Monthly Archives: January 2019

Day 2243: What’s made you smile lately?

I’ve noticed, by looking at a lot of people’s faces lately, that there aren’t a lot of smiles out there.  It made me smile, this morning, to think of asking you today’s blogging question:

What’s made you smile lately?

This on-line article made me smile lately:

Chocolate better for coughs than cough syrup, study says

It also made me smile lately to receive this email from the Edinburgh Free Fringe:

Hi Ann

Your Show number is 306

We’ll be sending the first round of allocations this week but don’t worry too much if you’re don’t get one straight away, it takes a while to sort through the pile.

Best regards

The Free Fringe team

It also made me smile lately to get this message from my son, back at school in Edinburgh:

Too late to apply for fringe? I have a show I want to do.

It makes me smile to think of my son and I both doing shows at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

Yesterday, I deliberately took photos of images that made me smile lately:

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In my Free Fringe application, I included links to all my original songs, including this one:

It would make me smile to know what’s made you smile lately.

Getting in touch with gratitude always make me smile, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 2242: How to use your energy

When I was using my energy, yesterday, to return to work after a week at Disney World, I saw this energetic teabag saying:

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An hour earlier, I saw many people using their energy to destroy a building.

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Sometimes we have to destroy what’s there to build something new in its place.  Of course, that takes a lot of energy.

An hour before I took that photo, I had the energy to take this one:

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No matter how much I summon my strength, I have less energy in the winter and also as I’m getting older.  So it becomes even more crucial how I choose to use my energy.

I didn’t have the energy to take any more photos yesterday, but I do have the energy to list what I am NOT using my energy on, these days:

  • worry about the future,
  • regret about the past,
  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • judgment,
  • toxic people,
  • anger, and
  • the news.

However, I do have the energy to think about positive, achievable solutions and I do have the energy to take the next, small steps towards those solutions. I think those are good uses of my energy.

Yesterday, at my first day back at work, many things happened that could have sapped my energy — like multiple crisis calls coming at the same time AND a patient showing up a day earlier than she was scheduled.  It always helps my energy to embrace “the full catastrophe” of life and I survived another work day, with energy to spare.  I’m glad I’m using my energy, at this phase of my life, on work I love and value.

Now I’m using my energy to share the original use of “the full catastrophe” in a very energetic movie.

Here‘s another energizing scene from Zorba the Greek:

I hope you use your energy to share your thoughts and feelings about this post.

As always, I use my energy to express gratitude to all who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU, for using your energy to read it.

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Categories: gratitude, health care, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2241: Hello, beautiful

Hello, beautiful.

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How does that affect you, for somebody to call you beautiful?  What would happen if you called yourself beautiful?

Let’s try that again.

Hello, beautiful. On our beautiful flight to Disney World last week, I wrote a new song called “What Are Other People Thinking About You?” which included this lyric:

What are other people thinking about you?

That is something you will never know.

Then why not assume they’re thinking you’re gorgeous,

Smart, and someone they would want to know.

When I looked at those lyrics yesterday in the harsh, cold light of Boston, I realized I could make them more beautiful if I didn’t rhyme “know” with “know.”

Hello, beautiful. Here are my other beautiful photographs from yesterday:

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My beautiful boyfriend Michael, who made that beautiful Portobello Burger last night, often says these beautiful words:

It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.

And since you’re always with yourself, why not enjoy the  beautiful company?

Searching YouTube for “Hello beautiful Minnie Mouse” found this beautiful match for today’s post about song lyrics and other beautiful topics:

Hello, beautiful.  Thanks for reading today’s post and if you leave a comment, that would be beautiful.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2240: What you’re not good at

Even good people seem to focus on what they’re not good at. I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

I’m not good at

  • getting enough sleep,
  • asking for help,
  • saying “no,”
  • remembering details,
  • making a fuss,
  • taking up space,
  • goodbyes, and
  • keeping to myself what I’m not good at.

Do you have a list of what you’re not good at?  If you do, does that do you any good?

