Monthly Archives: April 2020

Day 2713: Lectures

There will be no lectures, here and now  — just a sharing of information and images, like this one:

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Please, no lectures about that button I made for a woman who has to  deal with a man who lectures her.  Instead, let’s look at this definition of lecture:

to criticize (someone) severely or angrily especially for personal failings

“the frustrated manager lectured the waitstaff about its poor level of service”

Synonyms for lecture

baste, bawl out, berate, call down, castigate, chastise, chew out, dress down, flay, hammer, jaw, keelhaul, lambaste (or lambast), rag, rail (at or against), rant (at), rate, ream (out), rebuke, reprimand, reproach, scold, score, tongue-lash, upbraid
Words Related to lecture

admonish, chide, remonstrate (with), reprove
abuse, assail, attack, bad-mouth, blame, blast, censure, condemn, criticize, crucify, denounce, dis (also diss) [slang], excoriate, fault, harangue, knock, lace (into), lash, pan, reprehend, revile, scourge, slam, vituperate
belittle, disparage, mock, put down
ridicule, scoff, scorn

Phrases synonymous with lecture

lay into, read the riot act (to), take to task

Near antonyms for lecture

approve, endorse (also indorse), sanction
extol (also extoll), laud, praise

Please, no lectures about my sharing the definition, synonyms, and antonyms for the verb form of the word “lecture” there.

Instead of lectures, I prefer

  • action,
  • help,
  • thoughtfulness,
  • kindness,
  • empathy,
  • awareness,
  • understanding,
  • listening,
  • approval,
  • endorsement,
  • praise,
  • openness,
  • flexibility, and
  • acceptance.

Who lectures you, these days?   Authority figures?  Family members? Acquaintances? YOURSELF?

How do those lectures affect you?  How do you deal with them?

If you wear a button like this about lectures …

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… at least you’re being direct and polite.

No lectures about signing up for my socially distanced performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” tomorrow night between 7 – 9 PM, USA Eastern Time, but you do need to do that TODAY by using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn2

Are there any lectures in my other photos from yesterday, when I left the house before I felt ready?

 

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I didn’t hear any lectures in Buena Vista Social Club last night, but I did hear great music including this:

 

I look forward to your thoughts and feelings about lectures, below.

No lectures, just thanks to all who helped me create this “Lectures” post, including YOU.

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Categories: definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2712: People are resilient until they’re not

One thing I’m thinking about this morning is the suicide of Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency room director  in New York City.

In this article by Rhea Mahbubani and Dave Mosher about the recent suicides of Dr. Breen and John Mondello, an EMT in NYC, I noticed these quotes:

“Of my four children — well I guess now I’ve only got three — no one would’ve predicted that Lorna was having a hard time,” Dr. Philip C. Breen, her father, told Business Insider. “She would not even be on that list.”

As the pandemic has left millions under lockdown and triggered deep loss and widespread grief, medical workers and emergency responders like Mondello and Lorna Breen have faced the brunt of the crisis with grueling workloads, unprecedented stress, deep uncertainty, and a steep death count.

Medical workers are drawn to the profession to alleviate suffering and protect their patients. During the pandemic, however, the virus has in many cases robbed them of the ability to achieve either goal.

Laurie Nadel, a psychotherapist and author, characterized the coronavirus as an “equal-opportunity destroyer” that’s forcing frontline medical workers to go “mano-a-mano with mortality on a larger scale” than ever before.

There are ways to support workers in such high-pressure roles, but Dr. Shauna Springer advocates not calling them heroes. “There’s an invisible pressure that comes with that.”

“People are resilient until they’re not. And so people who are called out as resilient are often more reluctant to acknowledge human struggles and to reach out when they need help.”

For people who are resilient until they’re not (which can include all of us),  that article advocates the healing powers of listening without offering advice and also doing things to lighten each other’s loads.

Do you see evidence of people who are resilient until they’re not in the images I captured yesterday?

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I posted that last picture of that resilient tiger on my Facebook page last night with this caption: “She’s taking crisis calls.”   I’m noticing, here and now, that it’s easier to be resilient when somebody has your back.

People are resilient until they’re not, so let’s watch the fifth installment of “Some Good News” with John Krasinski:

 

Resilient thanks to all who do their best helping themselves and others, including YOU.

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2711: What to think about in the morning

What to think about in the morning, for me, includes

  • blogging,
  • those I love,
  • work,
  • what’s not working,
  • possible disasters related to what’s not working,
  • reasonable reframes of my fears,
  • group therapy,
  • my obligations,
  • the birds singing outside,
  • Oscar,

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  • the health of others and myself,
  • how much sleep I got and need,
  • staying safe during the pandemic,
  • achievable next steps,
  • who is in pain,
  • what might help,
  • the news,
  • the immediate future,
  • the past,
  • the present moment, and
  • how to improve the present moment.

