Monthly Archives: May 2014

Day 516: One possible function of anxiety (dreams)

Yesterday, I wrote about fear and/or anxiety, and received lots of helpful comments from readers.

Thank you, wonderful readers!

Last night, I had an anxiety dream.

In a typical anxiety dream, I am thwarted from doing something I need/want/desire to do, no matter how I try. In last night’s dream, all sorts of obstacles arose, keeping me from a real-life, highly anticipated event, later this morning. At 9:30 AM today, I am having brunch with:

In my anxiety dream(s) last night — which seemed to last all friggin’ night, but probably lasted minutes in real-time — I kept running into all sorts of unexpected barriers preventing me from ever getting to the brunch. Along the way, various people involved were disappointed or angry with me, too.

That, in summary, describes my anxiety scenarios (whether awake or dreaming).

I’m assuming that you, too, have had anxiety dreams like those, at some point in your life, about important connections or tasks (like a test at school).

Which reminds me of a scene from the 1984 Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker comedy Top Secret:


I loved that scene when I first saw it, and I’m loving it, again, today.

Why? For one thing, it demonstrates the point of this post.

This post has a point?  Yes, it does, and the point is in the title:  One possible function of anxiety. One possible function of anxiety is … it sure feels great when we let go of it.

Indeed, our real, current circumstances — even if they actually involve pain and danger — can feel like a relief, in comparison.

Now, I need to get ready for my highly-anticipated brunch — which may include challenges and glitches (e.g., meeting up with my ESIL and with my son who is away at an over-night AND getting to the brunch on time) but NOTHING compared to the outrageous slings, arrows, and whippings I suffered last night in my dream.

As Val Kilmer said, in Top Secret, “Thank God.”

Before I end, I wanted to quote from some of the amazing comments from yesterday’s post:

I think anxiety and fear are closely related. I did think that the word anxiety derived from anxious, which can sometimes be related to an intense sense of excitement/mixed with impatience which is not really fear. Or maybe it is and you fear the time will never come and thus get anxious!

Swarn Gill

your gathering fear is really more a fear of dispersal, if that makes sense. Which is, in many ways, the most primary fear when it comes to things, people, circumstances, etc. we love.

Jeff Schwaner

I often look back on times in my life and think, I’d have enjoyed that a lot more if I hadn’t been worrying about what could go wrong.

Annabelle Franklin

I read somewhere, maybe even here, I can’t remember: that people who are anxious are living in the future and people who are sad are living in the past. That has stuck with me since I’ve read it.

—  dianasschwenk

There’s a difference between real danger and fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety are created in our minds but to our body it reacts in the same way as real danger. A continuous fight or flight response coming from being anxious about a possible future outcome, causes stress and dis-ease.
Its our thinking that takes over, rather than the actual reality in the present moment. When we are anxious our mind literally beats us up…..

— Val Boyko

… I believe that fear and anxiety are about the future, albeit sometimes rooted in the past. That is a past trauma may make us anxious about it happening again in the future. Val is right about separating a real danger from a perceived danger but that is not altogether easy…even for real fears, we do need to stop ‘worrying’ about them and instead DO something about those things that require action. 

— elizabeth2560

And I’ll end with this one:

In the beginning when you asked “what is this post about? Well, so far we know it is about fear and metaphors”… Yeah, I had no idea that was what it was going to be about! I’ve learned not to try and find a point so early in your posts! Sounds like you are learning to let go of fear (not crediting the picture, hurting other peoples feelings) and I wish you well. I can only imagine how much better life will feel when you don’t have so much fear and anxiety hanging onto you! 

— Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

I can only imagine that too, Kate. It seems like … a dream come true.

Thanks to Lawry, his family, Deborah, my son, Val Kilmer, Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker, all my eminently quotable readers (including those I didn’t quote today), and to you — of course! — for dreaming here with me.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , | 25 Comments

Day 515: Gathering fear

On Day 377: Free-floating, re-sticking anxiety (The _ Metaphor), I asked my readers for help with a metaphor about fear. In the following day’s post —  The Lint Metaphor — I described the help I got in return, for which I am still grateful.

Back then, I used the word anxiety rather than fear. In my mind, those two are closely related.

Are they related closely, in your mind?

