Monthly Archives: August 2021

Day 3165: Cats

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved cats.

My mother, who was very neat, did not want pets in the house, so she resisted my requests for a cat. Also, because she had a dog growing up, she couldn’t understand why I wanted a cat rather than a dog.

I couldn’t explain it to her. I just felt a connection when I looked into the eyes of a cat. I was fascinated by them, and encountering a cat anywhere always made me happy.

One day, when I was about seven years old, my father brought home a stray cat, a small tiger kitty, who had wandered into his store. I was beyond thrilled. My mother didn’t want the cat in the house so my new kitty was relegated to the garage. I remember spending hours watching that cat eat and play in the garage, so happy to finally have one.

Soon though, the cat escaped from the garage. I remember searching desperately through the neighborhood, crying as I called out for my lost kitty. When I got home, I found that my parents were frantic about my being gone so long.

My parents were particularly worried about me because I was born with a heart condition. My heart condition really needed a pacemaker, but pacemakers hadn’t been invented when I was born in 1953.

Soon after the cat in the garage ran away, I had to go into the hospital more and more as my condition got worse. The doctors tried different treatments, including yucky medication I had to take under my tongue, which speeded up my heart but made me feel really sick.

Then, when I was in the hospital for observation at age 10, I had a heart stoppage. The doctors decided to implant a pacemaker, which they had been avoiding because pacemakers were so new and really too big for a small kid like me.

When I woke up from the heart surgery that was required to implant pacemakers back then, I said to my mother, “What have I got to look forward to if I don’t have a cat?” Tears streaming down her face, she promised me a cat.

After I had recovered enough from my surgery (which by the way, was on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was killed), my dad took me to the local vet, who had several cats there for adoption. I chose the shyest one, who was a calico kitty I named Tuffy.

Tuffy was definitely my “personal medicine,” helping me heal and be tough enough to endure the many surgeries I needed to undergo as my pacemakers broke in every conceivable way.

Since then, I often choose shy cats who remind me of Tuffy. Our cat Harley is one of those cats. Harley, even though I feed him every morning, much prefers my husband Michael. Harley avoids me when he can, although he sometimes affords me the privilege of patting him for two seconds. Mostly, he run away from me, like I’m the enemy.

Our new cat, Joan, is not shy. I chose her because she gets along with cats, humans, AND dogs. My husband Michael loves dogs so I’m thinking there MIGHT be a dog in our future. And because Joan is not an alpha cat, she and Harley get along surprisingly well.

Joan is very rambunctiousness and always wants to play. Harley tolerates that, keeping her away with a hiss when he wants more personal space.

Last weekend, Joan invaded my personal space, clawing my nose when she wanted to wake me at 2 AM. Because I take anticoagulant medication (required because of the mechanical heart valve I got in 2016), Joan gave me a nose bleed that just wouldn’t quit.

So here I am, in the second week of my long-awaited vacation from work, stuck at home with a painful balloon up my nose and two cats.

And you know what? I still love cats and always will.

Do you see any cats in my images for today?

I was kind of hoping that today would be National Cat Day, but to us cat lovers, EVERY day is cat day.

I wonder if I’ll find anything on YouTube if I search for “cats”?

Thanks to all the cool cats who have helped me get through the tough days, including YOU.

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

Day 3164: Healing energy

I think we all could use some healing energy right now. That’s why I tweeted this last night:

I’m sending healing energy to all who could use it, here and now, including myself and you.

Do you see healing energy in my other images for today?

I find healing energy in acknowledging grief about losses while also being open to change and renewal.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “healing energy.”

I look forward to the healing energy of your comments.

As always, there is healing energy in gratitude, so many thanks to you.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3163: Say Yes to the Mess

“Say Yes to the Mess” is something I put on a t-shirt years ago.

I chose to wear that t-shirt yesterday, partly because we’re all imperfectly messy human beings, trying to deal with the mess we’ve made — climate change, racism, pandemics, wars, etc. etc.

Little did I know that I would be wearing that same t-shirt to the Emergency Room this morning because of the first nosebleed I’ve ever gotten in my life, which started last night at 2 AM and is showing no signs of abating as I’m writing this.

What a mess!

I’ve had no choice but to say yes to many messes in my life. Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I like the messes; saying “yes” means I accept the reality of them and do my best to deal with them while staying positive. It also means accepting the intrinsic messiness of being alive while figuring out the next achievable step to move forward.

Let’s say yes to the mess in today’s images as I wait for a doctor to show up to stop my current mess.

A doctor just came in and we’re figuring out a way to say yes to this mess and to get me home soon!

Say yes to a mess of gratitude from me to you!

Categories: health care, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 3162: How many?

How many …

  • blog posts will I write?
  • tweets will I send?
  • days until I get back to work after vacation?
  • cats are enough?
  • years have I been working as a group therapist?
  • wishes have come true?
  • hopes have been dashed?
  • losses can we bear?
  • comforts can we find?
  • people can we trust?
  • days before we will have peace?
  • questions will I ask?
  • answers will be given?
  • images are in this post?

How many ways might you celebrate this precious day?

