Day 716: Cheer up

People who are dealing with depression, especially around the holidays, sometimes hear family and friends say:

Cheer up!

Wanting others to be happy is a wonderful sign of kindness, but saying

cheer up!

does not always work. That is, somebody who is feeling down might hear

cheer up!

and feel

  1. misunderstood
  2. criticized
  3. invalidated
  4. pressured, and
  5. cheered down.

Lately, I’ve been having some down moments — here and there —  related to changes and uncertainties about my heart health. Nobody has said “cheer up” to me, in so many words.

As best I can, I’ve been working on cheering myself up, by

  • focusing on work I love,
  • taking photographs,
  • writing blog posts,
  • listening to music,
  • exchanging gifts,
  • wisely indulging in chocolate,
  • and connecting with great people, in the blog-o-sphere and the Greater-Boston-o-sphere.

For example, last night, my boyfriend Michael and my 16-year-old son Aaron met up with my long-time friend Jon and his wife, Debbie.

IMG_3667

Don’t Jon and Debbie look cheery? Spending time with them last night cheered me up, for sure.

Jon reads my blog every day and Debbie often reads it, too. Last night, over dinner, Jon recalled his most recent blog post appearance, which I shall repeat here:

img_92081

That’s a card Jon sent me in the hospital, when we were both much, much younger. (The thought of being younger doesn’t necessarily cheer me up right now. Instead, knowing I have a good chance of getting considerably older would REALLY cheer me up.)

By the way, that’s a COMPLETE COINCIDENCE that Jon’s card from way-back-when actually says “cheer up!” I had no memory of that when I decided on the title for today’s post. What are the chances of that kind of synchronicity, dear readers?

For some reason, coincidences and synchronicity cheer me up, every time. (It also cheers me up that I haven’t yet written a post titled “Coincidence” or “Synchronicity.” I guess I still have many more posts left in me.)

Here’s something else that cheers me up: Just now, I was easily able to locate something else that Jon wrote to me, long ago. Here are Jon’s words, on my 9th grade yearbook, which cheered me up when I was 14 years old:

IMG_3704

In case you can’t read those cheering words from Jon(ny), they say “Good luck to a literary master and a good V.P.” To explain:  I ran for Vice President of our 9th grade class and when I won that election, I was

  • cheered up and
  • surprised.

Here’s hoping it will cheer us all up if I present some other photos I took yesterday:

IMG_3662 IMG_3663 IMG_3668IMG_3673 IMG_3675 IMG_3678  IMG_3679 IMG_3682 IMG_3685 IMG_3695 IMG_3696 IMG_3698IMG_3700

Some of those cheering displays, shown in the last eight photos above, had motion sensors. After we were looking at those happy snowmen, Michael said, “Did you notice that the snowmen were frowning at first, and when we walked by, they all smiled?”  I’m not sure, but I think Michael said that to cheer me up.

Before we walked away from that amazing Christmas display, some bells sensed Michael-and-me motion,  and they played this song:

(If it would cheer you up to do so, you can find a cheer-filled “Carol of the Bells” performed by my hometown orchestra here on YouTube.)

I shall now repeat the following photo from this weekend post, for some musical Chanukah Cheer:

IMG_3477

One more photo to cheer myself up, before I end this post and (1) cheer up people where I work this morning (I hope) and (2) get cheered up by my long-time, trusted, and faithful cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem this afternoon (I hope).

IMG_3536

I took that photo a few days ago (if you follow me), outside the Art Center where my son was appearing in a play over the weekend. I couldn’t figure out how to include that image in the next day’s post, and I’ve been missing its presence here. It cheers me up, right now, because it shows:

  • color
  • home
  • learning
  • smile
  • peace.

What do you see around you that cheers you up?

Thanks to Jon, Debbie, Michael, Aaron, Dr. Salem, all the creative people shown in this post, and everyone else, everywhere, who has been cheering me up (including you — of course! — with your visit here, today*).


* Many minutes after I published this post, (1) it is not showing up in my reader here  and (2) I haven’t received any likes.  Here’s how I’m going to cheer myself up about  another (WordPress**) change I cannot control: (1) let it go and (2) go on.

** Here’s another WordPress change I just noticed: despite my having close to 2,000 followers four days ago (see “Follow Me” for more about that), WordPress is now telling me I have approximately 1600 followers. I apparently lost 400 followers, including myself. Was it something I said, did, or wrote?  In any case, I’m going to (1) let that go and (2) go to work.  Cheer up!

