Monthly Archives: October 2014

Day 649: That’s so you!

Yesterday, I knew “That’s so you!” would be today’s blog post.

That’s so me, having a post title suddenly pop into my head, seemingly out of nowhere.

But that thought, as always, came from somewhere.

Over a year ago, somebody read a description I’d written about the therapy groups I facilitate and said:

That’s so you!

Yesterday, this email went out, advertising a presentation I’ll be making in two weeks:

Anne Koplow, MSW, LICSW presents:

“Come One, Come All, Whenever! Open Access Groups at a Hospital Primary Care Practice “

Ann will demonstrate the flexible-attendance group model she developed and is facilitating four times a week for a hospital-based Primary Care Practice. This model provides group support, coping strategies, and symptom-reduction skills for depression, anxiety, and stress, drawing from treatment modalities including CBT, DBT, Narrative, Psychodynamics, and other group therapy techniques..

That’s so me, having my name misspelled (but spelled correctly, too).

Often, when somebody says to me:

That’s so you!

I’m not sure exactly what they mean.  I can’t tell what they’re thinking, but I


that it’s a compliment.

When I’ve said to myself,

That’s so you!

… I have to admit that’s often NOT complimentary.  In the past, I’ve told myself

you’re so

  • lazy
  • clumsy
  • clueless
  • unattractive
  • immature
  • insensitive

I’m interrupting this list to do something that’s so me: including this song, which I found here on YouTube.

  • talentless
  • selfish
  • stupid
  • weird,

and other negative labels.

These days, it’s so me to point out those are all unhelpful cognitive distortions.

Yesterday, I saw somebody I like at work and thought

That’s so her!


That’s Indrani, telling me  she’s so

  • energetic,
  • fun, and
  • feisty.

That IS so her!

Before I show you some other recent photos, I wanted to tell you something else that’s so me.

Several helpful people here at WordPress have suggested I get some kind of photo software to reduce the sizes of my pictures, after I take them. (It’s so me to refer you to yesterday’s post, which has more about that.) Last night, I bought an app — Camera Plus Pro — for my iPhone, which allows me to choose a low-resolution setting for all the photos I take for this blog, from now on.  Why did I choose that method?  That’s so me, doing something I think will be easier.

That’s so me, to wonder whether that last paragraph does a good enough job explaining what I want to communicate, and then to just move on to these photos, which are so me (and other things, too):


IMG_0572 IMG_0575 IMG_0580 IMG_0592 IMG_0593 IMG_0594 IMG_0595 IMG_0632 IMG_0633 IMG_0636 IMG_0637

That’s so me, to include photos that might benefit from explanation, and then explain only a few. In this case, I shall tell you

  1. those people lined up, in front of CVS pharmacy,  are waiting to meet Joe Perry from Aerosmith at Boston’s Guitar Center and
  2. I took that last photo with Camera Plus Pro.

Can you relate to anything, in particular, that you are finding in this post?

It’s so me, before I end a post, to ask some question, inviting you to think:

That’s so human.

It’s so me to wonder whether I did that, today.

Many thanks to Indrani, to Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim (for “How Insensitive“), and to everybody reading this — of course! — for being so you, right now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 648: The Goodbye Look

Four Hundred and Forty-Two days ago, I wrote a post called “Looks.”

Today I’m writing about a specific kind of look: The Goodbye Look.

But what IS The Goodbye Look?

Do you have any guesses about that (and about where this post is going)?

(At this point, your guesses might be as good as mine.)

For one thing, “The Goodbye Look” is a song by Donald Fagen from his first solo album, 1982’s The Nightfly:

(YouTube video of “The Goodbye Look” found here)

Yesterday, I gave and received many looks throughout the day, including some Goodbye Looks (although, I certainly hope, NOT the kind Donald Fagen is singing about in that song).

Why were there so many Goodbye Looks yesterday?

Two people I know are leaving the hospital where I work. One of them is Melvin (looking like this in yesterday’s post):


Here’s another look from Melvin, when he and I were talking about saying “Goodbye.”