I’m already gathering my typical post elements here, including

  • referring to past posts I think are relevant or helpful,
  • focusing on the title,
  • examining language,
  • asking questions, in an attempt to engage, and
  • lists.

But what the heck (as my son might say) is today’s post about?

We know this, so far: this post is about (1) fear* and (2) metaphors.

What else is it about?  Let’s find out, together, shall we?

I’ll start with this: I considered several different post titles this morning, and this is the one that stuck, like lint.

Moving to today’s metaphor: What does “gathering fear*” remind you of?

Personally, I’m reminded of a gathering storm.


I don’t tend to take pictures of storms, so the above image is my favorite, from the ones Google Images just gathered for me. You may notice I’m not including any attribution or credit for the use of that photo. Here’s why: that photo turned up in several websites without attribution, so … I’m letting go of any gathering fear* about that.

Now I’m wondering: what else gathers (besides fear*, storms and Google Images)?

I know! Groups of people. Such as, WordPress readers and people in therapy groups (two of my favorite types of gathering groups).

But before I focus any more on other things that gather … let’s go back to fear*.

Yes, I need to gather myself, to go back to fear, because  I can avoid or hide from fear*.

Speaking of hiding …


Geesh!  I’m really going off-topic*** here. Let’s gather this post back in, pronto!

Okay, so what exactly is gathering for me, today, regarding fear*?

I am conscious, right now, of fear* relating to:

  • hurting people’s feelings or doing damage in some way (a common, automatic fear,* which I’m working on),
  • spending a lot of time at hospitals (another automatic fear* for me, from my childhood), and
  • my son — the one who says “What the heck?” — becoming more independent, and spending more time away from home.

I think the last item on that list is … not least, this morning. It’s the opposite of least. In other words, that fear* — which commonly and automatically gathers for parents of adolescents — is the one that really inspired this post.

So I shall ask myself this question: Is there anything to really be afraid of?

Well, I’m looking outside the window, and I see no storm. Actually, it’s a wonderful day.

I am looking inside, as my son prepares to leave for school, and I see no cause for fear* there, either.  Actually, he’s a wonderful guy.

I interrupt this post for my conversation, just now, with my son, Aaron:

Me: I’m writing about you.

Aaron: You’re always writing about me.

Me: I AM always writing about you.  And me. And the world …

Aaron: All right, that’s enough.

And, as usual, Aaron is correct.

Thanks to those who deal with fear* (in any magnitude), people who have helped with my posts here (in any way), to creatures that hide (for whatever reason), to things that gather (anywhere in the world), to Aaron, and — of course! — to you, for gathering here today.

* and/or anxiety.**

** Yes, I’ve decided to gather footnotes down here, today. Here’s some gathering anxiety regarding footnotes: I’m not sure if the asterisk should go before or after the punctuation mark. Here’s my answer: so what?

*** WordPresser Swarn Gill has communicated with me via email about judgment, and I’ve asked if I could share some of that discussion here. One possible topic is “Off-Topic.” Stay tuned for a future post, gathering his thoughts and mine.

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

Day 514: What I’m reading, these days

What I’m reading these days includes:

  • signs (in different locations)


Image (image found here)

  • lots of blog posts (not pictured)
  • people’s behavior


  • animal behavior


  • things in Chinese restaurants



  • words written on my board, at work


  • things I see on the street


  • labels in supermarkets


  • haikus


  • non-fiction and novels



That’s Chris Delyani, who was one of my students at Boston University, some decades back. I am very proud of him, and I highly recommend his novel. It’s the main thing I’m reading, these days.

Thanks to Maya Angelou, Jenny Potter (who wrote the haiku), Chris, people who read as best they can, and to you — of course! — for doing guess-what, here, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 29 Comments

Day 513: It’s nothing personal

When a possible title for a post occurs to me, I often check my old posts, to see if I’ve used it before. For example, I just searched old titles for the words

  • personalize (0 posts)
  • personalization (0 posts)
  • personal (many posts)

Why do I check old posts?

It’s nothing personal.  I just check old posts as

  • a way to avoid being too repetitive and
  • an early step in the creative process, for me.

Wait!  I guess it IS personal, but it has everything to do with me, not you.

And that leads me to the cognitive distortion of ….

