Day 349: How We Are Doing

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a group therapist, so I see groups in most things, and I see most things as groups.

Not uncommon, wouldn’t you say? We tend to see, in the external world, a reflection of our internal experience.   That which is important to you, you will see reflected back from the world around you.

I wish I had some cool examples or images of that to show you here — for example, motorcyclists seeing motorcycles everywhere, teachers seeing students everywhere, or something like this saying:


…  but I’m eager to get to my next point.  So I will let you fill in this space, with your own examples and images:



(of seeing your interests, thoughts, assumptions, and experience reflected back from the world around you)



So, where was I?  Oh yes, I see groups everywhere and I see these groups in terms of my personal experience and assumptions about leading groups.

And, for the groups I run, I allow people to join in and attend, whenever they choose.  Which is not unlike the situation here, in my blog.  That is, new people are constantly joining with veteran readers. Some people have been reading since Day 1, and each day, new people appear.

One thing I work on, as a group therapist, is helping new people come up to speed, while still meeting (some of) the needs of the long-timers. I don’t mean to brag (although I’ve been working on allowing myself to brag, this year) …. but THAT is NOT an easy thing to do well.

I’ll give you an example, of how that issue occurs for me, here.  When I just looked at the first sentence of this post –“As I’ve mentioned many times before” —  I considered rewriting that,  because I thought, “Hmmmm. That doesn’t apply to new readers.   How can I make that sentence work for everybody?”  And  my response to that question was:

I can’t.  Oh, well. Now what?

…. which is not a bad answer to other questions, pertaining to the urge for perfection in difficult tasks.

Okay!  Time Out!


I want to take a moment here and point out my state of mind while I’m blogging right now.  Here are the relevant facts:

  • I didn’t get enough sleep last night.
  • It’s Sunday, so I have more space and time to blog.

Those can be a dangerous combination, when it comes to digressions, ramblings, and (to use a word my new reader, Brenda, used yesterday, in a comment here) …  babbling.

Here’s another factor to add to this dangerous combination:

  • It snowed, quite a bit, overnight, so I’m feeling some anxiety, right now (because of some obligations, later today, that involve driving).

Therefore, this will be a digressive, rambling, and babbling post, today. There’s no getting around that.

Okay, I think I’ve done a good enough job, right now, managing people’s expectations about this post. Therefore, it’s time to move on to the “meat” of it.

In other words,  what WAS the major point (as reflected in the post title and in all digressions, ramblings, and babblings up to now) that I wanted to make, today?

Here it is:  I wanted to bring longer-term readers up to speed on some pre-existing issues, while still providing something for new people.

What were the issues I was thinking about?  Two of them:

  1. How our new cat, Harley, is doing, adjusting to his new home.
  2. How I’m doing, adjusting to my new heart “condition” (that is, the October addition of atrial fibrillation AND my new need for daily anti-coagulant medication).

Actually, speaking of adjustments and How We Are Doing, I’m going to try to add another, more recent one, to that list of two:   The First Major Snow of the Winter Season.

How am I going to tie all these things together AND provide something valuable for readers new and old?

Simple!  A Photo Essay!

How We (Harley and I) Are Doing***

A Photo Essay

by Ann

Harley is doing quite well, thank you, adjusting to his new home. Here is some recent photographic proof:


Michael, my bf, took this photo last night.  Actually, as much as I might admire Michael’s photographic sense of composition and emotional content, this does NOT prove that Harley is doing okay. To me, he looks totally freaked out.  However, this is not an inaccurate representation: Harley still looks freaked out, a fair amount of the time. However, Harley looks (and acts) freaked out much less, these days (compared to how he was when we introduced him in October). And that’s getting better, every day in every way.

So, again, Harley is doing quite well, thank you.

And here’s proof that more often than not, Harley is not freaked out:



(Notice how I snuck in the presence of snow, in that photo)


(and also the presence of Michael, there).

One more photo of Harley, this morning, to show that he is doing quite well:


For those of you who are wondering about how (New Group Member) Harley is affecting (Old Group Member) Oscar, Oscar is also doing quite well:


… which I hope you can see, in another photo by Michael.

Okay! Now, what do I have to do, before I conclude this post? (As I mentioned before, I’m tired and a little anxious about the day, so I would like to end this post soon.)

Oh, yes!  I was going to bring you up to speed on how I’m doing, too.  I have to admit that, since the beginning of October (and the appearance of the atrial fibrillation and my need to take daily anti-coagulants), I have not been feeling as well as I was, before that.  And that’s been difficult.

However, yesterday, when Michael and I were at the supermarket (stocking up for groceries for the predicted snowfall), I turned to him and said, “You know what?  I’ve been feeling better lately. As a matter of fact, right now, I feel …. as good as I was feeling before.”