Also, there was a farewell party for a very talented, skilled, committed, and friendly co-worker, named Brigitte.  I didn’t get a shot of Brigitte, but I captured these Goodbye Looks on other people:

IMG_0549 IMG_0552

In the first picture, you’re looking at Kathy, Mark, and Terry (left to right). I was especially glad to look at Mona (in the second picture), since she and I had exchanged Goodbye Looks a while ago. Isn’t that great that Mona’s outfit says “Hello”?

Something else I looked at, yesterday, was a message from WordPress, in response to my question to support people here:

An easy way to free up storage space for my photos in the media library?

That plea, from me, was a reflection of concerns that:

  • readers might give The Goodbye Look to my posts if they take too long to read and
  • there might be goodbye looks regarding my storage in various locations, because of how much friggin’ space my photos take up.

Give a look to WordPress’s return message (which I inadvertently gave The Goodbye Look to yesterday) (in other words, I mistakenly put it in The Trash):

Hi Ann,

There isn’t a bulk action to adjust those photos. Changing your photo sizes is a good idea, however. I did take a look at the first few photos in your library and noticed that they had files sizes and dimensions in common:

File size: 2 MB Dimensions: 2448 × 3264px

This is far larger than you’ll need on your site.

Your theme, Adventure Journal, has a main column constraint of 690px in the 2-column layout you’re using. If you can adjust your photos accordingly from now on, you’ll extend the usage of your space upgrade greatly.

If you don’t have photo editing software on your computer, you could use a free one such as You’d simply upload your image, select Resize, make sure you have “constrain proportions” selected, change the width to 690px, and save the image to your desktop. Then you can upload it to Your photo sizes will much smaller.

Unfortunately, you will have to adjust those older photos manually.

I took the liberty of opening this one by opening the photo from your Media Library, and clicking Edit Image:
The file was originially 2 MB and 2448 x 3264. I scaled the image to 690 x 920px. Now the image takes up 171 KB space.

I hope this helps. If I can address any other concerns or questions, please let me know. Cheers!

Words I liked looking at there included:

  • “Hi Ann,”
  • “free”
  • “simply””
  • “If I can address other concerns or questions, please let me know,” and
  • “Cheers!”

Words in that message I’d prefer unseeing included “unfortunately” and all the other ones implying  I have a lot of work ahead of me, resizing all the kashmillion photos I’ve posted here since January 1, 2013.

Well, at least I’m looking at a three-day weekend, starting tomorrow.

Speaking of my photos taking up too much space, sometimes I fear I’ll get The Goodbye Look from people if I, personally, take up too much space.  Coincidentally, somebody in one of my therapy groups yesterday was looking at something similar:


As you give whatever look you’re giving to that photo (which is taking up lots of space),  you might assume the word “frggin” came from me.  It didn’t!

What that woman said yesterday, in yesterday’s therapy group, is giving me the courage to post more photos (taking too much space) of other recent goodbye (and other) looks.

IMG_0492 IMG_0496 IMG_0507 IMG_0532 IMG_0538

IMG_0540 IMG_0545 IMG_0546 IMG_0547 IMG_0559 IMG_0565 IMG_0567

After all, we’ve all survived my photos taking up too much space here (so far)!

Preparing to give The Goodbye Look to this post just now, I said “Goodbye” to my 16-year-old son, Aaron (who’ll be spending the three-day weekend away, with his father):

Me: I’m giving you “The Goodbye Look.”

Aaron: The Goodbye Look?

Me: Remember that song by Donald Fagen? It’s not that kind of look, obviously.

Aaron: That’s good.

Thanks to Aaron, Donald Fagen, Melvin, Brigitte, Kathy, Mark, Terry, Mona, Mohammed and Winston (who work at the place I park my car), cupcakes and pets waiting to get The Hello Look, the construction guy (who said, “I hope I didn’t break your camera”), Jackie, Ted Williams, David Ortiz, people working in groups, and everybody, everywhere, giving looks and taking up space today — including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

647: Reflection

The title of today’s post (in case you didn’t notice) is “Reflection.”

Exactly 104 days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote a post with the title “Reflections”.

