Monthly Archives: December 2013

Day 355: Random thoughts about love

Well, it took me 355 days to use the word “love” in the title of a blog post this year.

I was about to say, “Shame on me,” but I stopped, because:

  • Shame doesn’t do me any good, so I would like to stop using that phrase (and let go of shame) as quickly as I can, and
  • I am already suspecting that my first sentence of this post … is incorrect.

That is, I think I MAY have used the word “love” in the title of a blog post before.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I shall now, with my lovely assistant, WordPress,  search all my previous posts, for a title using the word “Love.”

This may take  me a little while, but the time will pass by quickly, here.

.

.

.

Wow. Some interesting things have happened, here in Ann Time.

I haven’t checked my old posts yet.  Instead, I noticed, after I “paused” this post, that I was feeling unusually cold. And when I checked the digital thermostat, I saw that it was blank. I didn’t take a picture of that, but here’s a close-enough representation of what I saw:

Image*

Eeeeeeeeeek!!!!

So in the middle of writing a post on love, I was experiencing my old friend, fear.

I assume that nobody wants to feel cold, or to see a non-working thermostat. However, some people may be more afraid of those things, when:

  1. It’s very cold outside.
  2. You are alone, when you encounter the problem.
  3. No help is available, to solve the problem.

There are times, in my life, where the above factors have been true, for me.  But none of them were true, today.   However, I felt fear AS IF those three things were true.

Why? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are reasons why I might feel a more intense fear, initially, when the heat goes off and the thermostat is not working:

  1. Since I was a little kid, I’ve depended upon machines and batteries (specifically, cardiac pacemakers) to keep me alive, so I tend to overreact when machines don’t work, or when things run out of power.
  2. When I was in the hospital as a little kid, the temperature was often too cold, and I had no control over that (as I had no control over many other things).

Hey, guess what?  I just got interrupted, again, in the middle of writing this post.

But before I tell you about THAT interruption, I want to tell you what happened, regarding the thermostat and the cold.

After my first reaction (Eeeeeeek!!!!), this is what happened:

  1. I noticed that reaction of fear.
  2. I used coping skills and techniques I’ve learned throughout my life, to let go of the fear.
  3. I concentrated on the reality of the current situation.
  4. I came up with a theory of why the heat was off and the thermostat was blank.
  5. I called the Heating Guy on my team** —  Tom Prendergast —  and he agreed with my theory. As a matter of fact, he offered me a job on his night crew.
  6. We discussed possible solutions.
  7. I implemented a solution.
  8. The heat came back on and so did the thermostat:IMG_2466

Then, I called back Tom Prendergast, and left him the following message: “We are both very smart, I do not want the night job, and thank you for everything.”

And — to go back to the title of my post today — I had feelings of love, then. Because I felt safe.  I knew that I was not alone.  As a result, I was able to let go of fear, connect with my own wisdom and experience, ask for help, and solve a problem.

Yes, doing all those things, whenever I can, helps me get in touch with my feelings of love.

When I first started writing this post, there were other things I wanted to say about love.  I wanted to allow room for all — random and otherwise —  thoughts about love,  because I (like other people) can have fears about using that word.

However, right now, I have some unfinished business to complete, in this post.

I need to tell you about the second interruption I mentioned above, which occurred as I was writing this post.  That interruption was a phone call, from a dear old friend, who would like to accompany me here:

boquete-panama***

And that conversation helped me get more in touch with love, too.

One more piece of unfinished business: DID I use the word “love” in the title of a previous post this year?****

You know what?  It doesn’t matter. What matters is this: I’m using it now.

Thus concludes our post for today, dear reader.

Thanks to all my friends (old and new), everybody on my team, and you — of course! — for reading today.


* I found this image here.

** For more about the concept of “My Team,” see here and here.

*** See here, for more about escaping to there.

**** I did, actually, use the word “love” before (here and here), plus I used a variation on the word (“lovable”) here.

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

Day 354: Genuine/Authentic

Hello, readers!