I’m improving the present moment by sharing  “What to Think About in the Morning Before You Remember the Sad State of the World” by Eugenia Viti, from the New Yorker.

What to think about this morning includes the virtual Jam’n Java Open Mic this Friday, May 1, 7PM- 9PM USA Eastern Time, which will feature me, my ukulele, and my song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready.”  If you think you might want to attend, sign up using this link by Thursday, April 30.

What to think about these images I captured yesterday?

 

What to think about this morning, for me, includes my first performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” at the Jam’n Java Open Mic, when I forgot the words and somehow recovered:

What to think, here and now?

What to think about, any time, is expressing thanks to others, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2710: Jaw Dropping

It’s jaw dropping to me that I forgot about the invitation (which I included in yesterday’s  post)  to stream Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday celebration last night, with its jaw-dropping lineup of stars:

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I have found many things jaw-dropping lately, including

  • American leadership’s responses to the pandemic crisis,
  • racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia,
  • how difficult it is for people to get what they need,
  • how little there is to celebrate these days, and
  • people’s ability to celebrate, anyway.

Do you see anything jaw-dropping in my photos from yesterday?

It’s jaw dropping

  • that there was no spinach, parsley, or flour at the supermarket yesterday,
  • the delicious meal Michael made anyway,
  • how hard nurses work for us every day of the year,
  • the level of suffering out there, and
  • how lucky I am, here and now.

 

Here‘s the jaw-dropping celebration of Stephen Sondheim from last night:

I look forward to your jaw-dropping comments with (of course!) jaw-dropping gratitude.

Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2709: Messages of Encouragement

Thank you, dear readers, for all the messages of encouragement you’ve given me for my blog posts, my photos, my original songs,  my work, my sense of humor,  and my various adventures, through sickness and in health.

The messages of encouragement people left about yesterday’s post, featuring my t-shirt and song “Left the House Before I Felt Ready” were incredibly profound. I am now thinking about ways I might market my t-shirt and song, encouraging people to share those messages and also support a worthy charity.

My long-time and encouraging reader Maureen (a/k/a Sitting on my own Sofa) left this message about my “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” song …

I think that you also stayed at home before you felt ready. 😊

… which encouraged me to write this additional verse:

I stayed at home before I felt ready.

The virus has made us all scared and unsteady.

I caught it in March and then flattened the curve

Even though isolating gets on my last nerve.

To protect other people and save my own heart

Staying home before ready was just doing my part.

I encourage you to listen to “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready,” imagining those new messages at the end:

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I am now encouraged to start writing songs again, ignoring and otherwise overcoming any messages of discouragement from myself or others.

Do you see any messages of encouragement in the images I captured yesterday?

 

If you want to see the messages in any of those smaller pictures, I encourage you to click on them to expand.

Messages of encouragement and gratitude to YOU, here and now.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2708: Incredibly profound

My incredibly profound friend Deb, who is social distancing in Florida, sent me this text yesterday:

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I found it incredibly profound that Deb sent me that photo of her wearing her “Left the house before I felt ready” tee, which I created after publishing Day 166: The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally Merchandise: T-Shirts.

Is it incredibly profound that I texted back “That’s going in the blog tomorrow. If I had any energy I would market it”?

It’s incredibly profound that

  • we’re all experiencing this coronavirus pandemic together,
  • there are so many unknowns about the virus,
  • the news is frightening, and
  • nobody knows what the future will be.

Are any of these other images incredibly profound?

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Is it incredibly profound that I wrote this song based on the t-shirt Deb is wearing?

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I LEFT THE HOUSE BEFORE I FELT READY

I left the house before I felt ready.

I’m wrinkled, distracted, a little bed-heady.

Don’t know where my phone is, one glove, or umbrella.

My water bottle’s probably somewhere in the cellah.

Here on the outside I’m sort of unsteady

When I’ve left the house before I felt ready.

 

I left the house before I felt certain

What clothes to wear, should I tuck my shirt in?

Should I eat a banana, a cookie, a peach?

Do something productive or go to the beach?

With indecision I’m strugglin’ and hurtin’

Because I left the house before I felt certain.

 

I left the house before I was sure

Of what I could tolerate, face, or endure.

Should I stick to what’s safe or try something new?

Taking risks — tsk tsk tsk — not the right thing to do?

I might meet someone sweet or step into manure

If I’ve left the house before I felt sure.

 

I have left the house, I can recall,

To work, to sing, to shop at the mall.

If I waited until I was sure not to fall

I’d never leave the house at all!

