Monthly Archives: February 2019

Day 2286: What we are trying to tell each other

What am I trying to tell you in today’s post?

I’m trying to tell you that I’m at the AGPA group therapy conference in Los Angeles, where I’m learning to tell myself and others more about the practice of group therapy.

I’m trying to tell you that I couldn’t sleep two nights ago, in anticipation of the second day of a two-day experience group, where therapists learn from each other by doing group work together.

I’m trying to tell you that the night my mother died, over ten years ago, she told a home health aide she wanted to call me on the phone to tell me something.

I’m trying to tell you that the home health aide told my mother she wouldn’t call me, because it was in the middle of the night and she shouldn’t disturb me. (I tried to tell that story in a blog post several years ago, here.)

I’m trying to tell you that event has disturbed and haunted me ever since —  my mother being told she couldn’t tell me what she was trying to tell me right before she died.

I’m trying to tell you that I have tried to put  to rest that mystery and my feelings about it in many different ways, including letting online tarot card readings tell me what my mother was trying to tell me.

I’m trying to tell you that during my recent sleepless night here in Los Angeles, I finally let the tarot cards tell me what I wanted to know, by asking a very specific Yes/No question for the first time.

I’m trying to tell you that this telling image is the only new photo I have to share with you today:

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I’m trying to tell you that

  • it’s telling what questions we ask of the universe,
  • we need to tell our personal stories, and
  • closure helps us tell new stories, as we move on.

I’m trying to tell you that the video I told you about in this recent post  is finally available for sharing.

By writing new words to the song Feelings, I’m trying to tell people about the local affiliates of the national group therapy organization, AGPA.

Now it’s your turn to try to tell us something in the comments section, below.

I try to tell you how grateful I am at the end of each post, like now.

 

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

Day 2285: Differences

As I am experiencing differences between Los Angeles and Boston and exploring similarities and differences at a group therapy conference, do you notice any differences in today’s post?

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Here are some quotes about differences:

One can state, without exaggeration, that the observation of and the search for similarities and differences are the basis for all human knowledge. — Alfred Nobel

The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for differences. — Ruth Benedict

I refuse to let any man-made differences separate me from any other human beings. — Maya Angelou

Stories are the common ground that allow people to connect, despite all our defenses and all our differences. — Kate Forsyth

If you don’t acknowledge differences, it’s as bad as stereotyping or reducing someone. — Aasif Mandvi

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. — Audre Lorde

We don’t need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables — the lettuce,  the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers — to maintain their identity.  You appreciate the differences. — Jane Elliot

Talent perceives differences; genius, unity.  — William Butler Yeats

All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything. —  Swami Vivekenanda

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. — Marian Wright Edelman

Embrace your differences and the qualities about you that you think are weird. Eventually, they’re going to be the only things separating you from everyone else. — Sebastian Stan

Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality. — W.H. Auden

One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives. — Mark Twain

What are your different thoughts and feelings about differences?

Here‘s a song about differences that I think about on many different days:

 

Thanks to all who make a difference, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2284: Venture

I venture to say that I like looking more closely at what’s in front of me, no matter where I venture.

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All the photos in today’s blog were taken when I ventured in and around the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

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In L.A.,  birds venture inside buildings. Could you venture to see the birds inside the Westin Bonaventure in the last three photographs, above?

The following photos were taken when I ventured across the street from the Bonaventure to the Border Grill:

 

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Caramba! I loved venturing into that vegetarian food.

I just ventured to post a video of my venturing at the Westin Bonaventure to sing new lyrics I had written to an existing song. Now I have to vent about how that venture vent awry. Because that video has not ventured to show up here yet, here‘s Wipe Out by The Ventures instead:

 

As usual, I venture to express gratitude to all who help me venture to create these blog posts and — of course — to YOU, for venturing here, now.

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2283: Start Fresh

Let’s start fresh with a greeting from Los Angeles, California!

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Start fresh, no matter what has happened in the past.  That’s what Harvard-dropout Henry Gaylord Wilshire  did:  he moved west in 1884 to start fresh after he didn’t cut the mustard in the family business.

