Monthly Archives: January 2014

Day 387: Why I’m not afraid of going out today

There are lots of reasons why I SHOULD be afraid of going out today, including:

  1. It snowed last night.
  2. It’s 9 degrees, in these here parts 1.
  3. The expected high is only 18 degrees.
  4. I don’t know what the friggin’ wind child factor is — how the outside world is SUPPOSED TO FEEL, according to some cockamamie calculation by some weather wonk — but, I can tell you this: that’s not good, either.
  5. With all of the above (plus my personal health “conditions”) 2, today has more obvious dangers, than yesterday did.

And in posts past, I have certainly written about my fear of the elements (see here, here, here, here, here, or basically any post I’ve written during the winter months,  for obvious or subtle clues about same).

So why aren’t I scared, this morning?

Well, I’ve had some practice — at this point in the winter of 2013/2014 — of dealing with all of the above. And I’ve lived — no worse for the wear. So that definitely helps.

What else helps?

In a previous post, I referred to books I’ve re-read many time, including The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, by Mark Toby.


Several years ago, I ordered this book, from Amazon, so I could own it again.  While I did not take the photo above, I thought I could have when I wrote that previous blog post, because that book I ordered (plus the one I owned in the 1960’s) looked just like that picture.  However, when I was writing that previous blog post, it was easier to find a photo online, rather than look for the book.

Why?  Because of something else that usually scares me: Looking for something I own, for fear I will not find it.

I’m upstairs, while I’m writing this portion of the blog post. I believe that book is downstairs, somewhere. Today, I’m not afraid of looking for that, either, and I will, in just a moment.

But, wait!  I haven’t revealed WHY I want to look for that book.

Here’s why: This is my memory of the last line of that book, which has been echoing in my head, since I started writing this post:

Fall in love. Love will make you brave.

Aha!  There’s another reason I might be afraid to look for that book: fear that my memory might not be good enough.

Hold on. I’m venturing downstairs.


While I found other treasured books from my past:




…. no sign of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

What do I deduce, dear readers, from that?  Well, the book could have been destroyed, when the basement flooded at our previous residence. Or, it could be somewhere else, lurking, where we live now.

But, you know what? I’m not scared about any of that. And I’m not disappointed, either, even though I can’t use  my original plan for the ending of this post: A photo of the last line(s) of that book, which I figured would be close enough.

Instead, here’s another ending, which I love.

Thanks to all those reading, today, who love, are loved, or are brave for any reason. And that would include you (even if you don’t know it).

  1. That’s just my way of saying “Fahrenheit”, these days.

  2. Not to worry. I have a pacemaker and recently received a new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, but I’m fine.  Really. I’m not just saying that! I just need to be more careful about injuries — like slipping on ice or getting into a car accident — because I’m taking anti-coagulant medication.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 386: Clues

Oh, I have WAY too many things I’d like to write about today.

Let’s start with some continuity, shall we?  In yesterday’s mysterious blog post, this was part of the opening gambit:

“The blog’s afoot, Michael!” I cried, as I ran — my feet descending the stairs clad in but one purple sock — to retrieve my cell phone.

Sometimes, I have fantasies of people reading my posts verrrrrrry carefully: for clues, for meanings, for all the friggin’ things I’m putting in them as I’m composing them.

Why wait for other people to start, though, when I can do that myself?  Therefore, let’s examine that quote from yesterday’s post, verrrrry carefully.

I see one theme emerging, almost immediately.  The dichotomy of OFF/ON  (in the realm of socks):


Now, if you look at that photo — which definitely does demonstrate the Dichotomy of OFF and ON, sock-wise — what clues emerge from that photo? What might we deduce about that, regarding when that photo taken?  Was it yesterday, The Day of the Wicked Pisser?

Well, one of the  Wicked Pisser suspects IS in that shot. So perhaps that photo was taken yesterday.  However, is that a PURPLE sock?

Right now, I can imagine people crying out, in Blogging Land, “Ann!  What IS IT you want us to see, in this post?  Are we suppose to be paying close attention to the fact that, when you sleep, one sock usually comes off?  Is THAT it?  Do you want us to be as exquisitely aware — as you are — of space and time?  WHAT??!!!!”

Good questions, readers.

