Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

I'm a clinical social worker at a major teaching hospital, specializing in group therapy.

Day 2574: Be Nice!

Yesterday, I heard a nice presentation by the very nice  Woody Giessmann,  founder of Right Turn, which provides innovative, creativity-based treatment for addictions. It’s nice that Woody was inspired to create Right Turn after his personal experience with addiction when he was the drummer for the Boston 1980s band The Del Fuegos. It’s extremely nice that the Del Fuegos reunited in 2011 at the Paradise to raise money for Right Turn.

Now I’m going to be nice and share a photo from Woody’s presentation:

fullsizeoutput_3f53.jpeg

While I watched Woody be nice in his presentation,  I decided that our beliefs about treatment were so nicely similar that we were “siblings from other parents.” After his presentation, I told him that and also said that it would be nice if I could visit Right Turn during my nice week off from work, later this month.  It was nice that

  • Woody agreed and
  • was nice enough to take my card about this blog.

Here are other nice photos from yesterday, in nice chronological order:

IMG_0074.JPG

IMG_0075.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f51.jpeg

IMG_0079.JPG

IMG_0080.JPG

IMG_0081.JPG

IMG_0082

IMG_0084.JPG

IMG_0085.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f4f.jpeg

IMG_0088.JPG

IMG_0089.JPG

IMG_0090.JPG

IMG_0091.JPG

IMG_0092.JPG

It would be nice if people could be nice to each other during this time of the year, as we discussed in both my “Coping and Healing” groups yesterday.

Now I’m going to be nice and share these nice YouTube videos of The Del Fuegos (here, here and here):

Be nice and leave a comment and I’ll be nice and respond later.

Now I’ll be nice and express my sweet gratitude for YOU.

fullsizeoutput_3f4e

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

Day 2573: “I don’t know what to do.”

I just woke up from a nightmare where I was lost, wandering around an unfamiliar city with two cell phones that did not belong to me and somebody else’s water bottle which looked like mine, unable to remember anything I needed to get to some place safe, and I kept saying out loud, “I don’t know what to do.

I did know what to do.  I woke up from the nightmare.

I just now got a message on this laptop that says, “Your disk is almost full.”  I don’t know what to do.

I did know what to do. I deleted some stuff.

Sometimes I don’t know what to do when desperate people tell me that they don’t know what to do.

I do know what to do.  I listen and let them know they are not alone.

I don’t know what to do when I’m

  • angry,
  • disappointed,
  • lost,
  • frustrated,
  • hopeless,
  • confused,
  • desperate,
  • depleted,
  • alone,
  • purposeless,
  • mistaken, or
  • in pain.

I do know what to do. I write a blog post every morning.

I don’t know what to do if none of my photos from another ordinary/extraordinary yesterday relate to today’s topic.

IMG_0048.JPG

IMG_0049.JPG

IMG_0051.JPG

IMG_0052.JPG

IMG_0053.JPG

IMG_0054.JPG

IMG_0057.JPG

IMG_0055.JPG

IMG_0056.JPG

IMG_0058.JPG

IMG_0059.JPG

IMG_0060.JPG

IMG_0062.JPG

IMG_0065.JPG

IMG_0068.JPG

IMG_0070.JPG

IMG_0071.JPG

IMG_0072.JPG

IMG_0073

I don’t know what to do about finding the right video for this post.

I do know what to do.  I recorded this last night:

And I do know what to do about freeing up more disk space.  Now that I’ve shared that video of Oscar, Michael, me, and a musical snow globe here, I know I can delete it from my laptop.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

I don’t know what to do to tell you all how much you have meant to me and how much you have helped me over my almost seven full years of daily blogging. Wait, I do know what to do.

IMG_9420

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2572: Enjoy the ordinary

Yesterday, after publishing Day 2571: What Makes the Ordinary Extraordinary?, I picked this extraordinary mindfulness card at work:

IMG_0042.JPG

I enjoy the ordinary coincidences and synchronicity of life. Do you?

I hope you enjoy the ordinary in my other photos from yesterday.

IMG_0023.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f35.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3f3a

fullsizeoutput_3f40

fullsizeoutput_3f36

fullsizeoutput_3f38

fullsizeoutput_3f3e

fullsizeoutput_3f3c

 

fullsizeoutput_3f44

fullsizeoutput_3f42

IMG_0038.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f45.jpeg

IMG_0037.JPG

IMG_0041

fullsizeoutput_3f46.jpeg

IMG_0045.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f47.jpeg

IMG_0047.JPG

Enjoy the ordinary signs of the season, the Daily Bitch Calendar, and, if possible, the skill of doing nothing.

