Day 752: Too much?

Here’s a question I heard in a therapy group at work, yesterday morning:


This question was asked and answered, in many different ways, by people feeling

  • vulnerable,
  • self-critical, and
  • overwhelmed.

Was that


For me,  it was neither too much nor too little. I was honored to witness all of them, as they spoke, wrote, and shared about “too much.”

Often, in group therapy and elsewhere, people wonder: “Am I


They ask, in many different ways: “Are my feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, demands, desires, responsibilities, tears, fears, hopes, burdens, reactions, laughter, anger, worries,  disappointments, expectations


What do you think?

Yesterday, after work, I met with my primary cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, for two hours, for the second time in two months.

Was that


Did we talk


Whenever I talk to Dr. Salem, it seems like the right amount.

Did we decide


Not really. In the course of that long conversation, Dr. Salem and I discussed many scenarios and possibilities, including

  • the possibility of my having heart surgery soon after I return from California, in less than two months,
  • the distinct possibility that will help me feel better and live longer,
  • the distinct possibility of that heart surgery — valve replacement — making my heart worse,
  • the distinct possibility that if we do nothing for too long, my heart will deteriorate to the point where that surgery will not fix things, and I will need to wait for a heart transplant,
  • doing and deciding nothing until we get the results of the kashmillion* tests I’ll be undergoing in the next couple of weeks, and
  • Dr. Salem starting a blog about me.

I don’t think Dr. Salem was serious about that last possibility. When he said, “I’m going to start a blog about YOU,” as he left the exam room yesterday, to page one of the kashmillion* cardiologists I’ve been seeing lately, that sounded more like a threat than a promise.

Isn’t Dr. Salem


And I mean that with just the right amount of affection and respect.

In all that I dealt with yesterday, was there anything that seemed


One thing that seemed too much to comprehend and bear: When I arrived for my appointment with Dr. Salem yesterday, he was on the phone making plans to attend and participate in the memorial service for Dr. Michael J. Davidson.



I found those images here, left in loving memory of the cardiac surgeon who was shot and killed at a nearby Boston hospital, two days ago.

For you, is there anything in this post that is


I hope you know that any thoughts, feelings, or questions you express in a comment will NOT be too much, for me.

As I try to comprehend all that is happening around me, what helps me are

  • music,
  • community, and
  • humor.

So, when I woke up this morning, I thought about an old skit from Saturday Night Live. Let’s see if I can find it, anywhere …

I guess that was too much for me to expect, that I could show you the “Nuclear Plant Retiree” skit with Ed Asner, from Season 10 of Saturday Night Live.

If I try to describe that skit to you, would that be


In that SNL skit,  a nuclear power plant expert, played by Ed Asner, is retiring. At his goodbye party,  he says to his co-workers:

No matter what happens, you just need to remember one thing: You can never put too much water in the nuclear core.

Everybody nods and bids him farewell.

Some time after he’s gone, something goes horribly wrong at the reactor. As people are panicking, some people are convinced he meant “Don’t put any water in there!” and others think he meant, “Put as much water in as you can!”

The last shot in that skit: Ed Asner sitting on a tropical beach with a nuclear cloud in the background.

Isn’t language — and all the possibilities of human beings misunderstanding each other —


What music would be — not too much, not too little — just enough for this post?

As it is, this is the music I was listening to yesterday, as I was dealing with all there was:

If there’s too little of Pat Metheny playing “As It Is” in this post for you, you can find it here, on YouTube.

Would some other photos I took yesterday be


IMG_4804 IMG_4805 IMG_4806 IMG_4807 IMG_4808 IMG_4809 IMG_4810 IMG_4811 IMG_4812 IMG_4813 IMG_4815

My boyfriend Michael thinks it’s too much when people leave up Christmas lights this late in January. Since I enjoy color and light when it’s cold and dark, I think it’s just right.

Too much thanks to Dr. Salem, to the late Dr. Michael  Davidson, to my bf Michael, to Saturday Night Live, to Pat Metheny,  and to everybody everywhere who has ever helped me and others deal with too much and too little (including you).