Here was my intention, when I started this post today:

I wanted to write about opposites, including:

  1. ON and OFF,
  2. UP and DOWN, and
  3. (maybe even)  CATS and DOGS.



Well, because of my usual motives, when blogging. These include:

  1. To play,
  2. To be authentic,
  3. To fulfill past promises, and
  4. To let go of anxiety.

Have I been playful? I think so.

Have I been authentic?  I always go for that (even when I’m being mysterious), so ….Yes.

Have I fulfilled past promises? Well, I promised my fellow blogger, The Culture Monk, in the comments section for this pre-New Year’s post, that I would try to include some photos of dogs as well as cats, in 2014.  So …. Yes.

Have I let go of anxiety?  Not quite.

Well, then, what IS the anxiety you want to let go of, today, Ann?

How much time do we have?

According to my calculations, we have about 20 minutes. Okay!  Ready, set, go!

In the moment, I am anxious about:

  1. Flying to Panama, in three weeks, which — for the first time in my life — will involve being in a teensy eensy plane. (Hence the wish to write about UP and DOWN).1
  2. My mind’s a blank.

Hmmm. I still have 19 minutes left, to complete this post. So, perhaps, I could tell you about other anxieties that occurred to me, earlier this morning, including the thermostat being OFF again, which was quickly returned to ON (thanks to an assist from my bf, Michael).

Or, I could tell you about my anxieties regarding being on time, which pretty much always come into play when I’m writing in the morning before leaving for work.

But you know what?

I think I’ve written enough about these anxieties, for people who want to look at my posts verrrrrrry carefully, like this guy:

Image 2

At least, I’ve left enough clues, for now.

The game (and my work) is afoot, so … gotta run! Thanks to all, for reading today.

  1.  Another way I considered writing about UP and DOWN, today: I thought I might say something about how my mood is affected by having a long weekend and then returning to work. But ….. another time, perhaps.
  2. I found this image at My showing you the full name of that link was deliberate, for those of you who might want to investigate further.
Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 385: Wicked Pisser

Note: This blog post was inspired by recent, actual events, including my watching last night’s season premiere1 of “Sherlock” with my son.

Soon after waking this morning, I said to my partner of three years, “I’ve got it.  I know what today’s post title will be.”

Wicked pisser.

It was obvious, and all too clear.  Why hadn’t I realized it before? After briefly cursing myself for my slowness, I made haste to prepare for today’s post.

“The blog’s afoot, Michael!” I cried, as I ran — my feet descending the stairs clad in but one purple sock — to retrieve my cell phone.

Carefully re-ascending, I took a photo of the crime scene:

photo (73)

Of course, the authorities,  when arriving upon the scene soon after the deed was discovered last night, had completely bungled the investigation, removing critical evidence.  Nevertheless, I believed this photo would help me and my Blogging Street Irregulars put the pieces together.

Next, after hastily rearranging the crime scene to its usual morning appearance, I surreptitiously took a photo of the first suspect:


I reviewed the evidence against this creature. Uppermost of all the thoughts flashing through my mind were these:

  1. His returning to the scene of the crime.
  2. The look on his face, which any keen observer might deduce as indicative of guilt (although I’ve learned, through many years of  investigations, that facial expressions can be deceiving).
  3. His motives, which could include revenge for being removed, relatively recently, from his previous home — a local shelter of good repute — from which he was placed, without his consent, in an unfamiliar domicile to cohabit with other creatures, also not of his choosing.

Which reminded me of the other obvious suspect:


Again, the case against this graceful animal ran through my head:

  1. Previous commitments of the crime in question, although never at that particular location.

That was all I could come up with, in the heat of the moment.  I wondered: Was my affection for this creature interfering in my dispassionate review of the evidence?

Of course not. Affection never sways my mind from the facts. Nevertheless, I could proceed no further with the investigation.

At the time of this writing, the results are inconclusive. I’m hoping, with future observation, to solve the crime. But, as we know, some mysteries are never solved2, even when we’ve narrowed the list of suspects.

Before I end this blog post, I would like to tell my readers this: I had other reasons for naming today’s post, precisely.

For example, “Wicked Pisser” —  at the geographical location of the crime scene — can be the highest possible praise. In the local vernacular, it means Top Notch. Amazing. The Best.

My plan, over this long weekend, was to write a post about some high praise I’ve received, at different points in my life.

However, events can interfere with intentions. One must go with the flow.