Here’s a definition of the word  “reflection,” (according to



: an image that is seen in a mirror or on a shiny surface

: something that shows the effect, existence, or character of something else

: something that causes people to disapprove of a person or thing

WHAT?!?!  I will reflect something with you now: I disapprove of that last definition. I have never heard such a judgmental, negative description of “reflection” before!

My understanding of “reflection”  is that it’s a neutral word.  If we reflect negatively or disapprovingly, that’s our choice (and not intrinsic in the word itself).

Rather than reflect further on what Merriam Webster could possibly have been thinking there, I shall try another dictionary site. How about

[ri-flek-shuh n]
Synonyms Examples Word Origin
1. the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected.
2. an image; representation; counterpart.
3. a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
4. a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
5. an unfavorable remark or observation.
6. the casting of some imputation or reproach.
7. Physics, Optics.
the return of light, heat, sound, etc., after striking a surface.
something so reflected, as heat or especially light.


#5 and #6, at, are negative, too!

Honestly, I am shocked. Throughout my life, I have been assuming that “reflection” does not imply anything negative, by itself.

I’m reflecting, now, whether I’ve been naive and in denial, all this time.

Or, perhaps, the definition of “reflection” has changed in my lifetime. That can happen, you know.  Any language, including English,  can shift and change (even though we may not want it to).

If the definition of “reflection” has changed — since I first learned it — to a more judgmental one, I’m reflecting  that might have happened during the time I’ve been working on letting go of judgment (here and elsewhere).

Another reflection, from me: that would be ironic.

I am going to re-reflect a definition, one more time, to see if it reflects my own experience of “reflection.”

Here’s the definition reflecting from Google, right now:


1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.
“the reflection of light”
synonyms: sending back, throwing back, casting back
“the reflection of light”

2.  serious thought or consideration.
“he doesn’t get much time for reflection”
synonyms: thought, thinking, consideration, contemplation, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing, rumination; formal cogitation
“after some reflection, he turned it down”


I’ll reflect this:  I like that definition MUCH better. The last line DOES reflect somebody responding in the negative.  However, as I’ve discussed with people many times, turning down something — saying “NO!” — is often a healthy expression of setting limits and honoring the importance of your own needs and preferences.

Okay! Now that I’ve found a definition that reflects my preferences, what else can this post reflect back at you?

Here are some recent photos that reflect today’s topic (in order of their reflections in my retina and my iPhone).


IMG_0404 IMG_0415  IMG_0461

That last photo shows a reflection of Melvin, who is leaving Starbucks and the state of Massachusetts today. I’ve been reflecting this to him, since I found out he was leaving: I’m going to miss him.

Melvin may not like that reflection when he sees it,  and he might ask me to remove that photo from this post.

Why? Because nobody seems to like the photos I take of them! Do you think that’s a reflection of

  • my photos or
  • something else?


IMG_0175 *

Melvin lets me keep that photo in this post.

Because, if he does, that’s


Thanks to all reflections in this post and — of course! — to you, for reflecting with me, here today.

* Last week, I wrote about that pink sign on a door at work, and we reflected here that it might say “hope” OR “nope.” I promised I would check the other side, and reflect that back to you in a future post.

Ooops!  I could have sworn I reflected the other side of that sign onto my iPhone camera, but I can’t find it anywhere.

You’ll just have to trust this reflection: The other side was blank.

Any reflections on that?

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 646: Nothing like the sun

I was planning on creating a post today called “Message in a bottle (or a mailbox)” starring

However, yesterday evening, the erudite and poetic Jeff Schwaner invited me to a lunar event for today:

Ann, I’m fully expecting you to contribute to the Full Moon Social tomorrow night. It would not be the same without you. Maybe an AK photo?

My response to Jeff’s expecting:

I am flattered by the full expectation. I had not planned to join in, because I see myself as neither a poet nor a photographer. But I guess I’ll revisit that.