If you make lists of what you’re not good at, try to get that list out of your head and down on paper (or a screen) so you can consider challenging the items on the list. For example, when I made that list above, I thought better of adding “planning parties,” even though

  • I’m anxious about planning a party right now,
  • it’s that anxiety which is inspiring this post, and
  • I often say, “I’m not good at planning parties.”

The reason I didn’t add “planning parties” to the list was that when I thought it through, I realized that I don’t have a lot of practice planning parties and also every party I’ve ever planned has turned out fine.   Therefore, it doesn’t belong on the list of “What I’m Not Good At.”  It does belong on the list of “What Makes Me Anxious.”

Also, it’s good to balance out any list of what you’re not good at with a list of what you ARE good at.

I’m good at taking photos to distract myself during stressful times,  like traveling and goodbyes.

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I’m not good at dealing with the cold, and I took that last shot as I was waiting, alone, for my luggage back in Boston. After I had said “Goodbye” (which I’m not good at)  to my ex-in-laws and my son (who remained in Orlando for a little more warmth), I texted them “I miss everyone already!” and my good ex-sister-in-law Deborah sent me this:

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It’ll be good to see my son Aaron again when he returns home from University of Edinburgh in May.

I’m not good at keeping things to myself, so here‘s Disney World’s “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” (which I saw yesterday).  If you’re not good at tolerating bugs, people screaming, or 3-D without glasses, you may not want to watch it.

Let’s assume that you’re good at making comments and that I’m good at responding back to them.

I’m also good at expressing thanks at the end of each blog post to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2239: Nature does not hurry

Nature does not hurry, so why should I?    Therefore, I am going to take my time, here and now, during my last day at Disney World.

I am in no hurry to share the inspiration for today’s post title, but here it is:

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As my son and I were unhurriedly strolling around Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday, I noticed that sign:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

 Lao Tzu

Usually, my nature is to believe that I need to hurry, hurry, hurry to accomplish and to be accomplished. I like balancing that out with Lao Tzu’s wise words (especially when we’re recovering from food poisoning).

Yet, I fear that if we don’t hurry and change our ways, we will lose much of the precious nature of our planet.

What else do I want to accomplish in this post? I will not hurry to share my other photos from yesterday.

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Nature does not hurry, yet climate change is NOT a concept only (and is hurrying faster than expected).  I’m hoping that my worst fears are not final and are subject to change, because of future and concerted human accomplishments.

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I guess the ball’s in our court.

I am in no hurry to share one more photo, which my son said was his favorite of all the ones I showed him yesterday.

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I am in no hurry to know how, when, where, or why I took that photo, but I do know that orange has always been Aaron’s favorite color.

Nature does not hurry, so no need to hurry to make a comment. Likewise, I will not hurry to express my gratitude to all who helped me create today’s non-hurried post and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 2238: If you have to choose between being kind and being right

Yesterday, at Walt Disney World, to be kind to ourselves, we had to choose to stay in our hotel rooms, recovering from food poisoning or some sort of virus.  If I have to choose which we were all suffering from, I’m not sure which is right, because I’m a therapist, not a doctor.

If I have to choose a featured image for today’s post, it would be this:

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If I have to choose great people to travel with, I would always include my kind niece Laura, who had to choose a t-shirt on Wednesday that says

If you have to choose between being kind and being right,

Choose being kind and you will always be right

If I have to choose new photos to share today, here they are:

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If I have to choose, these days, whether the television is on or off, it’s kinder to myself to leave it off.

Right?

If you have to choose between being kind and being right in a comment below,  choose being kind and you will always be right.

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

Day 2237: Some observation techniques

Yesterday, at the Animal Kingdom section of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA, I observed this sign:

I’m wondering if you can use your observation techniques to spot some observable clothing, birds, mammals, amphibians, fish, humans, plants, the land of Pandora from the movie “Avatar,” and any other things you observe as interesting in these photos:

Did you use your observation techniques to spot an enormous bull frog, a beautiful animal in the lower left corner of a mural depicting a herd of that same kind of animal, the topsy-turvy picture, or this child’s drawing?

As far as I can observe, that’s a picture of a hippo saying “Don’t hunt me” and/or “Don’t hurt me.”

We are using our observation techniques today to observe that several of us got food poisoning last night, so we are spending more time today using our observational techniques in our hotel rooms. My observation is that we will probably all be okay by tomorrow.