Categories: blogging, friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 33 Comments

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33 thoughts on “Day 716: Cheer up

  1. This post cheered me up. I wasn’t sad. But I found myself smiling, more than I was when I began reading it. And you didn’t even tell me to cheer up. 🙂

  2. coming here always cheers me up — even when I’m not cheering down! 🙂

  3. yeoldefoole

    is that a farting star in that photograph?!?!?! :O

  4. Wow – your cheering up has cheered me up no end!! May you day keep getting better Ann 🙂

  5. Why is Santa in Candy Cane Prison?!? What on earth did he do? That’s just wrong!
    Beyond that I hope that you get to feeling better, it is so nice to read about all the support you have!

  6. I am cheered. Thank you.

  7. Thank you for the gift of this blog and for all the cheer you spread with your words and camera and diligence.

  8. Ann,
    I had a friend named Don. We were members of the same Post Polio support group. We shared conversation at a summer gathering; the topic was how each was dealing with the effects of Polio. It was a nice day near the shore, enjoying good food and time with folks of common trials. Don some months later was diagnosed with ALS, on top of the PPS. We kept up conversation by phone and letter until it was too difficult for him to continue. Don his since passed away. He showed much courage in his good humor, under the most difficult circumstances.

    We all have our challenges. I have found that after my time with Don, my complaints carried less weight. Not so much that his seemed worse than mine, but that while being a help to him, I realized my burden didn’t keep me from lightening his.

    In the end I believe we each carry a particular cross; which is quite different than anyone else’s. Only because we are the best to carry it.
    -Alan
    p.s. Enjoyed the Carol of the Bells. One of my favorite.

  9. I am definitely cheered up by your light show and messages from your old friend. And also because my daughter and son-in-law have arrived from the States and we had a great meal together.

  10. You cheer me up, Ann, along with 1,968 other followers. The fact that you still meet with ninth-grade friend Jonny says wonders, VP. Very personable. Venerable photographer. Literary, that goes without saying. Thank you, Ann Koplow.

  11. I’m here with Good Cheer! WordPress has tried to challenge my happiness with their tweeking and sqeeking of a product once so divine. Ahh, but i digress, for though WordPress is such a mess, i visit and chat via other means and wonder quite surely does this mayhem seem somewhat “predictable”? It’s Christmas after all, gifting is in full bloom, perhaps they wish to sell us items to oust the gloom. I’m no premium lady, but rather quite shady. I write a blog and never fear, if someone finds it, i feel good cheer. If no one see’s it, that’s fine too, for within my posting i generally post a simple thing or two. You see, when it all began for me, i fell upon my knees. My sweetest little cat lost his life to disease. My children fled the coop, off to college they did go. I needed me a playmate and WordPress made a show. As time wrangled forward, between depressive episodes, i captured a wave and penned my soul.

    So, nothing said, nor nothing done, WordPress has blessed me with some fun, but in the midst of abundance and cheer could you hear my cry and pull up a chair? Tales of woe i could spill upon thee, but rather i give you some thoughts for free. Tis’ my wish to bring some ease for each of us suffering, The WordPress Sneeze. We want no gratitude, nor attitude, our plea is free. You be you, and we’ll be thee. I want the world to see what i once saw, WordPress impressing others with their awe.

    Come back home. Please. Help us with our needs.

    The Holiday Season carries so much expectation. We are doing our best to survive and thrive during loss and pressures beyond our control. I told myself I’d give myself a break. Normally i bake to extreme, but not this year. This year I warned my loved ones I was going rogue. When asked what i wanted for gifts i went really rogue. I asked if they would give me something they no longer want. “Everyone” appeared dazed and confused by my request. Personally i am at the age of where i want to declutter my life. That decluttering goes only towards the multitudes of things i’ve collected over the years. Receiving something from a loved one holds a value i’ll try to explain. Christmas 1982, Eaton, Colorado, my parents were killed in a housefire. What wasn’t ruined needed to be cleared and donated as quickly as possible. Six siblings, but only one still living in the Southern part of the state. El Pronto! No time to grieve, we must settle this State of Affairs and get home before Christmas Eve. Families to see, gifts to wrap, a tree or two to decorate. But most honestly, we needed to run from pain into the arms of joy. And joy can be found if we look inside ourselves, if we seek out the forgotten treasure. It’s there, and yes it can be fleeting. Sorrow has it’s days too, but allow yourself the gift of knowing how important you are. You mean the entire world to someone. Perhaps you simply need to remind youself in the midst of all lifes clutter.

    • I am amazed at all the life, lessons, and poetry you packed into that comment. I hope you are of a good cheer; you certainly added to mine. Many thanks, as we travel along this WordPress road.

  12. Pingback: Day 718: Cool cats | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  13. Pingback: Day 723: What’s been going on? | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Pingback: Day 782: Best supporting Oscars | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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