Day 2247: Fun fun fun

Ready for some fun fun fun?

I’m having more fun fun fun than expected today because the strong winds and snow totals forecasted  for this weekend “drastically changed.” Instead of  my waking up to one fun foot of snow (as predicted), there are just a few fun inches:

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I know some people have fun fun fun in the snow, but I’m not one one one of them.

Yesterday, I had fun fun fun taking these fun fotos for my fun readers.

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Here are some of my fun fun fun thoughts, now now now:

  • I recently wrote a fun fun fun post titled “Hello Beautiful,”  It was fun fun fun, yesterday, to see a different card with that beautiful greeting.
  • I wish the opposite-of-fun-fun-fun government shutdown would end end end, soon soon soon. It’s no fun when good governments go bad (like those pugs in that calendar).
  • My fun fun fun and funny funny funny boyfriend doesn’t like the word “fun.”  He prefers to use the word “engaged.”  That’s why I had so much fun taking this particular fun foto yesterday:

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  • I love the word fun, use it all the time, and plan on having fun fun fun  as long as my heart heart heart  keeps beating beating beating.
  • Instead of just having fun fun fun on Groundhog Day in two weeks, this year for my birthday I’m doing a fun fun fund-raiser for Everytown for Gun Safety on fun  Facebook, because guns guns guns without safety are no fun fun fun.
  • I just read this fun article on how some Patriots fan fan fans don’t have so much fun fun fun on Game Day because their friends friends friends think they’re jinxed.
  • It’s fun fun fun for me to throw useless things away, especially when they ask me to keep them.

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Are we having fun yet?

It’s fun for me to know how you have fun fun fun, so please please please  comment comment comment, below.

Thanks thanks thank to all who help me have fun fun fun, including you you you!

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

Day 2246: My thoughts

My thoughts, as usual, are going many places.  I’m so glad I have a place to put my thoughts.

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Here’s a thought: Perhaps if I didn’t have this blog to express my thoughts, I would need a journal like that one.

Some more thoughts:

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

  • That poem is good for my thoughts, feelings, imagination, body, and soul.
  • My thoughts are with all who knew and loved Mary Oliver.
  • Yesterday, my thoughts went many places, but kept returning to Mary Oliver.

My thought is that it’s time to share my other photos from yesterday.

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My thought is that “Family/Friends” and “Vacation/Travel” are what many people enjoy most about winter, which leads to my next two photos showing Vacation/Travel with Family/Friends:

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My thoughts, like my phone, go everywhere with me:

My thoughts tell me that you can click on any of those photos if you think you want to see them more clearly.

My thoughts are that this …

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… is a sign about what music to include in today’s post.

My thoughts are returning to Mary Oliver, so I’m also including this:

My thoughts now turn to your thoughts, which I hope you express below.

My thoughts are full of gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2245: Expendable

Yesterday, in a therapy session, somebody talked about feeling expendable.  When someone labels themselves in a painful way, I write the word up on the board, to get it out of the person’s head and so that we can look at the label with different perspectives, perhaps making the unhelpful label expendable.

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A definition of “expendable” may be expendable, but I’m sharing it anyway.

ex·pend·a·ble
/ikˈspendəb(ə)l
adjective
of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.
“the region is expendable in the wider context of national politics”
synonyms: dispensable, able to be sacrificed, replaceable
(of an object) designed to be used only once and then abandoned or destroyed.
“the need for unmanned and expendable launch vehicles”

As I read that definition, it occurs to me that many people might be feeling expendable, as the current U.S. government shutdown drags on and on.

In that therapy session yesterday, I invited the expendable-feeling person to name what is opposite to expendable.  Here’s one non-expendable word:

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Another opposite-to-expendable word was “valuable.”  Apparently a picture of that word was expendable.

Wait! I found “valuable” on this scale, which I drew on the board:

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It might be valuable and appreciated, here and now,  if I ask my readers these questions: Do you ever feel expendable?  Appreciated?  Valuable?  Where are you on that scale, as you read this?  What helps you feel less expendable and more valuable and appreciated?

I wonder if any of the photos in this post are expendable, appreciated, and/or valuable.

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It’s always appreciated when my non-expendable boyfriend Michael asks me to dance, and last night, after his very appreciated and valuable dinner (pictured above), we danced to this music, which is the opposite of expendable to me.

I really appreciate that Michael danced with me for the full eight-and-a-half minutes of that highly valued McCoy Tyner tune.

I hope you know that your comments are very valuable and appreciated.