You see yourself as the cause of some negative event for which you are not primarily responsible, and you conclude that what happened was your fault or reflects your inadequacy. Personalization distorts other people’s reactions into a direct, personal response to you. For example, if somebody seems upset, you immediately assume it was because of something you said or did.

When we personalize, a good antidote is this thought:

Most likely, this has to do with the other person, and not so much with me.

Or, we can get radical and try this thought:

It’s not personal

no matter what the situation, and see if that helps.

I wonder why human beings personalize, so automatically?  We must think it helps us, in some way. Perhaps we believe that personalization helps make us:

  • successful,
  • important,
  • unique,
  • safe, or
  • something else we want, hope for, or need.

We must think personalization helps, because — as I witness in others and in myself — it’s a very difficult habit to break.

Am I personalizing now?

I don’t know if I AM personalizing, in this post, people. However,  I’ve already personalized, in the short time I’ve been awake this morning, several times, regarding:

  • my boyfriend, Michael, getting out of bed and going downstairs,
  • a small ant crawling across my laptop screen, and
  • some emails I received.

In each case, it wasn’t personal. Even though I raised the question:

Did I do something wrong?

…. the answer, for all of the above, was:

It’s not your fault.

By the way, in a therapy group I facilitated yesterday at work (where we were discussing the feeling of shame), one of the members wanted to remember to think or say

It’s not my fault

as often as possible.

Speaking of emails I received this morning (and I was, a few paragraphs back), I got mad at a few of them, which had these lines:

  1. We picked these just for you.
  2. Can we talk?
  3. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Why did I get mad?  Because it was nothing personal (but it pretended to be).

I interrupt this post to bring you a conversation I just had with my 16-year-old son, Aaron, preparing to leave for school:

Aaron: Look.  It’s 7:11.

Ann: Yes.

Aaron: (a significant look and laugh)

Ann: Sometimes I look at the clock and notice certain times, and think they’re significant.  Like ‘it’s 11:11, again!’

Aaron: Yes. You do that.

Ann:  Me?

Aaron: People.

I guess it was nothing personal, again.

Personally (as my regular readers know), I like to include photos in these posts that have some personal significance to me (whether or not I personally took the photo).

Ready for today’s photo?

ImagePersonally, I believe that photo is unique. I can also tell you that photo was up-to-the-minute and not posed. Whether it was also successful, important, safe, or something we want, hope for, or need …. ?

I’ll leave that up to you.

Thanks to everyone who sent me an email this morning (whether or not it was personal), to people who personalize, to everyone who’s working on reducing unhelpful thoughts,  and a personal thanks to you — of course! — for visiting today.


Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 32 Comments

Day 512: Up in the Air

“Up in the air” means

(of a plan or issue) still to be settled; unresolved.
“the fate of the power station is up in the air”

… according to Google.

Because of the way my mind works, I’m now wondering why the fate of the power station (in the example, above) is up in the air. Perhaps that has to do with what kind of power station it is, where it’s located, and other factors.

I’ll never know. So I guess that’s up in the air, too.

I’ve written before, here, about dealing with uncertainty. Indeed, that’s another possible title for this blog: “The Year(s) of Living With Uncertainty.” Because we all deal with uncertainty, all the time, don’t we?

Right now, you might be up in the air, regarding which uncertainties are on my mind. Right now, I’m aware of uncertainties regarding:

  • health
  • work
  • relationships
  • home

But if we look into the future, uncertainties regarding all those things are always there, in some way, aren’t they? And depending on how we define the scope of each item on the above list, the uncertainties might change.

For example, we might define the scope of “home” to be our residence, our neighborhood, our country, our planet, the universe …

Eeeek!  That felt a little overwhelming.

Here’s another example. I might define my health to include my diet, specifically, what should I eat, this morning, that will (1) give me energy and (2) do no harm — to me or anybody else?

Eeeek!  That felt a little overwhelming.

I also want to let my readers know that — despite my Eeeek!’s — I am not worried about things, right now, despite inevitable uncertainties.

Why not?  Actually, I’m up in the air about that, too.

Let me see if my iPhone photos will give me any clues.

Here’s one:


Yesterday, I included that photo in Day 511: All-request Weekend.  When I took that picture — two days ago in Cambridge MA — I was trying to capture someone who was up in the air, in a different way.