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I saw that poster on Wilshire Boulevard yesterday, as I was trying to start fresh and let go of  anxiety, assumptions, worries, concerns, and cognitive distortions (including fortune-telling, catastrophizing, mind-reading, personalization,  and shoulds) after a five-hour flight and very little sleep.

My flight to L.A. started fresh with  The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man. That fun and inspiring documentary has a fresh start, middle, and ending, exploring legendary stories about Bill Murray, who can start fresh by unexpectedly showing up and engaging in other people’s lives. After that movie about starting fresh and being in the moment  (and realizing that nothing else matters), I started fresh watching Rami Malek’s fresh and amazing performance in Bohemian Rhapsody. Later in the day, a few miles from my L.A. hotel room, Rami Malek started fresh by winning the Academy Award for best actor.

Will anything in my other photos from yesterday help you start fresh?

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Keeping life simple, eating well, handling fragile things carefully, true stories, and remembering that healing is not linear (as I described in this post at the fresh start of this daily blog), all help me start fresh, every day. What helps you start fresh?

Here is Bill Murray, starting his movie career in Meatballs, inviting people to start fresh by reminding them that it just doesn’t matter:

“Nothing really matters to me” is the fresh ending to Bohemian Rhapsody, the song.  Here’Freddie Mercury and Queen — starting fresh and ending strong —  with the Live Aid performance replicated in Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie:

 

Let’s end fresh with gratitude to all who helped me write this “Start Fresh” post and to all who help me start fresh, every day, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2282: Woo Hoo!

Woo Hoo!

Who-Hoo is flying to L.A. today to

  • attend a group therapy conference,
  • sing a song,
  • play the ukulele,
  • host a dinner, and
  • finally see The Tomorrow Show, starring her stand-up comedy teacher and comic genius, Ron Lynch?

Who-Hoo is it? Is it you-hoo?

Can I get a Woo Hoo! for any of my other photos from yesterday?

Maybe later I’ll add a song to this blog post. For now, I’ve got to catch a plane and thank my readers, who always make me go Woo Hoo!

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

Day 2281: Desperation

There’s been a lot of desperation around here lately. Are you noticing desperation where you are?

Here’s one source of my desperation: I’m wondering if I control the universe with my anxiety.    When I am anxious about something (like planning a dinner in Los Angeles, for example), things seem to go wrong.

I also have desperation about my inability to write something on this blog without using the word “thing.”

Michael has been experiencing desperation about charging his laptop — for days, he has had to anchor the charging cord in intricate ways to  get any charge.

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Yesterday, a replacement charging cord came in the mail and Michael said, “I’m going to keep that as an art installation called “Desperation.'”

Do you see desperation in my other photos from yesterday?

 

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If you want to make a peep about desperation or anything else, please comment below.

Also, Dr. Matthew Salzler at Tufts Medical Center dispersed any desperation I might have about my healing rotator cuff,  a year after my falling and tearing it.

Out of desperation about not having any new ideas of how to celebrate my son’s birthday (he’s turning 21 today!) on this blog, I’m sharing, again,  his misheard lyrics of “Louie Louie” on YouTube.

Here’s a comment from somebody who might have had some desperation looking for my son’s video until finally finding it:

Deku Tree
8 months ago
I finally found you this is a weird story so sit tight

I was in a music class in elementary school and the teacher there wanted our next song we sang to be Louie Louie he then told us a story about how the song had weird misheard lyrics and showed the class this very video to show us what the misheard lyrics were and I finally found it when I was watching a video on YouTube for weird misheard lyrics throughout history and my mind thought about this video and I thought “I know the in’s and out’s of YouTube now I’ll try to find it.” and I did yes! It wasn’t even that hard to find I was just lazy back when I was a kid and didn’t look very hard now I have liked the video from my memory’s finally.

No desperation at the end of this blog post, just gratitude for all who helped me create it and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, Happy Birthday!, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2280: Are we having fun yet?

