Day 731: Small change

I think a lot about change because

  1. I’m a psychotherapist (so change is my business),
  2. three years ago, I was hired at a large Primary Care Practice of a major Boston teaching hospital to be a “Change Agent” (introducing more group work and more in-the-moment responsiveness to patients in emotional distress),
  3.  changes we choose can feel a lot different from changes that are thrust upon us,
  4. change is a part of growth and healing,
  5. noticable change — even good change — often evokes resistance in others,
  6. change is scary for many human beings,
  7. small changes  can seem invisible, trivial, and unimportant, and
  8. I’ve witnessed enormous changes starting with one, small change.

I think about change SO much,  that the small change list above could be much, much larger. However, I’d like to change this post into a more visual one, now.

Today, on the first day of the new year, I’m considering this small change:










Changing my profile picture, here at WordPress.

Now, you have to admit that’s a REALLY small, unimportant change — totally undeserving of a dramatic reveal like that, or of much time spent by you OR me.

Nevertheless, this is exactly how I choose to spend my first moments of 2015, here at WordPress.

Here are some candidates, for that particular change:



That’s Jane Austen, still my favorite writer after all these years, who appeared in this recent post I wrote, which — I think — has already created observable changes in me.


photo (50)

That’s one of my favorite T-shirts, from one of my favorite diners, which has appeared in several important (to me) “Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally” posts (including this, this, this, this, this, and that).



It’s another t-shirt, which I created a few years ago because I (and many experts) honestly believed  I was the longest surviving person in the entire world with a cardiac pacemaker.  I don’t wear that t-shirt any more. Why?  Because, somebody — who found this blog and who got her first pacemaker before I got my first one in 1963 — contacted me. So,  I changed about that, too.



That image appeared in this post, a year and a half ago. I found it, just now, by searching the word “chocolate” through all 730 of my previous, daily posts.  Would anybody like to guess what number of posts that was?  Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing about any of all that.


header-egypt (2)

That was my profile photo from my first year of blogging. Returning to that might seem like the opposite of progress, but as I’ve described here, here,  and elsewhere, we cycle through changes in our lives, often going over similar territory (but always moving up and onward).



That’s a nice photo, but it’s not me. Also, it’s never appeared in this blog before. It’s just a picture I saved a while ago before I got my hair cut by the fabulous Mia (previously appearing in this blog — according to my search  for “Mia”– here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).



That IS me, and it continues (while also substantially changing) some personal visual mysteries I’ve created so far,  in this blog.  But that’s a little scary for a profile picture, isn’t it?  I hope I didn’t scare my then 15-year-old son Aaron — who was in the emergency room with a collapsed lung — by looking like that while I was with him there, back in June 2013. By the way, that black cat around my neck is a gift from my guy/boyfriend/partner/whatever-you-want-to-call-him, Michael.



That’s similar to my current profile picture, with two obvious changes — the tiger is wearing a hat and NOT wearing glasses (which I do need, to see clearly). I should also confess this: I’m not wearing that hat these days.



That photo continues the tiger theme, plus it shows two puppets very important to me, one I’ve had since I was a little girl. I inadvertently changed the larger puppet (named “Tiger”) when I placed his head on a lightbulb, so he could listen to me practice piano, many years ago.



I think this photo probably appeared in this previous blog post and it was drawn by my longtime friend Ada (appearing in the comment section of this non-trivial blog post and this one, too, among other places), decades ago.  I wouldn’t change a thing about Ada or that drawing.

There are many more profile-picture possibilities I could write about, including

  • sticking with my current glasses-wearing tiger,
  • changing to any of the hundreds of photos appearing in this blog previously, or
  • changing to one of the images I captured since writing yesterday’s post:

IMG_4355 IMG_4356 IMG_4358 IMG_4359


IMG_4376 IMG_4383


… but I’d like to end this post so I can be ready for today’s resumption of that trivial pursuit game pictured above, with Aaron and Michael.

What changes are important to you, here and now?

I suppose I should make one final change to this post, by adding some music about change.

(“A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke found here, on YouTube.)

Thanks to all who go through changes every day, including you, y’know.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

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49 thoughts on “Day 731: Small change

  1. Julia Manuel

    I love your post and if I may be so bold the pink shirt is my favorite…so delightfully vibrant…makes me smile.

  2. I like #7.

  3. Happy New Year Ann. I also like number 7 of you. It’s not scary at all and still leaves a little to the imagination.

  4. We love that song. Pawkisses for a Happy New Year 🙂 ❤

  5. I remember that last year around this time, you changed the name of your blog by adding an “s”. I enjoyed that discussion. It’s fun (and, as always, thought-provoking) to look over your shoulder as you decide things. You think things through so much more thoroughly than I do (it seems).

    I do have a favourite of those, and I have a favourite from a previous blog post that is not one of the options you posted today. But I’m not going to weigh in, because it’s your decision and your change and I know that we will all keep coming here just as happily, whatever photo you post. (And — you can change it back anytime, or put up a new one every day or just randomly. You have absolute power when it comes to your blog. Isn’t it nice to have (almost) absolute power one place in your life?)