* Kashmillion is too much.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

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39 thoughts on “Day 752: Too much?

  1. I was just about to maybe write a post about how I can’t keep up with blogs because my mother is going blind and all sorts of other woebegone stuff then I saw this and my throat choked up at your courage in the face of everything that comes next for you. So I send you lovexxx

  2. Sunshine Jansen

    Sometimes my worries for you reading these posts (often catching up a few days late) are just too much and I can’t think of a comment that’s good enough. So I let all the other kind people comment for me… But I’m keeping every possible good thought for you, Ann and know in my [not that unusual] heart that everything will be alright. Also: Penny looks very happy with your surgical talents!

    • All your comments are good enough, Sunshine, including this one. I especially love your acknowledgment of Penny’s successful surgeries! Many thanks from my special heart to yours.

  3. Not “too much” anywhere in this…just what you are going through.

  4. Beth Campbell

    As I read your blog, the song playing in my mind also happened to be the song one of those silly quiz sites (Who Were You in a Past Life?) told me should be played at my funeral. Was that sentence too much? Anyway, the song is Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. Not particularly on topic, but a good anthem as you go through these difficult days.

  5. You have too much on your mind, Ann. I’m glad that Dr. Salem is giving you time and care.

    This post raises a lot of feelings for me — not too much, but a lot — but the one I want to focus on is that I hope that you have a wonderful, healthy and joyful trip to California with Aaron.

  6. I’m sending you perhaps ‘too much’ from Peter Seller’s classic comedy: “The Party”:

    • Maria! I remember seeing this movie with my parents when it first came out. That is too much! Many thanks for bringing back this party for me.

  7. just enough
    but subject
    to change!

  8. I keep little lights up all year. They’re solar and come on as it gets dark. One string lasts all night, even these longer winter nights, but the other two only stay on until about 2 am.
    I love them. Sorry, Michael!

  9. Thank you for posting the images of Dr. Michael Davidson. When i saw the story on the news, my heart said, this is too much. My heart broke for so many reasons,and for so many people. I count on hospitals being a safe place, i hope others do too.
    In the last few years ive had the honor and challenge of learning about the human body. Its a functioning wonder on so many levels. I really wish more people learned more about the trilions of things their body is doing for them every second of the day. The body is so incredibly strong and fragile at the same time. Your story really brings this to light. Youve been given a very big journey. Thanks for sharing it with us so that it might impact our lives and help us live and love better in life. 🙂

    • What an extraordinarily beautiful comment. Not too much, but overwhelming to me, in a very good way. Many thanks for your tender and perceiving heart.

  10. None of your posts are too much of anything, Ann. You show so much courage I feel humbled by it. You face everything in your usual way – with humour and a dash of music. It is so tragic about Dr. Davidson. I can understand that that would be too much to bear. And right now, you have too much to think about with your coming operation.

    • Millie, I am so moved by this comment, it is almost too much. And yet, it’s just right. Thanks so much for this comment.

  11. Never too much coming from you, Ann. There’s a distinct possibility Team Ann wants and needs to hear all the possibilities.

    There’s a song from one of my local boys gone national special for you today. And Dr. Salem. And in memory of Dr. Davidson. Finally, for all those who keep their lights shining through the dark of winter.

  12. Never too much when we come from the heart … even a very unusual physical one!
    Just right Ann 🙂

  13. Hmm, the questions here are too much for me to fathom 🙂

  14. I so enjoyed this. 🙂

  15. A wonderful, entertaining and thoughtful post, Ann. I, too, enjoyed it…Definitely not too much. Judy

  16. There can never be too much of a good thing if it is used to lift up the world around us. Sadness, of any kind, can feel like too much, but without it we would not understand the value of joy.
    I must go to my music and look for a tune that is ‘too much of now’ not to share. Be back soon…;)

  17. Pingback: Day 753: Better days ahead | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  18. Pingback: Day 2812: Overload | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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