How many people would see a show with trained rescue cats and how many people will watch this video I took last night of the Amazing Acro-cats performing in the same theater where my son Aaron played John Wilkes Booth in a performance of Sondheim’s “Assassins”?

How many people were wearing masks in the audience? All of them.

How many comments will I get on this blog post?

How many times have I expressed gratitude for you in this blog? Thousands and thousands of times.

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

Day 3161: Just because

Just because I’m on vacation, I’m just taking my time, just relaxing, and just capturing images like these:

Just because I just took this video on National Just Because Day, I’m going to share it with you.

Just because I love Pat Metheny, I’m going to share this tune I was listening to yesterday.

Just because I created this blog post, I feel ready for the day ahead.

Just because I love to hear from you, please consider leaving a comment, below.

I always end these posts with gratitude, jus because.

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

Day 3160: How not to be wrong

How not to be wrong starting a blog post? I’m just repeating today’s title and letting it flow from there.

“How Not to Be Wrong” is one of the books I’m reading/not reading on my two-week vacation from work.

Personally, I think I spend too much time thinking about how not to be wrong, which can inhibit what I say and do. These days, I’m embracing mistakes as learning experiences and spending less time worrying about the consequences of being wrong.

Granted, it’s very important for us not to be wrong about our health and safety — for ourselves and others. For example, if I forget to take my Coumadin and if I don’t eat a consistent amount of vitamin K, my mechanical heart valve might clog and fail. So I need to think about not being wrong about THAT every day. Also, there are a lot of creatures that depend on me, so I don’t want to be wrong in such a way that jeopardizes their future.

However, I’m not wrong about knowing myself well enough to choose to focus on accepting that I WILL be wrong, every day, and that not every mistake will result in disaster.

Do you see any examples of how not to be wrong in my other images for today?

How not to be wrong on August 26, 2021 MIGHT include having a cherry popsicle, but I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that women’s equality day should be every day.

By the way, usually I spend more time arranging the order of the images in my blog posts — is it wrong that today I’m not worrying about how not to be wrong in creating a good enough post for you?

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “how not to be wrong”:

How not to be wrong about guessing how much time you have to watch a video today:

How not to be wrong about sharing your thoughts and feelings about any of my blog posts? Leave a comment, below.

How not to be wrong about any interaction with other people? Express gratitude when you can.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3159: Making Meaning

As we humans make our way through life, we often try making meaning of our experience and existence.

This morning, I tried making meaning soon after I woke up by sending out this tweet:

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Almost immediately, somebody on Twitter helped me make meaning by replying with this:

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For me, making meaning also includes capturing images and sharing them with you here.

As the Daily Bitch knows, our parents are a major part of our making meaning.

I’ll try making making more meaning of this post by including the two YouTube videos ( here and here) I shared on Twitter yesterday:

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How are you making meaning these days?

For me, making meaning always involves gratitude, so thanks to all who help me make this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 3158: Human

In therapy, whenever somebody assigns a negative label to themselves — like lazy, unworthy, stupid, selfish, or bad — I suggest they replace that label with one word. Human.

I’m grateful this the human writing this blog is getting a break from work so she can feel more human and ready to deal with the pain of many humans when she returns in two weeks.

Last night, with humans I love, I saw comedian John Mulaney do a very human stand-up routine in Boston, in which he talked about his friends’ intervention into his drug use, his treatment, and many other human experiences. After the show, my son Aaron, my niece Victoria, and I shared our gratitude for witnessing a much more human, darker, deeper, and still hilarious John Mulaney.

It’s only human that I want to share a few quotes about being human, here and now.

Here are the other human images I choose to share with you today.

If you’re human, you need a break, and it’s only human to waffle and enjoy pie.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “human”:

I look forward to your human comments, below.

This human ends every post with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create this daily human blog, including YOU!

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

Day 3157: Clearing your mind

Minds can get so cluttered up with fear, worry, judgment, guilt, shame, dread, distractions, self-consciousness, regrets, assumptions, cognitive distortions, other people’s behaviors and thoughts, the past, the future, and SO ON, that clearing your mind is an important skill.

I’ll be working on clearing my mind as I start my two-week vacation from work. Over-thinking is an old habit for me, so here and now I’m clearing my mind of everything except the current task, which is to create today’s blog post.

In each moment, I am taking a breath and letting go of any distractions (of which there are many).

Do any of today’s images help in clearing your mind?

As I’m clearing my mind for National Ride the Wind Day, how are you clearing your mind?

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “clearing your mind”:

I also find this:

If you do have thoughts and feelings about this clearing-your-mind post, try clearing your mind of them by leaving them in a comment, below.

Clearing my mind still leaves room for gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create this mind-clearing daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3156: My brain on vacation

My brain — and the rest of me — is on vacation until September 7.

Because of the kind of work I do (I’m a clinical social worker specializing in group therapy), my brain really needs a vacation.

Because of all the pain and suffering out there, I need to work really hard to get my brain on vacation.

Do you see evidence of my brain on vacation in my images for today?

My brain is on vacation, so I have no idea how I’m going to celebrate this precious day.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “my brain on vacation”:

My brain on vacation still looks forward to your comments and is always grateful for YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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