    In 2015, I hope you have a year of excellent cardiac health, and a year of joyful parenting, inspired blogging, and a lasting sense that you’ve touched many people with your love and thoughtfulness.

    Thank you for reaching out and touching me, and everyone else here, in 2014. Many times, you have made a big difference to my day.

    • Many times, you have made a big difference in my days, also.

      Now, Maureen, after I’ve read your comment I have a big curiosity about which two photos you like! Will you make a small change and tell me what they are, if I promise that I will make my choices independent of what anybody else says?

  6. I tend to like change – unless it’s negative of course. So if you’re going to change your profile photo, I kinda like #7 and my second choice would be #8.
    Feliz año nuevo!

  7. Given that any photo you’ve “captured” is probably copyrighted and puts you at some risk (however minor) for a legal change you probably wouldn’t care for, my choices are #7 and #10. For mystery, you might want to crop #7 in a way that creates suspense; for #10, you’ll have to correct the spelling of smiley. Especially since you are highly-educated. 🙂

  8. I like the sunset/rise one. The song is one of my all time favorites!!

    • I’m realizing anew, these days, what important changes Sam Cooke brought to music. Thanks for the visit and for telling me your favorites!

  9. No.7 without the mask, alternating monthly with the happy little stick figure sporting pink and white hair.

  10. Numbers 4 and 10 get my vote. Chocolate wins because it makes me happy (and I might be slightly addicted to it) and 10 because smiley Ann makes me smile. Happy New Year and may all your changes in 2015 be good ones.

    • Thank you, Lilka! Your comment is a big deal to me and it gave me a large, happy smile.

      • Glad to make you smile!

        Thankfully the calendar has given me a bit of time to enjoy WP instead of posting frantically and viewing haphazardly like a fugitive on the run with no wi-fi. I am striving to do better in 2015. Peace and joy to you 🙂

  11. Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” is beautiful and offers hope – hope for 2015. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you all the best this new year no matter what changes you make. 😉

  12. Kentucky Angel

    If you are going to change your picture, I’m with so many others, #7. It’s not a bit scary, actually it looks hope filled to me. And I love the music you put on your posts. It seems Sam Cooke had a song for everything, and this is one of his best.

    I wish you a hope and peace filled 2015, and I am so blessed by your blog.

  13. You got me on Chocolat!

  14. Save your change, and you’d be surprised how fast you accumulate a nice sum to donate to a humane animal shelter or to a program to provide food for children who come from poor families. This is a good way to make change!

  15. Happy New Year, Ann!

  16. Eleanor

    Oddly, I did not receive a post for 1/1/2015. I looked in all my devices, junk mail, deleted mail and no post yet you said you wrote one yesterday. I kept thinking you gave up the blog and went back and read many posts and nothing mentioned about that. Whew! So, so glad to see your blog today.
    Anyways, here’s to a year ahead full of good changes and good health.

    • Same to you, Eleanor! Yes, several people (including me) have experienced a sudden stop in mailings about my postings here. Not sure what that’s about. I’m so glad you made the effort to look and to let me know. I’ll email you another invitation, just in case, to get those mailings started again. Love, Ann

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  18. Thanks for your follow this year, and what amazes me is your honesty. I wish I could be as open and frank as you are about yourself, but it’s not in my character. I ended up using and avatar by Leonardo Da Vinci, a drawing of a woman, and I’ve had it for about 4 months now. Avatars are for me so difficult since I don’t consider myself that pretty. Go with your gut feeling about which you feel more comfortable using. I know how you feel, because avatars have always been difficult for me also.

    • Thank you for your beautiful honesty here, Maria. I bet you are more beautiful than you realize.

      And, I love your avatar and your comments.

  19. I like the one that really is you. In spite of the mask, it is not at all scary because you have such lovely, kind eyes. I like the others too. Do you think that there are a few more of you very special long-lived pacemaker holders out there in the great wide world? There was a lot of pioneering stuff done in, for instance, South Africa. It would be great to find out and you might feel less far out on a limb if others were doing well too.

    • Hilary, thank you so very much for this lovely, kind comment. In that photo, I was looking at my son, who was dealing with an unexpected and somewhat scary medical experience, so I’m particularly glad you can see kindness in my eyes there.

      I am more connected with people like me these days, partly because of this blog and also because of a Facebook group. You’re right; those kinds of connections help.

  20. I like #5, as it is so nice to return home now & then. And as for #6 and #7 ~ they could be twin sister 🙂 What a great year you had, and it’s been so great pondering with you and your photos…just a fantastic ray of sunshine on days that are grey & gloomy. Take care Ann and look forward to seeing which photo wins 🙂

    • Randall! Your blog always shine such a beautiful light on the world; I experience you as making big changes whenever you post. It’s always no small change to me when you visit here. Thanks, as always, for your vision and your kindness.

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  23. You can change any way you wish, Ann, and I will be happy with it. 🙂

  24. Pingback: Day 736: Endless | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  25. I think changes are inevitable but I sometimes prefer the same face 🙂

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