Monthly Archives: March 2022

Day 3367: Heaven

Heaven, for me, would include

  • people I love,
  • animals I love,
  • music,
  • beautiful scenery,
  • peace,
  • no pain,
  • no injustice,
  • unlimited pasta, and
  • no waiting.

I’m including “no waiting” on that list because I’m currently waiting for four important people to get back to me. In the meantime, I’m trying to create my own heaven on earth by letting go of any anxiety about outcomes as I wait.

Do you see heaven in my images for today?

I assume that somebody’s idea of heaven includes clams on the half shell and/or taters.

Here’s a song about heaven from John Prine.

I have to finish this blog post now because I have an 8 AM appointment with my dentist. Heaven, for me, would include no dental work but lots of people like Dr. Del Castillo.

Thanks to all who help make this place a heaven on earth for me, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3366: Assumptions

I’m assuming I’ve written about assumptions before. That’s because so many people assume and if you’ve heard the joke about people who assume and asses and you and me, you could assume that assumptions can get us into trouble.

Do you have any assumptions about why I’m writing about this today?

Somebody posted that on Twitter yesterday and I assume this is relevant, here and now, because assumptions are everywhere. I assume that if I look at the news, I’ll find assumptions wreaking havoc all around the world.

Now I’m checking my assumption that there are some great quotes about assumptions.

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Do you have any assumptions about the rest of my images for today?

I have no assumptions about why March 30 is such an action-packed National Day. My assumption is that I could take a walk in the park on National Virtual Vacation Day because I’m working virtually from home and I’m off on Wednesday afternoons. However, because assumptions often don’t come true (which I assume you’ve gleaned from this post), I may not be in control on National I Am in Control Day.

If you looked at all of my images above, I assume that this song might be going through your head:

I don’t have any assumptions about what kinds of comments I’m going to get about this “assumptions” post.

Regular readers of this blog probably have assumptions about my ending this post with gratitude, and they’re right!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3365: Asking for help

Asking for help is difficult for me and for most people I know.

Why is asking for help so difficult? Is it

  • the wish to be independent?
  • based on bad experiences asking for help in the past?
  • the fear of rejection?
  • a fear of bothering others?
  • wanting to avoid unpleasant feelings in oneself and in other people?
  • a belief in the fragility of relationships?
  • counter to one’s self image as a helper to others?
  • an inability to find the right time and the right words?

Rather than ask for help, I will go to long and elaborate lengths to solve and accomplish things on my own. When I consider asking for help, I imagine other people’s negative reactions in words and facial expressions. When I do ask for help, I often preface it with “I have trouble asking for help.”

I feel like I need to ask for help in understanding why it is sooooo difficult to ask for help, considering that when I do ask for help, it usually turns out okay. Nevertheless, what sticks in my mind are the times that asking for help did not go well.

Help!

Last night on Twitter, I asked about what people had trouble asking for, and a vast majority of the hundreds of people answering said “help.”

Does it help to know you are not alone if you have trouble asking for help?

I’m relieved that I don’t have to ask for help in gathering and sharing my images for today.

We don’t have to get our lives in order in order to ask for help, you know.

I didn’t need help finding helpful videos to share today, including this

… and especially this:

Now I’m asking for help, specifically your comments about this post.

See? (I am saying to myself.) That wasn’t so difficult!

Thanks to all who help me maintain the confidence to create and share this blog every day, including YOU!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 3364: Mastering the unknown

If you want to know about mastering the unknown, look no further than the message on this teabag:

It’s unknown to my deep self who writes those teabag sayings, but Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea is the most masterful tea I’ve ever known. It was recommended to me by another group therapist years ago and even though I myself don’t like licorice, I tried it and have deeply enjoyed it ever since.

While I was drinking that tea and watching the Oscars, my deep self (which was missing our late cat Oscar, who would always watch the Oscars with me) sent out this tweet:

It was unknown at that point that somebody was about to slap somebody else at the Oscars. It was also unknown to me that some guy on Twitter was going to lecture me for asking such a frivolous question while Putin was acting out on the world stage.

Something (perhaps my deep self) tells me it’s time to share the other images I collected yesterday, which may connect in unknown ways.

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My deep self knows that there are unknowns about National Weed Appreciation day, so I’m sharing this:

It is unknown to me what I’ll find when I search YouTube for “mastering the unknown.”

Before I try to master the unknowns ahead of me today, my deep self wants to express gratitude to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3363: Responsible

I’m responsible for taking this photo yesterday.

That got me thinking: Who IS responsible for damage?

I’m responsible for having conflicting thoughts about this question.

If we focus on blame (which is also a cognitive distortion), that can get in the way of moving forward with next steps for solutions. But if we don’t take responsibility, we’re likely to remain stuck in old patterns.

Maybe we can be responsible for our own lives — mistakes and all — AND resist getting stuck in blame and finger-pointing.

