Day 3177: A pat on the back

I think we all deserve a pat on the back for getting through months of this pandemic, as well as other soul-sucking challenges that could easily break our backs.

Not to pat myself on the back too much, but my job as a group therapist for a major Boston medical center is important and also very stressful. I’m feeling more stressed than unusual today because I’ll be returning there in-person one day a week, starting tomorrow. In response to the stress, I’ve developed a new nervous habit — scratching myself on the back. This morning, I decided to transform that into a more adaptive habit: whenever I notice that I am scratching my back, I will consciously pat myself on the back instead.

Do you think I deserve a pat on the back for that helpful transformation or for any of the images I’m choosing to share today?

Patting oneself on the back takes practice, so I am now going to pat myself on the back for keeping several awesome friendships over the years.

Also, when I look at the National Days for today …

… I notice that several are related to giving pats on the back.

I’m also patting myself on the back for choosing to spend part of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday by listening to the uplifting score of Come From Away — the musical based on the true stories of the planes that were rerouted to remote Gander, Newfoundland after the Twin Tower attacks.

I think the creators of Come From Away should pat themselves on the back for transforming the pain of that day into such a deep, compelling, and healing work of art. Here’s a number from the show plus a recent interview on Good Morning America :

How can you pat yourself on the back, here and now?

Finally, I will pat myself on the back again for sharing my thoughts, feelings, and gratitude with wonderful people who have my back every day, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Day 3177: A pat on the back

  1. Pat, pat, pat. Thought I give you a hand. So tricky to give yourself the well deserved pats.

  2. I’m pleased you can reach the spot – take a pat for that

  3. a collective pat on the back for all – we are still standing and doing the best we can

  4. Here’s a pat on the back for all that you do for so many, Ann. I notice that Joan can’t give herself a lick on the back or other parts for a bit with her new cat shade. I hope it helps her behavior!

  5. I am really glad to hear that you are patting yourself on the back. You deserve it! And maybe I do, too? I’m going to give it a try.

    Let’s hope that everyone who approaches that ferret can read English. I think they might want to put a glass barrier between the ferret and the ferret’s human friends.

    I haven’t seen Come from Away but would like to.

    Although we live on the opposite coast from Gander and in a big city, our family ended up hosting two people for several days as a result of the stranding of the planes. They had just arrived for a cruise ship vacation when all the planes were grounded. The cruise ship decided not to unload their passengers because their passengers could not depart by air. Therefore the people who were to get on the cruise ships that day were stranded. This is tens of thousands of people. The hotels were full. We ended up with two very lovely people.

  6. Ferrets absolutely terrify me and I’ve felt like patting myself on the back the few times I’ve held one. I think we all deserve a pat on the back for doing things that scare us, and right now that includes going back to work in person. And Joan deserves a pat on the back for wearing that cone.

  7. puella33

    i wish you a nice day back at your physical work place, An

  8. I can give myself a pat on the back, however, t don’t let anyone else do it under any circumstance.

    • Because that’s your choice!

      • A pat on the back is not necessarily negative, but it comes inadvertently, and from the ‘back’ which is what I dislike about it. I’m probably wrong though because well-meaning people can sometimes do it because that’s what they know and learned.

  9. “I”

  10. I prefer a pat on the shoulder and from the front.

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