After much deliberation (a full 20 minutes of it), I have decided upon the title for today’s post.  And look!  I already have a visual for it:

Image

As regular readers of this blog might know, I love watches.  As a matter of fact, 168 days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote about another one of my favorite watches, here. And for those of you who don’t click on links (and I know you’re out there, people!), here’s the photo of that other watch:

Image

If you want to read more about that watch (and the reasons why I’ve collected watches), you’re just going to have to click on that link.

So there!

Readers of this blog may notice that my writing has a certain “tone,” right now.

Although, you know what? I have no real idea whether people can tell my “tone”, my feelings, or my state of mind, right now (or at any point).

That’s the whole friggin’ problem with communicating through written words, isn’t it?  We’re missing certain clues, to help us ascertain what somebody else is genuinely feeling or thinking.

However, given that we’re always guessing what other people think, what would you guess about how I’m feeling, right now?  (And, yes, I am inviting people to indulge in the “cognitive distortion” of mind reading — something we do, as humans, every day).

So, how would you complete this sentence?  As Ann is writing these words, she is  __________.

Have you filled it in yet? If not, I’ll wait.

Time’s up!

Now, I’m going to do some mind reading of my own. That is, I’m going to guess how you might have filled in that sentence, as follows:

  • Playful
  • Annoyed
  • Annoying
  • Joyful
  • Worried
  • Confused
  • Hopeful
  • Impatient
  • Distracted
  • Focused
  • Accepting
  • Pissed

Okay, that last guess made me stop (although stopping so soon makes it unlikely I would have guessed what YOU thought). So why did I stop? Well, I know people are reading this blog all over the world, and I know that the word “pissed” means angry* to some people (including me) and drunk to others. So, I stopped, because I don’t want anybody to think I might be drunk in the morning or at any time while I’m writing these posts (because I’m not).

Hey!  Wait a minute! Why do I care what you — or anybody else — thinks?  Haven’t I written, throughout this year, about letting go of caring what other people think? (Yes, I have. And here’s an example of that**.)

But here’s the deal, people. I genuinely want people to know who I am. Authentically.

And genuinely and authentically, I am  ALL*** of those things in that list. And more.****

As I assume you are (or have been), too.

Oh, no!  Look at the time!

Image

As therapists often (and genuinely) say …. We have to stop now.

Thanks to each and every one of you — with all your various parts, feelings, thoughts, guesses, etc. —  for reading today.


* So why was I angry, at that point?  Because here’s something I know about myself: I tend to get angry when I’m HUNGRY.  And by the way, anger is okay. It’s just another human feeling.  However, I do know a “cure” for feelings of anger related to hunger.  Eating something. Which I did.

** Written way back, on Day 2.

*** Except for drunk, a possible misunderstanding which I believe I have cleared up sufficiently at this point.

**** Including, most likely, what YOU guessed (if it’s not already on that list).

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 353: Where there’s a will, there’s a way

The title is something my mother used to say to me. It’s a good title for today’s post, I think, because I finally completed this:

Image

I’ve had lots of thoughts and feelings about the process of creating that, during this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally (which I blogged about here, here, and elsewhere).

Here are some thoughts and feelings I’m having, today:

I don’t want to mind-read (because that would be a cognitive distortion), but I do wonder if others are having certain thoughts now, like these:

Image

“Did you leave ME anything?”

Image

“I know I’m new, more skittish (therefore more blurry), and probably not quite as loved yet, but … did you leave ME anything?”

I probably AM projecting onto others, here.  But it’s difficult not to do that, you know?

Anyway, it was quite a process, completing that will. I mean, it took 60 friggin’ years. And, as Indiana Jones said:

“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.”*

Speaking of mileage, here are some shots I took, yesterday, on my journey to sign that will:

IMG_2390

The building on the left is where my parents lived their last years together.  That’s where I saw my father, for the last time, in 1997. I am so grateful for that encounter, still. Before I left that day, he said to me, “Give me five,” holding his hand up high. I replied, “I’ll give you ten,” and I gave him a hug.

Here’s another, clearer shot of that building:

IMG_2392

My parents lived on the second floor, on the right.

