Despite the title of today’s post, I have no retirement plans, even though I’m well past the traditional age for retirement. I love my work as a group therapist in a large Boston teaching hospital, so when people ask me about my retirement plans, I say “no plans to retire” and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly non-retiring, I say, “No retirement plans and when I die, I’d like to have my body stuffed and put in the group room, so I can be THAT kind of therapist.” To illustrate those plans, I get into a typical silent-therapist-listening pose, kind of like this:
Some people think that’s funny, others find it disturbing, and I have no plans to retire that line.
So why is today’s post titled “retirement plans”? I planned that title because of today’s Daily Bitch …
… and because my ex-brother-in-law Joe …
— shown there in an unplanned portrait with my ex-sister-in-law Deborah and their adorable English Setter, Lake — told me yesterday he would like to retire to their lovely home in Connecticut.
I also have no retirement plans regarding this daily blog, so I hope you enjoy today’s typically unplanned post, containing all the photos I snapped yesterday while connecting in Connecticut at Deborah and Joe’s home, at the nearby Harkness Memorial State Park, and at a local restaurant.
I hope the New London restaurant On the Waterfront has no plans to retire their delicious avocado salad, which was a special on the menu last night. My plan last night was to treat Deborah and Joe to to their first meal in a restaurant since the global pandemic changed all our plans a year and a half ago, and those plans worked out very well indeed.
My very good friend Megan, who has appeared in several moving blog posts (including here, here,here, here, here, here, here, and here) is moving to Connecticut with her beautiful family. Yesterday, I got moving in my little yellow car to say goodbye to Megan in person.
Megan and I hugged each other twice yesterday, which was very moving after all these months of moving through this hugless and otherwise horrifying pandemic.
Megan and I are telling each other that her moving away doesn’t matter. We will stay friends no matter how life is moving us. We will be moving to other kinds of communication, including regular zooming.
I know that Megan and her family are moving on to better opportunities and I am truly happy for her. And yet, I had trouble moving through a sense of loss yesterday, knowing that Megan would be moving further away. As I said to her yesterday “It has helped so much knowing you’re nearby” and what’s always so moving to me is that Megan ALWAYS gets me. We both spoke about moving through and accepting all of our feelings about her moving. We said we were “happy sad” while moving through her neighborhood on a walk.
Now it’s time for me to be moving on to the other photos I took while I was moving through yesterday:
The Daily Bitch helps me as I’m moving through these moving days, especially when I’m feeling bitchy.
I didn’t snap a photo of Megan yesterday as we were moving through our feelings and her neighborhood, but I’m sure if I spend a little time moving through the almost 41,000 photos I have on my phone that I’ll find one to share with you now.
Megan told me yesterday that she and her family are moving next month to a new home within walking distance of a beach. After staying there for a year, they might be moving to another new home on the campus of the school where her husband Paul will be working. If they will be moving to that new home, they will need to host some parties for people during the year and also maintain that house’s skating pond, which means that I might be getting moving pictures in the future of Paul, Megan, and their two children moving around on a Zamboni.
If you don’t know what a Zamboni is, let me see if I can find one moving around on the internet.
Motifs (defined in this article about Motif No. 1 in Rockport as themes within a work of art that often repeat themselves) which often repeat themselves in this daily blog include the following:
the here and now,
Yesterday, several of those motifs were in play as my lifelong friend Deb and I revisited Rockport and other environs close to our shared hometown of Swampscott. Deb and I saw Motif No. 1 — “the most often painted building in America” (or maybe the world!) — and many other motifs on an incredibly beautiful and hopefully reopening day.
What motifs do you see in today’s images?
Cats are definitely a motif in this blog.
This photo …
… reminds me of a motif in my conversation with Deb yesterday, when we came up with an idea for a new game show called “Awesome or A-hole” in which people would try to guess as quickly as possible whether somebody was one or the other. The background motif for this conversation in Deb’s car were other Massachusetts drivers, often called “Massholes.”
Other motifs in this blog are ice cream and clarity, and I wanted to clarify that this …
… is a “kiddie cone,” which made no sense to me until Deb pointed out that the cone itself was kiddie-sized, even if the ice cream on top of it wasn’t.
YouTube videos are another motif in this blog, so here and here are two videos about Rockport …
Please be patient with others and especially with yourself.
Please be patient because we all hurry and we all judge too quickly.
Please be patient as I reveal the inspiration for today’s post.