And, sometimes, it’s good to keep your audience guessing.

Thanks to all the Sherlock Holmeses I’ve encountered, since age 10. Who else to thank? Elementary, my dear reader. You, for visiting today.

  1. In the United States.

  2. For example, see my blog post from months past — Unsolved Mysteries — set in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A final, unnumbered footnote: See the comment section, below, for postulations about a mysterious “<   p>” which appeared, at some point, in this post.

One more thing that feels missing, to me, from this post. Some background music:

Categories: humor, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Day 384: Anything you know about what may have contributed to where you are in the moment

That sure is a long-winded title, isn’t it?

Anything you know about what may have contributed to where you are in the moment.

My first attempts at communicating thoughts are often laborious and klutzy, just like that. Usually, if I have time to improve what I’ve written, I will:

  1. Re-read it, imagining I’ve never seen it before and that I’m easily confused. 1
  2. Omit needless words. 2

However, while I do have some extra time to compose my post today (since it’s the weekend), I am NOT going to rewrite that title.

Why?  (She imagines readers scattered throughout the world, crying out.)

Because that title phrase is something I say in every therapy group I run.

Why? (She imagines readers scattered throughout the world saying, without assuming their tone of voice.)

I guess some context would help, at this point.

In the therapy groups I facilitate each week, I invite people to check in. I do that by expressing what I’m curious about, which includes:

  • “Where you are in the moment.”
  • “Anything you know about what may have contributed to where you are in the moment.”

And while I vary the language of that first part (I may say, “What’s going on for you in the moment?” or I may include words like “thoughts, feelings, anything”) … I say the second part the same way, every time.

Hmmmmm. As usual, now that I’ve written something down, I see how I can improve it. From now on, I shall try saying, “Anything you know about that.” Period.

Already, I’ve gotten something out of this blog post.  I’m going to keep writing, though, because I think I have more to learn here, this morning.

I chose that title for my blog post today because I want to be more mindful, right now, of where I am. And those check-in questions help me, too.


Where you are in the moment … ?

See, I’m much more of a smart aleck than the people who attend my groups. My first impulse is to say, “In Boston.” Or “Sitting in this room.”  But nobody in my groups ever says things like that. (Maybe they’re tempted, too.)

I’ll ask myself that question, again.



Eating a banana. A little uncomfortable.


Sitting on a sofa. Looking out the window.  Realizing it’s snowing. Wondering about meeting my friend, Deb, for brunch.


Realizing that brunch is still happening.

Feeling better. Letting go of anxiety. Grateful to be writing. Grateful to be here.

Next question:

Anything you know about what may have contributed to where you are in the moment … ?

(I know, I know, but — for me — that long version works best.)

Eating something.

Changing my physical position to something more comfortable.

Naming my anxiety.

Contacting my friend, Deb, to check about our plans. Discovering she was not afraid of venturing out in the snow. Knowing, based on past experiences, that I will be safe enough driving to meet her.

Feeling safe enough about expressing my thoughts, here, and sharing them online.

Remembering that, two days ago, a group psychotherapy organization I’ve admired for years invited me to be on their board of directors. Being surprised and flattered by that. Realizing I could say “no,” if I chose.

Saying “yes.”

Okay! It’s time for me to prepare for my adventure today, in the snow, with my friend Deb.

Wait!  Did I forget anything?



Yes.  Drinking some water.

Thanks for reading, no matter where you are, in the moment.

  1.  Advice I frequently gave while teaching a class at Boston University, where I attended a graduate film program in the 80’s. I often added, “I don’t have to imagine being easily confused.”

  2. I thought this was Rule #1 in Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.3 It’s not. It’s Rule # 13.

  3. Rule #1 in Strunk and White is something quite passé: “Form the possessive singular of nouns with ‘s. Follow this rule whatever the final consonant.” These days, whenever I write something like “Charles’s friend,” I feel like a freak.

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

Day 383: Waking up around 3:30

On Day 40, when I was visiting an old friend in South Carolina, I wrote a post titled “I’ve been waking up around 3:30 throughout this vacation.”

Last week, I visited a different old friend (whom I hadn’t seen in several decades), and he told me this: He often wakes up in the middle of the night around the time of his father’s death.

Last night, I woke up around 3:30, again.

