Monthly Archives: December 2018

Day 2217: How to accept personal comments

How do you accept personal comments — compliments or criticism?

As we approach the end of 2018, I’m resolving to accept all personal comments the same way.

With gratitude and joy.

I’m not saying that accepting personal  comments with gratitude and joy will be easy.  Compliments and criticism can be very difficult to accept, for different reasons.

Therefore, I shall now practice this new resolution, as I imagine all sorts of people giving me personal comments.

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As I embrace the preciousness of this moment, I believe accepting personal comments with gratitude and joy will be good for my self care and for the care of others.

Also, it helps me to remember that personal comments are often the reflection of the person making the comment. In other words, it’s nothing personal.

I look forward to your personal comments on this post.

As always, I’m joyfully and personally grateful to all those who helped me create today’s post and to every person who visits this blog, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2216: Breaking the silence

I’m having trouble sleeping, and I’m breaking the silence in the middle of the night by creating today’s blog post, early.  I’m also breaking my personal rule about not checking the news when I can’t sleep and noticing that news headlines often report on somebody breaking the silence (like this story,   here).

Breaking the silence is often a good thing, wouldn’t you agree?

Yesterday, my son was breaking the silence by Face-Timing me about his imminent holiday home-coming from the University of Edinburgh.  During our long discussion, I captured these images of us breaking silences.

I am now breaking my silence about how much my son looks like Vincent Van Gogh in those last two photos.

At other parts of the day, I was breaking the silence with these clicks of my iPhone camera:

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I like the way pugs break the silence.

Here‘s Breaking Benjamin with “Breaking the Silence.”

 

I look forward to people breaking the silence with comments, below.

I’m now breaking the silence with my gratitude for all who helped me create this breaking-the-silence post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2215: Departures

It’s not a departure to start this blog with a photo

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or a definition.

de·par·ture

/dəˈpärCHər/
noun
the action of leaving, typically to start a journey.
“the day of departure”
synonyms: leaving, going, leave-taking, withdrawal, exit, egress, retreat
“he tried to delay her departure”
a deviation from an accepted, prescribed, or traditional course of action or thought.
“a departure from their usual style”
synonyms: deviation, divergence, digression, shift
NAUTICAL
the east–west distance between two points, especially as traveled by a ship or aircraft and expressed in miles.

It’s also not a departure for me to riff on a definition.  “He tried to delay her departure” reminds me of the discussion and controversy about Baby It’s Cold Outside (mentioned here by fellow WordPresser Kat).

Also, it’s not a departure for me to reveal how a blog title relates to my life. I’ve been thinking about several departures lately, including

Let’s look for departures (or arrivals) in my other photos from yesterday.

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It’s not a departure for me to put my photos here in chronological order and then rearrange them before my daily departure from home.

It’s not a departure for me to choose music based on the contents of my blog. Here‘s “Walk Away from Love” sung by the departed David Ruffin.

Before my departure today, I invite comments and also express gratitude to all who help me with my daily blogging (including YOU).

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2214: Fall in love every day

Yesterday, I fell in love with the HBO documentary If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.  This lovely movie about vital and thriving people in their 90s lovingly showcases Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke, Norman Lear, Betty White, Iris Apfel, Tony Bennett, the late Stan Lee, and many lovable non-celebrities. I love this tag line for the film: “What’s the secret to living into your 90s — and loving every minute of it?”

Jerry Seinfeld, who is not in his 90s and who I hope gets there (because I love him), is also in the movie. He describes his ideas about how to live well into your 90s, which include “Fall in love every day.  I don’t mean romantic love. Fall in love with your parking space.”

Maybe I WILL make it into my 90s, because I fall in love every day, with my parking space and many other things.   Do you see the love in my photos from yesterday?

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I love so many things about those photos, including the penguin-that-looks-like-a-monkey Starbucks cake pop. I also love that my new and lovely co-worker Alice and I went to Starbucks yesterday not wanting to buy anything but just to smell the coffee (which some lovely researchers say can revitalize you), and the lovable Starbucks barista (not pictured) opened a giant container of roasting beans (also not pictured) and let us smell their lovely aroma.

One of the lovable social work interns at work has fallen in love with the music of jazz drummer Brian Blade and he suggested I listen to him, which I did.   I fell in love and maybe you will, too.

What might you fall in love with today?

I’ve fallen in love every day about thanking those who help me write these daily posts and also my lovely readers (including YOU).

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2213: Incapable

Yesterday, I was capable of posing the bloggy question, “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”   Readers replied with painful memories of being labelled  unkindly  by people who were incapable of seeing that the hurtful labels were unfair and untrue.

Today, my answer to my own question — “what’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you” — is “Incapable.”

