Monthly Archives: July 2014

Day 577: Dopey

Dopey is one of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs.

599933-dopey_large

 (image found here)

I begin there because I have fond memories of asking people to name all seven Disney dwarfs, from memory.

Can you do that? Or would that seem like a dopey use of your time?

Dopey is also the word I tend to use, about behaviors that are not smart.  I vastly prefer that word to “stupid.”

Dopey is also how I felt after I had my first night’s sleep using a CPAP machine, last month.  (CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure.) (That is not the dopiest acronym I’ve ever heard, I suppose.) I don’t mean to imply I felt stupid after that night’s sleep, back in June at my second sleep study. Rather, having that deep and good a sleep made me feel… weird.  Like I was drugged. (I hear that reaction is not uncommon.)

Yesterday, a very nice guy named Jimmy came to our home, and demonstrated everything I need to know about how to use my very own CPAP machine.  Unlike other times when people have talked to me about medical devices, I did NOT feel dopey (or bad in any way).

I didn’t take a photo of Jimmy, because I was:

  • distracted,
  • a little nervous, and
  • not wanting to bother him, because I assumed he had lots of other people to visit on his work day.

Is that dopey?

Here’s my CPAP machine’s  new home:

IMG_7592

How do I feel this morning, after sleeping with my very own CPAP machine? A little strange, but not as dopey as before.

I do think I’d like to call my machine something else, though. “CPAP” does sound a little dopey, to me, right now. Any suggestions?

To end this post, before I leave for work (after a non-dopey night’s sleep), here are some photos I snapped yesterday:

IMG_7550 IMG_7556 IMG_7558

IMG_7553 IMG_7557 IMG_7566 IMG_7568 IMG_7569

IMG_7564

IMG_7573 IMG_7576 IMG_7579 IMG_7582 IMG_7586 IMG_7588 IMG_7585 IMG_7589 IMG_7591

How might you rate those, on the smart-to-dopey scale?

Many thanks to Jimmy, to medical machines that help improve people’s quality of life, to smart and dopey creatures everywhere, to the Alewife Brook Reservation, to Summer Shack, to PetSmart, to Whole Foods and to you — of course!  — wherever you are, today.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | 55 Comments

Day 576: No Absolute Time

I think, write, feel, and dream — a lot — about time.

I have been doing that, for a very long time. That is the absolute truth.

I believe I am not alone, focusing on time. Here are some thoughts about time that have helped me (and others), many times:

Your time on earth is not unlimited.

Every moment is precious.

The past is the past.

We cannot know the future.

The only thing we have, for sure, is the present.

There is no time like the present.

You have all the time you need.

That last line might seem like a contradiction, at times.  However, that thought is absolutely necessary, for me, to let go of anxiety about time.

At work, I feel I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.

My third-year work anniversary is August 2. That is, absolutely, three days from the time I am writing this.

If I am to remain healthy in mind, soul, and body, I must find ways to deal with time-based anxiety.

I am inspired, by problems, to seek solutions. I am doing the best I can, with the time I have.

I had absolute time, yesterday, for all these images:

IMG_7518

 

IMG_7519

IMG_7520 IMG_7521 IMG_7523IMG_7525

IMG_7527 IMG_7528 IMG_7531

IMG_7533 IMG_7536 IMG_7548

I have the time and space for one more photo, this morning:

IMG_7552

I always have time for comments and questions.

Do you have time, today?

Thanks to Jean Luc Ponty, to the lovely woman at the front desk where I work, to all who are dealing with time in any way, and to you — absolutely! — for taking the time to be here, now.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 575: It was that kind of day

There were several times, yesterday, when I remarked on the kind of day it was.

It was that kind of day.

To begin with, it was raining, hard, during the entire time I was in my car yesterday morning. It was that kind of drenching, flooding, windshield-cascading, drain-overwhelming downpour we get during the summer here, but seldom for such a sustained period of time.

While I was sitting in my car during that morning commute, I imagined the under-water fight scene from a Hong-Kong-produced Jackie Chan movie. I thought,  “I wonder if I could find that scene on YouTube?”

I could.

(I found it here!)

Anyway, after I made it, yesterday, to my work parking garage, I got out of the car without my umbrella. After all, I was inside! However, it still rained on me, through a gap in the garage roof. One of the nice guys who work there  commiserated about that, and told me that part of the garage was already flooding.

It was that kind of day.

While I often enjoy walking in the rain and listening to music, I took the shuttle from the garage to work, because it was that kind of day. I heard the shuttle driver exclaim out loud, as he had trouble getting by a big truck stopped outside of Fenway Park.