I wonder what the time of my mother’s death was?  I know it was during the middle of the night.

There are many possible explanations for my waking up at 3:30, last night:

  1. I ate some food for dinner, which was very delicious the first time I tasted it, but less delicious the second time.
  2. I might have sleep apnea.  For those of you reading this who think I should have a sleep study done as soon as possible, I’M WORKING ON IT, OKAY?
  3. My subconscious had lots of ideas about my next blog post.
  4. Lots of people, including me, seem to have forgotten (or never learned) how to sleep, which is pretty incredible, when you think about it, since sleeping should be natural for human beings, much like — say — breathing and eating.
  5. Oh.

I’m sure there were lots more reasons why I might have woken up last night around 3:30, including the fact that it’s Full Moon Time.  Lots of smart people I know remark on the importance of the full moon, and how it affects us.

When I looked out into the Wide Wide Internet last night and this morning, I saw many people sharing photos of the moon, including:


(thanks to Mark Bialczak)


(thanks to Poesy plus Polemics, plus Anonymously Uncool from

And here’s one (plus a poem I especially appreciated), from Fool’s Blog  …


… which reminds me of the one I took, full of wonder, last night:


So even though the current full moon is the smallest of 2014:


(left to right, front row:  Current “Minimoon”; “Super Moon” expected 8/10/14) 1

…. it still has a big effect. And that effect may have included my waking up around 3:30, last night.

Thanks to friends old and new, my mother, my fellow bloggers, moon-y people everywhere, and to you — of course! — for showing up today.

  1.  My main reasons for creating this footnote were (a) to let you know that I blogged, here, about some past pursuits of Super Moons  and (b) to continue my practice doing footnotes here at WordPress. However, I also have to comment on that photo. It’s doctored, people! I mean, look at it!  When have you ever seen two moons in one photograph? Also, look at the caption.  The moon on the right IS FROM THE FUTURE. Oh, and thanks to The Mother Nature Network.
Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Day 382: Why I was judgmental about yesterday’s blog post

I was unhappy with yesterday’s post, called “Different Ways,” because:

  1. I left out the traditional first word — “Day” —  from the post title (for the first time in three hundred and eighty-one days), which I didn’t notice until much later  (at which point I fixed it).
  2. I left out the driving point of that post, entirely, because I was feeling guilty about something.

I hope to fix that, now.

I confess, dear reader. I concealed something from you, yesterday. As Diana Schenk, one of my favourite readers and writers here at WordPress, wrote in a comment to yesterday’s post:

avoidance is one of favourite strategies. Well not really, but I do it anyway! haha

Thank you for that comment, Diana.

So, yes, in yesterday’s post I avoided saying something. I used indirect, rather than direct communication.1 And, as a result, yesterday’s post suffered.

Many of my readers still liked yesterday’s post, and for that I’m truly grateful. I’m not going to act like Eddie Van Halen, who berated somebody for praising his guitar work, when Mr. Van Halen knew his playing could have been better.2

Nevertheless, I was aware of my judgment about that blog post, all day. And, last night, I reality-tested3 that judgment, by asking my bf, Michael,  to read the post, and to tell me what he thought of it.

And this is what  Michael said: “It wasn’t one of your better ones.  And I was thinking, as I read it, ‘Isn’t this sort of about the car accident you just had?'”

And it was.

Now, before people get concerned, let me say this: Not to worry.  I was in a minor fender bender, a couple of days ago, is all.  The accident was so minor, that it’s possible that the other driver is not going to report the damage to the insurance company.  But I still feel some shame about it, because the accident was completely my fault.

Here’s what happened:  I was driving home from work, with  Waze (the GPS system I wrote about in yesterday’s post) on my cell phone, guiding me home.  Waze’s familiar voice and the surprising ways she sometimes alters the route  can help me let go of anxiety I sometimes feel, after a long day working at the hospital.

The ride home, on that particular night, wasn’t easy, because it was foggy, dark, and pouring rain. And Waze brought me home a different way, which involved at least one scary, unfamiliar maneuver into heavy traffic.

I’m not blaming Waze, mind you.  Waze was doing the best she could.  And I made it through that difficult traffic maneuver, just fine.

However, soon after that, when I was back on a familiar part of my route home, I stopped at a red light.  At that point, a text message came through on my phone from somebody I care about. I thought it might relate to something important, and …. BAM!  I had rolled into the car in front of me.

