Day 1338: She who hesitates is ____

How would you fill in the blank in today’s title?

She who hesitates is:

  • lost?
  • wise?
  • scared?
  • uncertain?
  • thoughtful?
  • dumb?
  • human?

Do not hesitate to choose a different ending for the sentence “She who hesitates is ____,” based on your own experience with hesitation.

I chose that title today for three reasons. I shall not hesitate to share those reasons with you, here and now.

Reason #1. Last night, despite my hesitation to worry about anything (since worry doesn’t do any good), I was worrying that I might have hesitated too long to have my leaky heart valve replaced at the Mayo Clinic next month.  Cardiologists have not hesitated to tell me that if  I hesitate too long and my heart loses too much  function and resiliency, the heart valve replacement will not help. And I hesitate to admit that I believe that my heart has deteriorated in function over the last few months.

Whenever I have concerns about my heart, I do not hesitate to contact my long-time and trusted cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem.  Here’s the email I did not hesitate to write  him before I started writing this post:

Hi Deeb,

I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. I thought I would give you a preview of what I’ll be bringing in to the meeting.
My main topic is going to be my concern that I might have waited too long for the valve surgery. This concern is based on the fact that I just have not been feeling or looking as well lately and particularly that I need the Lasix every once in a while, so I’m obviously having more issues with heart failure.  I’m assuming my BNP will be higher if we test it tomorrow.  I’m also wondering whether I should inform Dr. Warnes about these developments.
I keep thinking about the moment during my consultation with Dr. Warnes in May, when she told me I needed to get a mechanical valve, NOW.  When I asked for an extension until September so I could spend time with my son in Edinburgh before he started college, she paused and thought and said that was okay.  I wonder now whether it was.  I guess I’ll find out, soon enough.
As usual, it helps me to get my thoughts down.  I am sure we’ll have an interesting discussion of this and other topics tomorrow.
All the best,
Ann

Reason #2. Today’s title gives me the opportunity to share a joke I made up several decades ago, which I did not hesitate to deliver to live audiences during my two open-mic stand-up comedy appearances in the 1980s:

I’m sure you’ve all heard of “Light” beer, which has less calories and alcohol than regular beer.  I’ve invented a new product —  “Fat Beer.”  It has four times the calories and alcohol content as regular beer.  I’ve even got a marketing slogan for it: “He who has a taste is sloshed.”

Reason #3. As usual, I shall not hesitate to use whatever  blog post title I’ve chosen as an excuse to share whatever photos I did not hesitate to take the day before.

Let’s not hesitate to look at those five photos, shall we?

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Because I never hesitate to share a tune by Stephen Sondheim, here‘s his brilliant exploration of hesitation in “Now, Later, Soon” from A Little Night Music:

 

Any hesitation about leaving a comment?

In closing,  I shall not hesitate to thank all who helped me create today’s post and you — of course! — for not hesitating to visit this blog, today.

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

Day 1337: Guess What?

Guess what?  I love to guess!  Do you?

Guess what I saw yesterday and forgot to include in this post when I published it an hour ago?

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Guess what this cat is lying on?

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A dog bed!

Guess what new kind of fruit I saw for the first time yesterday?

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A mini apple!

Guess what would be a good next line?

  1. “How do you like them apples?”
  2. “Does a mini apple a day keep only  short doctors away?”
  3. “Do mini apples come from Minneapolis?”
  4. [your guessed line here]

Guess what bread you use to make an American cheese sandwich?

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Guess what is the inside to this greeting card?

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Guess what?  I will reveal the answer to that question when I get a guess about the inside of that greeting card from one of you!

Guess what I was doing yesterday evening?

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You might not have guessed it from those photos, but I was food shopping yesterday evening with my boyfriend Michael at a new-to-us supermarket.

Guess what supermarket it was?

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Guess what I was thinking as I took these few photos after food shopping?

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Guess what I’m doing today?

I’m going back to work after a two-week vacation in Edinburgh with my son and I’m probably making plane reservations to Minneapolis for my September 21 heart surgery.

Guess what I’m worried about, right now?

I’m letting go of all worries.  Guess what you could do with worries, too?

Guess what music I’m going to include here?

Guess what I’ll do if you leave a comment below?

Guess what I like to express at the end of all of  my  daily blog posts?

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Categories: personal growth, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1336: Stress Relief

Because I’m a psychotherapist,  I know about  stress relief. And because I’m a person alive in the year 2016, I sometimes  need stress relief.

Where do you find stress relief?

In a can?

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In the refrigerator?

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In books?

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In travel?

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In other creatures?

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In things you can buy?

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In boo boo kisses?