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I took a few more shots on that shuttle ride. Nobody seemed to notice. It was that kind of day.

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After I got to work, I heard many conversations about the effects of the weather that morning, including a report that the weather had quickly turned sunny, warm, and humid.

I couldn’t go outside to see for myself, because I was preparing for a presentation I was giving to some medical residents and interns.  I had more time, than expected, to prepare (even though I really didn’t need it), because none of my morning patients showed up.

It was that kind of day.

Part of my pre-presentation plan was preparing hand-outs about the work I do.  I had trouble with the printer near my office, but managed to get some things to print.  Then, I went up to the 6th floor to use a copier, but that was broken.

It was that kind of day.

I noticed  lots of “Wet Paint” signs near the elevator on the 6th floor. I remarked to the painter, “It’s that kind of day where I’ll probably get paint all over myself.”

He pointed out that’s what the signs were for. And he was right. There was no paint on Ann, all day.

Here are some of the many warning signs, near the elevator:

IMG_7481 IMG_7482 IMG_7483

By the way, I took those photos later in the day, after my presentation — which went fine and was fun, actually.

Before my presentation, I went to the hospital cafeteria for some lunch and noticed these, on the way:

IMG_7484 IMG_7485 IMG_7486

After my presentation, I was relieved, as usual.

None of my regularly scheduled patients showed up for therapy during the afternoon, either.  However, I was also the Social Worker On Call, and people requested my assistance in dealing with some challenging situations.

It was that kind of day.

On the walk back to my car, it was sunny, warm, and humid (as previously reported).

I saw this …

IMG_7488

… and had a thought I’ve often had before: I really should write a blog post called “What IS That??”

There were lots of people around, on my walk to the garage, because it was a game night, at Fenway Park.

IMG_7493 IMG_7494 IMG_7497

I wonder if that kid sensed I was taking photos?  I was particularly interested in his shirt (seen here in close-up):

IMG_7498

What IS that??

Anyway, more photos I took, near the end of that kind of day:

IMG_7499 IMG_7501 IMG_7507 IMG_7508 IMG_7509 IMG_7511 IMG_7513

Later, I took one more photo, when I was meeting my son after his play rehearsal.

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Yes, it was that kind of day.

Thanks to Jackie Chan, to those dealing with floods or disasters of any kind, to correctional institutions for teeth, to all the people and things I encountered yesterday, and to you — of course! — for having that kind of day when you visit, here.

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

Day 574: I don’t know why

Yesterday, I wrote one of my “Why?” posts.  Today, it’s time to balance that, with “I don’t know why.”

I don’t know why ….

  • I feel blue on a Monday morning, when I love so many things about my work.
  • There’s no sun up in the sky.

      (YouTube video found here)

  • My heel has been hurting all weekend.
  • I still feel nervous about any kind of performance (including singing, acting, stand-up comedy, presentations at work, etc.)
  • I’m not feeing happier, this morning, about some exciting things coming up soon (like my son’s appearance in a musical and a trip to Edinburgh, Scotlland).
  • I love you like I do.

           (YouTube video found here)

   (YouTube video found here)

  • I suddenly can’t cut and paste links to YouTube videos, in WordPress, the way I always could before.
  • Music cheers me up, so very, very much.
  • WordPress suddenly will start underlining and making other formatting decisions for me.
  • Small obstacles can seem so huge, sometimes.
  • Some posts get more comments than others.
  • I took this photo, yesterday.

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  • Products from the UK in my local supermarket can seem strange to me.

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  • The nice guy at the fish counter volunteered to move this weird fish-head-and-lobster-claw display, when he saw me taking a picture of it.

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  • My current favorite Skinny Cow dessert (the Chocolate Ganache, WITHOUT MINT) was the only one completely missing from the frozen food section last night (especially since it’s not on sale).

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  • I lose track of fruit in the refrigerator.

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  • I forget that making one little change can make a difference.  For example, I resolved, last night, that I am not going to refrigerate cherries right after we buy them. And sure enough, I remembered to eat them, last night, for dessert.
  • I sometimes think I have nothing to tell you or show you in a blog post, when I get up in the morning.

I DO know why I need to end this post. It’s time for me to get ready for work.

Thanks to Lena Horne, Talking Heads, Al Green, YouTube, WordPress, the nice guy at the fish counter, Skinny Cow, Star Markets, and anyone else contributing to the creation of today’s post.  And, special thanks to you for visiting my blog today, even if you don’t know why.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 573: Why? Because I thought it was _____.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the death of a woman I work with. Why?  Because I thought it was appropriate, the right thing to do, and healing.