If you look closely at the shadows, I think you’ll see it, too.

Somehow, every time I look at that picture, I am the opposite of worried.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave the “opposite of worried” up in the air, right now. I have to go up in the air and prepare to depart the place where I live.

Wow!  That last sentence is really ambiguous, isn’t it?

Rather than leave you up in the air about that, here’s my meaning: I need to end this post, go upstairs, get ready for work, and leave my home.

Is there more I could write about this?  Of course!  Are there questions unanswered?  Always!

Where ARE all those unexpressed words and thoughts?


Thanks to anything and everybody that’s up in the air, in any way, right now. Oh, and thanks to people who are down-to-earth, too.  Of course, I thank you, especially, for dropping by.

Nope. There are no footnotes, today. While I had a few while composing this post, I moved them all up (in the air).


Categories: inspiration, personal growth, quiz | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

Day 511: All-request Weekend

I wonder if you recognize the term in my title today: “All-request Weekend.”   I don’t know if radio stations, where you live, do those on holiday weekends.

In case you request a definition,  All-request Weekends are when a radio station counts down — from some number (like* 500)  to #1 —    songs that people request.  When I was regularly listening to All-request Weekends,  “Hey Jude” by the Beatles was often #1.

Perhaps (I humbly request), as you read this post, you might remember your own top song countdowns.

Oh!  I haven’t told you, yet, why I think “All-request Weekend” is such a great title for today’s blog post.  Yesterday’s post, Day 510: Order(s), featured one reader’s request that I smell some flowers. In response to that post, WordPresser Plant Electrician* requested that I smell some chocolate (and Diana Schwenk* added to the request that I taste the chocolate, too).  Since I followed all of those requests  — and because this is Memorial Day* Weekend in the USA — Voila!  It’s an All-request Weekend!

Is everybody with me?


After the requests came in, yesterday, from Plant Electrician and Diana, I asked myself:

What chocolate would I choose — from all the available options — to smell and taste, today?

… which was not the easiest question to answer.  First, I thought of the cupcake shop I visited a year ago* on Charles Street in Boston, but that place is currently closed.

The next thing I thought of was ….


For anybody who has attended MIT, Harvard, other local schools, or is at all familiar with the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Toscanini’s is

  1. A number one
  2. King of the hill
  3. Top of the heap
  4. Head of the List
  5. Top of the hill
  6. (ice) Cream of the crop

… and so on (including  other superlatives Frank Sinatra has sung in his hit, New York, New York*.

Speaking of New York, New York, the NY Times has rated Toscanini’s “The Best Ice Cream in the World.”

Speaking for myself, I used to habituate Toscanini’s all the time, but haven’t been there in many years.

May I request that you accompany me on my trip there?

Let’s go!

I made a brand new start of it* yesterday in Cambridge, like so:


And, like old times, I wanted to be a part of it, right through the very heart of it*:





… a heart, which as you can see, has a LOT of LIFE.

Before the chocolate at Toscanini’s, I wanted to have lunch.  And it seemed like Life Alive would give me a healthy balance for the sweets to come.


I know you can’t see the Life Alive meal options* in the above photo, but I wanted to get Order* into this post, too.

I requested “The Emperor” (which is #2 on the menu):


Then,  when I saw familiar sights on the walk down Massachusetts Avenue to Toscanini’s, I remembered to let them into my heart:









I also saw new things, and remembered to let them into my heart*, too:





As I turned onto Main Street and neared Toscanini’s, memories of  past amazing ice cream flavors  showed up. Counting those down:

#5 Chocolate Pudding

#4 Chocolate Chip

#3 White Chocolate

#2 Belgium Chocolate

#1 Some amazing flavor with giant chunks of delicious chocolate cookies, perhaps the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my life.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, approaching Toscanini’s, yesterday.  As I got closer, topping my Toscanini-memories was the place’s owner: Gus Rancatore.

Why?  Because Gus Rancatore:

  • is an incredibly friendly, nice guy.
  • was somebody I used to see a lot, in the 1980’s, when he, I, and several friends were REALLY into Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong films.*
  • is somebody I haven’t seen in a long time, and I wondered if there was any chance he would be there, on Memorial Day weekend.



He was!

