Day 681: Not love

Yesterday morning, I wrote about love.  And then, I had a day of “not love.”

What does that mean?

It means that no matter what happened throughout the day, I felt “bad” — off balance, out of sorts, negative, unloved, not loving, unlovable, not myself, uncomfortable,  insecure, weird, eager for the day to be over, not good …. even though there was NO NEW REASON for all these feelings.

It’s true that a few things went wrong yesterday, starting with tuna noodle casserole exploding in the microwave:


Disconcerting, but I’ve survived worse. Much worse.

Then, there were the usual detours on my way to work …

IMG_2031 IMG_2034

… but those don’t usually bother me.  At that point in the day,  I was even able to enjoy the pink in that sign and the “not” in this sign:


But soon, my joy evaporated, and I cannot pinpoint why.

All day, it was unseasonably warm, with lots of leaves and other colors all around.


In my mind, I SHOULD have been feeling happy and good.

But, as I often tell people, there are NO shoulds when it comes to feelings and personal experience.

Maybe the turning point was my trying to photograph two escaped “Get Well” balloons trapped outside, out of reach, at a hospital.

IMG_2039 IMG_2040 IMG_2041 IMG_2042 IMG_2043 IMG_2044 IMG_2045 IMG_2046 IMG_2047 IMG_2048

I could never quite get them, the way I wanted.

And if I look into my past — searching for possible reasons for my latest Not Love day — I do remember feeling awful, when I was a kid, losing a balloon that floated away, out of reach. And, I do remember feeling AWFUL, when I was a kid, with or without balloons, in hospitals.


So maybe those were reasons, enough, for me to experience Not Love yesterday.

For the rest of the day, in my role as psychotherapist, I did hear lots of stories of other people experiencing Not Love.

And for the rest of the day, I did have thoughts that promoted feelings of Not Love, including:

  • Will I be needing heart surgery at some point, sooner or later?
  • Will the two toilets where we live ever work correctly?
  • Am I being a good enough mother, girlfriend, co-worker, pet owner, sister, friend, etc. etc. etc. etc.?
  • Am I returning everybody’s messages?
  • Is everybody returning my messages?
  • Will I be able to experience shorter, colder days around here without thinking about friggin’ DEATH, for a change?

As I’ve learned, over and over again, a Not Love day usually does NOT have to do with what’s going on externally, all around me. It has to do with my internal experience and filters of everything I’m encountering.

For example, when I go to my local work-place Starbucks on a Not Not Love Day, it’s usually positive “personal medicine” for me, because the people and the products are familiar and comforting. (I’ve written about Starbucks Personal Medicine several times, including here, here, and here.)

And yet, both of my visits to Starbucks yesterday did NOT cure my Not Love Day, despite my

  • naming my experience to the people there and
  • another, usually guaranteed, fool-proof antidote.


There’s a chocolate cookie in that bag, people, and even that didn’t help. Not only that, the message on the bag seemed SARCASTIC to me.

During my Not Love day, I heard this song, which I’m including here because (1) I like it and (2) the title fits.

(“Negative Girl” by Steely Dan found here on YouTube)

When I’m feeling Not Love, it feels like (to quote that song) More Of The Same.  More of the same.

It’s familiar. And it sucks.

During times of Not Love, it helps me to remember this:

INS594ThisTooShallPass [Converted]

(image found here)

this too shall pass

(image found here)

While I was searching for images for “This Too Shall Past,” just now, something familiar came up, which I’ve loved very much, in the past:

(Amazing video of “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go found here on YouTube)


OK (everybody) … Go!!!* (And thanks to all.)

* Speaking for myself, I’m going to call the plumber again.

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

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32 thoughts on “Day 681: Not love

  1. May today find you with love again. And in the meantime breathe easy my friend.
    Val x

  2. I surely hope this is a much love day! I hope the balloons are either gone so you don’t have to see them or within your reach so you can rescue them.
    I could use a little love (and a lot of money) today. My iPad died this morning. I am almost heartbroken. Plus I have a lot of info in the notes that I cannot get!

    • Thank you for the love you passed on my way. Sending love back to your almost broken heart (although an iPad and $$ would probably be more effective personal medicine).

  3. Funky Ann! Not the James Brown kind. The Steely Dan kind for that song, yes. You were in the mood, but not for your beloved swing dancing. The swing was precipitous from the previous day, though. Not love day because the hot air balloons allowed bad recollections to float through the ventilation system of your vault. And then even your cookie crumbled,

    I hope my attempt at word playmanship have brightened you a tad today, Ann. Oh, how I tried. If your answer is still negative, girl …

    Tomorrow will be better.

  4. Sorry you were in such a funk yesterday and I hope today is better!

  5. spartacus2030

    I’m leaving. So don’t judge me. OK?

    • Was it the exploding tuna noodle casserole?

      • This response made me not just laugh out loud, but choke! It’s the best.

        Can I have your recipe for exploding tuna casserole? Seriously. I can do the exploding part. It looked yummy even in a temper.

      • Michael made it (although the exploding part was completely thanks to me). My personal recipe for tuna noodle casserole involves tuna, noodles, cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup, mushrooms, and certain spices. I’m not sure what Michael’s recipe is. I hope this helps.

  6. Hi Ann…. I’m sorry that you had a “not love” day yesterday and I hope that you are having a “love” day today.

    What is remarkable about you is that in your posts and responses, you do not show your out-of-sorts-edness or your – well, let’s call it pain, of a kind; a loneliness and fear where the neurons fire. You always give warmth and hope to others, at least in the online world and I think in the face to face world, too; certainly with your clients. That might not be a kind of giving that can always be refuelled by Starbucks. I wish that there was a better way in the online world to give back warmth.

    The question about surgery might only be answered in time, but my own experience says that the existence of the question might take more out of you than you know. I think that’s part of what music is for.

    The question about the toilets — my experience says the answer to that is no. A plunger will always be needed and plumbing skills should be cultivated like, well, math skills. But I could be wrong. We got a toilet from Home Depot that fixed 87% of the problems one of our toilets was having. It did not fix the problem of the root in the drain, but at least it does not block itself. 87% is a good fix, except when it’s not and guests are arriving.

    I hope that you have a better day today, and always.

    • What is remarkable about you is that you write these incredible comments, which always, always, always, without exception, make my day better.

      • Here’s Ray Charles singing “Take These Chains from My Heart” … I hope he can take yours, too.

      • Great personal medicine, Maureen, and I’m checking my heart right now … no chains! Many thanks.

  7. yeseventhistoowillpass

    I have this too will pass on my arm. I thought it’s snowing there? Stay warm.

  8. Ann,
    I believe when you have a day like the one you describe, following the advice to fetch wood, carry water and walk the earth may just be the remedy.

    By doing something, even in simply symbolizing that which is suggested, that results in some good-especially for another- then that something, may possibly remake one’s day.

  9. Hope those bad feelings (unhappy, etc.) pass soon.

  10. You are a breath of fresh, honest air!

  11. Yes, the days of not-love are never any fun ~ but I like how you take a look at these inconveniences, learn from them and take them from what they are 🙂 And then the love days will quickly return…

  12. So true that our inner filters determine how we perceive and react to our environment and what we encounter, and thus have a strong impact on our moods. It’s those filters I am working on adjusting in my psychotherapy (that I am getting for free via our national health insurance because my psychiatrist thinks I need it….)

  13. Try Kipling: ‘We all feel the hump, the camelous hump, the hump that is black and blue…’ but yes, fetch wood, carry water, walk the earth… you could not find better advice. Hope it has passed by tomorrow.

  14. Pingback: Day 684: Down time | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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