.

Here’s where I spent a lot of hours, as a kid, reading and choosing books to take home:

IMG_2393

When I took those books home, this is similar to what I would see:

IMG_2395

And this is where I read those books:

IMG_2396

This is what I sometimes saw, when I would leave my home, back then:

IMG_2400

When I visited yesterday, I did see some new things, including this:

IMG_2401

It’s nice that some people can attain Nirvana every day, isn’t it?

Here’s a photo (taken when I was heading back home last night) that’s related to that, I believe:

IMG_2413

I hope I remember that flashy Stop sign** the next time I have a thought that doesn’t help me.  Because, the more I can let go of unhelpful thoughts, the more I can do these things (suggested by a bumper sticker last night):

IMG_2406

And I’ve got some time to do those, apparently,  because a lawyer promised me, yesterday, that signing my will wouldn’t kill me.

Being a lawyer, he immediately added, “And if it does, at least now you have a will.”

Thanks to all who contributed to creating this post and — of course!! — to you, for visiting.


* I wanted to find a sound or video clip for that, but c’est la vie.

** Check out the antidote of “Thought Stopping,” here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 352: Snow (It’s safer than I feared)

Well, yesterday was an interesting day, fraught with anxiety about WordPress AND about snow.

The WordPress anxiety was probably not necessary, since this was NOT a life-and-death situation. All that happened was this: In the morning, I finished a post that I had worked on for about 90 minutes, published it, and then discovered (after I got to work) that I had inadvertently left open a “New Post” window, which resulted in the last 30 minutes of my efforts being wiped out.  (I assume I’m not the only one amongst those reading this who has experienced  something like THAT.)  Actually, the work wasn’t technically wiped out, because people who get my posts via email got the completed version. However, anybody accessing the post any other way, saw the incomplete version. (And by the way, I restored the post to most of its former glory, after I got home.)

Confused?  So was I.  And I fixed things, throughout the day.  And it definitely did not kill me.

Now, regarding the snow anxiety … was that necessary?  Well, I think it was probably more understandable than the WordPress-related anxiety. That is, once I got to my car, I had to navigate home, during rush hour, in some pretty treacherous driving.  It took me three times longer than usual to get home. The extra time didn’t bother me, though. What scared me were the parts of the trip where:

  1. I was having trouble seeing, because my windshield wipers were icing over repeatedly and my rear window defroster apparently gives off the same amount of heat as a refrigerator light bulb.
  2. I was on the verge of skidding, practically every moment.
  3. I was driving on unplowed streets, some very populated and some very deserted.
  4. I was often afraid that I would lose control of the car and skid into people who were walking in the road.

So, that DID feel like a life-and-death situation.  But I got home okay. And I didn’t kill anybody. Or even harm, in any way, another living creature.

Here’s the portion of the post where I explain the title (if I haven’t explained it already).

Back in April, after the Boston Marathon bombings, I wrote a post called “Here and now?  It’s safer than you fear.”

Yesterday, before I started the arduous journey home in my car, I walked the 0.9 mile’s distance to where I park it. And it was snowing, quite a bit, during my walk.

A few days  ago, I posted here about my fear of walking in the snow and ice, now that I’m on anti-coagulant medication.

I overcame that fear yesterday.

How did I do that?

  1. I had the equipment (that is, the boots, the coat, and the other winter accoutrements).
  2. I had the support (my sister-in-law, Linda, who also works where I work, walked with me for part of it).
  3. I had the music to cheer me on (because of my beloved ear muff/headphones*)  after I parted ways with Linda.
  4. Therefore, I felt safe to dance and sing, all the way down this snow-covered street, near the end of my walking journey:

Image

And it was FUN.

Okay!  That concludes our post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Now, I just have to save this post and make sure that I close all windows that I may have opened during the creative process (because that which does not kill us, helps us learn).

Thanks to Linda, to all who are feeling various degrees of safety (and fun) today, and — of course! — to you, for reading.


  •  Apparently, according to Amazon, most people think these ear muff/headphones suck. I still love them, though.
Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 351: Escape

Here are some random thoughts about “escape.”