Gus and I reminisced about the old days and — before I could even request anything — he gave me a sample of a brand-new, super-rich vanilla ice cream:


… which was amazing.  When I told Gus about my requested mission, he gave me samples of his top recommendations for the day’s chocolate choices …


… which included:

  • Belgium chocolate
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Ovaltine* (not sampled), and
  • Chocolate sorbet, which was milk-free and, quoting Gus, “for people who are lactose intolerant or just intolerant.”

Gus and I discussed possible top-of-the-list chocolate orders* for me, and we decided on a micro-sized sundae with

  • Belgium Chocolate ice cream,
  • Salted Caramel ice cream,
  • a chocolate shell, and
  • whipped cream.


Request completed, deliciously!

After I said goodbye to Gus and Toscanini’s, I decided to make the day better, better, better, better, better, better, yeah! … with additional familiar — and new — Cambridge sights.











As I was finishing my chocolate-inspired adventure, I encountered one more request, to stop:




That’s Iris, who told me about this new Cambridge space, where there’s art, music, stand-up comedy, and more,  throughout the week. Upon my request, I also got a photo of her, Amanda, Jess, and Rilo  …


… but, as you can see, I barely had time to focus, because my phone was about to die. However, I requested a few more shots at EMW:


…. and then my phone died.

Maybe I’ll honor Iris’s request, and visit there again, soon.

Thanks to Plant Electrician*, Diana Schwenk*, David Frost*, the Beatles*, Frank Sinatra*, Gus Rancatore, chocolate, Iris, people who inhabit and/or have memories of Cambridge, anyone who makes (or fulfills) requests, all those observing Memorial Day, and to you — top of the heap! — for requesting and reading this post, today.

* Something or somebody I’ve requested you link to, in this post.

** That first photo of street signs includes a play on words, and is dedicated to all my pun- and classic-movie loving readers*.  My last request of this post: that anybody comment on that (or anything else).

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

Day 510: Order(s)

Yesterday, Mark Bialczak, a fellow and well-ordered WordPress writer and reader, commented on my post, Day 509: Like, now, like so:

Go out today and smell some flowers no matter where they are?

And even though Mark softened the end with a question mark, he gave me an order.

When somebody gives me an order, I can:

  • hear it,
  • obey, automatically,
  • rebel against it,
  • entertain the possibility that it’s NOT an order (but rather a suggestion),
  • look at my options,
  • consider the pros and cons of each choice,
  • decide what to do.

Yesterday, as soon as I read Mark’s comment, I knew it was just what the doctor ordered. And if you (1) aren’t familiar with that idiom and/or (2) don’t click on links, that means:

exactly what is wanted or needed:

Ooh thank you, a nice cup of tea. Just what the doctor ordered.

— from

Yes, that was exactly what I wanted or needed yesterday: to smell and see some flowers.   So I thought of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, less than an hour’s drive away. And that matched Mark’s order, to a T.*

I took lots of pictures at Tower Hill, yesterday afternoon.  I wonder how I should order those photos here?

Let’s start with this one:


Ooh!  The sign tells me I’m not alone in wanting to organize, in order to simplify and make things more understandable.   That connection with humanity gives me acceptance about whatever order I choose for these photos.





On the way home from Tower Hill, I passed by an open field. Something ordered me to turn the car around, stop,  and inspect things more closely. This is what I saw:


I came back for that heart, with its orderly lines.

Here are two more shots of it:Image



Then, I noticed some things moving, near the heart. Here’s a zoom:



When I returned to my car, I saw some different birds:




I don’t know about you, but to me, it looks like the white guy is ordering the others around.

Thanks** to, ducks, Google, hearts, Mark, those who order and are ordered in any way, Tower Hill, turkeys, and — last, but not least — to you, for dropping by here, today.

* “to a T” is another idiom, defined by Google as:

exactly; to perfection.
“I baked it to a T, and of course it was delicious”

** in alphabetical order.

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

Day 509: Like, now

An alternate title for this post could have been “Random Thoughts on Like.”  I like the title I chose better.

“Like” describes a feeling or emotion AND it means, like, so much more.

When I Googled “like,” one definition came up first.  Would you like to guess which one it was?