Actually, I could probably use the same answers to the Why? about any post I’ve written here.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep Friday night, so my mind was working strangely, yesterday, when I went for my Saturday morning walk.

I took lots of photos on yesterday’s walk.  Why?  Because I thought it was appropriate, the right thing to do, healing, and fun.

Now, I have a quiz for you, this morning.

Why do I have a quiz for you? What do you think?

Here’s the first part of the quiz:

Immediately after I took one of the following thirty-two pictures, somebody asked me, “Why did you take that photo?”

Which photo do you think that was?

(1)  IMG_7380  (2) IMG_7381

(3)IMG_7382(4) IMG_7384  (5) IMG_7390

(6)IMG_7392

(7)IMG_7396

(8) IMG_7398  (9)  IMG_7404

(10)

IMG_7405

(11) IMG_7412  (12) IMG_7415

(13)

IMG_7418

(14)  IMG_7420 (15) IMG_7421

(16)IMG_7423

(17)IMG_7424

(18)  IMG_7425  (19) IMG_7427

(20) IMG_7428  (21) IMG_7429

(22)

IMG_7430

(23) IMG_7431  (24) IMG_7434

(25)IMG_7437

(26)  IMG_7438  (27) IMG_7440

(28)

IMG_7441

(29)

IMG_7442(30)  IMG_7443  (31)  IMG_7444

(32)IMG_7446

Wow!  I sure took a lot of photos, yesterday. And yet, only once did somebody ask, “Why did you take that photo?”

So …. do you have any guesses about which photo that was?

Okay!  Here’s the second part of the quiz. In response to that question yesterday, I said, “Because I think it’s  _____.”

Granted, that was a very short reply, from me. I hope that didn’t seem rude, to the person who asked. What she didn’t know was this: I was in a rush, to meet my son at the end of his piano lesson.

I’m leaving the last word in my reply blank, so you can guess that, too.

Any questions? Any answers?

Before I end this post, I want to tell you these things:

  • I am curious about any responses you want to share.
  • I’m wondering if anybody is going to guess, correctly, what happened to me, yesterday.
  • That would be difficult to do.
  • Your answers are as good as mine, at this point (I believe).
  • This song came on, while I was walking and taking photos, yesterday.

        (found on YouTube here)

  • “Hearing “Michael from Mountains” reminded me I had committed (in this post) to rewrite the words to “Michael from Boston.”
  • I rewrote the words when I got home, tried to find the guitar part online, and found this, instead.

(found on YouTube here)

Why did I rewrite the words to that song and look for the guitar part online?

Because I thought those were the next steps towards a personal goal: To record myself singing “Michael from Boston.”

Why?

Don’t you think you have enough questions to answer, at this point?

Thanks to all my readers, to the person who asked me that question yesterday, to Joni Mitchell, to my boyfriend Michael, to laotsu77 (for posting such a great instrumental back-up for the song and making my life much easier), and  — of course! — to you. Why? Because I thought it was wonderful for you to stop by, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 572: Tell Her You Saw Me

“Tell Her You Saw Me” is a song by Pat Metheny.  Here’s a live version of it:

(found here on YouTube)

I listened to “Tell Her You Saw Me” a lot, when my mother was ill and dying, in the summer of 2008.

To this day, I find it very beautiful and sad.

Yesterday, when I was walking to work, I took this photo:

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I thought: I’ll tell my readers I saw that.  I’ll use those initials —  “F.B” —  to share some thoughts about FaceBook, a topic that often comes up in my therapy groups. Plus, my mind seems tuned for making connections, so I was sure I’d identify other F.B’s during the day.

Throughout the morning, I thought of other ways I could use the initials F.B., in order to create a Fine Blog, perhaps, for you.

For example, the doctor I recently mentioned in this post  (about a patient whose application for disability was initially turned down) has the initials  F.B.!  I considered taking a photo of Dr. F.B., for this potential and planned post.

Just then, I checked my email and found that another patient of Dr. F.B.’s, who was also in therapy with me,  had passed away.

Those who worked with this amazing woman, including Dr. F.B., immediately exchanged messages, sharing our surprise and grief.

Later that day, the good doctor F.B.  and I met in person, to talk and reminisce. We agreed that our late patient — despite her many illnesses and challenges — had a spirit so indomitable, we expected her to outlive the two of us.

All day, I remembered and imagined the deceased — her voice, her expressions, the way she met the world.  I heard and saw her, as I worked with other people,  and when I walked  and sat near a quiet brook.  I looked and listened,  the rest of the day, but took no photos.

