Day 702: Associations

I don’t know about you, but I have the kind of mind, heart, and soul where I make a lot of associations, as I make my way through space and time.

Yesterday, I encountered several challenging, overwhelming, and difficult-to-resolve situations at work and elsewhere, and my associations with that included:

I just made associations with most of the cognitive distortions I listed, above, by doing a WordPress search through my past posts for the name of each distortion, and then linking to it. However, there was one cognitive distortion with which WordPress had no associations,* so that one is different (and, perhaps, guilty by association). My association with that is that it’s probably time for me to define that one link-less distortion here:

We come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, you expect it to happen over and over again. Example: seeing one incident of rejection as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat and failure.

My association with that?  That sounds about right.

In the past, when I’ve been making unhelpful associations, I sometimes write down my associations freely, without judgment or restraint,  in order to move my thoughts, feelings, and experience into a different place.

My association with that?  I need a starting point, for those associations.

So what should I associate with, today?

How about a photo I took yesterday?


Here are my associations with that:

I take photos, sometimes, when I’m stuck in traffic or waiting, as a way to pass the time, reduce anxiety, and gather ideas and images for this daily blog. That truck shows batteries, which reminds me of pacemaker batteries, which I’ve been dependent upon to stay alive for the past 52 years. I can’t make out or recognize all of the images on the back of that truck, but I assume they might have something to do with NASCAR racers. I can’t read the whole slogan on the bottom, but I see the words “past” and “Built to last.”  “Built to last” reminds me of my current fears about my health and makes me think about human fragility and vulnerability.

I don’t know what those associations did for you, but I would like to move on to associations with another image:


 I think those images, on the side of that truck, are supposed to be reassuring, but they are reminding me, in the moment, of two things I’m having some worries and concerns about: (1) my possibly needing heart surgery in the near future (left) and (2) the challenges I’m having with the masks on my C-PAP machine (right) and how I got a call from the C-PAP machine people yesterday wanting to Repossess the machine,  since I haven’t been using it 70% of the time, which was a requirement I didn’t even know about until last week, but maybe that’s for the best, because I ‘m going to try a different kind of sleep treatment (a dental device) instead.

I don’t know what those associations did for you, but I would like to move on to associations with a different photo:


Last night, on my drive home after my challenging day, I passed by something that made me laugh out loud, despite everything I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing, so I turned around and circled back to take a photo of it. I could ask you your associations with that photo, to see if you might guess what I saw, but why should I waste your time? My iPhone couldn’t capture it, obviously, but that was a bright, illuminated snowman up a tree, above, which made me — at least momentarily — happy.

I guess you had to be there.

What associations might I make now, in this post, to link with some musical association?

(YouTube video of The Association, associating with The Smothers Brothers, found here, if you care to make that association.)

Do you have any associations with that or with anything else in this associating post, today?  If you do, I hope you consider joining the association of people who comment on this blog.

Thanks to everybody, everywhere, who makes associations of any kind (including you, with whom I am always pleased to associate).

* It turns out that WordPress had no associations with that cognitive distortion because I typed “overgeneralizing” instead of “overgeneralization.” My association with that?  Nobody’s perfect.

Categories: blogging, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Day 702: Associations

  1. So many associations Ann! That supported health care one freaked me out as well!
    What is that bright shining light that made you laugh?…. A lit up Snowman?

  2. You are a lot quicker than I am but I enjoy trying to catch up!

  3. I associated quickly to Along Comes Mary by The Associations — I remember that song and group! The memory made me smile. Nice!

    And yes, the supported health care image freaked me out because of negative associative resonance 🙂 NAR…. Yup. NAR. 🙂

  4. Thank you for trying to show us a snowman up a tree. I have never seen that and couldn’t make it out in your photo, but it is definitely something worth seeing. I like to think about the person who would make one.

    Nothing that you write on your blog ever wastes my time. Sometimes, the photos you post spark things in me that are probably not what you intended, but they are good things. That photo on the side of the truck with the young woman wearing the oxygen mask made me feel worried, though. I don’t think they should drive around with pictures like that on their trucks. They could cause accidents.

    These days when I read your blog, I feel worried about you. I chuckle over things and think about other things and I hop around to songs like Along Came Mary, but more and more I worry about you. So, while you are wandering the land of cognitive distortions, remember that you are not really alone, you are not really wasting people’s time, and sometimes distorting things lets you get a better grip on them.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing mind.

  5. The collective vibe from the images on the side of the truck is not reassuring. It is freak-out time, for sure, Ann.

    And I can see how the blurry, disjointed NASCAR message for Interstate batteries fails to reassure you at this point of your mind set, too.

    A snowman up a tree is great!

    “Along Comes Mary” by the Association is a cool breeze of a song and equally great!!

    Now we, the collective team that associate daily here, need visits and decisions from four cardioligists so the squad leader has a more definitive paramater to wrap her mind around.

  6. Sorry you’re having some anxiety over a possible surgery, but if you aren’t using the sleep machine, i think it’s great that you have an other option to try!

  7. Ann the health care one freaked me out too. We have a commercial here in Canada about how we choose how we will live our last 10 years of life. Your picture made me think of the commercial.

    Diana xo

  8. “Guilty as charged!” … The snowman up the tree brought fear to me. I ‘automatically’ assumed you were witnessing the beginning of a house fire. (Sorry.)

    In my memory: The front page of the newspaper showed the aftermath of an apartment fire. Three firemen on the ground working to save an individual’s life.

    True story. My mother and father were killed in a house fire at Christmastime in 1982.

    Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to turn the negative off, we are reminded that we can’t. Something ‘out of the blue’ will turn our attention to the dreaded thoughts we wish we could escape.

    If you weren’t concerned about your heart, I would be concerned about you. After all, it is not so much your life’s precarious balance, but the loved ones around you and the fear of leaving them to deal with their pain, that causes you great concern. The unknown is frightening to people who empathize, love, and genuinely care for those around them.

    You are a loving, considerate person. You’re in my thoughts daily. We are all thankful for your presence.

    • I feel very moved — and helped — by what you wrote here.

      I’m so sorry for your losses and so grateful for your visits and all that you bring.

      I truly believe that what we see in other people is, at least partly, a reflection of ourselves. When you see empathy, caring, lovingness, and consideration in me, that shows that you embody those qualities, too –which is obvious every time you express yourself.

      Thank you for your understanding and your courage to heal. I learn, each time, from these associations with you.

      • Thank you, Anne. Sincerely, our world burns brighter by your insights and their reflections. Have a sweet day, and when it fails to be sweet, take time out and dance a bit.

      • Thank you for the sweetness in this comment, which, sincerely, made me dance.

  9. In Florida it’s fairly impossible to associate with snowmen.

  10. I, too, first associated the snowman photo with a house fire. Tis the season, after all. Just last week in my little town a neighbor’s house burned to the ground. They were using a propane tank inside, and it leaked. So I was thankful you explained the photo and was glad to see the daylight one, which I love.
    We all make associations. The only problem is that can lead to strong generalizations and can also lead to prejudices and fears. I work to notice when I’m making associations that could negatively impact me or my feelings about someone or something. Hard to do!

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