Monthly Archives: March 2015

Day 800: Numbers

When I started writing 1 blog per day on Day 1, I never dreamed I would reach 800 consecutive posts.

Here are 3  questions on my mind, right now:

Why does it feel 100% easier for me to write any of these 800 blog posts than to gather the numbers  I need to do my yearly taxes? Why have I spent dozens of years feeling anxiety before 4/15, no matter what those tax numbers are? Why is my worry so numerically high about making mistakes with numbers?

As I have countlessly reminded myself and others: Naturally we make mistakes with numbers. Numbers are not our native language.

I have at least a half-dozen  tasks today, including:

  1. Conducting 1 individual therapy session at work,
  2. Facilitating  1 group therapy session with more than 2 and less than 6 members,
  3. Receiving my more than 20th and less than 100th pre-teeth cleaning antibiotic  IV (that stands for IntraVenous, not the Latin # 4),
  4. Getting a cleaning for each one of my 24 teeth,
  5. Driving my 1 17-year-old son to a 4-hour rehearsal of a play, for which he is running lights for the 1st time,
  6. Meeting with a tax preparer for the 2nd time in 2 years, with more than 10 and less than 25 documents.

Until 5 minutes ago, there was 1 number I could not locate for my tax preparation, even though I looked in all 3 likely locations. When I looked for the 4th time just now, I found it. 

Now I feel 100% prepared and ready for the day, even though there’s a 100% chance I am not perfectly prepared, numerically or otherwise. Nevertheless, on a scale of 1 to 10, I feel like  a 10!

Here are 6 photos I took yesterday between the hours of 8 and 6:

Here are 6 photos I took after 6, when I was looking for numbers around me:

3 people in my 1 therapy group yesterday were speculating how many days or months it would take all the snow in Boston to melt. What do you think that number is, based on these 3 photos from yesterday ?

In other words, how many more days will I have to wear 2 of these 100% waterproof boots?

How many seconds after I got home last night was I greeted by 1 cat?

As usual, my (1) curiosity + (2) love for guessing games = n  questions.

Here are 2 number-based numbers I heard yesterday:

That is Pat Metheny’s 5-5-7 and Tommy 2Tone’s 867-5309.

Why did I have 0% trouble remembering those numbers perfectly?

Do you have more than 1 thought or feeling about the numbers or words in this 800th post?  (I wonder what # of comments I’ll get, below.)

Thousands of thanks to the countless number of people, animals, and things helping me write today’s and 799 yesterdays of posts and — of course! — special thanks to you, for reading the hundreds of words and numbers here, today.

Categories: blogging, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 799: Dirty water

Yesterday, in my home town of Boston, the dirty snow surrounding us did some serious melting. 

The result? Dirty water. 









As you can see, there’s plenty of dirty snow and ice left, too. But there’s less danger now, walking around.  

Dirty water, you don’t scare me!

What turned so much dirty snow into dirty water yesterday? The warming sun, here to see:







 After looking up and down for the First And Finest Boston anthem by the Standells, I’ve found “Dirty Water” on YouTube: 

While I may not always love that dirty water, Boston IS my home. And I love that hometown song.

  

One more shot I took yesterday, from the inside of my Boston office: 



 Before I venture out again into that dirty water, ice, and snow, let’s muddy the waters a little. Do you have a song you’d like to share about water, your hometown, or anything else in this post? Dive on in with any comment at all; the blogging water is fine.

Dirty, clean, and muddy thanks to the Standells, to standing water, to melting snow, to shining suns and pavements, to ohhhh ohhhh Boston you’re my home, to those who take time for themselves, and to you — of course! — for taking valuable time for me, today. 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 798: The Bunny Hop

Yesterday, as I was hopping around the Boston area, I saw some bunnies hopping.

This morning, as I’m hopping around hoping I’ll quickly get used to the clocks hopping forward over the weekend, I’ve discovered this song, hopping on over at YouTube.

That’s “The Bunny Hop” as performed by the Ray Anthony band in 1953, the year your hopping and humble blogger hopped into this world.

As I hop into the beginning of this work week, here are some of my hopping thoughts:

  • I’ll be meeting with somebody, this week, who tends to get hopping mad with people who work in the medical system (like me).
  • A few people I love at work have hopped on out of there lately, for different reasons.
  • On Wednesday, I am getting my teeth cleaned AND working on my taxes, two events that can get my anxiety a-hoppin, for different reasons.
  • It helps me to remember that any progress includes hops forward AND hops back, just like in The Bunny Hop.