Who’s responsible for the images in today’s post?

People sometimes ask me who’s responsible for those National and International Days, and the truth is that I don’t know. But I’m celebrating National Scribble Day by being responsible for this daily scribble of a blog.

When I search for “Responsible” I find this

… and the original, “Le Responsable” by Jacques Dutronc.

I’m responsible for expressing my thanks to all who helped me create this post, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3362: What is it? And why

What is it and why did I take a photo of this yesterday?

I took that photo in CVS because it spoke to me. I ask lots of questions on Twitter and maybe I’ll ask that someday.

What is it with me and why did I ask this question last night on Twitter?

What is it about these questions that have no answers and why don’t they?

What is it and why did I not tape my husband Michael driving our cat Joan crazy yesterday by whispering “what is it? What is it? What is it?” over and over again when she was on top of the microwave?

What is it and why does Joan flail around so much when Michael is whispering “What is it? What is it? What is it?” to her?

What is it and why do I share so many images on my blog?

What is it and why do these National Days exist? What is National Spinach Day and why is that every day for me? It’s because I need to eat the same amount of Vitamin K daily as I take Coumadin because of my mechanical heart valve, and I do that by eating spinach.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “what is it and why.”

What is it and why am I saying thank you?

It’s because I’m grateful to all who help me blog every day, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 3361: Stop thinking altogether

Thinking hasn’t really been helping me lately, so I’m identifying with today’s Daily Bitch Calendar.

I’m going to stop thinking altogether that

  • my worst fears are going to come true,
  • my fondest wishes are going to come true,
  • I have any way of accurately predicting the future,
  • I have any way of accurately knowing what anyone else is thinking, and
  • thinking will bring me peace.

I’ve stopped thinking altogether anxiously about the future by filling in the blanks of this:

Don’t go to _____ until you’re going to _____.

Examples: “Don’t go to work until you’re going to work.” “Don’t go to the vet until you’re going to the vet.” “Don’t go to the open mic until you’re going to the open mic.”

This altogether stops me from thinking about possible outcomes, which never match what actually happens.

Stop thinking altogether as you enjoy my images for today.

I’ve stopped thinking altogether about Lobster Newburg by remembering this song I wrote a few years ago — “What Are Other People Thinking About You?”

If you’re thinking I need to get my act all together and create better recordings of my songs, my son Aaron (who is now my manager) altogether agrees.

I’m stopping this post by expressing my gratitude to all who have stopped by my blog today, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 3360: Focus

The focus of today’s blog post comes from the Daily Bitch Calendar.

Now my focus is on wondering what would make a kick-ass obituary. I’m working on it.

Lately, my focus has been on radical acceptance and appreciating each moment for what it is. What’s been helping me with this focus is a question suggested by Michael Singer in “The Untethered Soul.” When I am overthinking something, I ask myself, “What part of me is disturbed by this?”

The focus of my answer to that question is usually “the part of me that is afraid to trust others and myself.”

Now, let’s focus on my images for today (which I hope are in focus).

The focus of the National Day Calendar for today is eating and drinking.

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

Now I’m going to focus on gratitude for all who help me blog every day, including YOU!

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

Day 3359: What brings you joy?

In my Coping and Healing groups (which bring me joy), people have been talking about being overwhelmed by the news, fears about the future, loss, medical issues, grief, uncertainties, tasks, unknowns, obligations, other people, and possessions. Regarding the latter, several people have brought up Marie Kondo and her advice to keep only the things that bring you joy.

During these anxious and depressing times, it can be very difficult to focus on the things that bring us joy, but I’m doing my best to bring it, every moment.

Do any of my images today bring you joy?

No matter how I’m feeling, Joan definitely brings me joy (among other things).

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “what brings you joy.”

I am grateful for all those that bring me joy, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3358: What’s wrong with you

Today’s blog title is brought to you by The Daily Bitch Calendar.

I’m smiling at that calendar now. Is that wrong?

As a therapist, I’ve heard many people ask the question “What’s wrong with me?” Often, I respond like this:

“What’s wrong with you? Nothing. And that’s the wrong question.”

Yesterday, I was feeling like something was wrong with me, as I took in so much of what was wrong with the world. I started focusing on the wrong in me and in others, including my husband Michael. After a rough day when so many things went wrong, we were sitting in silence at the dinner table. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing and make anything more wrong between us.

Finally. I said, “Michael?” He replied, “Yes, Ann?” And then I said something I used to think was wrong for a humble person to say:

“I’m awesome.”

Michael laughed and agreed and suddenly what was wrong was right again.

What’s wrong or right with my other images for today?

What’s wrong with you if you feel like goofing off on National Goof Off Day? Nothing.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “what’s wrong with you.”

What’s wrong with expressing gratitude to all who help me blog every day, including you?

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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