I felt awful, because this was totally my fault.  I had been distracted by my cell phone, just like those people in anti-texting  public service ads, who have done terrible damage.

The other driver and I exchanged information, in the pouring rain.  Her car had a little bit of damage. My car had none.

I reported the accident to my insurance company and — as far as I know — the other driver hasn’t reported it, yet. And no matter what she does, it’s going to be okay. It wasn’t the crime of the century.4 However, it WAS a serious mistake on my part, even though the consequences, in this case, were small.

As always, I learned something from my mistake. And, I’m going to figure out ways NOT to get distracted by texts that come in while I’m driving.

If you now read yesterday’s blog post, after finding out my secret, maybe you’ll see how that story was lurking there, in certain places.  Or maybe not. It was lurking there for me, while I was writing, even though I didn’t name it in the post.

I’m glad I’m naming it now.

So, as I end this post, what image should I include?  I have  photos on my iPhone of the other driver’s license and registration, but that’s REALLY inappropriate to share. What IS appropriate to share, right now?

Maybe something from Google Image, about a phrase I’ve written about before.

Image 6

I’m glad I’m saying that now, too.

One more thing, before I end. I’m remembering, for some reason, a metaphor that somebody used yesterday, at work. This woman was talking about how she felt shame about her sadness and grief, because she wasn’t used to crying in front of people. She said,

It’s like I’ve kept a curtain down in front of those feelings, my whole life, and now the curtain is up. And I can’t control it.

I thought that was a wonderful metaphor, for the experience of shame. She and I discussed how the worst part of that, for her, was the lack of control over the curtain.

So, dear readers, I’m glad I took control, today, and raised a curtain, here.

Thanks to everybody who has been hurt — or who has unintentionally hurt somebody else — no matter what the extent of the damage. And a special thanks to you, for visiting.

  1. When I tried to link to a previous post about that topic, just now, I discovered another mistake I’d been hoping to avoid: I gave the same title to different posts: here and here.

  2. Michael told me that story, about Eddie Van Halen and a reporter at one of his concerts, last night.

  3. See this list for more about reality testing (and other helpful antidotes for unhelpful thoughts and behaviors).

  4.  This is something I sometimes say to myself, when my conscience is being over-active, like recently, when I took a rain check for a sale item that a store was out of, and then decided not to use the rain check the next time I saw the item was back on the shelf, but rather save it for a time when the item was no longer on sale.5

  5. If you understand this story, I assume that you have an over-active conscience, too.

  6.  I found that image, here, at Lia Halsall’s blog.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

381: Different Ways

As I compose this blog post, this morning, there are lots of ways it can go. At each moment, there are options I can choose, and I will. At the same time, I’m learning to let go of my investment in where it goes, and the ways it gets there.

in writing, in facilitating groups, in life in general, I’m learning ways to balance:

  1.  Recognizing and making choices, at each step of the way.
  2.  Letting go and enjoying the ride.

I wanted a metaphor of balancing those different ways of being, and this is where my mind went:


The specific analogy? Sometimes I’m the driver and sometimes I’m the passenger.

I guess my turn-of-mind there is not surprising,  since driving a car is part of my daily commute to work. (Walking is also a part of the way I go to work.)

Another reason that analogy does not surprise me?

My original intent, in this post, was to write about my1 current GPS system ….


…. Waze.

Here’s are some ways that Waze describes itself:

After typing in their destination address, users just drive with the app open on their phone to passively contribute traffic and other road data, but they can also take a more active role by sharing road reports on accidents, police traps, or any other hazards along the way, helping to give other users in the area a ‘heads-up’ about what’s to come.

In addition to the local communities of drivers using the app, Waze is also home to an active community of online map editors who ensure that the data in their areas is as up-to-date as possible.

Here are some notes I wrote on my phone, several months ago, about ways I might blog about Waze.

Reasons Why I Love Waze

It was recommended by someone I really like at work. She starts where I am. There’s structure so I know she’ll get me where I’m going. She can adapt to my mistakes. There are surprises every day. She guides me every step of the way even if other people are talking. She takes care of me, expressing concerns for my safety. Knows when to be quiet and knows when to speak. She communicates the shared wisdom of other people. I can leave and rejoin her at any time. She makes really good guesses about my needs. She doesn’t seem to have an attitude when I depart from the routes or do something else she doesn’t expect. She sometimes gets confused and makes mistakes, but she recovers really well.