Now, I don’t feel that good, every day.  But it was wonderful to feel that — and realize it — yesterday.



Despite my celebration, I will confess to you, dear readers,  that I resent having to take medication every day, for the rest of my life.  And I always am on the verge of forgetting to take my daily pill (although I’ve taken it every day so far).

Also, in general, I have been feeling more anxious, especially as the snow and ice appear. Why?  Here’s a direct quote from one of my cardiologists (regarding my being on anti-coagulants):

“Ann, please make sure NOT to fall on the ice, okay?

And my response to that (as with other doctors’ orders, in the past), was to say,  “I’ll do the best I can” (while feeling, inside, a new anxiety).

But, like Harley, I’m doing better with that, too. Still freaked out, but a lot less frequently.

Here’s my penultimate image, for today:


Why am I choosing that photo?  Lots of reasons:

  • It’s a group of objects, and as I said (way back in the beginning of this post), I tend to see things in terms of groups.
  • In the foreground of that photo is the fancy-shmancy pill-box I recently bought myself, to help myself feel better about having to take medication, every day.
  • My son put my glasses on that grapefruit yesterday, and that makes me happy.
  • There are some objects in that photo that I’ve been losing track of lately (including my keys) but that photo is proof that I keep finding them again, too.
  • The cat in the background looks a little like Harley, but it’s actually a computer screen cleaner I bought earlier this year (I like adding fun — or beauty —  to things I don’t like to do, whenever possible).
  • The girl looking out the window is a dancing-hula-girl toy, which was a gift from the very nice owner of a nearby Chinese Restaurant (which we haven’t been to lately, so I’m letting go of guilt about THAT).

Okay, now that I’ve managed to let go of some guilt and anxiety (and to embrace some joy,too), it’s time for the final photo of this post. This photo is what the hula girl, in that previous picture, is seeing, right now:


That’s not so bad, is it?  Actually, I believe I can add that to my lists of Things That Won’t Kill Me (those lists are here and here, in case you haven’t seen them yet).

I hope so, anyway.

Thanks to Michael (for shoveling off my car this morning, among other things), to anybody I forgot to thank (because of tiredness and anxiety),  to group members old and new, and to you — of course! — for reading today.


* I found this image here.

** Thanks to FreeSoundEffectz

*** NOTE: All these photos were taken within the last 12 hours, so they are pretty much “in the moment” (something that’s important to me).

**** Personally, I think we all need to hear applause sometimes,  and cheering, too! Feel free to play that, for yourself, whenever you need it.  And thanks to TheHalloweenHaunters, for posting the video on YouTube.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Day 349: How We Are Doing

  1. You have some wonderful cats. They are perfect for therapy too.

  2. That whistle sound made my dog leap up out of her snoring slumber!
    I’m sorry you’ve been feeling anxiety while adjusting to life changes… ugh. Though I like your style of softening the blow of daily meds with a pretty pill holder (and screen cleaning with a Harley look alike) that’s the way to approach life’s obstacles!
    The snow looks pretty, though understandably terrifying… At least when people fall on ice they don’t usually injure themselves to the point of bleeding (oh my gosh, that feels like a really stupid thing to say and I hope you forgive me if it seems offensive….. but, you know!) Though it might not be a bad idea for both of us to invest in those snow shoes that have bear trap looking steel barbs on the bottoms of them. Might save us a winter of sliding and tumbles.
    Hope things continue to look up!

    • Thank you, Aussa, for another Aussome comment. (I will continue to use that pun, until you tell me to stop.) Not one syllable of this comment was stupid, so stop using that word! (I hope THAT was not offensive … but, you know!) I will look into shoes with the bear-trap-looking steel barbs. I’m wondering, though, if you get those, won’t that clash with the full-body bear coat you liked from one of my previous blog posts?

      And by the way, if I slip on ice, it won’t kill me, I will just, apparently, be covered with bruises from head to toe. I am quoting my cardiologist again, and remembering the rest of his warning was helpful for me and that was THANKS to YOU! (Of course, I am REALLY nervous about getting into a car accident, which would really be bloody awful, so to speak.)

      • Hahaha no, I am a great lover of puns and am always honored to be a part of one! And you’re right about the awkward juxtaposition of bear traps and bear coats… Maybe it’s like that Vietnam War movie where he has “Born to Kill” on his helmet right next to the Peace Sign and says it’s a statement about the duality of man? (or something like that?) or Maybe I’m just reaching here 😉

        Oh no, bruising 😦 Okay, I didn’t think of it like that… Yes– no slipping! I shall henceforth absorb all your potential falls into my own ice walking for this winter.