Please use your observation techniques to check in again tomorrow. For now

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2236: Aim Higher

Yesterday, when we were in line for Toy Story Midway Mania at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, I saw this:

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Soon after that, when we were in line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring AerosmithI received this email, in response to my attempt to aim higher by applying to do a show at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival:

Happy New Year 2019 Applicants

Thank you for applying to join The Free Fringe in 2019. This is just a short message to let you know the first allocations will be on their way in the next couple of weeks so please sit tight. We’ve all had a stupidly busy Christmas period as I hope you have, or at least a very happy one, and are working out the first pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

If you’re one of those first pieces, it helps us and your fellow performers hugely if you let us know your intentions as soon as possible after receiving your offer. That said, please don’t accept unless you’re absolutely sure you will be taking the slot. Thanks 🙂

I often try to aim higher, thinking about this quote from one of my favorite poets:

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,

Or what’s a heaven for?

Robert Browning

I  believe that if Robert Browning were alive today, he would aim higher and more obviously include all people in that quote.

I did aim higher yesterday to capture more photos from Disney World for you:

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Some people might think it’s goofy to aim higher. Do you?

Somebody aimed higher and got this  unusual video of Rock ‘n” Roller Coaster with the lights on …

… and somebody else aimed higher to bring us the complete and more typical Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster  experience:

I’m going to end this “Aim Higher” post by aiming for higher gratitude for all who helped me create it and for all who are reading it, here and now, and also by aiming to see you again tomorrow!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2235: Dream Builders

Are you a dream builder?  Do you allow yourself to dream, nourish those dreams, and take steps to make your dreams come true?

Throughout my life, I’ve worked on discovering and building my dreams, including finding my dream job as a group therapist and also  returning to Disney World this week with people I love.  The workers at Disney World see themselves as Dream Builders, as you can see in this sign:

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Like Walt Disney, I’ve wanted to do things; I wanted to build things, to get something going, so let’s get this post going, shall we?  Peeking up over that good kind of  wall is the symbol of Disney World’s Epcot — the Geodesic Sphere that houses the attraction “Spaceship Earth.”  Yesterday, my son Aaron and my niece Victoria, who has this tattooed on her ankle ….

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… rode through Spaceship Earth twice, the second time choosing French as their language.

Do you see any dreams being built in these other photos?

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Everybody’s dreams are different. For my boyfriend, Michael, Disney World might be his worst nightmare, so I doubt I’ll build any dreams of us visiting here together in the future. Michael, who stayed behind in our dream home near Boston, loves raccoons, so I told him I’d include these photos in my blog today:

Here’s my favorite ride at Epcot:

That video doesn’t capture the full experience of “Soarin,” which allows me to fulfill a childhood dream of flying wherever I want to go, like Peter Pan (which I’ve previously blogged about here and here).   I dream that you all get to witness the spectacular things the dream builders have created here at Epcot, if that is indeed your dream, too.

What dreams are you building, these days?

It’s also a dream, for me, that I get to build a new blog post every day, which is read by all of YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2234: When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do

If you’re curious, I had two other possible titles for today’s post, which shows lots of interesting things and people on our trip today to Disney World.  The other two titles were

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“Live This Moment” or

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“How to Get Around,” but then I saw this perfect quote by Walt Disney:

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Curious to find lots of interesting things in my other photos from yesterday?

 

If you’re curious about any of those photos, you can click on them to make them larger.

I was curious about this hat

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because Mickey looks angry, and I’m not used to seeing that.  When I discussed this with an interesting “cast member” at a cash register, we agreed that Mickey, like the rest of us, is allowed to have all his feelings, including anger.

I’m looking forward to doing all sorts of interesting things today, wearing that hat.

If you’re curious about today’s tune, it’s NOT the song I wrote on the plane ride from Boston to Orlando (“What Are Other People Thinking About  You?”).  Instead, it’s “It’s a Small World.”

I’m curious about whether you watched the whole ride and about whatever feelings you’re having, in this moment.

If you’re curious, I’m feeling extreme gratitude for where I am, whom I’m with, and for my readers!

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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