Here’s what I want to say, right now, about the way I wrote those notes:

  • I presented them, above, almost exactly the same way they appeared in my iPhone this morning.  The exceptions? Bolding and centering the headline, italicizing the text, spelling corrections, punctuation changes, etc. — all ways to improve clarity and understanding, as you read this today.
  • .The second sentence — “She starts where I am” — might have been confusing when you first read it. You might have initially thought that “she” referred to the person at work who recommended Waze to me. Nope. My use of “she”, for the rest of those notes, referred to Waze, itself, who talks to me in a female voice.
  • Those notes might also refer, in some ways, to other females I’ve known (including myself).
  • I wrote those notes in my iPhone, using hands-free dictation, on my way to work. I haven’t quite figured out the right way to interact with my phone (and with others) while I’m in my car, on my way somewhere.  I’m working on that.

Here are some ways my mind is going, right now. I want to start ending this post.  My tried-and-true ways of doing that?  Expressing what might feel left unsaid. Plus, showing you images that relate to the blog post topic.

When I checked my iPhone notes, about Waze, just now, I found another note, which was separate from the others:

She is similar to and also different from people and programs I have encountered in the past.

Just now, when I went to my iPhone to check recent images, I absent-mindedly clicked on the Waze icon, and she asked me this question:

Are you on your way to work?

I answered, “No.” I meant, “Not yet.  Soon.”

Here’s are the two most recent photos2 from my iPhone, which show different ways to do cupcakes:



And, in conclusion, here’s one Google Image, in response to “ways” that seems safe enough3 to present right now:


(thanks to for that image)

Thanks to Waze, voices (female and male) that have helped guide me, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

  1. In a recent blog post by Mark Bialczak, he and I got into an interesting discussion in the comments section about the use of the word “my.” Why else did I waylay you down here into Footnotes-ville, at that point in my post? In my usual sneaky and self-serving way,  I wanted to practice how I learned to do footnotes yesterday.

  2. Taken at Whole Foods Market, last night.

  3.  Recently, my friend Jeanette sent me an article regarding guidelines of how to more safely use other people’s images in a blog post, but I haven’t read it yet — one of my typical ways of dealing with something that scares me.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | 24 Comments

Day 380: S-words (Secundo)

Several days ago, I wrote a post, called “S-words.”  I am surmising, this second, that it might be helpful to write a sequel to that.  Shall we start?

1.  Secundo.

That word spontaneously showed up in my mind, when I was shaping the title of this post. I speculated that “Secundo” might be spot-on, even though I wasn’t sure it was really a word. I searched Google and ….

Web definitions
The secondary part of a duet


2. Sleep.

Like scores of people I see, I struggle with sleep, sometimes, and I’ve spoken about that before. WordPress shows the word “sleep” in seven of my post titles, so far. (Should you wish to survey that series: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh.)

Here’s some stuff I  want to say about sleep:

  • On the night before I see somebody I’m excited to see, I  usually have trouble sleeping. Specifically, I’m seeing two  people, tomorrow, whom I haven’t seen for a s***-load of years.  One person I know from school; the second person is somebody I met from the first psychotherapy group I ever attended. So, the fact that I’m seeing these two old friends, both on the same day … is that synchronicity? Or simply coincidence? Whatever we call it, it’s screwing up my sleep.
  • I’m going to stop this list, so I can return to slumber-land.

Before I slide black into slumber, however, there are some loose strings I’d like to sew up, from some previous posts. In yesterday’s post, I spoke about losing gloves, and how I was going to search for one of these at work.



Secondly,  readers may have noticed my series of  attempts to simplify my system for doing footnotes here at WordPress, including my search for a surprisingly elusive solution: superscripts.

I’ve struggled to find The Superscript Solution, for several weeks. Actually, simply ‘splaining what a superscript is has been a struggle, since I haven’t been able to show you one, so far.

Yesterday, WordPress Support sent me an email, with a solution.

Should I attempt it?1

She shoots, she scores!

Thanks to sleepers, insomniacs, and, especially, WordPress Support. And, a special shout out to you, for reading tonight, today, or whenever.