      • I think that’s from “Full Metal Jacket”, a movie I just ordered from Amazon as a Christmas gift for two guys I love (shhhh! don’t tell them!). I am grateful (among other things) for your kind wish to absorb my future falls. Thanks, Your Aussomeness.

      • Haha okay yes, Full Metal Jacket! I was stuck between it being that or Platoon and I was too lazy to google… such fond childhood memories of both those movies… lucky men in your life, but I won’t tell!

  3. I can relate to the anxiety of suddenly finding yourself on daily medications to keep you healthy. When the doctor put me on blood pressure meds a few years ago I hated it. I hated that rather than encourage me to get healthier (move more, eat better, etc.), he was happy to tell me that the meds would fix things, and that I’d better get used to being on them for the rest of my life. One of my biggest wins in this year-of-sweat journey is cutting down the meds to 1/4 the original dosage. My goal is to be off completely in the next few weeks. (I *may* be ready to stop now, but I can’t get an appt with my doc until mid January. Not stopping until I get the thumbs up from him.).
    Kudos for you for maintaining such a positive outlook amidst these changes.

    • And kudos to you for challenging what you were told and getting yourself healthier. I would love to hear about what happens with your medication, and I wish you all the best. Thanks for such a wonderful comment, Nancy.

      • I’ll be shouting it from the tree tops (and on my blog!) if/when the doc confirms I can stop that teensy little 1/4 of the pill I still take each day. 🙂

      • I’ll be listening for joyous noises coming from tree tops (and from your blog).

  4. Hi, Ann. Atrial fibrillation is nothing to worry about. I had it from my childhood and I was a runner, a skier plus other sins for many years. Take your warfarin or coumadin and enjoy life. Best wishes!

    • Hi, JF. Thanks so much for this reassuring comment.

      I’m taking Xarelto, a name which I CANNOT remember, no matter how hard I try (although maybe writing it in this comment will imprint it in my memory). I’ve got some other heart issues to deal with, but I am running and skiing with you, right now, in my mind.

      And enjoying life, especially with kind wishes, is exactly what I’m going for.

  5. Ann, I’m wishing many more “feel good” days for you, along with good health. I also love your cat Harley. I had a Harley too, same coloration with the tabby and white. He was a laid back guy, barely afraid of the vacuum cleaner, who lived to 17. I hope your Harley gives you many years of purrs and love.

  6. All the photos are great, but I especially love the kitty photos. So happy to hear Harley is adjusting to his new home, and that you are adjusting to your meds and what sounds like not much fun otherwise. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thank you, very much. I am on the lookout for fun, wherever it may be. And it helps, for sure, to have readers like you. So glad you like the photos!

  7. I’m getting at your post quite late today, Ann, so now I am left wondering how the snow driving went for you. That bit of winter life makes me anxious, too. In Syracuse we often get the added whammy of blowing snow. It seems to me that people all around me keep going 50 when I’m thinking I can’t seen a blasted thing. Oops, I had no intention of introducing an anxiety-ridden passage of my life to you. Sorry. Step carefully, take your pill, love your cats, and keep your playful way with words (and life). Please.

    • It’s good to see you, Mark! I ended up canceling my obligations and not driving … everything was iced over and too treacherous to navigate. I did walk around the neighborhood, though, and am no worse for wear.

      Feel free to introduce any passage of your life here — anxiety-ridden or otherwise. It’s always great to hear from you. Thank you for your kind and considerate wishes.

  8. Hi Ann-
    I am a new reader, but feel like an old one. I’ve been reading your posts, and I like the idea that you numbered them, but something tells me that I will be up quite late, reading back numbered posts. And I find your profession so intriguing.

    Daily meds are not fun – as is being warned not to slip on ice – who plans to slip on ice? It’s a slip, after all! But I also get anxious around the idea of snow and driving. It kind of sucks.

    Harley looks great and very zen-like. Not at all freaked out. And I love that name for a pet, because I love motorcycles. I actually love that name for anything.

    My son, by the way, would have loved the eyeglasses on the grapefruit! He’s 10 – how old is yours?

    Great blog! Looking forward to getting to know you!

    • Thank you so much, for the visits and this wonderful comment. My son is 15.

      I just visited your blog and am so pleased we’ve met here. I look forward to our learning more from each other.

      • Your son obviously has a great sense of humor! I love when they do stuff that brightens our day!

  9. Pingback: Day 352: Snow (It’s safer than I feared) | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

  10. Pingback: Day 370: Reasons why snail mail freaks me out | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  11. Pingback: Day 444: PCP | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  12. Pingback: Day 2588: We | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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