And I abandoned any previous plans for today’s post.

When I walked back to my car, still not taking photos, I heard “Tell Her You Saw Me.”

I want to tell you this: I loved working with this woman.  She lit up my office, every time she appeared. We shall all miss her, very much.

Even though I’m working on my reactions to death, I still cannot believe that somebody is so there, and then they are not.

If I saw her again, what might I tell her?

I’m grateful I knew her.

Thanks to all my readers,  for looking, listening, and joining with me, today.

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

Day 571: Anxiety

Yesterday, I posted a video of Frank Sinatra singing “What’s New?”

Today, I’m posting a video of  Mel Brooks singing a song about anxiety, in the style of Frank Sinatra.

 (found on YouTube here)

Why?

Well, I think it’s about time I wrote a post about anxiety. Don’t you agree?

Yesterday, anxiety was definitely a theme, in several ways.  For example:

  1. I did a therapy group last evening, where we focused on anxiety.
  2. Ten minutes before we started the group, I realized I had left my bag — containing my monetary “must-haves” — on the sidewalk of one of the busiest streets in Boston.
  3. Twenty minutes after we ended the group, I realized I had conducted the entire group with enough food stuck in my teeth to resemble some sort of dental salad bar.

Eeeek!!!

Here’s some good news:

  1. The group members said they felt markedly less anxious by the end of our time together.
  2. When I went to retrieve my bag, it was still there.
  3. At least we  know I’m taking good-enough care of myself to eat some friggin’ thing, in the time between the two consecutive groups I facilitate on Thursdays.

I don’t have any photos of the above, but I can show you these, taken yesterday after dark (a time that heightens anxiety in many people):

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And while the scare-chemical of adrenaline was still hanging around for me while I was snapping those shots above,  I felt safe enough last night. No anxiety — high or low —  for me.

Unlike what Mel Brooks sings, regarding him vs. anxiety,  I win!

Let’s celebrate that with another song, on this Friday morning. Here’s Robert Cray, with some bluesy advice:

 

 

Thanks to Mel Brooks, Robert Cray, those who sing about anxiety in any way, groups (of all kinds) that help each other let go of anxiety, and to you — of course!  — for keeping me company, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 570: What’s New?

What’s New?” is a jazz standard I first encountered in the 1960’s.

Here are two versions of it, from YouTube.  Linda Rondstadt:

(found here)

and Frank Sinatra:

(found here)

“What’s New?” is another post title I haven’t used yet, although I have written these posts:

Day 162:  What’s in a name?

Day 218: What’s the problem?

Day 268: What’s $ got to do with it?

Day 401: What’s wrong?

Day 495:  What’s underneath? and

Day 557:  What’s missing?

What’s new?  I’ll tell you, first, what’s NOT new: My starting out a blog post post with a choice of songs AND a review of the past.

So what IS new? Yesterday, eight people came to my Wednesday group.  In my therapy groups, people can participate when and how often they choose, so that many people (new and old) showing up is …. wonderful.

Something we discussed, in group yesterday, is how trying something new can raise anxiety and fear, but also excitement and hope.

So what else is new?  Well, I took some photos yesterday and, for whatever reasons, I was focusing on the new:

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IMG_7325 IMG_7328 IMG_7329  IMG_7334IMG_7331 IMG_7333

Here’s something else that’s NOT new, this morning:  I’ve included too many photos to adequately explain now, before I leave for work.  I do want to tell you this, though: the gentleman showing off his new camera, above, is my co-worker Mark,  whom bf Michael and I ran into last night, unexpectedly. Also, what do  you think those berry-looking things are, in the last two photos?  They looked new to Michael and me, so we asked somebody about them, who was kind enough to answer, peel one, and give it to us.

What else is new, for you?

Thanks to Linda Rondstadt, Frank Sinatra, Bob Haggart and Johnny Burke (the creators of “What’s New?”), Michael, Mark, and the nice guy at Whole Foods last night; to people in my therapy groups; to those who try new things; and to you — of course! — whether this is all new to you, or not.

Categories: friendship, humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 569: Ain’t that peculiar?

Let’s start today’s post with another song I love:   “Ain’t That Peculiar,” performed by Marvin Gaye and written by Smokey Robinson and some of his Miracles.

Here’s the version I’m used to:

(found here on YouTube)

And, ain’t it peculiar that — even though I love that song and a capella music, too — I just found, for the first time, an a capella version of it?

(found here on YouTube)

According to the Wikipedia page about “Ain’t That Peculiar,” the song is “about the torment of a painful relationship.”