Here is the formal invitation, from Jeff’s website:

Write to your loved ones. Write to your friends. Write to the moon. Write to a memory. Post a poem on WordPress or Twitter on Wednesday night, October 8th, anytime between the rising and setting of the moon, and tag it FullMoonSocial2014, and let’s spend the night looking at the same moon and the same freshly minted poems, and celebrate our passion for poetry, our loves and losses, and of course, the one constant thing and what poet Mary Reufle identified as the first lyric poem–the moon.

How wonderful to be so gloriously included. Really, how could I refuse?  

So I’m tabling my own expectations about today’s post. I mean, there are always bills to pay, right? And I’m changing this post’s musical offering to a different Sting song:

(YouTube video of “Sister Moon” found here)

When I looked up “Sister Moon” on YouTube, I unexpectedly found this amazing version of that gorgeous tune, with Sting and jazz great Herbie Hancock.

I realize that Jeff’s instructions — regarding posting times for his Full Moon Social  — don’t match how I prefer to schedule my posts. While I may write, sometimes, accompanied by Sister Moon, I almost always post with Sister Sun.

Since I do like to follow rules and meet people’s expectations, this might have posed a real dilemma for me.

Luckily, last night I watched this extraordinary 2008 movie with my son.

download (35)

From the Wikipedia page about Man On Wire:

Man on Wire is a 2008 British documentary film directed by James Marsh. The film chronicles Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. It is based on Philippe Petit’s book, To Reach the Clouds, recently released in paperback with the new title Man on Wire. The title of the movie is taken from the police report that led to the arrest (and later release) of Petit, whose performance had lasted for almost one hour. The film is crafted like a heist film, presenting rare footage of the preparations for the event and still photographs of the walk, alongside re-enactments (with Paul McGill as the young Petit) and present-day interviews with the participants.

If Philippe Petit — the man who wire-walked between NYC’s twin towers in 1974 — could break the rules so gloriously, why, oh why, can’t I?

Before I ventured out this this morning with the lunar mission on my mind, Michael said to me:

It’s lucky, isn’t it, that so many things rhyme with “moon”?

Even if Jeff hadn’t invited me to the Full Moon Social, I probably would have gone looking for the moon this morning, because

‘Blood Moon’ Eclipse To Be Visible Throughout U.S.


A “blood moon” captured on the night of Jan. 20, 2000.

Fred Espenak/NASA

This is what I captured, around 6 AM, when, like Diana, I went hunting for the not-in-June moon:

IMG_0411 IMG_0413 IMG_0414 IMG_0415 IMG_0418 IMG_0419

Actually, those last two photos are the only ones where I MAY have captured a hint of the lunar magic that was out there. Those two images show the only illuminated break in the clouds that I could see, as I looked up, all around.

Past experiences (see here) may tell me that I can suck at finding amazing moons that are out there, for others to see.  However, I soon decided that I had done my best, this morning.


When I went back in, I spotted these:

IMG_0439 IMG_0451 IMG_0445 IMG_0449

Phew! Finally, I can classify this post as a poem for Jeff’s Full Moon Social, since (at least) one of those things rhymes with “moon.”

At 6:30 AM — the reported height of lunar eclipse viewing this morning — I did venture out, one more time:

IMG_0441 IMG_0443 IMG_0444

… and saw this when I ventured back in:


You know what? There’s nothing like the moon.

Thanks to Jeff, Sting, Herbie Hancock, Pierre Petit, James Marsh,  Fred Espenak (for the Blood Moon Eclipse photo), people who pursue the moon (and other beautiful things), and to you — of course! — for bringing your sun and your moon here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 645: Birdland (and other lands)

Yesterday, I wrote about Jaco Pastorius, the late, great, one-of-a-kind jazz bass player.

Magically, as I was walking to work yesterday, “Birdland” by Weather Report — with Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and Jaco Pastorius — appeared in my headphones.

According to Wikipedia, “Birdland” …

served as a tribute to the New York jazz club on 52nd street that housed a countless number of famous jazz musicians. However, not only was the song named in honor of the legendary jazz club, but also the man after whom the club was named, Charlie Parker, the ‘Bird’ himself. It was this club, that he frequented almost daily, that inspired Zawinul to write the song. Looking back, Zawinul claimed, “The old Birdland was the most important place in my life.”[1] And according to Pastorius in a 1978 interview, the studio version featured on Heavy Weather was recorded in just one take.