  1.  Some people say that when you can’t sleep, you should spend some time doing something soothing before attempting to go back to sleep. Some people might say that doing something new, like using a superscript for the first time2 in a blog post, might interfere with going back to sleep. What’s been your experience?
  2. The second time was easier. I also want to let people know that I will share my new wisdom, soon. 3
  3. Here’s the secret formula:  <sup>3</sup>   which needs to be inserted on the “text” format page.
Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 379: I’m a loser

Yes, I confess. I’m a loser.

You may think I am guilty, right now, of the cognitive distortion of labeling, as follows:

Labeling or Name-calling.

We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” Labels are not only self-defeating, they are irrational, simplistic, and untrue. Human beings are complex and fallible, and in truth cannot be reduced to a label. Consider this: we all breathe, but would it make sense to refer to ourselves as “Breathers”? *

And perhaps I have used that distortion, about myself. But I want to be clear about what kind of loser I mean, today.

A glove loser.

It seems like there is always something I am losing (or fear I’m losing). These days, it’s those things that protect me from the cold, namely scarves, gloves, and hats.

So far, this season, I have (apparently) lost the wonderful scarf I bought a few months ago — to prepare myself physically and emotionally for the coming winter season — at Urban Outfitters in Cambridge (which I wrote about here).**

Yesterday, after I finished the morning’s blog post, I was scrambling, more than usual, to get ready for work. The reasons for the increased scramble level?  The temperature was allegedly going to turn warm, despite a chilly start. So, deciding on the appropriate outer attire was more of a challenge than usual.  I chose a lighter coat, and checked the pockets for gloves. To my dismay, there was only one. Here is that lone glove:


This was particularly distressing because of my feelings about those gloves. I like them, very much. Also, I was wearing those gloves when I first met my boyfriend, and in the email he sent me after our first meeting, he singled them out, in his expressed appreciation of our encounter.

Yes, I felt sad, upon seeing that lone, solitary glove.  Based on past experiences being a loser, I knew there was a good chance its partner would never be found.

I had mixed feelings — worried that I had finally lost one of these precious gloves, but with some hope the glove would be found.

What did I base that hope on? A lot of data, actually. Not only have I had several false alarms — over the years —  about losing one of those cool gloves, but I’ve had many experiences of fearing I’d lost something, only to find it again.

Yesterday, after locating another pair of favorite gloves — bright red ones! — I set off to work, letting go of fear and sadness. And those red gloves kept me nicely warm, during the (surprisingly) cold walk to the hospital.

And I had a good day, doing work I love.

At the end of the day, as I prepared to venture out — into much warmer weather than I had encountered that morning — I looked for my gloves in their usual residing place — my coat pockets.

And there was only one red glove, to be found.  WHAT? I thought.  How can that be?

That is my usual response, when I  first find that I’ve lost something.

WHAT?  How can that be?

And, more so than with the first lost glove, this latest loss seemed  …. inconceivable.

I thought, “How could I have possibly lost ANOTHER FAVORITE glove, in one day?” I retraced my steps, mentally, as advised when you lose something.  I knew I had worn them until I entered the hospital. I knew I had entered the hospital through the main entrance, which is a five-minute walk away from where I work.***

My conclusion was this: the glove HAD to be in the hospital. Before I left the hospital to return home, I checked with a couple of lost-and-found locations. Nada. Other lost gloves had been turned in****, but not a red one, like this:


Ah, well.

Now, I must prepare to leave the house to return to work.

Maybe I’ll find that glove today. And who knows?  Maybe I’ll find the other, more beloved, glove, too.  They’re both out there, somewhere.  I know that.

For now, it’s warm enough to venture out gloveless, today.

And if***** it turns cold again?


Thank goodness, those two are still together.

Thanks to losers everywhere and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

  1. See here for more definitions of cognitive distortions.

  2.  Alas, I did not capture this beauteous scarf in a photo, nor is it available to view online. However, I still recommend visiting that post where I got it, especially since it includes a guy wearing a bear coat!

  3.  Sometimes I deliberately walk through the interior of the hospital, so I can repeat a helpful mantra to myself: ” You are not a patient at this hospital. You work here.” This is helpful because of my extensive experiences, as a child, spending time in a different hospital, because of my congenital heart condition. At other times, I deliberately walk through the interior of the hospital for another reason: just to warm up before my first appointment with patients.

