Monthly Archives: December 2019

Day 2592: New Year’s Eve

For a long time, my New Year’s Eve tradition has been to compile  a list of my personal ten best and worst of the year.

This year’s best includes

This year’s worst includes

  • the death of close friends,
  • how divided my country is and
  • all the time I spent on worry and dread.

Do you see any evidence of  my best and worst in these new end-of-year photos?

 

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I also put musician Jacob Collier on my personal best list for 2019 and it’s the best that I’ll be seeing him perform live in 2020!

It’s best to start planning for the best of 2020 and not to worry about a thing.

What’s your personal best and worst of 2019?

The best way for me to end this post is to express gratitude to all  who have supported me through another year of daily blogging, including YOU!

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Happy New Year!

Love,

Ann

Categories: blogging, celebrating, friendship, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 2591: What is this place?

What is this place?  It’s The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally on WordPress, a place where I started blogging daily seven years ago. It’s a place I try to make special and safe.

It’s a place where I share stories and photos of places I’ve been.

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What is this place? It’s a place where

  • all creatures are welcome (no matter what they do or say),
  • I create things (including  songs about Ferrero Rocher), and
  • I share my thoughts and feelings, hoping that also helps you in some way.

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This is the place for me to say this: before you step into 2020, be sure to cancel  your subscriptions to other people’s drama and negativity, but please do not cancel your subscription to The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

I found “What Is This Place” playing in place on YouTube.

As always, there’s a place for you and your comments here.

What is this place?  It’s a place for gratitude, every day.

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Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2590: Clouds

While I’ve been in the clouds about my December 27th wedding to Michael, I’ve also been noticing clouds, including these:

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What do those clouds look like to you? Do you see

  • a unicorn?
  • a dragon?
  • a face?
  • hope?
  • threats?
  • something else?

What does this look like to you?

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Some people have been like dark clouds in my life, and when they disappear, it IS a brighter day.

Maybe my new socks have something to say to dark clouds.

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I don’t want to cloud the issue, but I actually do care. I wish to be aware of all clouds and do what’s in my power to deal with them.

Here are some quotes about clouds:

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” — Rabindranath Tagore

“I know that I shall meet my fate somewhere among the clouds above; those that I fight I do not hate and those that I guard I do not love.” — William Butler Yeats

” Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending.  You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” — St. Augustine

“It is better to have your heads in the clouds and know where you are … than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.” — Henry David Thoreau

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”  — Edward Abbey

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” —  John Lubbock

“Clouds do not really look like camels or sailing ships or castles in the sky.  They are simply a natural process at work. So too, perhaps, are our lives.” — Roger Ebert

“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” — Joseph Addison

“Let the people on both sides keep their self-possession, and just as other clouds have cleared away in due time, so will this, and this great nation will continue to prosper as before.” — Abraham Lincoln

“I, like everybody else, have a certain fear of heights, and I have to be very careful when I’m in the clouds, but it is also what I love; it is my domain, so when you love something, you don’t have fear.” —Philippe Petit

“Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.” — Dale Evans

Do you see any clouds in these other recent photos?

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It’s nice to see a squirrel in a cloud of lace.

Here‘s a song about clouds:

 

Here‘s another song that’s hovering in the clouds of this post, above:

 

If you were to comment on this post, I’d be on Cloud 9.

Now it’s time to end this post in a cloud of gratitude, so thanks and happy trails to all who help me find my way through the clouds to blog every day, including YOU.

 

 

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

Day 2589: Why we love weddings

Why we love weddings is the topic of the online article Science Reveals the Age-Old Secret of Why We Love Weddings So Much” which includes these quotes:

“When there’s a bit of uncertainty in the world,” Norton told Mic, “looking for a little bit of order is something humans like to do. It could be by doing a private ritual. It could be by doing a social ritual. Rituals make people feel like they have a handle on things. We know from lots and lots of research that feeling in control is a huge predictor of well-being. People who feel they don’t have some control over outcomes in their lives tend to suffer.”

It’s easy to think that rituals like weddings are pointless and overdone. But that big cake, sparkling white dress or bouquet toss are helping us move through life in a positive and healthy way. There’s no need to apologize for embracing it.

People seemed to love our wedding yesterday, even though there was no big cake or sparkling white dress. However, there WAS a bouquet toss.

If you love any of those wedding pictures, you can click on them to enlarge them.

Immediately after the wedding in the City Clerk’s office, Michael loved pretending he was the City Clerk  …

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… and his brother Martin loved pretending he was exerting some influence in city politics.