Feel free to hop on below and leave any comment that hops into your mind, you hear?

Speaking of hopping and hearing, here’s the first photo I took yesterday, while seeing, hearing, and hopping around town:

My boyfriend Michael and I hopped around in the snow after we saw that sign, trying to figure it out. We’re still not sure which local tree is hearing or getting a hearing, and for what.

Gotta hop to work now, bunnies!

Thanks to Star Market, to Ray Anthony, to photogenic bunny pens (which might hop better if somebody names them),  to rabbits and trees that keep on keeping on, to all those who’ve helped me hop forward in my life,  and to you — of course! — for hopping on over here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

Day 797: What does EMDR stand for?

Answer # 1: Everything Moves, Dear Readers

Yesterday, I heard this very moving song while moving around in my car through the snowy and icy streets of Boston:

That song is “Move On” from Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, performed movingly by original cast members Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. I recommend that you move to YouTube to play it (if “Move On” is not moving on your screen now).

Here are some of the words from “Move On” that move me:

I do not know where to go.
I want to make things that count,
Things that will be new.
What am I to do?

Move on.
Stop worrying where you’re going.
Move on.
Just keep moving on.

I chose, and my world was shaken.
So what?
The choice may have been mistaken,
The choosing was not.
You have to move on.

Look at what you want
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be.
Look at all the things you’ve done for me:
Opened up my eyes,
Taught me how to see,
Notice every tree,
Understand the light,
Concentrate on now.

I want to move on.
I want to understand the light.
I want to know how to get through.
Through to something new,
Something of my own.

Stop worrying if your vision is new.
Let others make that decision,
They usually do.
You keep moving on.

Something in the light,
Something in the sky,
In the grass,
Up behind the trees,
Things I hadn’t looked at ’till now.

Look at what you’ve done
Then at what you want,
Not at where you are,
What you’ll be.

Just keep moving on.

Anything you do,
Let it come from you,
Then it will be new.

Give us more to see.

Moving on, here are some things I saw and noticed yesterday, moving through my Saturday:

Answer #2: Everything Must Develop, Right?

Answer #3: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing 

Answer #4: Endings Might Disappoint Regularly. 

Answer #5: Everybody! Make Decisions & Respond. 

From Sunday in the Blog with Ann, thanks to Everyone Making Dis Real, Especially My Dear Readers.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 44 Comments

Day 796: Show & tell

It’s time for 

Show & tell!



That sign was on a shuttle bus to work yesterday in Boston, a/k/a as 

Snow & hell!

If you need me & my iPhone to show & tell you more about that, here you go:























While that snow was showing and telling on my walk back to my car after work, I heard …

… “For a Thousand Years” from Like Minds, with Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny,  Roy Haynes, and Dave Holland. 

I want to show & tell you the thoughts I had, then. 

It feels like this snow & hell could last for a thousand years. 

Actually, turning the clocks forward this weekend will show & tell more light.

Fear & hopelessness can make too much snow (& other personal hells) last “for a thousand years.”

Warmer temperatures next week should show & tell that snow where to go!

My Show & tell is Done & done. Anything you’d like to show & tell in a comment?

Thanks & appreciation to Gary & Chick & Pat & Roy & Dave, to musicians & others of like minds, to all who endure any kind of personal hell for any amount of time, and to you — of course! — for showing (& maybe telling) here and now. 

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 29 Comments

Day 795: How to Accept Compliments

Dear Readers,

If you’re like me (and many other people I know), you might have some trouble accepting compliments and other types of positive feedback. 

Here’s a 4-step process I invite you to try, starting today!

  1. When the compliment comes your way, do your best to take it in. 
  2. Allow for the possibility that it is true, no matter what the source or the situation. 
  3. Let go of everything that gets in the way of believing it. 
  4. Say “thank you.”

Okay! Now, let’s practice.

Ready?

Listen to this song, believing that the words are meant for you.

If you can’t see or hear “You Are So Beautiful,” above, I invite you to practice with that song on YouTube (or elsewhere). Or, you can compliment this post by suggesting other ways of practicing, in a comment below. 

Let’s see if I have any recent photos that might help us do better accepting compliments. 













 

No matter what you think of those photos,  here’s another chance for you to practice accepting compliments:

I value all your reactions to this post, very much. 

Thanks and compliments to all who do their best accepting compliments and to you — of course! — for paying me the compliment of visiting here, today. 

