Day 535: Making sense of it all

This is one of those days where I’ve REALLY given myself a challenging posting task. How the heck am I going to make sense of it all, in one post I make up in an hour?  I’ll be lucky if I make sense of some cool photos* I want to show you.

As I often say, I shall do my best.

Yesterday, my local car mechanics did not return my phone calls about my flat tire. I didn’t know how to make sense of that, since they’ve been very helpful in the past.

Sometimes, when people don’t respond quickly to a request, I can feel helpless and upset. Yesterday, I was  mindful of that old pattern and changed it, by taking a helpful action.  I drove to another mechanic, whom I knew from previous experience, near where I work, and arranged for the car to be worked on today.

After making a sensible plan with this mechanic, I realized I was probably going to be late for a group I run at work.

Usually, when I’m late, I can feel helpless and upset. Yesterday, I was mindful of that old pattern. I was also aware of what I tell every new member, before they join one of my groups:

It’s better to get to the group on time, because then you’ll get the most out of it.  However, life happens, and you may be late. There is no judgment or shame about that. If you are late, just enter the group room quietly, because we may be doing a mindfulness exercise.


So, I said to myself yesterday: maybe there’s no shame for the group leader being late, either. That didn’t make total sense to me, based on my training and value system, so l  called Jackie, at the front desk, so she could inform people that I would be a little late.

As I made my way to my group, I had old, familiar images and thoughts about my being late. These included visualizing the group members disappointed, disconnected, or otherwise disgruntled.

When I got to the group room, I found people acting the opposite of these fears. Instead of being upset, the group members were already on their way of making sense of it all together, without me.

For the rest of that day, I had many places to travel. But I needed to go slow, because of that temporary spare tire still on my car.

By traveling so slowly and carefully, I observed many interesting things. And, because of my state of mind, I did not need to make sense of everything I saw.

I shall now present photos I took yesterday, in order of appearance (as is my usual pattern). How do you make sense of these?











I can help make sense of that last photo, for sure. That’s Harley, one of our cats, out on the front porch.  Also on the front porch with Harley?  My boyfriend Michael, having returned yesterday from a week-long work/cooking adventure away.

Everything makes more sense, with Michael around.

Thanks to my car mechanics, to the members of my therapy groups, to Anne Tyler, to indoor and outdoor cats,  to actors and other expressive artists everywhere, to people who do their best to make sense of it all, and to you — naturally! — for journeying here today.

* Calling these photos cool doesn’t really make sense, for two reasons: (1) Who is to judge whether these photos are cool or not? (2) Since I readjusted the greenish-blue filter on my iPhone yesterday, all of today’s photos are, literally, less cool.

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

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26 thoughts on “Day 535: Making sense of it all

  1. Wellwritten. We often punish ourselves

  2. I hate being late too. I also hate when others are late. For me it comes from years of working with a tight schedule. One late meeting can throw off your whole day. Since retirement I have learned to be kinder to myself but It still don’t like being late….

    • I continue to work on my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to being late, Kate. Thanks so much for your visit and comment.

  3. Makes total sense to me Ann!
    Diana xo

  4. Hope Street is great. I’d love to find an Easy Street.

  5. You help me make sense of my world everyday!

  6. You always seem to figure a way through, no matter the stress you are under. (And you entertain us with your adventures, too.) I take inspiration from that. Yesterday, when I learned from an email at 3 PM that my son was supposed to be at his graduation ceremonies right that moment, and they were 30 minutes away, I asked myself, “What would Ann do?” So, I rounded up my son just as my husband got in the door, and we headed CALMLY (or almost) off to the distant theatre. We got there just in time for the procession, found reasonable seats in the nosebleed section, and all was well. Now, I just have to learn how to snap photos for posterity the way that you do, and I’ll consider myself a true student of your blog.

    • I am happily trying to make sense of somebody I admire asking herself, “What would Ann do?” Wow. That’s going to stick with me, for posterity. Thank you, student.

  7. When I read the title today I thought “Oh boy, she’s picked a doozy!”
    I smiled at your introduction and enjoyed the ride.
    Makes sense to me!

    As humans we seem to have a need for things to make sense.
    Let there be room for wonder in the world but not senselessness.
    Val x

  8. Gene Phillips

    For far too long, I believed I could and should figure out an author’s (or another maker’s) intentions and thus make “correct” sense of texts and images. Even now I have to give myself a nudge away from “What exactly is Ann trying to say with that series of pictures?” to “What can I find for myself in one, some, or all of those pictures?”

    • And that question you nudged yourself towards, Gene? That is exactly what I was trying to say with that series of pictures. As you were in college, you are still a master of interpretation.

  9. Even without your closing pitch down the middle — thank you, Ann — I was thinking that these pictures felt very warm. The winter vegetables and sausage soup in the summer. The circus and attending animals. Now that would work up a sweat. The book of Anne Tyler, who draws some of the warmest characters anywhere, living in Baltimore, a positively steamy city that will forever hold a spot in my hot heart. Cat on a warm porch with Michael, your back-home BF who had a cooking adventure, not doubt involving a hot stove.

    The heat is on, Ann, and you were a cool customer about being late to group, to be rewarded by even cooler members who did what they should to get the most of the time spent without their leader.

    I love making my own sense out of all this. Thank you.

  10. Sometimes, we just have to let things be and give our mind a rest…

  11. I am still chuckling at the image I instantly received – of being laid out and medicated thereon – as I read about being taken care of at the front desk. Love the lilies, I am just waiting for my first one of the year to pop open.

  12. Pingback: Day 556: Magic Time | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  13. Pingback: Day 766: The Terminator | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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