As the late, great Joe Zawinul expressed in the above quote, geographical place and location can be so important for people.

Here’s what I heard yesterday, from StudioLand:

(that video lives in YouTubeLand, here)

Here’s “Birdland”  by Weather Report, live from DeutchLand.

(“BirdLand” live from Germany video found here, in YouTubeLand)

Personally, I like using the word “land” to indicate real and virtual territory. For example, I love going to MusicLand, which helps sustain and nourish my work in HospitalLand.

Here are some lands I’ve been visiting lately:

  • Needless-Worry-Land
  • Trouble-Sleeping-Land
  • Self-judgment-land
  • Trying-to-figure-it-all-out-land

I would rather not go there, actually.

That reminds me! When my son, Aaron, began talking, I kept track of Aaron Quotes,  in NotebookLand:


… so that wonderful Aaron stories wouldn’t go into AmnesiaLand.

I just visited NotebookLand, because I thought there was a Very-Young-Aaron-Land story that belonged in Today’s-Post-Land.

There were THREE of those stories!

Actually I’m going to go FIVE places in Aaron-Quote-Land, this morning, from when he was two and three years old (in order of appearance):

Aaron, Cousin Lani, and Mama were driving around the Tufts Medical Center parking garage looking for a space. “Do you know what we’re looking for, Aaron?” asked Mama. “Yes,” replied Aaron. “What?” asked Lani. “Doctors,” said Aaron.


Driving to Deborah‘s,  Aaron said, “We’re going to Deborah-land.” At Deborah‘s I said goodbye, and said, “I’m going to work-land.” He turned to Deborah and said, “Mama’s going to Lisa-and-Newell-Land.*”


Eating ice-cream with M&Ms,  Aaron said the M&Ms had returned to M&M-land. When asked where that was, he said, “In my stomach.”


Mama was paying bills, and Aaron was asking about the return address portion of the envelope. Mama explained, “That’s where I write our address, so they know where I’m sending this from.” Aaron said, “They’ll know you’re sending it from your chair.”


Aaron had spent time at Ellen’s, who had a shower curtain with the map of the world. Ellen was explaining to Aaron that Iceland really wasn’t that cold and Greenland was very cold. She pointed out that they had funny names. On the way home, Mama and Aaron were discussing this. Mama said a few names that would be more appropriate for Greenland, like “Wow, this place is cold-land” or “There are icicles hanging from my nose-land.”  Aaron immediately started coming up with more and more elaborate names, such as, “Hey! Where’s my yak? There he is, he’s buried under the snow. Those things I thought were just icicles sticking up are actually his horns (pause) — Land!”


Aaron, before he left HomeLand this morning for SchoolLand, approved all those stories. I shall now resist the urge to return, over and over again, to NoteBookLand, so I can send this post out into WordPressLand.

Before I do, here are some photos I took on the way to work yesterday, while I was listening to Birdland, thinking

I wonder what Birdland might look like?


IMG_0288 IMG_0293

IMG_0305 IMG_0310 IMG_0317

Finally, right before I got to WorkLand, I found Birdland:

IMG_0340 IMG_0342 IMG_0346

Then, after work, I walked through MoonLand:

IMG_0371 IMG_0378


Thanks for visiting Ann’s-Post-Land,** today!

* Lisa and Newell are two fine people from my WorkLand, when Aaron was two years old.

** Where, I hope, the photo-loading is easy (or, at least, bearable).

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

Day 644: Magical

Today’s post title was inspired by this Jaco Pastorius tune, magically playing as I walked around yesterday, during a magically beautiful Sunday.

(YouTube video of Opus Pocus by Jaco Pastorius found here)

Jaco Pastorius was a magician of a jazz bass player, who apparently had bipolar disorder and who died way too young.  He played on several of my favorite albums of the 1970’s, like Jaco Pastorius (where “Opus Pocus” appears)

download (33)

and Weather Report‘s Black Market

download (34).