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , | 51 Comments

Day 794: Sitting

I am sitting here, in my kitchen, typing on my iPhone, not sure what to include in this post about “Sitting” this morning. 

Where you’re sitting, you could be thinking I’m sitting with little to say about “Sitting.” To unseat that misconception, here’s a sitting list I’m sitting with, right now:

  • On my way to work yesterday, here’s what I saw while I was sitting in my car:





  •  When I got to work, I was sitting with people who are trying to improve their lives through group and individual psychotherapy. 



  • Later, while I was sitting waiting to talk to somebody about financial matters, I saw these:



  • To more clearly show you the size of those chairs, one of these could have been sitting in that photo, rather than just sitting in my backpack:



  • Last night, I saw this right before I left home without my cats:



  • Then, after I was sitting with amazement about GETTING A PARKING SPACE ON THE STREET IN DOWNTOWN BOSTON,  I saw these sitting around the theater district:

















  • Soon, I was sitting (and not sitting) in the mezzanine  of Boston’s Wilbur Theater with my beloved ex-sister-in-law, Deborah, as Los Lobos unseated everybody with an amazing guitar-wailing, roots-shaking, foot-stomping, grab-you-where-you’re-sitting performance. 





As you can see, we weren’t sitting very close. But that sat okay, with me and Deborah.

Another thing about sitting: I’ve been sitting for what seems like months now, waiting for cardiologists to get back to me with recommendations about the very unusual heart sitting in my chest. That reminds me of Jimmy Cliff singing “Sitting in Limbo.”

(If Jimmy Cliff’s live performance of that song is sitting in limbo as you read this post, it’s also sitting in YouTube.) 

Limbo is not so bad if other people are sitting there with you (and making good music, too). 

This post will NOT be sitting well with me unless I include a Los Lobos song I heard last night (also sitting at YouTube, right now):

Many thanks to Deborah, to Los Lobos, to Jimmy Cliff, to people who cope and heal sitting in groups and on their own, to sitting cats and bunny pens, to chairs of all sizes, to all the wonderful people I saw sitting and standing yesterday (including Mary, who reads this blog, at the concert last night), and — of course! — to you, for sitting through this whole post, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 30 Comments

Day 793: Replacements

We all experience loss in our lives. For those we’ve lost, there are no real replacements. 

I need to replace the focus of this post, now, and tell you it’s the anniversary of the death of my father, who passed away in 1997.

While nobody could ever replace my father, I did re-place my father’s name — Aaron — on the birth certificate of my son, who was born a year after my father left this world.  

Yes, my father and his only grandson never met. I sometimes wish I could replace that reality with a different outcome. 

This might be a pale replacement for actually meeting his grandfather, but my son hears great stories about my father all the time, no matter where we go. Just last week in California, my friend and college roommate, Marcia, shared memories of my dad with me and his 17-year-old namesake. 

By writing  about my two irreplaceable  Aaron’s, I’ve replaced my original intent for this post, which was to show you these:



I ordered those pens online a few weeks ago, before I left for California. While none of them can replace this pen I’ve probably lost: 



… they can each make me smile, too. 

What other replacements can I place here, now?



Somebody is trying to replace our real experience of winter in Boston with an advertising campaign. 



This tissue box in one of my group therapy rooms is empty. I’ll be bringing in a replacement box, today. 



In a therapy group yesterday, we tried to replace self-blame with acceptance and love. 

Finally,







I am waiting for some warmer weather to replace some of this friggin’ snow. 

What might you place here for a replacement song? I’m ending with The Replacements performing “When It Began.”

If you can’t see that Replacement video, please re-place your cursor over to YouTube, where I found it. 

 Is there anything you’d like to replace, in this post or elsewhere?

Thanks to all those irreplaceables in my life, including my father, my son, and you, my wonderful readers. 

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 792: Out of Practice

As I continue to practice creating blog posts on my phone, I’d like to tell you that I returned to work yesterday at a primary care practice within a major Boston teaching hospital, after practicing vacationing in California for two weeks. 

When I take a break from work (or anything else), I can quickly feel like I’m “out of practice.” That is, I believe I’ve forgotten important  skills and procedures. It feels like I have to relearn all over again, in order to be good enough. 

In reality, I don’t forget what I’ve learned that quickly.  Indeed, once I gather the courage to try things again, the old knowledge reappears — just like riding a bicycle. 

Yesterday, I discovered I was not out of practice, even though I had been out of the primary care practice for two long weeks. 

