Day 734: Actually

“Actually” is actually a word I use a lot, in writing and in speech. I’m actually not sure why I do.

My soon-to-be-17-year-old son, Aaron, actually asked me this question last week:

Do you say “actually” a lot?

and I replied:

Yes, I do.

I actually can’t believe that I didn’t take that opportunity to use “actually” in my response there.  Maybe I actually did say “actually”  and my memory isn’t actually  as good as I think it is.

Actually, I believe that Aaron and I have discussed “actually” before.

I am actually shocked that I have not used the word “actually” in any post title before today. However, I HAVE actually used the word “actually” in approximately 7 out of the last 22 daily posts I’ve written here, which is actually a lower percentage than I would have expected.

Yes, I actually took the time to check that out.

I actually didn’t think I’d be writing this actual introduction today. I actually did know that my title would include the word “actually” today, but I thought it might be

Love Actually


Actually Love

because I actually spent some time yesterday resting on the sofa, eating sunflower seeds, drinking tea, and watching some of the movie  Love Actually on television. I’ve actually seen parts of that movie before and I actually vividly remember Emma Thompson‘s performance, but yesterday the movie actually had about 7 minutes of commercials for every 10 minutes of movie, but I’m actually guessing there.

I’m actually trying to relax this weekend before my actually highly anticipated meeting with a new cardiologist on Wednesday, who is actually the top expert on people who actually have my congenital cardiac







which are all words I do NOT love, actually.  Actually, I am going to take the time in this post, right now, to actually come up with a word I actually prefer.

(Here’s some actual background, for new readers: I was born with Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries, wherein actual parts of my actual heart are doing things they weren’t actually designed to do.  I’m actually linking, within this actual paragraph, to actual on-line articles AND previous posts actually written by me, if you want to read more about CCTGA. CCTGA is actually, these days, also called Levo Transposition of the Great Arteries (L-TGA), but I actually don’t remember what or who Levo is and, in the moment, I actually don’t care.)

I actually do care about finding a word I actually prefer to those “negative” words I listed above, so how about I say that I have a congenital (which actually means “born with”) …


although I don’t actually love that word either. How about

I have a congenital cardiac SPECIALTY!

What do you actually think about all that?  Perhaps you might actually come up with a better word. (If you do, could you actually share that, here?)

Actually, I wanted to tell you more, in this post, about my yesterday.

Before I relaxed on the sofa — watching Love Actually (with the two TV snacks I actually want to restrict myself to, if I can actually manage that) — I actually had breakfast with my long-time friend Eleanor. Eleanor has actually appeared verbally, but not visually, in two previous posts, which are actually called

Day 128: I get by with a little help from my friends 

Day 154:  Worry, losing, and finding things.

both of which could have actually served as the title of today’s post (except for the actual day).

Here are some photos I actually took — with my old, cracked cell phone — during yesterday’s breakfast with Eleanor at my long-time actual, favorite diner (which has actually appeared in so many previous posts, that I’m actually not going to take the time to search for those right now, but you could actually find them, if you want, by searching for “Deluxe Town Diner” here).

IMG_4396 IMG_4397 IMG_4398 IMG_4399 IMG_4401

The cast of characters appearing in the above photos include Penny (in the first four shots) and Cindy, Gina, and Kelly (hidden, except for her four fingers). Gina (actually on the right, above ) has actually not seen Aaron for a long time, and when I showed her a recent photo of what he actually looks like these days, she actually yelped with delight. Gina actually said a lot of flattering things about Aaron yesterday, but I won’t include them here, because they might embarrass him, if he actually ever read these posts.

Do I actually sound annoyed there?  I’m not. I’m actually hungry, especially looking at those photos of yesterday’s breakfast.

I actually just ate some of this, with almond milk:


which is actually pretty good.

Now that I actually can think clearly again, I wanted to tell you some actual facts about my time with Eleanor, yesterday:

  1. We actually talked about a lot of things, including our jobs and our children,
  2. We reminisced about some people we both met at my first actually full-time job, in the 1970’s, when I got hired as a technical writer right out of college, with no actual experience,
  3. Eleanor said it was actually lucky that WordPress didn’t send her my New Year’s Day post, because she emailed me about that, which then resulted in our actually getting together yesterday,
  4. She said she found it remarkable that I’ve been posting every day since January 2013,
  5. I told Eleanor it meant a lot to me that she found this recent post very moving, and
  6. When we said goodbye, I actually told her I loved her.

See! So the name of this post actually could have been “Love Actually.”

Here are some more photos I actually took last night, when I was actually at Panera Bread and PetSmart with my actual boyfriend, Michael, when it was actually snowing, here in the Northeastern United States:

IMG_4449IMG_4452IMG_4460 IMG_4454 IMG_4459


Sometimes I wonder if I’m actually driving Michael — and other creatures around me  —  crazy.