In my work as a therapist, I notice that people often need that concept of escape.  That is, it helps them to know that they are not stuck, or trapped, in their current situation.

One of the Opposing Truths* I discuss with people is:

  1. We are exactly where we are supposed to be, AND
  2. We want to get out!  NOW!!!!

Some time ago, I had a conversation with somebody about her work situation. She told me how she had decided work was not a good fit for her. She had decided she wanted to leave her place of employment, for lots of reasons, including:

  • She didn’t feel appreciated.
  • She didn’t like her manager.
  • She was consistently expected to do more, without additional pay.
  • The work was not  a good match for her talents.

Now I am very careful about confidentiality — that is, I am scrupulous about not revealing something here that could possibly identify somebody else to anybody who might read this blog. But I can tell you all these facts, because …. it matches hundreds of conversations I’ve had with people, regarding work.

With this particular person, the conversation turned to the concept of escape.  She felt stuck at work, because of:

  • Financial obligations.
  • Limited options elsewhere.
  • Fear of change (“What if I leave, and it gets worse?”)

We did talk about the concept of escape, though, even though that did not feel logically possible.

Before our discussion ended, that day, she told me what had been most helpful about it:

I feel better, just knowing that I COULD escape, if I chose to.

This may seem like a strange leap of mind, right now, but I’ve also seen how the thought of the ultimate escape — suicide — can bring relief to people.

Is that shocking?  I will attempt to explain my thoughts about this:

Thoughts about suicide (or as we call them in the therapy biz, Suicidal Ideation or SI) don’t necessarily lead to suicide. As I like to tell people, a thought is miles away from an action. Now, I’m not saying that Suicidal Thinking is Good.  Suicidal thoughts indicate pain, and (to quote “Death of A Salesman”), Attention Must Be Paid.

At the same time, I’ve seen people afraid to approach somebody else’s suicidal thoughts, for fear it will make them more likely to hurt or kill themselves.

It’s a complicated topic, but this is my point today:

It can help, a great deal, to know that escape is possible. Even if you are unlikely or unable to take that step, in the moment. Even if the escape has many down sides.

As a matter of fact, allowing for the possibility of escape — realizing that you are not trapped, that you have options to GET OUT! — might free up your mind to see other, more benign, positive, and advantageous options.

I need to end this post (even though I don’t want to escape from here, at all). And what’s missing, before I end?  A beautiful image.

Yesterday, at work, I contemplated escape, to here:

Image***

boquete-town****

Panama-Boquete-Fairgrounds-edge-of-Rio-Calera-12-92-300x275*****

boquete_waterfall******

Panama-boquete-smaller*******

Where IS that place?  It’s a place I’ve never been:

boquete-panama********

Okay!  Time to turn my thoughts away from escape, and back to the present.

But that sure helped me, today.

Thanks to all who contributed to the creation of today’s post, to anybody who has thoughts about escaping, and to you, especially, for reading today

______________________________

*  A term I just made up, which I like, so I am writing this note to myself about it, hoping that helps me remember it, not unlike the guy from “Memento.”**

** A movie I watched, again, last week, with my son and Michael, my bf.

*** I found this image here.

**** I found this image here.

***** I found this image here.

****** I found this image here.

******* I found this image here.

******** I found this image here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 350: Face it

It’s Monday morning, which means I need to go to work soon, and this is what I’m facing.

Ice and cold. (Cue Google Images … )

Image*

Image**Image***

I chose the last two images from the Google Images Buffet (for “ice and cold”) because of something else I’m looking at, this morning.

My face.

I accidentally scratched my own face at the beginning of the weekend. I still don’t know how I did this. Actually, that’s not really true — I DO know how I did it.  It involved getting ready for bed, having a fingernail that was too long, and losing track of the relationship in space and time between my hand and my nose.

I hope I’m not the only one, out here in the blogosphere, who has ever done something like that.

This didn’t really bother me, although the scratch bled a lot (probably because I’m on anti-coagulant meds). I thought it would heal over the weekend, so I would look “presentable” by the time I needed to return to work.