Tomorrow, I’m going back to work in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  In two weeks, my only child is leaving for a five-year mathematics program in Edinburgh, Scotland.  In three weeks, I’ll be in Minnesota preparing for my first open heart surgery.

I don’t know about you, but I could probably use some stress relief.

Here’s the first thing I found on YouTube for “stress relief.”

 

Is it possible that leaving a comment for this post might provide stress relief for somebody?

I know that gratitude is great for stress relief, so thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for any stress relief you find or bring, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Day 1335: Haste ye back

As my son Aaron and I were leaving Scotland yesterday, I saw this sign:

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Aaron will be hasting himself back to Scotland in two weeks to attend the University of Edinburgh for a five-year bachelors/masters program in mathematics, assuming his student visa is hasted back to him soon enough.

We hasted ourselves back to Boston, Massachusetts, USA last night, after a hasty stop-over at the Dublin airport.

Haste ye back to looking at my other hastily snapped photos from yesterday:

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I shall now haste me back to YouTube, to find some music for this post.

 

Next month, I’ll be hasting me back to a hospital for some open heart surgery on September 21.  I’ll be hasting me back to this daily blog after that, as soon as I can.

Haste ye back to this conversation I had recently with an EMDR therapist named George:

Me:  After my valve-replacement surgery, I’ll  have to keep avoiding sodium AND I’ll need to closely monitor the greens I eat. I wonder what my diet will be?

George:  Donuts.

Haste ye back to the comments sections of this post and I’ll haste me back to respond in kind.

Hasty thanks to all who helped me create today’s haste-ye-back post and to you — of course!  — no matter how quickly and where you are going today.

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

Day 1334: The world is your oyster

Yesterday, the world was my oyster, again, at the Festival Fringe in precious-as-pearls Edinburgh, Scotland.

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I received that wrist band informing me that the world is my oyster from some oysters, who should know.

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The oyster to the far left is Marc Mackinnon, a wonderful and supremely talented man  we met at last year’s Fringe.  The world is Marc’s oyster as he moves from Scotland to London next Monday to attend a postgraduate acting program.

Here are more pearls from our last full day at the 2016 Festival Fringe:

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Even though those last few pearls seem to be imploring us to stay in Edinburgh, my precious and only son Aaron and  I need to get on a plane in a few hours to return to the oysters in Boston, Massachusetts.  I’m happy-and-proud as a clam that Aaron will be returning here in a few short weeks to start attending the University of Edinburgh, where I’m certain the world will be his oyster for the next five years.

Here‘s some precious music and images from beautiful-as-pearls Scotland:

Any pearls of wisdom you share in a comment will be very precious to me.

Pearly thanks to all  who helped me create this world-is-your-oyster post and to you — of course! — no matter where in the world you are.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1333: Exposed

How do you feel when you’re exposed?

When I’m exposed, sometimes I feel proud.  Sometimes I feel shame.

I want to expose these things, here and now:

  • the internet connection in the hotel  room where my son Aaron and I are staying for our final day at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is TERRIBLE,
  • I am still anxious about the pin-point timing needed for Aaron to get his student visa in time to begin Edinburgh University on time, next month,
  • this morning we are seeing Marc Mackinnon — a ginger/redhead,  like my son, whom we met at last year’s Fringe — in a play called Mermalade,
  • I won’t have time to include as much in today’s post as I would like,
  • last night we saw an incredible show called Exposé, where Colin Cloud exposed unbelievable and sometimes embarrassing things about many audience members,
  • earlier in the day we saw a fabulous improvised musical — thanks to Greg and the other members of  Impromptunes — with the title “Zeus Takes a Holiday,” which was suggested by an audience member,
  • on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, we ran into James Wilson-Taylor, whose Fringe show Ginger is the New Black we had seen earlier in the week, and
  • we  also saw a hilarious sketch comedy show Beasts Present Mr. Edinburgh, where one of the comedians/contestants  exposed his bum. 

Have I exposed too much?

I shall now expose some photos I took yesterday, to further expose the wonderfulness of Edinburgh and the Festival Fringe.

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If you want to expose those photos further (including the one we think looks like a George Seurat painting), click on any of them to enlarge.

Feel free to expose yourself in a comment below.

I shall now expose my thanks to all who helped me create this exposed post and to you — of course! — for whatever you choose to expose, today.

 

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

Day 1332: No judgement here!

With a blog named The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally,  I tend to notice signs of non-judgment.

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No judgement here about the spelling of “judgment”; dictionaries judge that either spelling  is okay.