  4. I guess I’m not alone, in being a loser.

  5.  More precisely: “when”, not “if.”

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

Day 378: The Lint Metaphor

Yesterday, I asked for help from the blogging community. I will tell you — right now — that asking for help is a big deal for me. I tend to try to take care of things, on my own.

I have been trying to balance that independence of mine (or whatever else we want to call that) with reaching out for support. I’ve been consciously doing that more, in these year(s) of living:

  1. with less judgment,
  2. with less fear, and
  3. with more love.

So I reached out for support, yesterday. I asked for help, from my readers, in coming up with a metaphor for an unhelpful feeling which sticks, and then — when dislodged — reattaches to something else. More specifically, I asked for a metaphor that described a particular fear of mine: that other people might be angry, judgmental, or otherwise (perhaps permanently) disconnected from me.

Readers came up with some great metaphors, as well as other enriching, insightful thoughts.

I don’t have time to write about all of those today, so please see the comment section of yesterday’s post, people!

I do want to quote from one of the responses — from one of the VIP’s (Very Important Participants) in this blogging journey of mine, Sitting On My Own Sofa — as follows:

… lint also sticks. It goes away and it comes back mysteriously. Maybe it goes down the drain or into the vacuum or off to the dump, but it will appear again in the closet, in front of a classroom, at a restaurant. The physics of lint is a lot like the physics of anxiety.

What Sitting On My Own Sofa wrote has been sticking, for me, in a very good way.

Lint is everywhere. It does appear on my clothes. It’s pretty much there, whenever I look closely.  And there’s no shame in it.  How could there be?  It’s everywhere, no matter how much we might try to control it.

Last week, when I was at work, I glanced down at my clothes and saw some lint.

My first thought?  Oh, no!

My next thoughts?

Oh, come on, Ann!  Who cares?  It DOESN’T MATTER. First of all, nobody else is going to notice that. And if somebody does notice and it matters to them?  Forget them!*

So, already, I’m finding that lint metaphor very helpful. Thanks, Sitting On My Own Sofa!

And other suggested metaphors, from yesterday’s post — including bats, crows, athlete’s foot, kitchen moths (eeek!), gout, mildew, green slime, shadows, musical earworms, carpenter ants, stray cats, fog, rocks, dandelions, magnetized objects, water, algae, dust bunnies, ghosts, silver fish, cockroaches (eeek!), meteor showers, tickbirds, and paprazzi (if you’re a star);** rumoras (little fish that stick to big fish)***; boomerangs****; seeds that float on the wind *****; a grain of sand ******; bad pennies ******* mirrors******** — were all illuminating and helpful.

Also, two VIP readers ********* voted for my metaphor du jour — a sea anemone. I particularly appreciated that, since I went to the New England Aquarium yesterday, with my son and boyfriend, and saw LOTS and LOTS of those beauties:


I’m so glad I asked for help, yesterday!

What I’ve written here, this morning, is reminding me of something else I need help with: figuring out how to do footnotes with numbers, not asterisks.  Having that as an option would be particularly helpful, especially when I’m having a lot of thoughts I want to convey in one post (like today).

And while I haven’t gotten help with doing numbered footnotes, yet, I will continue to seek that help, wherever I can find it, balancing that with my ability to learn on my own.

Wait, I just figured out a way to improve my footnotes, here!  And because I have to end this post, I shall do it as best as I can, considering that I need to stop this post in moments, to get ready for work.


Thanks to everybody, everywhere, who helped with the creation of today’s post, whether or not I thanked you. And thanks to you, especially, for visiting and reading today.

  1. I’m thinking about that Cee Lo Green tune, right now: “Forget You,” for lots of reasons.

  2.  All from the wonderful mind of Sitting On My Own Sofa.

  3.  From T. D. Davis. Thanks!

  4. From Mark Bialczak and Russ Towne.  Thanks to both of you!

  5. From biochicklet. Thanks!

  6. From Wancho.  Thanks!

  7.  Russ Towne, again.  Thanks!

  8.  From drjcwash, whom I can’t seem to link to, this morning. Thanks so much!

  9.   andy1076 and Susan Jamieson. Thanks!!!

  10. I wish I had brought my phone with me to the Aquarium, yesterday, so I could show you my own photos, but I didn’t. So thanks to this site, for this image.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

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