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I loved that the City Clerk, Nicole Crispo …

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… loved those goofy photos of Michael and Martin.

I love everyone who was at our wedding, including my friend Carol

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… who took many more lovely photos of our wedding, which I love.  If you love weddings, I’ll include those in a future post (if I can figure out how to get them here).

I love that Aaron’s long-time friend Clark …

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… caught the lovely bouquet.

I love that my son Aaron looked so handsome in his tuxedo …

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and I love that Michael and Aaron love each other so much.

Do you love weddings enough to watch yesterday’s entire ceremony, taped by Michael’s loving and lovely sister-in-law, Tammy?

I love that I was thinking about this wedding scene from Best Friends with Burt Reynolds, Goldie Hawn, and Richard Libertini when Michael and I  said, “I thee endow.”

I would love any comments about weddings or love, below.

Thanks to all the lovely people who witnessed our wedding, including YOU!

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Categories: celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Day 2588: We

Over the past seven years, I have written many blog posts with “We” in the title, including:

Do we agree that I’ve written lots of posts about “We”?

Here’s a short poem titled “We.”

We

by Ann Koplow

“We” is my favorite pronoun.

It’s much better than “I.”

We are taking vows today

Which will last until we die.

Are we ready for my photos from yesterday?

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We (Michael and I) love Jane, the realtor who helped us find the home where we are so happy and who sent us a card, flowers,  gingerbread cookies, and cookie-decorating materials yesterday to celebrate our wedding, which is today!

We wish you could all be there to celebrate with us, but we’re told that we can bring only twelve people with us to the civil ceremony.

Here‘s the “We” song I choose for today’s “We” post.

 

We belong together and I am so grateful for you and for us!


* We** are particularly proud of Day 759: We go on.

** We are comfortable, sometimes, using the royal we.

Categories: blogging, celebrating, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 2587: Kind of a Big Deal

It’s kind of a big deal

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  It’s kind of a big deal that Julie wants to use the lyrics I wrote four days ago for her 10th annual Women’s Getaway Weekend on March 21 & 22 in New Hampshire.

It’s kind of a big deal that

It’s kind of a big deal that I took all these photos yesterday:

It’s kind of a big deal that I won that book at Michael’s family‘s Yankee Swap.

Here’s somebody else saying “I’m kind of a big deal.”

Here’s a big deal number from a big deal musical:

If you leave a comment, it’s kind of a big deal because YOU are kind of a big deal.

It’s kind of a big deal that there’s so much I’m thankful for this holiday season.

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

Day 2586: Happy Families on Christmas Eve

Tolstoy said,

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All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

 

 

Do all happy families resemble one another on Christmas Eve?  Let’s see …

 

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I wonder if tiny tardigrades have families as happy as mine.

This photo …

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… shows the father of Aaron, “my excellent ex” (on the left) and  my husband-to-be, Michael, both happy on Christmas Eve. That makes me very happy.

There are lots of videos on YouTube about “Happy Families on Christmas Eve.” I’m happy to share this one:

 

To all the families out there, I wish you happiness today and every day.

Finally, thank you SO MUCH for being part of my blogging family!!!!

 

 

 

Categories: celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 2585: Changing the narrative

Yesterday, when I was visiting Right Turn, “an innovative substance use disorder program that makes use of both evidence-based treatment and creative expression” (which I wrote a narrative about in a previous blog post here), I saw this:

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That’s what effective, committed, and passionate healers and interventionists like Woody Geismann  do — they facilitate people changing the narrative of their life stories for the better. Woody has a lot of experience changing the narrative of his own life —  from the drummer of the Boston rock band the Del Fuegos to the founder of Right Turn and also from somebody who had a serious brain aneurysm in 2016 to a person who learned how to walk and talk again.

Do you see evidence of people changing the narrative in these photos?

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That’s Cynthia  (who as the new CEO of Right Turn is changing the narrative of the program while also preserving and expanding its power) sitting under a painting done by Woody, who changes narratives through music AND art. Cynthia and I had a great talk about how we’ve been changing the narratives of ourselves and others through different careers and through our experiences with different people.

Woody also changed my narrative of the Rolling Stones by telling me this story about them:

Ronnie and Keith were asked which of them was the better guitarist.  Ronnie said, “Of course, it’s me!”   Keith said, “Neither of us are particularly good guitarists, but together we create something special.”  Keith is a very wise person.

I’m probably changing the narrative of Woody’s wonderful story, because I didn’t write down his exact words.