I’ve been working on “no judgement” here in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland.  I judge that “no judgment”  is very difficult, especially regarding myself. Judging myself (and expecting others to judge me) is second nature and very difficult to give up.  No judgement here about that;  I, a psychotherapist,  see excessive self-judgement in others all the time.

In my judgement, we self-judging people would feel much better if we practiced “no judgement” here, there, and everywhere.

Any judgement about this post so far? If  there is, no judgement here about that.  Human beings are natural judgers.  We just need to judge ourselves and others more kindly.

Any judgement here regarding my other photos from yesterday?

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No judgement here about cat cafés:

 

Thinking of leaving judgement in a comment?  No judgement here!

Thanks to all who helped me create this no-judgement-here post and to you — of course! — for being here, now.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1331: Tasks

I love my daily tasks of (1) taking photos for this blog and  (2) creating a new post here on WordPress.

Yesterday morning, I captured this image in Edinburgh, Scotland  …

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… and took this picture shortly before I went to sleep at night:

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Between those two tasks, I

  1. had breakfast with my son Aaron and Vicki, a wonderful Scottish woman who has the daily task of living with the same kind of unusual heart  I have (and who appeared in my blog a year ago),
  2. was relieved, thanks to Vicki, of any tasking worries about (a) my son starting University in Edinburgh next month and (b) my having open heart surgery soon after that,
  3. swapped horror stories with Vicki about doctors and other medical people we’ve both encountered  who have  failed miserably in their basic tasks of providing expertise and empathy,
  4. met with somebody  at the University of Edinburgh about all the tasks we need to accomplish when we return home to the USA in order for  Aaron to get his student visa in time to start his freshman student tasks on September 11, and
  5. enjoyed the continuation of our current task of attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

You now have the task of looking at my other photos from yesterday.

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Was there anything you especially enjoyed about that task? Anything you found particularly tasking (or taxing)?   If you have questions or comments about any of those photos, I will fulfill my daily task of answering them before I blog again tomorrow morning.

Before you get on with your own daily tasks, I shall now give you an additional task: My son Aaron and I were discussing the insignia of University of Edinburgh, seen here in close-up:

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Your task is to identify the top part of that insignia, above the book.  Is it:

  1. A disco ball?
  2. A golf ball?
  3. A flower?
  4. All of the above?
  5. None of the above?

Thanks to all who helped me fulfill the task of creating this post and to you — of course! — for completing your task of reading it.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 1330: Defying convention

Greetings from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which  has been defying convention for sixty-nine years.

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I often follow certain conventions in my blog posts, including choosing a title that relates to a photo I’ve taken the day before.  Obviously, I am NOT defying that convention today. However, I’d like to think I’ve been defying convention for almost as long as the Edinburgh Fringe (five and a half years shorter, if I do the maths).

Here are some conventions I defy:

  • Fearing people who are “different” from me.
  • Assumptions about how long people born with abnormal hearts (like me) are supposed to live.
  • Slowing down as  I get older.
  • Judging myself or others.

What conventions do you defy?

Do you see any conventions defied in my other photos from yesterday?

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I am unfamiliar with the conventions of shows like The Lady Boys of Bangkok, so I don’t know if they were defying any conventions last night by having people dressed like cats on stage or by using this song as the finale:

 

If you don’t usually leave a comment, please defy that convention today.  If sharing your thoughts here is conventional for you, I suggest you do not defy that convention today.

Many thanks to all who helped me create this defying convention post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1329: Edinburgh dreams

When one is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it’s dreamily natural to dream, to think about dreams, and to wonder if you’re dreaming.

Yesterday, I almost missed this dreamy sign because I was daydreaming in the Edinburgh mist and rain:

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The people who dreamed up that sign didn’t dream of letting us know who they are, what their dream is and why we’re not in it. What do you suppose is the dream behind that Edinburgh sign?

Personally, I have a dream of peace, love, growth, laughter, music, health, and mutual respect, and you’re all in it.

Here are other dreamy Edinburgh sights I didn’t dream up, from yesterday:

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I had a  dreamy reason for taking this particular photo …

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… of Sara Hirsch and Ben Fagan, who shared their dreams of childhood, adulthood, and success with us. I took that dreamy photo because of the dreamy song that was playing, which is a dreamy memory for one of my readers, Derrick J. Knight, who probably never dreamed I’d be mentioning him today.

This is for you, Derrick.

 

What do you find dreamiest about this post?  I can only dream that Jane Austen would find it too short.

Dreamy thanks to Edinburgh, to the St Andrews Revue for the great sketch comedy show Loop, to Sara Hirsch and Ben Fagan, to everyone else who helped me create this post, and to you — of course! — no matter what your dreams, here and now.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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