Day 1891: Stones

About a thousand days and blogs ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post about the basket of stones I use in my work as a group therapist.

When I orient a new person to my groups, I ask them to choose a stone from the basket for a mindfulness exercise.  At the end of the orientation, I tell them that the stone they chose is their “Coping and Healing Stone” to keep. People seem to love their stones.

Yesterday, when I returned to work from a week-long group therapy conference in Houston,  the basket of stones was not in its usual place on my bookshelf.  I searched my office and the rooms where I do group therapy, but that big basket of beautiful stones  remained missing.

I asked Juli,  who had facilitated some of my groups while I was away, if she had taken the basket of stones from my office.  She said, “What? No!  What a weird thing for somebody to take!”  As she thought about it, she remembered that when she had gone into my office to get some shells for a group mindfulness exercise,  she didn’t see the stones there then. So they had apparently disappeared early in the week I had been away.

I continued to look for the stones and they continued to remain missing.

Then, I started to compile a list of suspects, which is what we humans do.  The most probable suspect was a patient with chronic mental illness, who  had been in my office and chosen a stone from the basket.  I checked to see if this patient had been in the practice the week I was gone and I discovered that he had been —   on Monday to see his primary care doctor.  I told his doctor that I suspected this patient had taken the stones.  His doctor agreed  that was possible and  we discussed the patient’s mental state and how to help him.  I told the doctor I was not going to mention the missing stones to the patient.

I got on eBay and ordered a new basket and new stones. I had two people scheduled yesterday to be oriented to my group, which meant I needed stones for the orientation mindfulness exercises. However, in an amazing  and fortuitous coincidence,  I had brought in with me several beach stones that were given to me on my birthday by my friend Megan’s daughter.

Later in the day, I was standing in the hallway talking to a co-worker, when the practice director came out of her office carrying MY BASKET OF STONES.  She explained that she had gone into my office while I was gone, taken the stones, and used them in a group.  She said, “You have a funny look on your face.”  Maybe she thought I was stoned.

I let the falsely suspected patient’s doctor know about what had happened  My conclusion: “The mentally ill get blamed for everything.”

Last night, I noticed that I had missed a phone call from my son Aaron, who is studying at the University of Edinburgh, which has many buildings built of stones.  He had called around 4:00 AM, his time.   I called him back right away.

Aaron, who often looks a little stoned (especially when he’s tired), said, “I won the Edinburgh University Comedy Competition tonight.”   My boyfriend Michael asked (as I knew he would), “Did you win any money?”  Aaron said, “No. ”  And he showed us what he had won. It was an enormous stone.

Feeling stoned yet?  Here are some photos from yesterday.







If you look closely at that last photo, you can see Aaron holding the stone he won as the Edinburgh University Revue Comedy Champion 2018.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but feel free to throw out some comments below.

Thanks to all who helped me write this post about stones and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Day 1891: Stones

  1. I love this idea, I love stones,and love your son’s win

  2. Congratulations to Aaron and humanity rejoices now that Ann has her stones back.

  3. Debbie Terman

    What a day! 1. My question is why the person who took your stones didn’t leave you a note, which would have saved you time, energy, money, anxiety (if you were feeling any – – I know I would have been), and a false accusation (though in the end, the falsely accused person was not hurt by that). I think that I’ve finally trained my husband (of nearly 33 years) to leave me notes when he moves a frequently used item to a different place (because he is using it… He doesn’t just move things around for sport). With email, that has become much easier. We didn’t have email way back at the beginning. 2. Fantastic about Aaron! So exciting! 3. My daughter posted a comment on Facebook last night about an experience at the end of her work day that was very frustrating. As she was leaving work, she was thinking that her whole day had been awful, and then worked on reframing it, realizing that it was just one small part of her day. She said “the day was just a day, that had lots of moments in it.” I really liked that comment and I thought of it when I read your post. Your day was certainly made up of a wide variety of moments!

  4. Congratulations to Aaron!!!!!!! And it is so lovely that he wanted to call you at 4 AM. His prize rocks.

    Do you think you would feel better if you gave the falsely suspected stone lover a stone to keep?

    • The falsely suspected stone lover DID get a stone to keep from me last month. Thank you for another lovely comment, Maureen.

  5. Congratulations to Aaron on now being a stoner! Perhaps he could take his stone to Stonehenge, or even to Avebury, the village inside a stone circle. Avebury was the site of a British miniseries for young adults called Children Of The Stones that left a strong impression on all of us who saw it when we were young. These associations naturally come to mind because your blog rocks.

  6. Yay on getting your stones back, and yay to Aaron for winning his!

  7. Stones here, stones there, stones everywhere except where you expect them to be

  8. That is a beautiful baskets of stones. I really love smooth rocks like that. We used to have a rock tumbler and made some ourselves but it took 6 weeks!

  9. Happy you have your stones back Ann💛. Even happier for Aaron winning the comedy accolade🤗

    • I had to look it up, Derrick. Stone me! (A phrase used to imply a person’s surprise at the realisation of an event that is unexpected or enjoyed.)

  10. Congratulations to Aaron!

    I’ve been hit by a few stones. Thrown a few stones. Not happy about either. :/

  11. Pingback: Day 1892: Why people respond to you the way they do | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  12. I am stone cold happy that you got the basket back and that Aaron won the big competition, Ann!

  13. Pingback: Day 2592: New Year’s Eve | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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