I am capable of admitting that I AM incapable in many areas, including

  • getting enough sleep,
  • knowing things before I have a chance to learn them,
  • having a poker face,
  • cooking as well as my boyfriend Michael,
  • keeping my desk neat and organized,
  • wrapping presents beautifully,
  • understanding how dogs think,
  • ignoring cats,
  • giving up hope for humanity, and
  • stopping my busy mind,

but I still think that “incapable” is the worst thing anybody has ever called me.

Three and a half years ago, when I wrote Day 867: Difficult — which had a list of every unkind label people had called me that I was capable of remembering up to that point  — I was incapable of including “incapable” on that list.  However, now that somebody HAS called me “incapable,” I am more capable of realizing that I have harshly and unfairly labeled myself “incapable” whenever  I’ve made mistakes.

Also, even though nobody called me “incapable” until recently,  I got the message I was incapable when I entered 7th grade of  a public Junior High School. The administrators there decided that, because of my heart condition, I was incapable of keeping up with the smartest kids in the class.  I eventually proved that I was not as incapable as they thought, when I became class Valedictorian senior year.

As I’m writing about “incapable,”  here and now, I am capable of letting go of that unhelpful label.  Instead, I am focusing on the ways I am capable, which include the capability to take pictures and share them here.

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I am not incapable of telling stories in rhyme, including this one:

Don’t call me too weepy,

too creepy, too sleepy,

too selfish, too giving,

too sensitive from living.

Don’t call me too bitchy,

too itchy or twitchy,

too soft or too loud,

too modest, too proud.

If you’re gonna type me or hype me,

pigeonhole, assign a role,

Decide I’m a saint or some asshole,

Don’t call me.

Don’t call me too funny or too serious

I find it deleterious,

So don’t call me.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

Here‘s Keyshia Cole very capably singing “Incapable.”

I know you’re not incapable of leaving a comment.

I am not incapable of expressing my gratitude to all who helped me create this “Incapable” post and — of course! — YOU, for being capable of reading it.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2212: What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?

Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted and posed the question: “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”

Was that called for, to invite people to remember the worst thing they had ever been called?  I believe that if we expose and share the worst thing we have ever been called, we can

Now, somebody may call me out and ask, “Ann, what if the worst thing that anybody ever called me IS true?”  If  there is truth in it, you can decide what you want to do about it. However, in all my years of asking this question, and people answering

  • stupid,
  • lazy,
  • worthless,
  • crazy,
  • selfish,
  • fat,
  • ugly,
  • incapable, and
  • other harsh, hurtful,  and over-generalized judgments,

I have seen no helpful truth there.

We could do worse than examine today’s photos for worst things we’ve been called.

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Has anyone ever called you despicable, including yourself?

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Has anybody ever called you gross? Artificial?

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Has anybody ever called you out for  hanging on for too long?

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Has anybody ever called you weird-looking?  Scary?  Too starey?  Too expressive?   Too transparent?

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Has anybody ever called you an ass? Too distant?

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Has anybody ever called you too spacy?

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Has anybody ever called you foolish?  Greedy?  Not knowing what’s good for you?

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Has anybody ever called you vain?  Up-tight?

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Has anybody ever called you pushy?  Has anybody ever told you you’re not doing enough with your life?

 

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Has anybody called you thoughtless?  A doormat? Catty?  A baby?

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Has anybody ever called you a psychopath?

I’m working on a song called “Don’t Call Me” (and I’ve called out the lyrics here). Before I can call that song finished, here’s “Call Me” by Blondie.

Also, I found “The Worst Thing You’ve Been Called” on YouTube, which shows the same exercise I’ve done in my therapy groups.

I call that effective.

Now’s the time I call for comments.

I’ve never been called ungrateful (at least to my face). Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2211: Hanging on for dear life

If you hang on until the end of this blog post, you’ll see the photo that inspired today’s post title.

I like the title “Hanging on for dear life” because I’ve been hanging on for almost sixty-six years and life is very dear to me.    I also like that title, here and now, because life can sometimes seem precarious, especially with global warming reports, the current political situation, the stresses inherent during the holiday (and exam) season, interpersonal conflicts, and a fire alarm going off during a group therapy session.

Hang on, dear readers!  Here are all my photos from yesterday:

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Work, blogging, and important relationships keep me hanging on.

What keeps you hanging on?

Thanks to all who keep me hanging on, including you!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2210: The exception that proves the rule

I wonder if this post will be the exception that proves the rule.  In order to know that, we need to know what “the exception that proves the rule” means.

“The exception proves the rule” is a saying whose meaning has been interpreted or misinterpreted in various ways. Its true definition, or at least original meaning, is that the presence of an exception applying to a specific case establishes (“proves”) that a general rule exists. For example, a sign that says “parking prohibited on Sundays” (the exception) “proves” that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week (the rule). A more explicit phrasing might be “the exception that proves the existence of the rule.”