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

I’m vulnerable, present, and reasonably steady.

I’m glad to be here even if it’s not home.

Even if my hair needs a brush or a comb.

I’m not totally sure or secure, this it true.

But I’m certain I’m ready enough to meet you.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

 

I look forward to your incredibly profound comments about this blog post. Even if you don’t think your thoughts and feelings are incredibly profound, I do.

Incredibly profound thanks to all who help me create these daily blog posts, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 2707: Outlets

It’s challenging to find outlets for our feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, and wishes when the coronavirus is out there, not letting us live our normal and familiar  lives.

Yesterday, my outlets included

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My outlets also include music and dancing, and Michael and I recently danced to this old R.E.M. tune:

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
R.E.M.
Looking at your watch a third time
Waiting in the station for the bus
Going to a place that’s far
So far away and if that’s not enough
Going where nobody says hello
They don’t talk to anybody they don’t know
You’ll wind up in some factory
That’s full time filth and nowhere left to go
Walk home to an empty house
Sit around all by yourself
I know it might sound strange but I believe
You’ll be coming back before too long
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year
At night I drink myself to sleep and pretend
I don’t care if you’re not here with me
‘Cause it’s so much easier to handle
All my problems if I’m too far out to sea
But something better happen soon
Or it’s gonna be too late to bring you back

When people have an outlet to express themselves (like my Coping and Healing Groups), they’re saying it feels too late to bring ourselves back to where we were before the pandemic and that we might all be wasting another year waiting for this to be over.

How can any year be wasted if we meet each moment fully and as a friend?

What are your outlets, my friends?

Here’s another daily outlet for me: gratitude.

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Categories: gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2706: Urgent

Despite my dealing with many urgent situations over the last two thousand, seven hundred and six days (but who’s urgently counting?), I’ve never published a blog post with the title “Urgent” before.

Well, there’s no time like the present and these can seem like urgent times, although “urgent” is not an adjective I’ve heard about these times we’re living through together. I HAVE heard people describe these times as

  • challenging,
  • uncertain,
  • difficult,
  • strange,
  • weird,
  • anxious,
  • upsetting,
  • frightening,
  • scary,
  • terrifying,
  • troubling,
  • painful,
  • confusing,
  • unexpected,
  • unprecedented,
  • stressful,
  • crazy,
  • crazy-making, and
  • surreal.

Yesterday, during these challenging, uncertain, difficult, strange, etc. times, we brought our cat Oscar back to the Urgent Care Veterinary Center for a blood pressure test and to get medication. His situation didn’t seem urgent enough for an ultrasound of his digestive tract yesterday. However, if he ever throws up dried blood again,  we’ll urgently schedule that test as soon as possible.

Anything urgent in my pictures from yesterday?

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People in my Coping and Healing group yesterday talked about many topics — urgent and otherwise —  including the anniversary tribute to Prince , which I had missed. So, after our trip to the Veterinary Urgent Care Center, Michael, Oscar, and I watched “Let’s Go Crazy: Grammy Prince Tribute” On Demand last night, including this performance posted on YouTube by BoDerekSmith:

Here’s an urgent performance of “Baby I’m A Star” by the original, one-and-only Prince.

What feels urgent to me, during times like these, is finding and sharing moments of joy with others.

It’s not urgent that you express your thoughts and feelings about this “Urgent” post in a comment; however, it’s definitely appreciated. Urgent and emergent thanks to all who help me create these blog posts, including YOU!

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Categories: gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2705: Looking Up

Looking up my old posts, I see I’ve used today’s title twice before:

Day 436: Looking Up

Day 866: Looking Up

Looking up those posts, I see that it helps me to focus on looking up rather than looking down, especially during challenging times.

Things are looking up when friends like Vivian send me photos like this one:

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I like when dogs and tulips are looking up.

Are things looking up in the other images I’m sharing today?

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Things are looking up when I can still enjoy a video of a groundhog  looking up and enjoying some pizza:

Now I’m looking up and looking forward to your thoughts and feelings about this latest Looking-Up post (in the comments section, below).

Finally, I’m looking up old expressions of gratitude to thank all who help me look up every morning and create these posts, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2704: The Light of Life

During dark times like these, we all need the light of life.   The light of life, for me, includes sharing thoughts, feelings, and images with you, every day.

Do you see the light of life in any of my photos from  yesterday?

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Last night, Michael and I were reminiscing about how our anxious, social-distancing cat Harley has also been described by veterinarians as “fretful” and “kind.”

And kindness is the light of life.

Then, we danced to a Townes Van Zandt song that has been a light of life for Michael:

Thanks to all who have been the light of life for me, including YOU.

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Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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