I know some people like quick responses, so here’s the definition Google presented first:


preposition: like
  1. having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to.
    “there were other suits like mine in the shop”
    synonyms: similar to, the same as, identical to More
    • in the manner of; in the same way or to the same degree as.
      “he was screaming like a banshee”
      synonyms: in the same way as, in the same manner as, in the manner of, in a similar way to More
    • in a way appropriate to.
      “students were angry at being treated like children”
    • such as one might expect from; characteristic of.
      “just like you to put a damper on people’s enjoyment”
      synonyms: characteristic of, typical of, in character with More
    • used in questions to ask about the characteristics or nature of someone or something.
      “What is it like to be a tuna fisherman?”
  2. used to draw attention to the nature of an action or event.
    “I apologize for coming over unannounced like this”
  3. such as; for example.
    “the cautionary vision of works like Animal Farm and 1984
    synonyms: such as, for example, for instance; More


conjunction: like
  1. in the same way that; as.
    “people who change countries like they change clothes”
  2. as though; as if.
    “I felt like I’d been kicked by a camel”
noun: like; plural noun: like
used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another.
  1. “the quotations could be arranged to put like with like
adjective: like(of a person or thing) having similar qualities or characteristics to another person or thing.
  1. “I responded in like manner”
    synonyms: similar, much the same, comparablecorresponding, resembling, alike,analogousparallelequivalentcognaterelatedkindredMore
    antonyms: dissimilar
      (of a portrait or other image) having a faithful resemblance to the original.
      ““Who painted the dog’s picture? It’s very like.””
adverb: like  informal
  1. used in speech as a meaningless filler or to signify the speaker’s uncertainty about an expression just used.
    “there was this funny smell—sort of dusty like”
  2. informal
    used to convey a person’s reported attitude or feelings in the form of direct speech (whether or not representing an actual quotation).
    “so she comes into the room and she’s like “Where is everybody?””
  3. archaic
    in the manner of.
    “like as a ship with dreadful storm long tossed”
Middle English: from Old Norse líkr ; related to alike.
I don’t know whether you liked reading that whole, long definition, but I like so many things about it, especially the wide range of humanity shown in the examples. There are people, there, who
  1. own several suits,
  2. scream really loudly,
  3.  demand respect from others no matter what their age,
  4.  use You-Statements1(“just like you to …”),
  5. are curious and inquisitive about others’ professions,
  6.  apologize for their actions,
  7.  act spontaneously,
  8. live in many different countries,
  9.  have strong emotional reactions,
  10. are artists,
  11. are sensitive to smells,
  12.  express themselves very informally without any apparent self-consciousness,  and
  13.  fish for tuna.

While I have varied reactions to all those people, I also liked, in the definition:

  • the appearance of the camel
  • and the dog.

Would anybody like to see what Google has for the second definition of the word “like”?


verb: like; 3rd person present: likes; past tense: liked; past participle: liked; gerund or present participle: liking
  1. find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory.
    “I like all Angela Carter’s stories”
    synonyms: be fond of, be attached to, have a soft spot for, have a liking for, have regard for, think well of, admirerespectesteemMore

    antonyms: hate
    • indicate one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website) by activating a particular icon or link.
      “more than 15,000 Facebook users had liked his page by Monday morning”
  2. wish for; want.
    “would you like a cup of coffee?”
    synonyms: choosepleasewishwant, see fit, think fit, care to, will More

    • used as a polite formula.
      “we would like to apologize for the late running of this service”
    • feel reluctant to do something.
      “I don’t like leaving her on her own too long”
    • choose to have (something); prefer.
      “how do you like your coffee?”
      synonyms: choosepleasewishwant, see fit, think fit, care to, will More

    • feel about or regard (something).
      “how would you like it if it happened to you?”
      synonyms: feel about, regard, think about, consider More

noun: like; plural noun: likes
  1. the things one likes or prefers.
    “a wide variety of likes, dislikes, tastes, and income levels”
    • an instance of indicating one’s liking or approval of a web page or posting on a social media website.
      “pages that rank well are likely to receive high numbers of likes because they are highly visible in the search engines”
Old English līcian ‘be pleasing,’ of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lijken .


Now I’m thinking this:    I really haven’t liked previous formatting surprises in my posts, when I’ve included large blocks of quotes, like I have here.  I hope inserting these definitions of “like” hasn’t made extra busy-work for me, which I don’t like, either.