The painful relationship I am most aware of —  right now, in my life — is the relationship between me and

  • my fears,
  • doubts, and
  • too-harsh inner critic.

This is on my mind, at the moment, because one of my patients got turned down by an insurance company for long-term disability, even though she cannot work, due to her depression.  I’ve heard that initial turn-downs are a matter-of-course, these days. I have to believe that our appeal will be successful. But I just found out, yesterday, that all her treaters, including me, have to submit all supporting arguments by this Friday, or her appeal will be denied.

Ain’t that peculiar?  It is to me.

This situation affected my sleep last night.  Right now, I am afraid that the other treaters (the medical doctor and the medication prescriber) might not be available to help me document our case well enough, before Friday.

Ain’t that peculiar?  Both of them,  most likely, will be able — and eager — to help.  However, they haven’t responded to my email from yesterday yet, so I am expecting the worst.

Ain’t that peculiar?

The treater who prescribes the anti-depressant medication is somebody I know pretty well and respect a lot.  When we first spoke about the disability turn-down, I discovered that we both, automatically,  blamed ourselves, because we each felt our documenting notes could have been better.

Ain’t that peculiar? Anything anybody writes could be better, including medical notes. We are not to blame for the disability turn-down.   We can (and will) provide more evidence. And we both hope we will do a good enough job, with the appeal.

I am really focusing, this morning, on worst-case scenarios, about this disability case. Therapists specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might say that I’m catastrophizing about it. These therapists might say that I am blaming, minimizing/maximizing, negative filtering, fortune-telling, mind-reading, comparing, personalizing, name-calling, and experiencing every other CBT distortion on this list.

Ain’t that Peculiar?  I AM a therapist who uses CBT in my work.  And, there are many good things for me to focus on this morning, including:

  • More and more people coming to my therapy groups,
  • My patients expressing gratitude for what they are getting,
  • My feeling much healthier these days, after some scary medical experiences this year, and
  • Lots of positive and hopeful developments, in my personal and work life.

And yet, I am focusing, this morning, on worry about this woman and her getting turned down for an extension of her long-term disability, by an insurance company that might initially turn down most disability requests.

Ain’t That Peculiar?

Yesterday, besides thinking about these things,  I also took several photos, which is not so peculiar.

Do you see any peculiarities here?

IMG_7283 IMG_7284 IMG_7288 IMG_7289 IMG_7291 IMG_7294 IMG_7296 IMG_7299 IMG_7300 IMG_7301 IMG_7302

Last night, when my son and I were waiting for a stand-up comedy show to start, I showed him the photos I had taken that day. I asked him if he found anything peculiar about them.  Some he did, some he didn’t.

Ain’t that peculiar?

Then, I took these photos:

IMG_7304 IMG_7305 IMG_7307

At this point, I don’t even know what is and isn’t peculiar, myself. I just know I have to get ready for work.

Thanks to Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, people I work with, my son, Cheers, and to you — of course! — for any peculiarities you might bring with you, today.

NOTE added at 2 PM, the same day: I spoke with the insurance company and found out that I had been misinformed. We have more time to appeal.  Ain’t that peculiar?

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 568: How am I supposed to feel?

“How am I supposed to feel?”

I’m wondering if that’s a question you’re familiar with.

Personally, I hear questions like that a lot, at work and elsewhere. For example:

How am I supposed to feel

  • about what just happened.
  • in the morning/afternoon/evening/night.
  • when I’m treated that way.
  • about my family.
  • at this age.
  • about the future.
  • regarding that news.
  • when I’m dealing with all this.
  • after you said that.
  • when things seem so dangerous.
  • if I’m having a different reaction from other people.
  • when the weather is like this.
  • if I don’t feel like myself.
  • in response to what they did.
  • with this unexpected occurrence.
  • when I lose people.
  • about this feeling.
  • here.
  • now.

…. and other questions (expressed with different feelings).

What’s the answer?

I don’t know.

Or, put another way,  there is no “supposed” about feelings.  Feelings just …. are.

How are you supposed to feel about THAT?

Or, about these photos I took yesterday?

IMG_7251 IMG_7253 IMG_7254 IMG_7257 IMG_7258 IMG_7262 IMG_7263 IMG_7266 IMG_7269 IMG_7271 IMG_7273 IMG_7275 IMG_7277

How was I supposed to feel, when I was taking them?

What do you think?

Thanks to everybody who contributed to the words and images here, to people who have feelings (at work and elsewhere), and to you — of course! — no matter what you are supposed to do, today.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 44 Comments

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