Actually, I’m not actually sure what actual music would actually fit this actual post today.

This actually appeared in my mind, just now:

If you actually want, you can find “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke  here, on YouTube. I actually don’t know why Sam Cooke’s songs have been appearing so much in my mind  and in recent posts (actually, here and here).

If you were actually going to respond to this actual post, what might you actually say?

Actual thanks to all actual people, creatures, and pens appearing in this post today (actually pictured or not) and — actually — to you, for your actual visit (which I actually appreciate, a lot).

I’m actually amazed that I wrote this whole post without any actual footnotes.

After I actually published this post, I actually realized that some of the photos wouldn’t actually load. I’ll see if I can actually figure this out, today.

Categories: friendship, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Day 734: Actually

  1. Actually, I agree Ann and Penny!
    Actual words that come to mind are special, unique, fascinating, different … incredible 🙂
    Ferret loves Penny ❤

  2. There are 102 “Actually” words on this page 🙂 I always like this song. It is great to get the reminding to hear the song again here.

    • If you actually counted those actual words, I actually need to tell you that I added a few more of them in the footnotes, just now. I actually love it whenever you visit and comment here. Many thanks! (And I actually love that song, too.)

      • I know that I also added another one when I replied 🙂 It is actually ok to use the word profusely 🙂

  3. I’m actually glad Penny is still hanging around, and am also actually glad she got to experience Panera. It is my second favorite coffee/bread place! My actual favorite is a Tucson place called Beyond Bread, and they actually have some of the best bread I’ve ever had.

  4. When I finish a manuscript one of the first things I do is find and replace (or just eliminate) words like just… which I use ALL the time, actually, simply etc. They sneak back in the minute my back is turned and I have to do it all over again.

    • I actually really like your writing, Hilary, whether there are one too many justs, actuallys, or simplys. I simply thank you for writing here today.

  5. Actually, I would say you have a unique heart Ann. A beautiful, compassionate, unique heart! ❤
    Diana xo

  6. You wrote about ‘actually’ without actually defining it, which is, actually, a departure for you. Thinking about ‘actually’, I find that I’m actually a little uncertain about its meaning because it’s so ubiquitous. I’ve looked it up, and here it is:

    adverb: actually

    as the truth or facts of a situation; really.
    “we must pay attention to what young people are actually doing”
    used to emphasize that something someone has said or done is surprising.
    “he actually expected me to be pleased about it!”
    synonyms: really, in (actual) fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, in reality, in actuality, in truth, if truth be told, to tell the truth;
    truly, indeed

    And I find that although I’m actually more puzzled than clear about a lot in this life, I’m not actually confused at all about you: I’m very happy that your congenitally unusual heart has helped you grow into such a special person who actually cares and actually thinks about things.

  7. I try never to use adverbs in my non-fiction writing as they don’t add anything. I challenge you to delete your next use of ‘actually’ as an adverb and tell me what has changed in the meaning of what you are saying. Of course you could be using it to say your expectations have proven wrong as in “The hotel room looked spotless, but actually it turned out to have bedbugs.” That would be a legitimate use of the word.

  8. Actually, you captured my attention with two favorites. I am moved by Sam Cooke’s songs and the movie Love Actually is one of my top favorites. I own it and watch it at least once every Christmas, still tearing up at the same poignant spots. In keeping with the themes of that movie, saying “I love you” to your friend has lasting and important impact. What a lovely way to begin 2015. All the best to you on Wednesday. I do actually care.

  9. You said actually a lot but that is ok you can do so if you wish to do

  10. I’m liking Penny more now. Interestingly, I used the word “actually” today in a post, and I ‘actually’ didn’t like it afterwards, although I’m not going to go back to change it. I guess I could have said: ‘the truth is..”, or I’ve also heard, ‘Mind you’, or ‘In reality’, or ‘realistically speaking’. The reason I didn’t like it is because I think I’m needing to clarify something, when in fact I really don’t have the real need to clarify it.

    • I wouldn’t worry about it, being self-conscious of a frequently used word. When I work with patients I say “wonderful” 80% of the time.

    • Thank you, Maria, for these realistic, truthful, and clarifying comments. I’m always pleased when you visit here.

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  12. Actually, ‘Love Actually, traditionally should be watched just prior to Christmas, not after New Year because that is when it is set; but actually it does not matter because the ‘love’ message is the same whenever one watches it (which actually for me is about four times a year).

  13. This is virtually exactly what I needed to read right now, Ann. I actually watched “Love Actually” on TBS this weekend during my WordPress reading break and your commercial estimation is actually pretty good.

  14. Actualy, I think Penny is cool. I actually met Sam Cooke when I was 15, a story for another time, actually.

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