“Are we having fun yet?” was something I expressed several times yesterday, as I

  • started packing for my trip to L.A.,
  • grappled with money issues,
  • added a new verse to a song,
  • dealt with hurt feelings,
  • talked to people about hope and hopelessness,
  • had the self control to have the soup instead of the very fun-looking and highly caloric  pasta dish in the hospital cafeteria,
  • couldn’t find my folder filled with group therapy worksheets and exercises,
  • glanced at the news, and
  • facilitated two groups, one of which focused on fun.

Are we having fun yet in today’s blog post?

Are we having fun yet as we try to read my handwriting in today’s photos?

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Are we having fun yet as I share this story about when I decided to have fun earlier this week?

Wednesday morning, after my second night in a row of insomnia, I looked at the weather app on my iPhone to decide how to dress for the day.  I saw that the day was going to start out cold but become considerably warmer, so I decided to wear a very light coat.  When I was driving to work, I looked at the app again and noticed that I had been looking at the weather for Cupertino, California, instead of the weather for Boston, Massachusetts, which was going to start cold and stay that way.  I decided to have fun with it, so I laughed instead of complaining whenever I felt the cold.

Are we having fun yet trying to guess what music I’m going to share in today’s post?

YouTube suggests that I share this one:

 

Are you having fun yet?  If not, how might you have more fun today?  Would it help to leave a fun comment?

Have I expressed my gratitude yet for all those who helped me create this are-we-having-fun-yet post and — of course — for YOU?

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

Day 2279: Everything will be okay in the end.

The title of today’s post leaves off the end of a quote from John Lennon:

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

In the end, everything will be okay in my previously unshared and recent photos.

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If it’s not okay, it’s not the end of my photos or my blog posts.

Everything will be okay in the end with the two songs I’m deciding to share today (here and here on YouTube).


Everything will be okay in the end of each post, because I express my thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2278: Stress balls

What are stress balls?  Are they squishy balls that you can squeeze when you’re stressed?

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Are they creatures who are feeling lots of stress?

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Harley does not look like a stress ball in that photo, but usually he stresses and runs away when I try to take a picture of him.

Even stress balls, like Harley, can relax at times.

I’m a stress ball today because I have to do many things (including giving a presentation about my therapy groups, singing songs in meetings,  running a board meeting, preparing for a trip to L.A., planning a dinner in L.A., and more) all while dealing with a bout of insomnia and some ambivalence about possible choices.

What helps when you’re a stress ball, besides squeezing a stress ball? My niece Julie, of The Joy Source, suggests changing the words “have to” (see previous paragraph) to “get to.” So, it’s not that I have to do many thing (including giving a presentation, etc.) , it’s that I get to do many things (including giving a presentation, etc.).  That shifts me from being a stress ball about too many obligations to being grateful about having the opportunity to do all those things, connecting me with confidence in my skills to get things done adequately enough.

I don’t have to share my other photos from yesterday, but I’m glad I get to share them with you.

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Here‘s what YouTube gives me for “stress ball song”:

 

Somehow, I’m not a stress ball any more.

What helps you be less of a stress ball?

Thanks to all who helped me stress less by stressing all the things I stressed in this “stress balls” post and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 2277: Probable

Yesterday, I shared with my boyfriend Michael the latest catastrophizing fear in my brain.  Michael listened and then responded:

That sounds probable.

It’s probable that Michael was being sarcastic and it’s probable that I will continue to seek out Michael when I’m catastrophizing because it’s probable he will say something helpful.

It’s probable that I will continue to blog daily because that helps me, too.

It’s probable that I will snap photos and share them with you.

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It’s probable that Michael is going to make something delicious for dinner, like those burritos.

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I don’t know how probable it is that we’ll get a dog some day because of, you know, the cats.

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It’s probable that comedian Pete Holmes is visiting Lexington High School in that scene from his excellent show Crashing (even though I initially thought it was probable that was my son’s high school, instead).

According to my news feed, it’s probable that  many people will be running for U.S. President in 2020.

It seems probable, to me, that unless we human beings drastically change our behaviors, the future might look like the movie WALL-E.

It’s probable that my day at work today will be different from WALL-E’s.

It’s probable that some of my readers will comment and it’s more than probable that I’ll express gratitude to all who helped me create this “probable” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

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