To demonstrate for you, ladies and gentlemen, the magic of Jaco, I looked for videos on YouTube of him playing live. And I found something very magical, for me:  the full Shadows and Light concert from 1979, with many of my favorite magicians/musicians, including:

If you wish to see that musical magic (and how Magicians Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays looked and sounded when I first saw them at the Paradise in Boston), click on this magical link.

I am not imbedding the video of that concert into this post, because I’m concerned about how blog-posting magic might be working for me, these days.  I’ve heard from some of my magical readers —  Mark Bialczak and LadyPinkRose — about my posts loading too slowly.

Technology can seem like magic to me.  When I am doing something new, I tend to learn only those spells I need to get some magic started. If there are problems later (in blogging and elsewhere), I can forget my ability to learn anew, to keep  enchantments coming.

I’m working on improving the magic here. For now,  I’m wondering how these images from yesterday are going to magically appear, for you:

IMG_0192 IMG_0197


IMG_0212 IMG_0217 IMG_0222 IMG_0228 IMG_0240 IMG_0253IMG_0244 IMG_0209 IMG_0255 IMG_0262 IMG_0284 IMG_0263 IMG_0275 IMG_0278

Did you notice anything magically new there, in any way? (I’m going to reveal my behind-the-scenes trick: I tried to improve the WordPress Photo Witchcraft today, by scaling down those images in my media library.)

Now that I’ve magically altered my state of mind (if not my photos) — by summoning up that joyous performance  of “In France They Kiss on Main Street” (starting at the 2:00 minute mark of the Shadows and Light concert) AND by sharing some personal magic with you — I’m ready to publish this post and start my work week.

I wonder what other magic I’ll encounter today?

Categories: inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 643: Unseeing

Right before I started writing this post, my boyfriend Michael and I had a conversation that went all over the place, including

  • different reactions to my 16-year-old son getting his wisdom teeth out yesterday,
  • feelings and thoughts about recent “trivial” changes in our lives (like the paint trim on our building and a new format for a magazine I’ve subscribed to for decades),
  • possible reasons why our cat Harley, who lived with other people before us, is so oddly skittish in certain situations,
  • how I don’t do puzzles or read novels as I used to — before I changed careers and became a psychotherapist — possibly because my work now includes “solving” puzzles and hearing stories all the time, and
  • things we wish we could “unsee” (e.g., a disturbing medical x-ray, violence, death, etc).

Are there things that you’ve seen, that you wish you could unsee?  Or, for that matter, are there things you’ve heard that you wish you could unhear?

Hmmm. I’m surprised to see the turn this post is taking.

Why? Because I seem to be unseeing and unhearing acceptance, right now.

Can you see (or hear) what I mean by that?

Acceptance means acknowledging what’s been seen, heard, and otherwise experienced in the past. It doesn’t necessarily mean liking those things — it’s just acknowledging the reality of where we’ve been and where we are … allowing ourselves to be more fully in the moment and to open ourselves up to the possibilities ahead.

So …. am I unseeing the concept of acceptance here, by focusing on what we might wish we could unsee or unhear?

What do you think?

Just now, I was unseeing Oscar, who is always with me when I write these posts:

IMG_0186 IMG_0187 IMG_0188

I was glad to un-un-see him, in the moment.

Sometimes, we can re-see things. Is that similar to unseeing?

For example, I used this photo in my post yesterday:


When I saw that sign at work on Friday, I saw that as “hope” and immediately took a picture of it.

After I published the post yesterday, I re-saw that sign, like so:

Where I work, people use signs on the door to signal whether it’s okay to enter. That’s an awfully short “h” in that word. Could that sign have actually said  … “nope”? Is the other side of that sign …. “yep”?

If I can remember where I saw that sign at work, I’ll see if I can see the unseen side of it when I return.

Here are some more images I’ve recently seen, unseen by you (until now):

IMG_0163 IMG_0164 IMG_0165 IMG_0166 IMG_0167 IMG_0168 IMG_0173 IMG_0177 IMG_0183 IMG_0161

Now that you’ve seen all this, can you unsee any of it? Would you want to?