Here and now, we’re enjoying the ordinary weather in Boston, which was 58 degrees F yesterday and 31 degrees F and snowing as I write this ordinary post. Enjoy the ordinary repetition of this:

fullsizeoutput_3f44

 

Here’s “How to enjoy the mundane or ordinary moments in life!” with Little Woo:

 

How do you enjoy the ordinary?

Enjoy the ordinary ending of another Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally post, where I share my ordinary thanks with YOU.

IMG_9712

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2571: What makes the ordinary extraordinary?

My extraordinary readers probably know that I focus a lot on the ordinary in this blog, no matter what time it is.

My hope, every day, is that you will see the extraordinary in the ordinary, as I do.

Yesterday, I noticed this ordinary and extraordinary sign at work:

IMG_0013.JPG

Do you see the ordinary and the extraordinary in today’s extra photos?

IMG_0014.JPG

IMG_0016.JPG

IMG_0017

IMG_0015.JPG

IMG_0019.JPG

IMG_0020.JPG

IMG_0021.JPG

IMG_0018

Those are not ordinary cod cakes, thanks to my extraordinary fiancé, who always adds a little extra.

If we don’t make extraordinary efforts, the ordinary cod might be more difficult to find, very soon.

Today, ordinary UPS will be delivering a ticket for me to see the extraordinary Jacob Collier at Boston’s House of Blues in May, 2020.

2020 looks to be an extraordinary year.

Here‘s an extraordinary tune that was playing in my ordinary ears yesterday:

Don’t you know how extraordinary it is that we’re all alive together, here and now?

I look forward to ordinary and extraordinary comments, below, and I hope you know how extraordinarily grateful I am to YOU.

 

 

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2570: What time is it?

What time is it?

IMG_0011.JPG

It’s time for cats to look at clocks, if not kings.

It’s time for me to explain that “a cat may look at a king” means that “even someone of low status has rights. A cat may look at a king implies that all people have certain minimal rights by virtue of being alive.”

It’s time to reaffirm those rights.

It’s time for another picture of Harley.

IMG_0012.JPG

It’s time for me to share that Michael observed at the time that Harley evoked  “King of New York” from Newsies. Then, it was time for me to sing “Look at me! I’m the king of this couch.”

It’s time for “King of New York” from Newsies.

It’s time for the Broadway version  of “King of New York.”

It’s time for Queens of New York, too.

It’s time for signs and possibilities.

IMG_0009.JPG

It’s time for a good meal.

IMG_0010.JPG

Then, it’s time for dessert!

IMG_0006.JPG

IMG_0007

It’s time for Ferrero Rocher gelato.

It’s time for me to repeat a few of my song lyrics from yesterday:

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher.

That gets stuck in my mouth along the way.

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher.

So easy to eat and so hard to say.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

It’s hard to say what time it is, because we’re all in different places and time changes so rapidly. However, I do know that  it’s time for me to get ready for work.

I hope it’s time for you to leave a comment.

Of course, it’s always time for hope and gratitude.

IMG_9994

 

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

Day 2569: It’s hard to say

It’s hard to say why

  • greed is such a force in our world,
  • we’re not coming together over climate change,
  • people don’t care about the actions of their leaders,
  • we do things that make ourselves feel worse,
  • it’s so difficult for our minds to stay in the moment,
  • we judge ourselves and others so harshly,
  • it’s so difficult to speak up,
  • ridiculous prejudices linger,
  • we’re so afraid of people who are different from us,
  • the negative sticks and the positive fades,
  • awful people often outlive wonderful people,
  • I have trouble making decisions,
  • I stay in New England with all the snow and cold,
  • I keep starting new songs and not finishing them, and
  • I take pictures of so many things.

IMG_0001

IMG_0003

Hard To Say

by Ann Koplow

Some things in  life are hard to say,

Like “I want you to go away.”

Or “Despite what you did, I forgive you, okay.”

Or “I need you, my love, to stay.”

 

For me, I find it hard to say

A different kind of communiqué,

Two words you’ll see in a candy display,

Ferrero Rocher.

 

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher.

That gets stuck in my mouth along the way.

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher.

So easy to eat and so hard to say.

 

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher,

Those chocolate orbs wrapped in gold lamé.

