Monthly Archives: May 2020

Day 2744: Life Choices

Every day, we make life choices which affect outcomes in ways we might not expect. Some of us are privileged enough to have more choices than others.

Today, I’m making the choice to share all these moments of my life from yesterday:

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I like life choices that Jimmy Kimmel made on his show on Friday night.

My life choices always include gratitude, so thanks to all who visited this blog, here and now.

 

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

Day 2743: Good job!

In my good job as a psychotherapist, I sometimes ask new people how they feel about compliments (including encouraging words like “Good job!”).    They often do a good job honestly answering that they have trouble with compliments. I hope I do a good job explaining that

  • they are not alone in struggling to believe and accept compliments,
  • I like to give compliments, and
  • all my compliments are authentic.

When I was doing my good job in person at my office, I would point out the good clock there with the inscription “Show up.  Be Gentle.  Tell the Truth.”  I think that does a good job explaining the process of therapy for both the patient and the provider.

People are dong a good job accepting authentic compliments when they take them in without internal or external protest and simply say, “Thank you.”

I hope I did a good job yesterday capturing these images around me.

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Michael did an incredibly good job creating Shepherd’s Pie from on-hand good ingredients like potatoes, cheese, mushrooms, carrots, corn, and ground turkey.

I have a good many jobs to complete this weekend for my good professional group therapy organization, Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.  I will try to follow my good advice to somebody else about doing a good job for the organization: “Have fun with it!”  I hope I did a good job conveying that a good job does not have to be a perfect job.

That reminds me of a good saying I heard on the job:  “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  Your Secret Mental Weapon  (found here) does a good job describing how that modern saying derives from these good quotes:

Voltaire: “The best is the enemy of the good.”
Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
Shakespeare: “Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.”

Striving to better this post, I hope I do a good job finding a good enough video.

Here‘s Alicia Keys with her great new song, “Good Job.”

I haven’t done a good job here if I don’t convince you to watch that video of many good workers doing a good job during the coronavirus pandemic.

Good job getting to the end of this post and thanks for reading!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2742: Community

On June 13, I am going to be facilitating an online community meeting for an esteemed community of group therapists.

Here’s an online definition of community:

com·mu·ni·ty
/kəˈmyo͞onədē/

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

As I’m looking at that definition, I’m thinking how important difference and diversity are (not just things shared in common) for enriching a community.

I’m planning on asking people questions during the online community meeting, like

  1. What does community mean to you?
  2. What gets in the way of community for you?
  3. What helps you connect to a community?

I’d also like to share the poem “community” by rupi kaur, which was featured in my previous blog post about community:

when the world comes crashing at your feet

it’s okay to let others

help pick up the pieces

if we’re present to take part in your happiness

when your circumstances are great

we are more than capable

of sharing your pain

Here‘s a video on rupi kaur  from the community of the Sikh Foundation of Canada.

 

Do any of my photos from yesterday relate to community?

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Because part of community is creating a safe enough space for others to participate, what are your thoughts and feelings about community?

I am grateful for all my communities, including this one!

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

Day 2741: Find the hearts in the post

Hello, dear hearts,

How many hearts can you find in this post?

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2740: I forgot

I forgot why I decided to call this post “I forgot.”

Wait!  I remember.

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I forgot to check the celebrity gossip yesterday. I also forgot to share yesterday’s Daily Bitch Calendar.

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I forgot to mention that I think there are many delicate balances in life.

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I forgot what that off-shore structure was for (if I ever knew), but I didn’t forget to take more photos of it yesterday for the amazing blogger Christopher Waldrop (who mentioned it in a comment about yesterday’s post).

I forgot that we bought a Breaking Bad  hat years ago.

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I forgot most of the episodes of Breaking Bad because I binge-watched them so I could watch the final episode with Michael and Aaron.

I forgot that we  bought a silver pen so that the star of Breaking BadBryan Cranston, could sign that hat, but he forgot to come out and meet fans after a performance of the play All the Way in Cambridge before its Broadway opening.  I forgot whether that was the only time he didn’t come out during the Cambridge run of the play, but I think so.

I forgot my cardiologist’s story about meeting Bryan Cranston, but I think it was a good one. (My cardiologist has SO MANY stories and I have so many stories about him.)

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I forgot to feel sad about Oscar’s cancer yesterday, because he is doing so well.

I forgot why yesterday was an all-day “New Event” in my calendar.

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Don’t forget: every day is an all-day new event.

I forgot whether the rest of my photos from yesterday fit today’s topic.

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I forgot to ask a question from that book in my Coping and Healing group yesterday.

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I forgot to take off those socks before my Coping and Healing group, but nobody could see them anyway.

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I forgot to practice keyboards.

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I forgot to read more of that excellent book about how the body remembers trauma.

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I forgot how the ocean looks so different, every friggin’ day.

 

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I forgot to remind you how awesome you are.

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I almost forgot to share that photo of Michael’s latest cooking masterpiece. I forgot to eat crunchy snacks yesterday because Michael’s vegetables are so satisfyingly crunchy.

I forgot all the details of this old Steve Martin routine.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and I never forget to express my gratitude to all my readers, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2739: It’s hard to see

It’s hard to see …

  • when this pandemic will end,
  • so many people ignoring social distancing rules,
  • all the deaths from COVID-19,
  • relief from the suffering,
  • all the social injustice,
  • when you have tears in your eyes,
  • all obstacles in our way,
  • the beauty of each moment,
  • into another’s heart,
  • the inappropriate behaviors of world leaders,
  • the state of the world,
  • who is going to save us,
  • what people are really thinking,
  • what animals are really thinking,
  • when you’re overwhelmed,
  • when you’re looking away,
  • when so many things are hidden,
  • when there are so many different perspectives,
  • when your glasses fog up, and
  • when the world is foggy.