Finally, here is some non-expendable gratitude for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2244: Frustration

Yesterday, when I was experiencing some frustration, I noticed that somebody had chosen to express that feeling via the emotions chart on my office door.

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I wondered, “Who expressed that frustration?  Was it a patient or a staff person? Why are they feeling frustration?  Are they expressing that frustration to others?  Are they keeping the frustration to themselves?  Do they know they are not alone in feeling frustration?  How do they deal with frustration?” I felt some frustration that I did not know  — and probably would never know — the answers to my questions.

However, I can ask similar questions to you, my readers.

Are you feeling frustration these days?   Do you share your frustration or keep it to yourself?  How do you deal with frustration?

I am feeling frustration with our government, these days.  Am I alone in that frustration?

Also, people in therapy have been expressing frustration about their relationship with food, especially during and after the holidays. I suggest that people NOT beat themselves up about what they’re eating– that leads to greater frustration and more eating to comfort themselves.

In addition, last night at a Board meeting, some of us expressed frustration about ageism, and how people — even those who are sensitive in their use of language about other differences — make jokes about age all the time.  I remember feeling frustration about this when I was in Social Work graduate school, decades ago.  Of course, my frustration with this gets worse as I get older.

After the board meeting, one of the participants shared this video in an email:

Is anybody feeling frustration that I’m taking so long to share my other photos from yesterday?

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Are people feeling frustration about any of those photos?  I’ll explain the last one — I bought a gelato-filled Panettone for the board meeting.   Nobody expressed frustration about that.

Feel free to express frustration or any other feelings or thoughts in a comment, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create this “frustration” post and to you — of course!

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

Day 2243: What’s made you smile lately?

I’ve noticed, by looking at a lot of people’s faces lately, that there aren’t a lot of smiles out there.  It made me smile, this morning, to think of asking you today’s blogging question:

What’s made you smile lately?

This on-line article made me smile lately:

Chocolate better for coughs than cough syrup, study says

It also made me smile lately to receive this email from the Edinburgh Free Fringe:

Hi Ann

Your Show number is 306

We’ll be sending the first round of allocations this week but don’t worry too much if you’re don’t get one straight away, it takes a while to sort through the pile.

Best regards

The Free Fringe team

It also made me smile lately to get this message from my son, back at school in Edinburgh:

Too late to apply for fringe? I have a show I want to do.

It makes me smile to think of my son and I both doing shows at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

Yesterday, I deliberately took photos of images that made me smile lately:

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In my Free Fringe application, I included links to all my original songs, including this one:

It would make me smile to know what’s made you smile lately.

Getting in touch with gratitude always make me smile, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2242: How to use your energy

When I was using my energy, yesterday, to return to work after a week at Disney World, I saw this energetic teabag saying:

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An hour earlier, I saw many people using their energy to destroy a building.

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Sometimes we have to destroy what’s there to build something new in its place.  Of course, that takes a lot of energy.

An hour before I took that photo, I had the energy to take this one:

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No matter how much I summon my strength, I have less energy in the winter and also as I’m getting older.  So it becomes even more crucial how I choose to use my energy.

I didn’t have the energy to take any more photos yesterday, but I do have the energy to list what I am NOT using my energy on, these days:

  • worry about the future,
  • regret about the past,
  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • judgment,
  • toxic people,
  • anger, and
  • the news.

However, I do have the energy to think about positive, achievable solutions and I do have the energy to take the next, small steps towards those solutions. I think those are good uses of my energy.

Yesterday, at my first day back at work, many things happened that could have sapped my energy — like multiple crisis calls coming at the same time AND a patient showing up a day earlier than she was scheduled.  It always helps my energy to embrace “the full catastrophe” of life and I survived another work day, with energy to spare.  I’m glad I’m using my energy, at this phase of my life, on work I love and value.

Now I’m using my energy to share the original use of “the full catastrophe” in a very energetic movie.

Here‘s another energizing scene from Zorba the Greek:

I hope you use your energy to share your thoughts and feelings about this post.

As always, I use my energy to express gratitude to all who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU, for using your energy to read it.

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Categories: gratitude, health care, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2241: Hello, beautiful

Hello, beautiful.

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How does that affect you, for somebody to call you beautiful?  What would happen if you called yourself beautiful?

Let’s try that again.

Hello, beautiful. On our beautiful flight to Disney World last week, I wrote a new song called “What Are Other People Thinking About You?” which included this lyric:

What are other people thinking about you?

That is something you will never know.

Then why not assume they’re thinking you’re gorgeous,

Smart, and someone they would want to know.