I like lists, so here’s a couple I hope you like.

#1:  Things I don’t like:

  • Busy work which seems unnecessary and illogical to me.
  • Unexpected formatting (and other) changes to things I’ve written.
  • Lack of respect or consideration for somebody else’s feelings.
  • Credit not being given, where it is due.
  • The way hunger interferes with my thinking process, especially when I’m trying to write.

Like, I’d like a breakfast break, now.

#2:  Things I like:

  • Raindrops on roses
  • Whiskers on kittens
  • Bright copper kettles
  • Warm woolen mittens
  • Bright paper packages tied up with string

Wait!  That’s somebody else’s list. I don’t like using other people’s ideas like that, so let’s start again.  I like:

  • Flowers of all types, in any weather.



  • Cats, no matter what age.


  • Tea kettles, no matter what their luster or material.


  • Mittens and gloves, to keep me warm when it’s cold.



  • Gifts, wrapped AND opened.

Laura's gift

That last photo shows a gift I received last week from my intern at work,  Laura, who recently graduated. Laura wrote, in her card:

Laura's card

Which reminds me of these things I like, very much:

  • People who are funny.
  • People who are kind.

Speaking of people who are funny, I would like to mention, at this point, a comedian2  who told a joke I liked, many years ago:

Have you noticed how some people use the word “like” all the time, as a kind of verbal space filler? I really don’t want to see any doctor who’s going to say to me, “You have, like, cancer.”

Speaking of people who are funny and kind (like my intern), here’s somebody I met again, yesterday:


That’s Yvette (also known as Eva), who has appeared previously (without a picture) in this blog, when I was hospitalized last October. For details about how incredibly kind, helpful, and supportive she was — when she did my echocardiogram then — see this post (which includes a comment from her).

Yesterday, she was even more kind, helpful, and supportive, which I liked, very much.   At the end of my cardiac stress test, we told each other, when we said “goodbye,” how much we liked each other.

After the stress test, I got the results of my sleep study from last March.  The doctor told me I have mild sleep apnea, and we decided I should return for another over-night stay, to see if and how a CPAP machine might be helpful.  When we were scheduling the test, yesterday, I asked, “Who’s on that night?”

They told me that Lori …


… who worked with me then, was one of three people who’d be there.  I said, “I love Lori!”

So, I’ll be seeing here again, like, soon.

Thanks to Julie Andrews, Laura, the comedian who told the “like” joke,2  Yvette, Lori, people everywhere who are funny and/or kind, anybody with likes and/or dislikes, and thanks to you — of course! — for reading today.

1 I-Statements have been shown to be more effectively, interpersonally, than You-Statements. Personally, I like being effective.

2 I do like giving (and receiving) credit, but I don’t remember the name or anything else about this comedian. If anybody recognizes who this is, like, let me know.

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

Day 508: Stress, anybody?

Stress is another word I have NOT used in titles of any of the preceding 507 posts I’ve written here.

The amount of stress I have about that, on a scale of 0 – 10?  0.

Sometimes, when I am pronouncing a name or a word I’m not familiar with, I’m not sure which syllable to stress.

The amount of stress I’ve had about that, on a scale of 0 – 10?  Let’s see.  How should I calculate this?  Well, I’ve felt SOME stress about mispronouncing things in my life, definitely. The stress number is higher at times when I’m pronouncing somebody’s name (I really like getting people’s names right). When I was younger, I think the number was higher in situations where I didn’t want to appear  ignorant or provincial in front of people I thought were more sophisticated than me. So how do I calculate a stress number in a situation where  (1) it was worse in the past, (2) I still feel stress in the present, every once in a while, and …

Okay.  This whole scale of 0 – 10 thing?  While I think it can be useful, to quantify feelings or experiences, I sometime stress out about doing it. Why?  Because it can be difficult to translate those things to numbers.

And treaters — including doctors, nurses, and therapists — DO ask that question, like so:

How would you rate that (anxiety, stress, pain, exhaustion, discomfort, depression, etc.) on a scale of 0 – 101?

I was asked a form of that question twice, recently — when I was hospitalized for pneumonia and then before I returned to work.  And in both situations, I started my answer with this:

I never know how to answer that kind of question.