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In case it’s hard to see what’s going on in this photo …

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… all but one of the balloons at CVS yesterday were masked. I said to Michael, “There’s one in every crowd.”

It’s hard to see any song I like on YouTube called “It’s Hard to See,” so here is “It’s Hard to be Human” by Kina Grannis instead.

It’s not hard to see why people would write these comments about that song:

Emma Anderson
6 days ago
Kina Grannis: The singer to soothe the nation.

Jasmine Her
6 days ago
I feel this song so much. I had literally been through a horrible rut since quarantine began. I’m starting to finally feel okay, trying to learn and grow.

Tabitha S-O
6 days ago
Well, I’ve been crying for a bit listening to this but it’s ok to feel my feelings

It’s hard to see how so many people don’t know it’s ok to feel their feelings.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know it’s not hard to see gratitude here.

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

Day 2738: Who counts?

In yesterday’s blog post, I asked the question “Who’s counting?” twice.

Today, as I am looking at others counting the horrific numbers of dead in the United States and around the world,  I’m asking, “Who counts?”

I don’t know how people in power would answer that question, but I do know how the people I love, respect, and count on would answer it.

Everybody counts.

Who counts in the phots I took yesterday?

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Who counts on love?  I do.

When I search YouTube for “Who Counts”,  I find this:

I count on you to watch that video and I count on you to vote.

Thanks to everybody who counts, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2737: Alone in the presence of others

Seven years ago (but who’s counting?), I created and published my other lone daily blog post with the title “Alone in the presence of others.”

In the presence of others, here and now, I notice that earlier blog post

  • focuses on group therapy,
  • has no photos, and
  • has no comments.

Since then, I’ve made a t-shirt that says,”Alone in the presence of others,” which seems even more relevant during these pandemic days.

We are always in the presence of others, even when we feel alone. There’s a beautiful group intervention about that in the incredible new series GROUP on YouTube. GROUP  features scripted characters, improvised interactions, and the renowned group therapist Elliot Ziesel, PhD as Dr. Ezra, the group leader. At the end of the first episode (at 14:31), there’s this exchange:

Karina: But the thing about unconditional love is that you can lose it.

Dr. Ezra: Unconditional love?

Karina:  Yes.

Dr. Ezra: How can you lose that?

Karina: My mother died.

Karina: You don’t continue to talk to her? She doesn’t continue to live inside you somewhere?

Karina: She does.

Dr. Ezra: She’s gone, but she’s not dead.

Yesterday, when I was alone in the presence of others, I …

  • watched several episodes of GROUP,
  • thought about my late mother and my late father,
  • communicated with my lone child, Aaron, who is in the presence of others 3,068 miles away in Edinburgh, Scotland (but who’s counting?),
  • told Aaron about GROUP, and
  • took all these photos:

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That delicious toasted quinoa was alone in the presence of others on my dinner plate last night, thanks to the presence of my dear husband Michael.

Would you like to be alone in the presence of others in the comments section, below?

Today’s expression of gratitude is alone in the presence of others.

 

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2736: Annoying

Is it annoying that

  • you can’t spell “Annoying” without “Ann”?
  • Ann likes to share the Daily Bitch Calendar?

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  • it’s going to get worse before it gets really worse before it gets better?
  • there are so many conflicting messages and predictions out there?
  • there’s so much litter out there?

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  • some people wear masks and others don’t?

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  • social distancing is so much easier some places than others?

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  • hope can be hard to find?

  • good hearts can be hard to find?

  • dogs and cats live such short lives compared to people?

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  • I get to enjoy Michael’s meals and you don’t?

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  • I sometimes put people in my blog without asking their permission (like Michael)?

However, I DID ask the wonderful Maddie Freeman’s permission if I could put this amazing performance of “Dusty Trails” in my blog, which features Maddie and Rohini Rege on vocals, Caroline Rosa on vocals and guitar, and Leslie Wolf and Maddie’s fiancé Michael Friedman on strings.

Is it annoying that I’m linking here to the other blog post where Maddie makes an appearance?

What IS annoying to you?

If you find gratitude annoying, get ready to be annoyed.

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

Day 2735: For now

For now,

  • Oscar seems to be feeling better, perhaps due to his steroid medication,
  • friends and family seem to be well,
  • I am not suffering,
  • a lot of people are in pain,
  • I am facilitating a telehealth version of my Coping and Healing groups five times every week,
  • I am using the word “mute” and “unmute” way too often,
  • I’m working from home for the foreseeable future,
  • I am still President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy,
  • pasta is still my favorite food,
  • the weather in Boston is beautiful,
  • I am living near the water,
  • most people in my neighborhood are wearing masks when they are outside,
  • I see a lot of white male rage,

  • I love Melissa Villasenõr,
  • I believe in skill, perseverance, flexibility,  and luck,
  • I was inexplicably able to fix an inexplicable and annoying display change on my laptop,
  • when somebody calls me “annoying” or any other critical label, I have trouble letting go of that,
  • I think saying “hello” and “goodbye” are both very important,
  • focusing on the future often raises anxiety,
  • I’m trying to avoid fortune telling, mind reading, and the other cognitive distortions,
  • I prefer to live in the now,
  • I am very grateful for all that I have, and
  • I am sharing all my photos from yesterday.

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For now and forever, I don’t drink wine because I’m on Coumadin for the rest of my life. For now, I am totally fine with that.

For now, I need to end this post and get ready for work, so thanks to all who helped me create another “For Now” post, including YOU!

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

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