Here’s something you can choose to hear or not hear — a song by Johnny Nash I’ve used here before (but in a different version):

(See here for the YouTube video of Johnny Nash singing “I Can See Clearly Now” on a 1970’s Midnight Special)

Thanks to all — including you! — for seeing and hearing what was here, today.

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

Day 642: You are not bad, girl (and boy)



you like these lyrics to Stevie Wonder‘s “You’ve Got it Bad Girl” (YouTube video found here), rewritten by me, on October 4, 2014.

When you believe your distortions,
And it’s holding you back from self-love,
Then you’ve got it bad, girl. You’ve got it bad, boy.

When you insist on excluding
All evidence that you’re worthwhile
Then you’ve got it bad, girl. You’ve got it bad, boy.

If you judge and disown an emotion,
And you shame, blame, and maim yourself
You will find your heart just sitting
Like a statue on a shelf, on a shelf, on a shelf.

Should you dismiss all your value,
And compliments that can be found,

Then you’ve got it bad, girl. You’ve got it bad, boy.

If you don’t see there’s a way out,
In loving yourself and RIGHT NOW,
Then you’ve got it bad, girl. You’ve got it bad, boy.

Do you know the posts I am writing,
Are intended to invite you
To practice new reactions,
To transform old things you do, old thoughts not true,
Hurting you, paining you.

You are not bad, girl. You are not bad, boy.

There’s no reward in detouring
My deep sincerity.
Especially since what you’re feeling,
Is perfectly clear to me. I can hear. I can see.

Before you discover the feeling,
And know that you don’t have to hide,
You’ve got it bad, girl. You’ve got it bad, boy.

But when you can find just a small space,
To let self love live in your mind,
Then you’ll have it good, girl. You’ll have it good, boy.


Thanks to Stevie Wonder and — of course! — to all the boys and girls reading this, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 641: Lots of freakin ____

Yesterday, there was lots of freakin

  • rain,
  • pain,
  • dark,
  • doom,
  • disinterest,
  • discontent,
  • detours,
  • distortion, and
  • data.

Yes, I experienced and witnessed a lot of freakin freakin!

I don’t mean to

… but I wasn’t alone in this.

Do I have proofs about that?

Of course!  For example, I could tell you stories I heard in my therapy office yesterday (if I made sure to protect confidentiality and completely hide identities) where people talked about

  • shame,
  • jealousy,
  • challenges,
  • strengths,
  • interpersonal issues,
  • focusing,
  • interrupting,
  • choices,
  • cognitive distortions including mind-reading,
  • the antidote of reality testing,
  • taking risks,
  • being vulnerable,
  • roles and expectations,
  • self esteem,
  • safety,
  • self-confidence,
  • compliments,
  • fitting in,
  • finances,
  • isolation,
  • venturing forth,
  • fear of being alone,
  • fear of the new,
  • fear of the unknown,
  • balancing listening and talking,
  • and jealousy.

And that was just in the two groups I freakin facilitated!

Or, I could tell you about a freakin misunderstanding between me and one of the doctors I work with, in a large primary care practice in a major Boston teaching hospital. Here’s an email I sent her, before I left work:

Another misunderstanding! I wasn’t upset. I just sound that way sometimes in email when I want to make sure providers understand my limits.

Let’s talk in person!!! Email sucks!

However, I’d rather show you two photos I took, at the end of the day:




Are you experiencing lots of freakin _____, where you are? (It wouldn’t freakin kill you to tell me, would it?)

To help promote a less freakin Friday, here are two freakin disco tunes I danced to in the 1970s:

(“There But For the Grace of God” by Machine found here on YouTube)

(“Le Freak” by Chic found here on YouTube)

Thanks to freakin everybody — including you, of course! — here and now.

Note: I just re-read this post after publishing it, and I wondered if I might have miscommunicated  (like I did with that doctor).  Therefore, I would like to balance things out, with another photo I took yesterday:


It’s freakin churros with freakin chocolate (among other things) on my freakin desk!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 640: All over the place

I woke up in one place this morning, but my mind was going lots of places, wondering what I might post about today.