Now I’m changing the narrative of this post by sharing my other photos from yesterday:

 

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Oscar is changing the narrative of who is interested in latkes on Chanukah.

Here’s today’s final example of changing the narrative:

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Michael (who makes latkes that are almost as fabulous as my late mother‘s) and I will be changing the narrative of our lives when we get married this Friday.

There are lots of videos about “Changing the Narrative” on YouTube. Here‘s one of them:

That Canadian Beekeeper is changing the narrative by asking for help and support, which we all need to survive.

I like changing the narrative through music,  so here is Eliza singing about changing the narrative in “Burn” from the musical Hamilton.

 

Now, you have the option of changing the narrative of this post by leaving a comment, below.

I’m not changing how I end every narrative in this blog. As always, I end with gratitude to all who helped me share all the narratives in today’s post and — of course! — to you, you, you.

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

Day 2584: Life is a shared experience.

Yesterday, when I was sharing my experience of life with kind and caring people, I noticed this card at S. Colman & Company  in Milton, Massachusetts:

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Life is a shared experience and I was very grateful to share it yesterday with Sandra Colman, the proprietor of the fabulous store where I found the perfect earrings for my wedding on Friday.

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Beautiful Sandra and I shared experiences of  Swampscott, the North Shore, the South Shore, courage, ideas, chances, what we love to do, showing up, problems, marriage, our wandering minds, and our hearts.

Life is a shared experience, and I was grateful to share it yesterday with Bruce and Meryl Manin of Grono & Christie Jewelers of Milton, who had helped me figure out a solution to my problem of a too-large wedding ring.

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When you share life experiences with wonderful people, that’s where fairy tales begin.

Life is a shared experience and I love sharing my experiences with you.

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Life is a shared experience and that’s my son Aaron and his soon-to-be-Stepdad Michael sharing experiences and pizza with me at Santarpio’s, a place where many people have shared experiences in Boston.

Life is a shared experience and I shall now share a short video I took yesterday:

When we share the experience of other cats, Michael likes to say, “That cat looks just like Oscar!”  I’ll share my experience, here and now:

  • Often those cats don’t share many similarities with our cat Oscar.
  • That cat — on the “Bah Humbug” wrapping paper — looks just like Oscar!

Life is a shared experience, so please share your experience in a comment, below.

Gratitude is a shared experience here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, so many thanks to YOU.

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

Day 2583: What’s this?

What’s this?

It’s the two thousandth,  five-hundredth, and eighty-third consecutive day of blogging in The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally!

What’s this?

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It’s something I liked on Twitter that explains our current political situation.

 

What’s this?

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It’s an interesting article from the New Yorker  I was reading on my phone yesterday.

 

What’s this?

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It’s my too-large wedding ring on a hand that needs a manicure.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Oscar, on a cold New England day.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Annia from Lunaris Jewels responding to my message about my too-large wedding ring.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Louis, Michael, and Robert at Men’s Wearhouse in Braintree.

 

What’s this?

It’s a song I started writing this morning:

What’s This?

by Ann Koplow

 

What’s this in your brain

That’s driving you insane?

That keeps you up at night

That dims your special light?

What’s this in your head

That fills your head with dread?

That makes your blood run cold

And freeze as you grow old?

Is it fear of the unknown?

Is it knowing you’re alone?

Is it worry, shame, or doubt?

All your critics, inside and out?

 

What’s this in your mind

That turns your vision blind?

That makes it hard to see

With any certainty?

 

Is it danger all around?

Believing you’re on shaky ground?

Is it thinking that it’s just

Never safe enough to trust?

 

What’s this in your soul

Feeling like a deep, dark hole?

That makes you want to hide

And never go outside?

Is it reality breaking through

With shocking news you never knew?

Or false negativity

Tinting everything you see?

What’s this song’s intent?

What is even meant?

What is its writer’s goal

Evoking brain, mind, head, and soul?

Should you try to banish fear?

Is that what I’m saying here?

Feel the fear, do it anyway?

Go out and face each brand new day?

Or am I warning you

That your fears are really true?

That it isn’t safe out there?

If you do move, step with care?

How many in this room

Think this is a song of doom?

How many of you hear

A call to let go of your fear?

How many are unaware

Of why people’s hands are in the air?

How many just don’t care?

Did anybody note

That I didn’t cast a vote?

For me the jury’s out

What this song is all about.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

What’s this?

 

It’s “What’s This”  from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

What’s this? You’re thinking of leaving a comment?  You can do so, down below.

What’s this?

It’s thanks for being YOU.

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

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