Day 3264: The current state of the world

Yesterday, when I was pondering the current state of the world, I asked this question on Twitter:

Many of the made-up words for the current state of the world evoked the f-syllable we use when we are in an angry and cursing state, although these didn’t:

Do you see the current state of the world in any of my images for today?

When I search YouTube for “the current state of the world,” I find this:

… which is well-stated.

Here is the animated short “Our Current State of the World” by Steve Cutts:

Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays wrote many tunes stating “world” in the title, including this one:

What are your thoughts and feelings about the current state of the world? You can state them in a comment, below.

Thanks to all who improve the current state of the world, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, life in the USA, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 3263: What should I watch?

Last night, I asked hundreds of people on Twitter, who have never met me, what I should watch.

Several people suggested that I watch other musical documentaries and other productions related to the Beatles. The suggestions included some of my favorite movies including A Hard Day’s Night, Help, This is Spinal Tap, and Stop Making Sense.

I loved this suggestion about what I should watch …

… and I loved this suggestion, too.

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Today’s images include other things I’ve been watching.

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Here’s “Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon.

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I watch for expressions of gratitude, including these for YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 3262: Why do we care about celebrities?

This morning, I asked Google the question, “Why do we care about celebrities?” I found several online answers as I read this article and this one, too. As I expected, the articles cited empathy, the need to connect, and an antidote to loneliness. Both mentioned positive and negative aspects of caring about celebrities.

Personally, I’ve noticed my caring about celebrities ever since I cried uncontrollably at my school locker when Bobby Kennedy was shot in 1968. In retrospect, I think that sobbing was

  • a collective response to all the assassinations in the 60’s,
  • empathy for his children (I remember that being my main thought at the time), and
  • a “safer” and more distanced way to feel my grief about some personal losses, including my many hospitalizations, operations, and unexamined traumas due to my heart problems.

Since then, I have deeply cared about other celebrities, including Gene Kelly, the Beatles, Davy Jones, Mel Brooks, Pat Metheny, Bonnie Raitt, Jackie Chan, Prince, Clay Aiken, Stephen Sondheim, and many more. I have theories about why I’ve cared about each one of those people, who are all musical, funny and/or underdogs and who somehow speak to something in me. For example, I “figured out” my obsession with Jackie Chan — who often creatively uses common props at hand as he fights off many people with his martial arts and acrobatic skills — when I realized that I had an image of myself grabbing an I.V. pole when I was a kid in the hospital and fighting off people there to escape from the pain I experienced. Also, more simply, Gene Kelly looks like my my father, whom I miss every day. And Clay Aiken, who was an underdog on American Idol, has a clear, soaring tenor voice, as did my dad.

I am also thinking about this question because my son Aaron, my husband Michael, and I finished watching “The Beatles: Get Back” last night, and I was noticing (1) how the Beatles are so familiar to me that they feel like friends or family and (2) I couldn’t look at John Lennon without thoughts and feelings about his murder in 1980.

Do you see caring about celebrities in my images for today?

Do you care about St. Nicholas and other celebrities?

Here’s John Lennon and “Imagine.”

I am grateful for all those — celebrities and otherwise — whom I’ve cared about, including YOU.

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

Day 3261: Great courage

It takes great courage to face another challenging day and to show up here, now.

Do you see great courage in my images for today?

“International Ninja Day” reminds me of the great courage shown in the Ninja Cat video:

I guess great courage includes knowing when to run away!

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “great courage.”

If you leave a comment, below, I appreciate your great courage in doing so.

Thanks to my blogging friend beth for the awesome holiday card and to all who show great courage during difficult times, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 3260: What can you appreciate in this moment?

Last night, when I was appreciating some moments of rest and reflection, I posted this question on Twitter:

In this moment, I can appreciate:

  • Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea, which is delicious and has helpful sayings attached to its teabags,
  • the beginning of another precious day,
  • all the people and cats I love,
  • my fulfilling work as a group therapist,
  • my health,
  • my home near a Boston bay, and
  • all the images I want to share with you today.

In this moment, I can appreciate socks …

… and the thought of a cookie for later.

I can appreciate the many moments in the TV show The Beatles: Get Back, which I’ve been watching with my very much appreciated son Aaron and husband Michael. In this moment, I can appreciate that this song is running through my head:

In this moment, I can appreciate the music and the interesting group dynamics shown in that short clip from the 8-hour-long Get Back.

What can you appreciate in this moment? I can definitely appreciate YOU.

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

Day 3259: What’s a story you tell about yourself?

Yesterday, between two therapy groups where people tell stories about themselves, I asked this question on Twitter:

Some people on Twitter pointed out that there were many ways to answer that question — is the story the truth or a lie? Is it a story you tell to yourself or to others? My story about the questions I ask is this: there is no right or wrong way to answer any of them. I deliberately made the question ambiguous, so people could answer as they chose.

Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about the old, habitual stories we tell about ourselves and how those affect us. Many people tell negative, limiting, and outmoded stories about themselves. For example, I tell a story about myself making a mistake that might markedly harm myself and others, even though that has rarely happened in my life. This fear-filled story can make me hesitant to act and can cause me to agonize over something I might have done or will do “wrong.”

I can also get confused by the conflicting stories others tell. For example, which story should I believe: “Look before you leap!” or “He who hesitates is lost!”

What’s a story that today’s images tell?

Now I’m thinking about (1) stories that use strong language, (2) stories people tell to bartenders and (3) the unforgettable stories that movies tell us.

Also, the story I’m telling about the potato latkes Michael made yesterday …

… is that they are the best I’ve ever had.

This is what I find on YouTube when I search for “what’s a story you tell about yourself?”

I really appreciate the stories Dr. Tracey Marks is telling in that video.

What’s a story you tell about yourself?

Every story I tell here ends with gratitude for YOU.

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

Day 3258: What’s a great gift for you?

Yesterday, when I was thinking of great gifts I’ve been given, I posted this on Twitter:

The answers I’m getting to that question are great gifts for me.

Do you see any great gifts in my other images for today?

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The greatly gifted Stephen Sondheim left great gifts for me and so many others. Here are Broadway stars sharing their gifts this past Sunday to sing Sondheim’s “Sunday” in Times Square.

This “Remembering Stephen Sondheim” piece from the New York Times is a great gift for me.

What’s a great gift for you?

I hope you accept my gift of gratitude for all the gifts you bring, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 3257: Relationships

As I look at my photos and the news for today, I am thinking about relationships.

It occurs to me, here and now, that people can have relationships with

  • other people,
  • animals,
  • themselves,
  • food,
  • machines, including their cars, and
  • guns.

This article about the latest deadly school shooting in the USA includes this quote from Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer: “This is a uniquely American problem that we need to address.”

The late, great Stephen Sondheim, who wrote profound lyrics and music about so many types of relationships, created this masterpiece, from Assassins, about relationships with guns:

I depend on my healthy relationships to help me make meaning of the disturbing relationships in the world. What are your thoughts and feelings about the relationships described in today’s blog?

Every day, I am grateful for all my sustaining relationships with others, including YOU.

Categories: life in the USA, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3256: How do you make decisions?

As someone who can struggle making decisions, I am very curious about how others make decisions.

One of the reasons I struggle with decisions is that I’m a high Perceiver according to the Myers-Briggs test, which means I feel more comfortable collecting additional data rather than making a decision.

So I’d like to collect some data, here and now. How do you make decisions when

  • you are definitely out of your depth?
  • you get conflicting data from experts?
  • there can be considerable costs (monetary or otherwise) if you make a wrong decision?
  • you secretly wish the problem would just go away magically?
  • you tend to catastrophize worst case scenarios?
  • you’re afraid of getting trapped on a path you can’t escape?
  • you distrust your ability to figure out who and what to trust?
  • you wonder about people’s motives?
  • there is so much miscommunication and misunderstanding among humans, that it’s difficult to get to the “truth”?
  • you don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings or otherwise cause them trouble?
  • you have trouble asking for help?
  • different people give you very different advice?
  • you would much rather be focusing on situations within your comfort zone?
  • you’re not psychic and can’t predict the future?
  • you feel like you don’t belong in the role of decision maker?

Right now, I’m having trouble making decisions about what to discuss in this blog post! Should I write about my struggles with decisions regarding getting the repair work done on our home? Should I share my problems deciding about next steps related to Joan the cat’s recurring ear infections? Should I discuss the kashmillion decisions I make every day, with varying levels of comfort?

Well, I’m making the decision to share these images.

How do you make decisions about which of those National Days to consider today?

How do you make decisions about which of these videos (which I found by searching YouTube for “how do you make decisions?”) to watch?

How do you make decisions about what thoughts and feelings to express, here and elsewhere?

I have no trouble making decisions about expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who made the decision to visit this blog today, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 3255: What’s a good next step for you?

Last night before I went to bed, a good next step for me was to ask this question on Twitter:

A good next step for some was to answer my question.

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A good next step for me is to share these images in today’s blog:

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “a good next step”:

A good next step is for me to share how that video reminds me of an Opening the Heart retreat when we all danced blindfolded and staff made sure we didn’t bump into each other. That was a good next step for me, decades ago, to experience joy of movement without self-consciousness.

A good next step for me, here and now, is to get ready for my one day each week of in-person work at the hospital.

What’s a good next step for you?

A good next step is gratitude, so thanks to all who took the step of visiting this blog, including YOU!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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