Day 674: Past —> Present

I’m going to start this post, in the present moment, by bringing in the past.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, after every person had checked in, uninterrupted, somebody identified this common theme:

How the past comes into the present and affects us, in many ways

which I wrote up on my whiteboard as

past –> present

… as you can see in this photo.


Speaking for myself, I know that the past has been affecting my present in many ways,  including:

  • I have trouble wearing my CPAP mask, at night, to help me sleep, because of memories of the many anesthesia masks I encountered in the hospital, as a child.
  • I had trouble, last night, at the So You Think You Can Dance concert, as I was trying to see, when the person sitting behind me tapped me on the back and said, “Could you please not lean forward?” I’m not sure why this bothered me so much, but I’m sure it’s related to my past. I dealt with it by moving over to a nearby seat, which was empty.
  • I have trouble doing a portion of my job that I find so difficult (probably because of past associations) that I have (over-)dramatically announced to my managers: “it’s killing me.” My managers and I are trying to figure out ways for this NOT to kill me.

Why am I writing about these past –> present things, here and now?

As a way to understand them. As a way to get some sense of control over them.

Why am I writing in incomplete sentences today?

Because I’m anxious, I think.

Why am I anxious?

Because I’m getting my teeth cleaned today.

Why is getting my teeth cleaned so anxiety-provoking?

Because I have gotten endocarditis — a very serious heart infection — three times before, and the doctors think this has been caused, each time, by bacteria that exist in everybody’s mouths.

Why have i gotten endocarditis three times, because of bacteria that everybody has in their mouths?

Because I have a very unusual heart — with a leaky valve (among other unusual things) — that makes me prone to endocarditis.

I can’t control or change the past. What can I control, here and now?

My fear, by reminding myself that

  • I have gotten my teeth cleaned hundreds, if not thousands, of times and
  • I have only gotten endocarditis three times and
  • I have never gotten endocarditis since my doctors and I instituted my current method of teeth cleaning, which involves getting intravenous antibiotic before the cleaning and getting my teeth cleaned once every three or four months.

Ahhhh.  The above list is an example of how bringing past–> present can help.

What other aspects of the past to I want to bring into the present, in this post, before I end it?

Let me check my notes, from yesterday.

I wanted to share this song with you, today:

(Here’s where I found Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers playing “Minute by Minute” live WITH PIANO CHORDS!)

I’m going to bring the past–> present again, by acknowledging that some people who read these posts have told me they do NOT watch the music videos I include here. No pressure to watch that one either, but it IS particularly awesome (I think).

Here’s another example of past–>present, with the pictures I took yesterday, as I went from voting –> work –>  So You Think You Can Dance:

IMG_1733 IMG_1734 IMG_1735 IMG_1736 IMG_1737 IMG_1738 IMG_1739 IMG_1740 IMG_1741 IMG_1742 IMG_1743 IMG_1744 IMG_1745 IMG_1746 IMG_1747 IMG_1748 IMG_1750 IMG_1752 IMG_1753 IMG_1754 IMG_1757


Why did I take those photos?  Do you have any guesses, about any of them?

One more way to bring past –> present, in this post. Last night, I saw this past favorite performance repeated, in person:

Thanks to Zack, Valerie, and the other amazing dancers from Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance, to all those I encounter (including people who tap me on the back and ask me to sit back in my seat) who help me learn, and to anybody else who brings their past into their present in any way — including you!

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

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29 thoughts on “Day 674: Past —> Present

  1. Well, it is no wonder that getting your teeth cleaned is stressful, but it seems you and your dentist have worked out a way to keep side effects under control. That is GOOD.
    Ann, I never see your videos because I live in a rural area that has internet from somewhere out of the past. It is slow and problematical. It causes me stress and misery. It will not let me watch videos most of the time, so my solution is to not try. This makes my life much less stressful than it was when I tried repeatedly and ended up hurling curses to the internet provider.
    Glad you enjoyed the dance!

    • Emilie, I am very happy you (1) are taking care to treat yourself kindly by not trying to watch videos and (2) visited. I quite enjoy your visits.

  2. Voting turkeys dance! Great headline on the results (?) …..:)

  3. I’m sorry you are feeling so stressful today and I hope that it eases as the day progresses!

  4. Turkeys. They know it’s November. Their month as well as ours at Nano Poblano, Ann!

    The cleaning went fine today, I take it. Your dentist knows your special routine. You’ve written of this before. Great hygienist, too, as I recall!

    No wonder you had to lean forward to see the dancers. Mighty tall man in front of you. But you did not tap him on his back, did you.

    I hereby declare tomorrow no-stress Thursday. Wait! I have to fast until my 9:15 appointment to give blood (and other) so my doctor is prepared with my numbers for my six-month diabetes (and other) checkup later this month …

    • We’re no turkeys, Mark. But I have to say that I was thrilled to see a wild turkey in my town! I’ve never seen one of these beauties there before.

      As usual, your memory and perceptions are admirable: gifts from the present, for me. I hope the fast goes fast for you, my friend.

  5. Yes, my past used to having the antibiotic treatment every 3 months as your too but my present is free from such thing. I am hoping I can control my present to make sure my future does not need that treatment again 🙂

    • I’m so glad your present is free from such things and I empathize with what that was like for you, in the past. I’m hoping, with you, for no future treatments!

  6. I love the way your mind works/meanders and can really relate Ann in so many ways. I am struggling with this ongoing flu that dr seems to think might be pneumonia so am in a bit of a fug. You always inspire me.

  7. Hey Ann , Anxiety is always present .Follow your yesterday’s theme and move from (a) anxious to (b) brave 🙂 .Let the anxiety dwell in past.

    Good luck for your teeth cleaning session , awaiting to be dazzled by your sparkling smile 😀 .

  8. Closing with Doobie Brothers. Can it get better than THAT?!

  9. Pingback: Day 675: Eyes | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  10. The dancing is amazing and I managed quite a bit of the music too. Best pic is the kitten and the turkey. I hope you dentistry has passed off well, as it clearly has in the recent past – so don’t think back too far.

    • I will take your excellent advice, about the past, as a wonderful present, Hilary. I am so glad you enjoyed the dancing, the music, the (real) turkey and the (fake) kitten.

  11. I like to click on your music videos, when I have a moment, but sometimes clicking on the “comment” button stops the music video — and sometimes it doesn’t! So, often, I only get to listen to part of the song. (As happened a few minutes ago with the great song on your Eyes post.) This time, though, the song kept playing. I wish I knew how to keep the music playing all the time!

    • I’m usually wishing I could keep what you say playing all the time, too. Actually, I can often hear your past comments in my head, in the present.

      Thank you, for all past, present, and future comments.

  12. Ah! But when I hit the “post comment” button, it stopped! Drat! And I was ready to dance, too!

    I’m glad that your dental appointment went well and that you posted a photo of your super-smiley dentist.

    • Thanks to you for making me super-smiley today.

      • I noticed your confidence spectrum— self-doubt to confidence. I think it’s good to slide back and forth along this spectrum. If we park at the confident end all the time, we might not leave space for other people. Space for them to be more confident or more right or more amazing or even more needy.

      • I wonder if it’s possible to stay super-confident and still allow room for others to be confident, right, amazing, needy, or whatever? I am super-confident, at any moment, that I shall love what you have to say.

  13. Pingback: Day 685: No matter where you go, there you are | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Pingback: Day 686: Are you the artist? | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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