For example, I was not out of practice taking photos when my car was stuck in traffic:





I was not out of practice walking through the snow and the cold, either (or feeling a little blue about it):





I was not out of practice noticing colorful things that distracted me, momentarily, from all that snow:



On my return plane ride from California last Friday — when I was feeling out of practice with New England winters — I discovered I was not out of practice loving movies, either. During that flight, I practiced watching Whiplash, about a young musician who practices, practices, practices jazz  drums,  and gets out of practice with everything else in life, including  connection with others and, at times, self-preservation.

As I watched the filmmakers practice effective and often innovative story-telling, I resolved not to get out of practice with my own self-care and life priorities.  

I shall now practice posting here the great jazz tune “Caravan” (practiced  by countless big band jazz players everywhere),  as performed by the practiced musicians from Whiplash. 


I seem to be out of practice posting links to YouTube the way I’d like within a phone-practiced post, even though  I’ve successfully practiced that on WordPress the last few days. 

Perhaps this is an opportunity for you to practice finding that clip on YouTube, if necessary.  

Before I practice ending yet another daily WordPress post, I shall practice asking a practiced and practical question: what does practice and/or “out of practice” mean to you?

Practically, you could practice answering that kind of question in a comment, below (if you need that kind of practice). 

Many thanks to the practiced doctors, nurses, social workers, other staff, and  patients  at the primary  care practice where I work; to people in the Boston area who practice dealing with difficult weather; to all the talented people who helped create the wonderfully practiced Whiplash; and to you — of course! — for helping me practice blogging, every day. 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

Day 791: Less

Yesterday, when I created a blog post with my iPhone, it took less time. I also put  less effort into adding links to other posts and references like Wikipedia (because I have less  knowledge of how to do that from my phone). 

While I want each post to be no less than helpful for me and my readers, I would be less than honest if I did not confess that I enjoyed doing less here yesterday. 

I’ve been thinking more about doing less, in general, since returning less than three days ago from my one-day-less-than-two-week vacation in a part of the USA that had way less snow and cold than my hometown of Boston. 

Using less words about that: Less is more for me, right now.   

Yes, I believe I will get more out of life with less

  • worry,
  • perfectionism,
  • stress,
  • stuff and clutter,
  • self-doubt,
  • over-achieving,
  • focus on everybody else’s needs,
  • anxiety about taxes,
  • anxiety about everything else,
  • assumptions,
  • rushing,
  • regrets,
  • comparisons,
  • feeling “less than,”
  • catastrophizing,
  • all-or-nothing thinking,
  • mind reading,
  • fortune telling
  • Jumping to conclusions,
  • fear,
  • projections onto others,
  • shoulds,
  • denial,
  • self-criticism,
  • avoidance, 
  • rigidity,
  • close-mindedness, 
  • judgmental thinking, and
  • automatic, unhelpful habits. 

As I mentioned in my introduction to this less-than-perfect post, I am having less success using links when creating blog posts with my phone. Otherwise, I would have taken up less space in that list,  by linking to my handout on cognitive distortions. 

However, i am less than upset about how this post is turning out, despite my having less experience and proficiency in phone blogging. Sometimes, less experience has its own benefits and advantages.

Before I write more, what would you like less of, in your life?

It’s time for less words and more pictures! Here are less than a dozen photos I took yesterday, as I was focusing more on less:



Harley is interested in less than five new cat toys. 



Oscar is less interested than Harley. 



There is less access to that newspaper kiosk than there was two months ago. 



I find all this snow less than Irresistible. That’s why I also took this next photo, less than a minute after the one above:





While I’d like to see a lot less snow around here, my boyfriend Michael says there is considerably less now than there was two weeks ago (after my son Aaron and I escaped out of Boston, avoiding yet another big blizzard by less than two hours).



One of those signs says less than the other. 



Valentine’s Day stuff couldn’t cost much less, could it?



Truth is beauty and beauty is truth (said the poet Keats, with less words). Truthfully though,  WHEN will there be the friggin’ beauty of less snow and cold? 



This hydrant could do with less cone protection. Do you agree, more or less?

Here’s a “less” song for you all:

Would I be less than polite if I suggest you leave less than three  and more than zero comments, below?

Thanks to Elvis (for “A Little Less Conversation,” which I found on YouTube in less time than expected), to Harley, to  Oscar, to Aaron, to Michael, and to all those doing more or less what works for them. And, more thanks to you, for being neither more nor less than yourself, here and now. 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

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