Day 1064: Audiences

Throughout my adult life, I’ve thought a lot about audiences. As a technical writer, marketing writer, teacher, partner in an advertising agency, group and individual psychotherapist, business owner, musical performer,  AND a daily blogger, I’ve learned that identifying and connecting authentically with an audience is very important.

At the same time, each one of us really knows only our own individual experience. I might imagine and try to understand the potential members of any audience, but it’s impossible for me to really get into anybody else’s head. The only head I can really inhabit is my own — and that’s true for any human being, no matter how much each one of us projects, researches,  empathizes, or otherwise tries to connect with an audience.

So, how can any one of us really comprehend and connect with the other people in any audience, in any situation?

Do you — my audience — have any answers for that question?

As I’m creating this blog post, I am aware that you, among others in my blogging audience, will be reading it. At the same time,  I don’t really know

  • who you are,
  • what you’re looking for here, and
  • how I can give you what you need.

I can only guess.

Therefore, no matter who my audience is — for anything I put out into the world — I need to focus on what’s important to me and on communicating that as effectively and authentically as possible.

Then, if I miss the mark and I do not connect with my audience, at least I’ve created something that matters to one person — myself.

Why am I writing about audiences to you, my blogging audience, today?

Why not?

Also, yesterday I signed up to audition for the U.S. television show, The Voice.

Actually, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to share that fact with any audience.  Why?  Because sharing anything with an audience  involves vulnerability.

And what does vulnerability tell me now?

I may fail.

But then, I can ask these follow up questions — to myself and, simultaneously,  to my audience:

What does failure mean?

What if the concept of failure did not exist?

And I can also tell myself this:

No matter what happens, I’ll have something interesting to blog about.

And  I’ll probably have some pictures to show you, like these (which I took yesterday, not really knowing who my audience might be today):

Speaking of The Voice, what does your voice want to express, here and now?

My thanks to audiences, everywhere.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1063: Hair and now

A couple of days before now, I put this hairy post up on my Facebook page:

So, I am tired of believing, on any level, that my lovability is connected to how young I look and/or the way I wear my hair. Therefore, I am seriously considering cutting my hair super short and letting my hair color be completely natural. So my profile picture might be looking VERY different, very soon.

Now, the amount of support I got from this post was hair-raising.

Yesterday, I went to see my beloved hair expert, Mia at MiAlisa salon (appearing now in previous blog posts here, here, here, and here). I brought along these pictures of hair:

I noticed this sign at Mia’s hair salon …


… when my hair was this length:


I could still see all the wonderful words on that sign when my hair was this length:

And despite my son Aaron’s prediction that I might judge myself negatively after radically changing my hair, I was non-judgmental when I took these photos last night …

… and I’m still non-judgmental, hair and now.

Do you have any thoughts or feelings about hair, now?

Here and now, I’m grateful to Aaron, Mia, MiAlisa Salon,  Amuleto Mexican Table in Waltham and you (no matter what state your hair’s in now).


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Day 1062: Get your daily dose of goodness

Yesterday — “Black Friday” in the United States — I saw this in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts:


How do you get your daily dose of goodness?  Do you look for it without or within?

Yesterday, I found doses of goodness not only in Harvard Square, but also at a PetsMart (where we witnessed somebody finally adopting a big black cat named “Magic”),  a Whole Foods Market, and other local environs.

Lately, I’ve been allowing WordPress to negotiate how it hands out and arranges doses of my photography.  I see, as a result, some goodness might be difficult to read.

I believe you can increase the size of any photographic dose by clicking on a photo, but just in case, I’m going to re-dose these, here and now:



My good pacemaker doctor, Dr. Mark Estes (previously appearing in good doses herehere, and here), made the “Top Doctors” list in Boston Magazine, again. That’s a dose of goodness, for me.

Did anything in this post give you a daily dose of goodness?  If not, how might you get that goodness elsewhere, today?

Here’s another dose worth repeating:


Hugs and kisses of gratitude from me, to you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1061: The day after Thanksgiving

Dear Readers,

I took lots of pictures yesterday, during U.S. Thanksgiving, 2015.

Am I thankful for each and every one of them?


If you want more words about any of those photos, I’d be thankful for that, too.

Still giving thanks on the day after Thanksgiving,


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

Day 1060: Thanksgiving Limericks

A blogging survivor named Ann

Gives sweet thanks every day that she can.

If you’re reading this now

Take a breath and a bow

She is thankful for you — she’s your fan!


Ann gives thanks every day that she blogs,

What she sees, thinks, and feels here she logs,

Those connections she makes

And those photos she takes

Of streets, peeps, arts, plays, cars, cats, and dogs.


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!   <3

Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1059: Awesome Sauce

Yesterday, during group therapy, somebody said

Awesome Sauce

to express positive feelings.

Awesome Sauce

quickly went viral within the group.  Every time somebody said

Awesome Sauce

people felt better.


Awesome Sauce

to me, how two little words can cheer up an entire room.

Throughout the day, I took these awesome sauce pictures.

In case you’re wondering, the awesome sauce on that swordfish is made with mustard, horseradish, and cranberries.