When I looked at those lyrics yesterday in the harsh, cold light of Boston, I realized I could make them more beautiful if I didn’t rhyme “know” with “know.”

Hello, beautiful. Here are my other beautiful photographs from yesterday:

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My beautiful boyfriend Michael, who made that beautiful Portobello Burger last night, often says these beautiful words:

It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.

And since you’re always with yourself, why not enjoy the  beautiful company?

Searching YouTube for “Hello beautiful Minnie Mouse” found this beautiful match for today’s post about song lyrics and other beautiful topics:

Hello, beautiful.  Thanks for reading today’s post and if you leave a comment, that would be beautiful.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2240: What you’re not good at

Even good people seem to focus on what they’re not good at. I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

I’m not good at

  • getting enough sleep,
  • asking for help,
  • saying “no,”
  • remembering details,
  • making a fuss,
  • taking up space,
  • goodbyes, and
  • keeping to myself what I’m not good at.

Do you have a list of what you’re not good at?  If you do, does that do you any good?

If you make lists of what you’re not good at, try to get that list out of your head and down on paper (or a screen) so you can consider challenging the items on the list. For example, when I made that list above, I thought better of adding “planning parties,” even though

  • I’m anxious about planning a party right now,
  • it’s that anxiety which is inspiring this post, and
  • I often say, “I’m not good at planning parties.”

The reason I didn’t add “planning parties” to the list was that when I thought it through, I realized that I don’t have a lot of practice planning parties and also every party I’ve ever planned has turned out fine.   Therefore, it doesn’t belong on the list of “What I’m Not Good At.”  It does belong on the list of “What Makes Me Anxious.”

Also, it’s good to balance out any list of what you’re not good at with a list of what you ARE good at.

I’m good at taking photos to distract myself during stressful times,  like traveling and goodbyes.

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I’m not good at dealing with the cold, and I took that last shot as I was waiting, alone, for my luggage back in Boston. After I had said “Goodbye” (which I’m not good at)  to my ex-in-laws and my son (who remained in Orlando for a little more warmth), I texted them “I miss everyone already!” and my good ex-sister-in-law Deborah sent me this:

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It’ll be good to see my son Aaron again when he returns home from University of Edinburgh in May.

I’m not good at keeping things to myself, so here‘s Disney World’s “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” (which I saw yesterday).  If you’re not good at tolerating bugs, people screaming, or 3-D without glasses, you may not want to watch it.

Let’s assume that you’re good at making comments and that I’m good at responding back to them.

I’m also good at expressing thanks at the end of each blog post to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2239: Nature does not hurry

Nature does not hurry, so why should I?    Therefore, I am going to take my time, here and now, during my last day at Disney World.

I am in no hurry to share the inspiration for today’s post title, but here it is:

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As my son and I were unhurriedly strolling around Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday, I noticed that sign:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

 Lao Tzu

Usually, my nature is to believe that I need to hurry, hurry, hurry to accomplish and to be accomplished. I like balancing that out with Lao Tzu’s wise words (especially when we’re recovering from food poisoning).

Yet, I fear that if we don’t hurry and change our ways, we will lose much of the precious nature of our planet.

What else do I want to accomplish in this post? I will not hurry to share my other photos from yesterday.

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Nature does not hurry, yet climate change is NOT a concept only (and is hurrying faster than expected).  I’m hoping that my worst fears are not final and are subject to change, because of future and concerted human accomplishments.

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I guess the ball’s in our court.

I am in no hurry to share one more photo, which my son said was his favorite of all the ones I showed him yesterday.

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I am in no hurry to know how, when, where, or why I took that photo, but I do know that orange has always been Aaron’s favorite color.

Nature does not hurry, so no need to hurry to make a comment. Likewise, I will not hurry to express my gratitude to all who helped me create today’s non-hurried post and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 2238: If you have to choose between being kind and being right

Yesterday, at Walt Disney World, to be kind to ourselves, we had to choose to stay in our hotel rooms, recovering from food poisoning or some sort of virus.  If I have to choose which we were all suffering from, I’m not sure which is right, because I’m a therapist, not a doctor.

If I have to choose a featured image for today’s post, it would be this:

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If I have to choose great people to travel with, I would always include my kind niece Laura, who had to choose a t-shirt on Wednesday that says

If you have to choose between being kind and being right,

Choose being kind and you will always be right

If I have to choose new photos to share today, here they are:

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If I have to choose, these days, whether the television is on or off, it’s kinder to myself to leave it off.

Right?

If you have to choose between being kind and being right in a comment below,  choose being kind and you will always be right.

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

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