and Patton Oswalt’s wife, Michelle McNamara.

Because of the number of unexpected celebrity deaths since January 1, people are already describing 2016 as a particularly horrible year. I guess that’s not unexpected.

I wonder if the content of this post, so far, is unexpected.  People celebrating Passover might be expecting some mention about that.

Because I write these blog posts so spontaneously, it’s unexpected where any of them will begin and end up.

I suppose it’s not unexpected that I would  now share some photos I took yesterday.  I expect some of them might fit the  unexpected topic of this post. If none of them do, that would be unexpected and unprecedented.

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Those last two unexpected items are:

  1. the orange cup that my son Aaron has used at my cousin Lani’s Passover Seder for many years and
  2. an unexpected gefilte fish.

I suppose some music isn’t unexpected here, either.  I expect that any Prince music I include might unexpectedly disappear from this blog in the future.  However, it would be unexpected if nobody appreciated this performance, for now:

 

Any comment from you, whether unexpected or expected, would be most appreciated.

I shall end, now, with expected and sincere gratitude from me to you for visiting here,  before I  go out and party like it’s 2016.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1208: This is what it sounds like

This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

This is what it sounds like when humans cry.

That’s weak!

Grow up!

Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.

Don’t be a baby.

Man up!

Get over it.

This is what it sounds (and looks) like when an amazing musical artist dies.

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This is what it sounds like when a surviving blogger expresses gratitude for all she has.

 

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

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