Awesome sauce!!

After I publish this awesome sauce post, I’m doing some awesome sauce work and then I’m seeing an awesome sauce play with some awesome sauce people (one of whom made the awesome sauce in that last picture).

Awesome Sauce!

What makes you say “Awesome Sauce”?  What simple words or action do you think might cheer up an entire room?

Thanks to everybody who said “Awesome Sauce” yesterday and thanks to you — of course! — for being so awesome sauce, today.



Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1058: Is that normal?

Yesterday, somebody interested in joining my therapy groups  was describing her life, her feelings, her past, and her behaviors, when she asked me

Is that normal?

Is that normal that she asked that question?   In a normal week, somebody — struggling through pain, who has survived amazingly challenging experiences — will ask me

Is that normal?

I guess it’s normal to worry about whether you’re normal.

My normal response is often this:

I hear that you  want to feel better and move on. That sounds normal to me.

Is that normal?

Is that normal to take pictures intuitively, not knowing how I’m going to use them in a post?

Is that normal for WordPress to arrange those pictures that way? Is that normal to wonder whether some of those pictures seem more normal to you?

Normally, I share music in my blog posts. My new normal is to wait for others to share music with me.

Is that normal to feel and express gratitude?  Per normal,  I’m thankful for everything here AND I’m thankful — of course! — for you.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1057: Phew

“Phew” is a sound of relief.  It’s one of a few sounds I make — to myself and out loud to others — that  I call “comic book noises.”   Another comic book noise I make is “Eeeek!”

Because “Eeeek!” is a sound of fear, “Phew” is a good balance for that one.


It’s a relief to have balance in my life.

When I woke up this morning, I realized I had lived through another  November 22nd.


Now it’s time to think about

  • my new psychotherapy office in Newton, starting on December 1,
  • the holidays,
  • my almost-full-time work at a major Boston teaching hospital where I provide group and individual therapy,
  • my 17-year-old son’s college application process,
  • the increasingly cold weather,
  • blogging every day, and
  • lots of events and obligations, coming up soon.

For everything in that list, I could say




… depending on my mood and my perspective.

I’m much more likely to say “Phew”  if I

  • focus on the present moment,
  • take one step at a time,
  • identify what is achievable,
  • exercise self-care, and
  •  connect with others.

What makes you say “Eeek”?  What makes you say “Phew”?

Do any of my  photos evoke comic book noises?

If I don’t include music in today’s post, will that cause an “Eeek!” or a “Phew”?

It’s a relief (Phew) to thank people, cats, personal produce (Eeeek!)  and you — Yay! —  no matter what noises you’re making, here and now.

Categories: blogging, health care, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 1056: Triggers

Today’s post title triggers a wish to define “triggers.”

plural noun: triggers

a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun.
“he pulled the trigger of the shotgun”
3rd person present: triggers
cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist.
“an allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork”
synonyms: precipitate, prompt, elicit, trigger off, set off, spark (off), touch off, provoke, stir up

Here‘s a description of psychological triggers:

What is a Trigger?

In the strictest sense of the term, trigger is used to refer to experiences that “re-trigger” trauma in the form of flashbacks or overwhelming feelings of sadness, anxiety, or panic. The brain forms a connection between a trigger and the feelings with which it is associated, and some triggers are quite innocuous.

Today’s date, November 22, is a trigger for me. Because my thoughts and feelings have triggered a daily blog post since 1/1/13, November 22 has triggered two previous posts (here and here).

This triggers a question and an answer:

Q. Why is November 22 a trigger for me?

A. On November 22, 1963 — when I and modern medical technology were both very young —  President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed AND I  underwent my first heart surgery, receiving my first of many cardiac pacemakers.

This photo of my family, taken shortly before November 22, 1963,  triggers many memories for me.


Looking at those faces, here and now, triggers this thought:

We didn’t know what was coming.

Yesterday, I was triggered to capture lots of photos. Which ones trigger reactions in you?

This fish bowl, which triggered my taking two photos …



… triggered this reaction in me:

OMG.  They designed this so that the world looks right TO THE FISH.

November 22, 1963, doesn’t trigger any particular music for me, since I was out of it, the whole day. If this post triggers any music in you, feel free to share that (and anything else) below.

Many thanks to all who visit here, today.

Categories: anniversary, blogging, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1055: It doesn’t matter

When I woke up this morning, I thought of a new t-shirt I’d like to create, which says

It doesn’t matter what this says.

Do you think a t-shirt like that might matter?

Does it matter that I might include this on the back?

What matters is that you read it.

It doesn’t matter that yesterday’s post had particularly low readership.  What matters is who read it.

Does it matter that all this reminds me of my therapy groups, when I tell people that it doesn’t matter what we talk about, as long as it matters to them?

It doesn’t matter that I took all these photos yesterday.

It doesn’t matter how WordPress orders those photos (and WordPress is ordering them randomly).

It doesn’t matter what music I include here.

Because I visited a podiatrist yesterday, I chose “Stepping Out” by Joe Jackson. But what I choose doesn’t matter.

If so many things don’t matter, what does matter?

You. (Thanks for reading!)


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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