Please be patient as I look up quotes about patience. I hope you have the patience and the time to read through all of them.
Do you have the patience to look for the missing “to” (which I impatiently noticed immediately) in one of those many quotes about patience above?
For a long time, I’ve been working on the patience to tolerate mistakes in myself and others. Because I’ve been a patient in many hospitals due to my rare heart condition — and therefore reliant on the medical perfection of strangers — I can easily become impatient with mistakes.
Please be patient as I share my other images for today.
My husband Michael has had the patience to strip every bit of old stain from our deck before he applies the new stain, which won’t be delivered until Thursday, despite our impatient wish that it be delivered the day before.
This is just another opportunity to practice patience.
I was patient enough to find the song “Patient” by Apollo LTD, a duo from Nashville, Tennessee.
Please be patient as you look through all my expressions of gratitude for those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.
Two nights ago, when my very busy brain woke me up and prevented me from getting back to sleep, I tweeted this …
I received very many helpful responses about very busy brains.
My very busy brain did come up with this mantra a month ago: “I am at peace. We are all one, connected.“ However, when my very busy brain is interfering with my sleep, I have trouble remembering it! This reminds me of the very first time I ever noticed the very busy Jeff Goldblum.
Do you see evidence of very busy brains in my other images for today?
Just like Scorpio Rising …
… I calm my very busy brain by spending time in nature and photographing it. Here are some photos I took within 20 busy miles from where I grew up:
Very busy brains tend to go into the future, often with worry about what will be. We need to refocus, over and over again, on the precious present moment.
My very-busy-brained husband, Michael, suggested yesterday that we calm our very busy brains by committing, once again, to no worry for a year. We tried that once before, starting in April 2019, and, unfortunately, our brains got very busy with worry in March of 2020, when I and very many other people came down with COVID.
Do any other very busy brains want to join me and Michael in committing to no worry for a year?
My very busy brain goes into the future and the past, so here’s one of my very favorite TV show theme songs from the distant past:
My very busy brain looks forward to some very busy activity in the comments section, below.
Finally, here’s some very busy gratitude for all who help me create these very busy posts, including YOU!
While I was listening to “Windows” and looking at windows yesterday, I was thinking about how I did not see any houses — with windows or without — in all my miles and miles of walking in Nashville earlier this week. And this gave me a window into my priorities: for some reason, I need to be around houses with windows. So even though my first Lyft driver in Nashville — who was probably talking to me through a plexiglass window — told me I would never, ever want to leave Nashville, I was actually ready to return on Thursday to the windows of my neighborhood near Boston.
If I do return to Nashville again, it will be to revisit fellow blogger extraordinaire, Chris Waldrop, seen here holding an Elliston Place Soda Shop milkshake in front of a background of windows:
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, what do Chris’s eyes tell you? They tell me he is an open, engaging, bright, caring, sharing, friendly, funny, and all-around fabulous human being.
Now I’d like to give you a window into our conversation on Wednesday: Chris told me he had some discomfort with compliments and I told him that the people who deserve compliments are often uncomfortable with them — which provides an interesting window into human nature.
I hope you like windows as much as I do, because all the photos I took yesterday have windows in them.
That sign on a nearby Post Office window gives you a window into the minds of New Englanders.
Here are some quotes about windows:
I hope you’ll be sharing your thoughts and feelings about this “Windows” post in the comments section, below.
This is my window of opportunity to express thanks to all who help me blog every day, including YOU!
New places can be scary, so when I travelled to Nashville earlier this week, I took along this book:
On the plane, which is one of the places that scares people, I read that wise and wonderful book. I didn’t go to any of the places that scare me, including the news and the catastrophizing part of my mind.
Do you see places that scare you in any of my images for today?
Despite that message I recently got on my phone, freethinkers anonymous.com — the fabulous blogging place of Chris Waldrop, my brother from another mother — is not a place that scares me.
Here are some places I find on YouTube when I search for “the places that scare you”:
I hope the comments section of this blog is not a place that scares you.
No matter what places I go to these days, I go there with less fear and more gratitude, so thanks for joining me in this place today.
… when I was in the midst of activities that met my highest standards, including a highest standards walking tour of Nashville conducted by the very entertaining and insightful Ryan.
I told Ryan that he met my highest standards for tour guides, and that I thought he would make a highest standards stand-up comic or group therapist, because he is so funny, really knows how to read people, and remains true to his values.
Speaking of group therapists, when Ryan pointed out that Chet Atkins was a c.g.p….