Here’s the first thing I heard, on the radio:

On a morning like this, rainy and dark, we would expect problems on the road. Here are some spin-outs and accidents on your commute this morning.

Sounds like some cars were all over the place, too (before ending up in one spot).

Are there any places I want this post to go,  before I hit the rainy road?

For those who read my post yesterday, I want to tell you that — after I fearfully went all over the place from watching the beginning of a webinar about my very unusual heart (which had some scary data) — I watched the rest of it, which brought me to more balanced, hopeful places.

Speaking of all over the place, I just went to another place (my other blog at WordPress, which has lists of cognitive distortions and antidotes for unhelpful thoughts) to retrieve these:

This is a particularly extreme and painful form of fortune telling, where we project a situation into a disaster or the worst-case scenario. You might think catastrophizing helps you prepare and protect yourself, but it usually causes needless anxiety and worry.

Examine the Evidence.
Instead of assuming your negative thought is true, look at the evidence. For example, if you think “I never do anything right,” list some things you do well..

My mind has been going all over place, distracted, as I’ve been writing this, because the toilet has been running, running, running (while staying in one place), without stop.

I just fixed it, and that annoying noise has stopped. Now my mind can go other places.

But where?

Yesterday afternoon, my car went all over the place (because I misunderstood some instructions from my GPS system, Waze) on my way to see my therapist. I haven’t seen my therapist for a while, so our conversation went all over the place. At one point, the meandering discussion stopped at this blog, as follows:

Me: I’ve been posting every day since January 1, 2013, and I haven’t received any negative comments. Not one.

My therapist: That’s extraordinary.

My thoughts are going all over the place, right now:

  • My therapist just does not know my readers. If she did, she wouldn’t be that surprised.
  • When I’m writing a post and my thoughts and words are going all over the place, I often do imagine negative comments somebody might make.
  • What if somebody did make a negative comment here? So what?!  I like to invite negative reactions in my work as a psychotherapist … I’m sure I would survive (and learn from) any negative comments, in any place.
  • I wonder what I should eat for breakfast?

I think this post has successfully gone all over the place. Are there any other places I want to send it, before it comes to a stop?

Well, loyal and extraordinary reader Mark Bialczak wrote this in a comment, a couple of days ago:

I admire how you turn readers on to artists and songs they’d otherwise never encounter, Ann.

I like going places that my readers — including Mark — send me.

Recently, when I was walking and thinking all over the place,  I heard “Me and My Town” from Anyone Can Whistle — a musical Stephen Sondheim wrote when he was very young (before he really went places).

Even if you go all over the place on WordPress, I doubt you’ll encounter “Me and My Town” anywhere else. Here it is, from the original cast of Anyone Can Whistle.

When I was listening to”Me and My Town,” sung by Angela Lansbury, I took some photos of my town, Boston, which I would like to show you today.

Hmmm. I’m going all over the place, right now, looking for those photos I took last week. I know there were lots of photos of

[Me and] my town, battered about …

… Grass on the sidewalks, but not in the park 

… but I can’t find those images right now.  That’s not surprising … they look like a lot of other photos I take for this blog!

(Pssst!  If you want to see all the lyrics of “Me and My Town,” here‘s another place you can go.)

I have to leave soon to go another place (that would be work), so here are some photos you haven’t seen before, taken in Boston, which will just have to do:


IMG_9432 IMG_9578


I’ll end this all-over-the-place post with some words the Mayoress from Anyone Can Whistle sings again and again, as she goes all over the place in “Me and My Town.”

We just want to be loved.

Thanks to everybody who ever goes all over the place, which (I assume) would include Dr. Carole Warnes* (the expert from the webinar on congenitally corrected transposition), my therapist,  Mark Bialczak, Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, the people of Boston, and — of course! — you!

* One more place I want to go, here. When I googled “Dr. Carole Warnes” just now, I found another WordPress site, called “Adventures of a Funky Heart.” I’ll be going there (and other places) soon.

Categories: blogging, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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