However, when I got up this morning and looked in the mirror …. Eeeeeeek!!!  It’s still pretty gnarly looking.  I mean, you can really see an obvious wound, on my nose.  And I have to get ready for work, where people, most likely, will be looking at my face.

Hmmmmmm.

I have lots of thoughts about this, right now, including:

  • We all have wounds.
  • Some of them are more obvious than others.
  • If we do not have a choice — regarding whether we can hide a wound —  we might feel more shame.
  • It can be traumatic for people to deal with damage to faces. (I am working with a person, in therapy, who is dealing with this right now.)

I have more thoughts, but you know what? I have to stop this post, so I can figure out what to do with this obvious wound on my face.

Here are my options:

  1.  Try camouflaging it, with make-up.
  2.  Put a band-aid on it, to hide it completely. Although that’s going to disturb people even more, don’t you agree?  I’m still freaked out by this band-aid

Image****

and it was on the BACK of somebody’s head.
3.  Another solution, less connected to shame, which I haven’t figured out yet.

Okay!  It’s time for me to end this post and get ready for work.

Thanks to Paul j Horton (who painted “Ice Cold Lips”), lorency (for the iced-eye image “Cold as Ice”), people who have accidentally hurt themselves in any way, all those with imperfect faces, and to you — of course!! — for reading today.


  • I found this image here.

** I found this image here.

*** I found this image here.

**** From “Pulp Fiction,” in case you didn’t know.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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:

Image*

…  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:

INSERT

YOUR IMAGE

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

HERE

.

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:

Image

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:

.

Image

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

Image

(and also the presence of Michael, there).

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

Image

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:

Image

… 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.

Yay!!!!

****

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:

Image

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:

Image

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

Day 348: Signs (continued)

As usual, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to blog about this morning.  As usual, I considered and let go of several ideas.

Some of those ideas were related to love; some of the ideas were related to loss. Some were related to connection with others; some were related to being alone.  Some of the ideas were heavy; some of them were light.

This is what I settled on, after checking my iPhone for recent photos:

Image

After I saw this sign at work yesterday, I realized there were (at least) two different interpretations of the phrase “Help Yourself”:

  • Share in this gift (in this case, coffee).
  • Only you can change your life.

Signs are amazing, aren’t they?

Thanks to all who have visited here today, no matter where, who, or how you are*.

_____________________________________________

* And whether or not** you drink coffee.

** If you’re wondering if this was good grammar, check this out.

*** Aren’t footnotes fun?

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 347: TGIF

It’s Friday. Here’s what I’m looking at, for today:

  • For the second day in a row, I have to get into work earlier than usual (which leaves me limited time to blog);
  • I have too much to do today.  I won’t be able to do it all.  There’s no way.

So how am I feeling, in the moment? Rushed. Annoyed. And I’m having anticipatory guilt.

Anticipatory guilt?  What the hell is that?

Well, I’m expecting that guilt will be on my plate today, because

  • I don’t like being annoyed.
  • I will have to prioritize and make decisions about what I do and what I don’t do.
  • I will probably question some of those decisions.
  • Some tasks will remain undone by the end of the day.

So, my dear readers, we’re looking at a Friday that is Fraught with Guilt Potential.

I’ve noticed that, these days, there are catchy names on the internet, for the days of the week. For example, I’m aware of Throwback Thursday.

I wonder if there are catchy names for Friday that involve the potential for guilt?  Somehow, I doubt it. I think most characterizations about Fridays have to do with relief, not guilt.

For example, I’m aware of this one:

Thank God It’s Friday, often abbreviated to TGIF.

Personally, I’m looking at this kind of TGIF:

Try Guilt, It’s Friday

Arrghhhh!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find guilt a helpful feeling.  Like worry, guilt doesn’t do me any good these days.

So as I’m looking at my own Special of the Day — that offer of “Try Guilt, It’s Friday” — THIS is how I’m going to reply, right now:

Thanks, but no thanks. And, I would like to take this opportunity to change that TGIF to something else. How about these, instead?