… I considered that Chet might have been a Certified Group Psychotherapist like me, but, of course, he was a Certified Guitar Player of the highest standards.
Ryan’s highest standards recommendation for Chet Atkins was “Yankee Doodle Dixie,” which sounds like two guitarists playing at the same time instead of a single highest standard one.
Ryan also meets my highest standards for thoughtful responsiveness, because when I texted him last night when I couldn’t remember the Chet Atkins tune he mentioned during the tour, he sent me the link above.
I hope these other photos from Ryan’s highest standards walking tour meet your highest standards.
After the walking tour with Ryan, I finally met fellow blogger Chris Waldrop, who meets my highest standards for writing and communications of all kind.
There’s Chris, enjoying a highest standards milkshake at the famous Elliston Place Soda Shop, which re-opened on Tuesday after months and months of the COVID pandemic, which met nobody’s highest standards. Chris and I had highest standards conversations yesterday about topics including how we met our spouses, cats, dogs, Nashville, work, priorities, decisions, losses, challenges, health, catastrophizing, conflict, compliments, unfairness, our childhoods, people’s reactions to us, story-telling, the strangeness of in-person meetings, and, of course, blogging. Because we meet each other’s highest standards for human beings, Chris and I agreed to be friends for life.
I hope these other photos I took during my precious time spent with Chris meet your highest standards.
Chris meets my highest standards in so many ways, and I hope he, his wife Holly (who is camera-shy like my highest standards husband Michael) and their adorable Dalmatians visit Boston some day.
For my last night in Nashville, I found a restaurant that meets my highest standards — Margot Cafe and Bar.
My Lyft driver to Margo Cafe and Bar …
..: Anthony a/k/a Majikmanheru, told me I met his highest standards this particular way: I was his first passenger ever who looked like their photo.
Here’s Ian at Margot Cafe and Bar …
… who met my highest standards as a server by recommending the two most delicious items on the menu: the endive beet salad and the duck.
I hope you can tell by my clean plates that both met my highest standards for fresh ingredients prepared superbly.
While I couldn’t finish the banana and chocolate cake …
… it still met my highest standards.
I’ve been so busy enjoying my days in Nashville that I forgot to include the highest standards Daily Bitch calendar, so here’s what you missed:
I’m flying back today to my highest standards home by the bay near Boston to rejoin Michael and our highest standards cat Harley (who definitely does not have rabies, because he always stays indoors).
In case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed all my experiences of highest standard American hospitality in Nashville.
In conclusion, please accept my highest standards thanks to all who helped me create today‘s blog and — of course — to my highest standards readers, including YOU!
Yesterday, while I was spending many hours exploring Nashville, I heard myself distinctly say out loud “That’s my title for tomorrow’s blog!” when I distinctly saw this:
Nashville seems to be distinctly in its own category. I am having trouble distinctly comparing it to any other place I’ve been.
If you have any assumptions about Nashville, I would distinctly recommend that you let go of them. During a bus tour I took yesterday, the guide distinctly corrected common misconceptions about Nashville:
Country music is not the top selling music in Nashville — gospel is.
The person who first called Nashville “Music City USA” was Queen Victoria, because she was so impressed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1873.
The biggest industry in Nashville is not music but rather health care.
The tour guide distinctly shared many other interesting facts about Nashville, but I was distinctly distracted by my mask blowing away under the seats in front of me as we drove over the distinctly windy Cumberland River. I kept trying to find it (“where the hell did it go?!?” I distinctly said to myself over and over again) while also remaining seated and trying to pay attention to what the driver was distinctly saying. I do distinctly remember him saying that in Nashville, macaroni and cheese was considered a vegetable, and he distinctly made fun of the public art we saw from the bus and especially how much it cost. I distinctly didn’t take any photos of the art or anything else I saw on that bus tour because my phone was distinctly running out of power.
At the end of the tour, I was distinctly relieved when a big family sitting near the front located my mask for me. I distinctly remember them telling me how much they liked it, probably because of the distinct smile of the Mona Lisa, which you can distinctly see in this photo from yesterday’s blog.
Which of these following photos seem distinctly Nashville?
I distinctly remember telling Bridget …
and Randall …
… that I was going to mention them in today’s blog, and now I have distinctly done so.
Here’s a brief documentary about the Fisk Jubilee singers, who inspired Queen Victoria to assign Nashville its distinct title of “Music City, USA.”
I am distinctly grateful to all the distinct aspects of Nashville and to you!