Eventually, I did come up with a number. Then, I had these thoughts about the number:

I wonder if I’m doing this correctly?

I wonder if I’m communicating clearly, in a way that’s going to be helpful for me and the person who asked the question?

I wonder if other people struggle with this?

And I did feel some stress about that.

How much?


Anyway, I could list other stress-related memories and thoughts, right now, and try to communicate in a useful way about them, but I need to get ready to go to the hospital.

Hmmmm.  I actually haven’t communicated clearly what I need to do this morning, since I work at a hospital AND I get medical care at a hospital, too.

I shall be as clear as I can, right now, about my day:

  • At 9 AM, I am getting a stress test, to gain information about how my very unusual heart is reacting to physical exertion these days.
  • At 10:15 AM (approximately), I am receiving the results of my sleep study from March (which I blogged about — in a way people seemed to enjoy — here and here).
  • At 1:30 PM, I need to be back at work, because I’m scheduled to meet with somebody who is interested in joining  my therapy groups.

How much stress do I have about all these things?  Well, I don’t have time to rate, calculate, convert, compare, or otherwise quantify it.  I know there’s stress about this, somewhere.  And some of that stress might be “healthy stress.”

And I don’t have time to define “healthy stress, ” either.

I think it’s time for one of my “antidotes.”

I have all the time I need.

Here’s another one:



Also, when I was looking for that old photo, above, in my media library here, I found several more that helped reduce my stress. Here are a few of them:

IMG_3184 IMG_3235 IMG_3189


Okay!  This post is now good enough AND I can make it better.  How? With some photo(s) I’ve taken recently that would fit, well enough.

Do I have time to do that?  Sure, as long as I don’t write any captions, but just present the photos, like so:




How’s my stress level now?  Well, it’s not zero, because — before I leave — I still want to (1) express gratitude at the end of this post, (2) add some links (even though I think most people won’t click on them), (3) do a spell check, (4) check for typical pre-publishing glitches, (5) publish this, (6) find all the different clothes I need for today’s various activities, and (7) leave with enough time so I’m not rushing (even though I probably won’t feel ready to leave).

So I have some stress, but … maybe it’s the healthy kind!

Thanks, everybody.2

1  Sometimes, the scale is 0 – 100.  Does that make it less (or more) stressful? Not for me.

2 For reading, etc.

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

Day 507: What is Enough?

Do we ever feel like we get enough

  • appreciation,
  • freedom,
  • security,
  • improvements,
  • vitamins,
  • belief in our self-worth,
  • order,
  • spontaneity,
  • support,
  • entertainment,
  • recognition,
  • good weather,
  • reassurance,
  • time,
  • exercise,
  • fairness,
  • sweets,
  • control,
  • lists,
  • validation,
  • whatever it is we hope for,
  • help,
  • speed,
  • rest,
  • respect,
  • excitement,
  • time with others,
  • time to ourselves,
  • satisfaction,
  • justice,
  • love, or (these days)


  •  coconut products?

Speaking for myself, when a need of mine gets met — whatever it is —  I, very quickly, can be wishing for more.  Which makes me wonder:

What is enough?

I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that question.

My son has pointed out that I can get cranky when somebody asks me a question I can’t answer.  I sometimes respond:

I have NO idea

with an annoyed tone and expression.

I wonder why not knowing the answer to a question bothers me? I certainly don’t expect other people to know everything.  Indeed, I like to pose questions I don’t expect other people to easily answer, like

What is enough?

because I believe that’s helpful.

Maybe my negative reaction to not knowing the answer to a question means that I can’t get enough … what?  Credibility? Trust in my ability to know enough?

I can’t figure this all out, this morning.

Before I end this post, I’m wondering if I’ve given my readers enough. Specifically, I wonder if I’ve shown you enough visuals, for some previous posts.

Just in case you need more, here are some photos I took yesterday:


for the dozens of posts I’ve written during springtime (although I don’t think there’s enough focus in that photo);



for all the posts I’ve written about signs;




for yesterday’s post, Random thoughts about art;



for Day 493: Dogged Determinationand, finally, these two photos:



for all my particularly silly and/or sweet posts.

I hope that’s enough.  Even if it’s not, I need to stop now.

Thanks to (for the coconut water image), to all those with needs, to people who don’t have all the answers, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 41 Comments

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