Try Groaning, It’s Friday.

Try Griping, It’s Friday.

Try Grinning, It’s Friday.

Try Gratitude, It’s Friday.

Try Growing, It’s Friday.

I’ll probably do all of the above, at some point during today. And that’s fine, because those are all better than guilt.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better now.

What’s missing, before I end this post?  A picture, of course!  Haven’t you been paying attention???

(As I mentioned at the top of my post, I’m starting out this morning annoyed. And when I’m annoyed, I tend to get pissed off at certain things, including my sense that people aren’t paying attention.  So don’t take it personally. It’s not you. It’s me.)

So where was I, before that digression in the parentheses?

Oh, yes.  A picture. Let’s see what I have, on my iPhone ….

Here’s a photo I took yesterday, of something I have in my office:

Image

It’s a gift I got, around this time last year– an action figure of one of my heroes, Carl Jung. I took that photo, yesterday, because I  thought I might want to use it in today’s post.

I was right!* So let’s end with this one:

Try Goofiness, It’s Friday.

Gotta run!  Thanks for reading, today.

________________________________

* I’m a good guesser.  Here’s another guess of mine: I’m not going to be the only one who uses this title for a blog post today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 346: More Things That Won’t Kill Me

Yesterday, I posted about things that won’t kill me, and people seemed to enjoy that.

I guess that proves that people are glad to hear that I’m pretty safe.   Also, I assume that people were glad to hear they had a good chance to survive the near future, also.

After I posted yesterday, I thought of lots more examples of things that won’t kill me (despite any fears to the contrary). So without further ado …

More Things That Won’t Kill Me*

by Ann

  1. Being late with a bill payment.
  2. Losing a glove (or hat, umbrella, or other protection from inclement weather).
  3. Saying “no” to an invitation.
  4. Running out of gas.
  5. Losing a cell phone.
  6. Forgetting to take my medication.
  7. Taking my medication.
  8. Mispronouncing, misspelling, or forgetting somebody’s name.
  9. Somebody mispronouncing, misspelling, or forgetting my name.
  10. Breaking unwritten rules.
  11. Breaking written rules.
  12. Taking a bad picture.
  13. Asking for what I want (even if I don’t get it).
  14. The word “love.”
  15. Hurting somebody.
  16. Being hurt.
  17. Writing something mediocre.
  18. Gaining weight.
  19. Goodbyes.
  20. Getting stuck in traffic.
  21. Getting lost.
  22. Having to wait.
  23. Keeping somebody else waiting.
  24. Bugs.
  25. Not knowing the answer to a question.
  26. A bad hair day.
  27. Feeling over-confident.
  28. Feeling under-confident.
  29. Saying too much.
  30. Saying too little.
  31. Saying the wrong thing.
  32. Repeating myself.
  33. Getting too much attention.
  34. Getting too little attention.
  35. Getting older.

Again, some of those (especially that last one) might kill me, but not today.

Did you notice that sometimes I worry about the dire effects of opposite things?  For example,  #27/#28, #29/#30, #33/#34.  That doesn’t really make sense, does it?  I might as well skip those things, entirely.

Here’s another example of that: Yesterday, being late appeared on the list (which was especially appreciated by my faithful reader elizabeth2560)  (and check out her comment, at the end of yesterday’s post, for some very good news about being late). However, sometimes I also worry about being TOO EARLY. And being early won’t kill me, either, which is good, because I’m going to publish this post much earlier than unusual (for reasons relating to my work schedule tomorrow).

So I would like to put this post and myself to bed, but I haven’t included an image yet. While that won’t kill me, either,  I LIKE including photos in these posts.

So let’s see what’s on my trusty iPhone ….

Aha!  Yet another thing that won’t kill me (or anybody else**):

IMG_2293

Dust.

Thanks to elizabeth2560, those who are early and those who are late, neat and messy people everywhere,  and to you — of course!! — for reading today.


* Unlike yesterday’s list, there are no links to previous blog posts, which won’t … well, you know.

** I actually did some fact-checking for this claim, and here it is.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.