An alternative explanation often encountered is that the word “prove” is used in the archaic sense of “test”.[1] Thus, the saying does not mean that an exception demonstrates a rule to be true or to exist, but that it tests the rule. In this sense, it is usually used when an exception to a rule has been identified:[clarification needed] for example, Mutillidae are wasps without wings which cannot fly, and therefore are an exception that proves (tests) the rule that wasps fly. The explanation that “proves” really means “tests” is, however, considered false by some sources.

Does that exceptional definition, from Wikipedia, prove anything?  Maybe we need to know what the rule is, here, before we prove any exception.

One of my rules here is providing some clarity and explanation about why I’m writing each of my daily posts.  Maybe this post will be an exception to that.

Or maybe not.   In narrative therapy, it’s important to identify exceptions to people’s unhelpful, generalized, negative rules about themselves and their lives.  For example, if somebody sees themselves as a loser or a failure, the narrative therapist helps them identify and talk more about the exceptions to that self-defeating rule.

When I hear exceptions outside my therapy office, I sometimes say, “That’s the exception that proves the rule.  Whatever that means.” I’m realizing now that I do know what it means.

Let’s see if any of my photos today illustrate “the exception that proves the rule.”

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Usually we don’t have balloons of woodland creatures in the cafeteria at work.  Yesterday, there was a holiday celebration called “Wintery Woodlands,” where employees received hot chocolate, chocolate-covered pretzels, a calendar, and a lunchbox.  Because I’m exceptionally distracted these days, I left my calendar and lunchbox in the cafeteria. The rule is only one calendar and lunchbox for everyone, so I guess I’m out of luck.

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That’s my new and exceptional co-worker, Alice.  She’s also taking a picture of the wintry woodlands in that photo.  I have a rule, in this blog, of not identifying where I work. I don’t think this photo is an exception to that. (Although I have slipped, one or two times, during the two thousand, two hundred, and ten days of blogging, so I guess those posts are exceptions that prove the rule.)

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I’ve taken a lot of photos of this hotel marquee, but none of them have ever said, “12 Days of Music.”   I am predicting that this photo won’t be the last one that says that. I’ve also included a lot of music in this daily blog, but I don’t remember ever including any punk.  If so, today will be the exception that proves the rule.

Here’s a punk rock cover of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

 

If you usually don’t comment, why not make today the exception that proves the rule?

I’m considering not thanking people at the end of this post (which definitely is a rule at this blog), but some rules I do not want there to be an exception to.  So, exceptional thanks to all those who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! —  to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2209: Everyone

Hi, everyone!

Every one of my photos today could relate to everyone.

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Everyone with a closed heart is driving me crazy.

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That teabag is telling everyone to be kind to everyone else, but to be compassionate to oneself, in every moment.   I hope everyone reading this can do that.

Everyone I know has been been encouraging me to keep writing songs.  Thanks, everyone!  I wrote every one of these words while I couldn’t sleep:

 

Don’t Call Me

Don’t call me too weepy,

too creepy, too sleepy,

too selfish, too giving,

too sensitive from living.

 

Don’t call me too bitchy,

too itchy or twitchy,

too soft or too loud,

too modest, too proud.

 

If you’re gonna type me or hype me,

pigeonhole, assign a role,

Decide I’m a saint or some asshole,

Don’t call me.

 

Don’t call me too funny or too serious

I find it deleterious,

So don’t call me.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

 

How Much Time

How much time do we have with each other?

With a friend, sibling, or mother.

We don’t know,

take it slow,

Let things grow.

 

How much time do we have with each other?

With a partner, child, or a brother.

It won’t last,

The die is cast.

Take it fast.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

 

Every one of those lyrics is mine and every one of those songs is not yet finished.

I’m going to try to memorize every one of my songs before I go to Edinburgh in August.  I’ll let everyone know if I’m doing a show there.

Here’s Van Morrison with Everyone:

 

Every one of the lyrics for Everyone is in the YouTube description, here.

I’m looking forward to everyone’s comments and I’d like to thank everyone who helps me create every one of these daily posts, including everyone who reads them (like YOU).

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Categories: original song, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2208: I hate myself for _______.

I used to hate myself for this and that, but no more.  Now, I hate it when I hear people say “I hate myself” for anything.

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Yesterday, in my office, somebody said they hated themselves for not being what they used to be.

Have you ever said, “I hate myself” for anything?  I won’t hate you if you share that, below.

I’d hate it if my other photos had any hate in them.

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Hate disrupts the immune system. How can we boost it?  Let’s start with kind words towards ourselves and others.

During this season, I do not hate myself for

Joan Jett hates herself for loving you:

I might hate myself if I forgot to thank all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU, but I doubt it.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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