Whether I’m home or going away.

So easy to eat and so hard to say.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

It’s hard to say why I haven’t gone viral yet.

Here’s the late Dan Fogelberg with “Hard to Say”:

I knew somebody who must have found “Dan Fogelberg” hard to say, because he always called him “Dan Fogelberry.”

What’s hard for you to say?

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll know that “Thank you” is not hard for me to say.

IMG_9995.JPG

IMG_9994.JPG

 

 

 

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2568: Downs and Ups

Every day has downs and ups, for all of us.

My day included many downs and ups, including

  • worrying about performing a Steely Dan song and an original song at an Open Mic last night,
  • buying a ticket to see Jacob Collier at Boston’s House of Blues in May,
  • losing my lyrics sheet for my original song,
  • reconstructing the lyrics as best I could,
  • reconnecting at the Open Mic with Nat, who co-led groups and co-wrote a song with me last year,
  • feeling empathy for the little girl who cried when she forgot how to play “Jingle Bell Rock” on the electric guitar,
  • two people talking loudly during my introduction to and performance of my first song,
  • those people leaving before my second song,
  • forgetting a chord in “Pretzel Logic,”
  • making it through “Pretzel Logic” and my “country” song, “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down,” and
  • cheering for the little girl who returned with her acoustic guitar and played a great “Jingle Bell Rock.”

What downs and ups do you see here?

IMG_9973

IMG_9971

IMG_9974.JPG

IMG_9975.JPG

IMG_9977.JPG

IMG_9980

IMG_9979.JPG

IMG_9981.JPG

Here are the downs and ups of my Open Mic performance last night:

I keep writing new lyrics down for “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down.” It’s time to put these up on WordPress:

What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down

by Ann Koplow

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down,

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

In my local and the global news

There’s no quick fix I can find to choose.

No matter what your state or views

There’s no relief, just a belief in booze.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

As I turn to everyone I see

And I ask if they relate to me.

They haven’t got one moment free.

They seem crippled by anxiety.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

As I try to end this song with hope,

Hope seems to be beyond my scope.

Is the answer just to smoke some dope?

When I’m stoned I’m just inclined to mope.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Feel free to write down any thoughts and feelings about downs and ups in the comments section, below.

Now it’s time to get down with gratitude, which always cheers me up!

IMG_9865

 

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2567: Feelings

Yesterday in a therapy group, people felt comfortable and brave enough to talk about and show their feelings, including sadness, joy, anger, and fear.

IMG_9967.JPG

Another group therapist recently told me that a member of his group said, “In group, joy is doubled and fear is halved.”

I have many good feelings about being a group therapist.

Are there any  feelings  in and about my other photos from yesterday?

IMG_9963

IMG_9962.JPG

IMG_9966.JPG

IMG_9965

fullsizeoutput_3f2f.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_3f30.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3f2e

Spotify tells me that I listened to “Hajanga” by Jacob Collier more than any other song in 2019.  That’s because

Here‘s a live 2019 version of Jacob playing “Hajanga” at MIT:

 

Of course, I’m wondering about your feelings now.

As always, I’m feeling gratitude for all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

IMG_9939

 

 

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2566: What could happen

A few hours after I published Day 2565: What could possibly go wrong?  yesterday, I noticed that somebody had written “What could happen”  on the group room whiteboard:

fullsizeoutput_3f2d.jpeg

 

IMG_9930.JPG

What could and did happen is that somebody could use a marker that is hard to erase:

IMG_9932.JPGWhat could happen is that I turned my cleaning that whiteboard into a mindfulness exercise for me and the group members.

What could happen after that is that the group could talk about values (among other things).

IMG_9936.JPG

IMG_9934.JPG

.

What could happen next (and a lot happened) is documented in the rest of my photos from yesterday.

IMG_9944.JPG

IMG_9938

IMG_9940.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f2c.jpeg

IMG_9943.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f2b.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3f1e.jpeg

IMG_9946

IMG_9947

IMG_9949

IMG_9960.JPG

What could happen is that one of those photos could get many likes on Facebook and another one could get even more likes, even though neither of them have any caption.

What could happen is you could guess what those two photos are,  I could share some music ,

and I could give thanks for everything, including YOU!

IMG_9939.JPG

IMG_9937.JPG

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2565: What could possibly go wrong?

These days, I don’t ask myself “What could possibly go wrong?”  because I know the answer might be:

  • every little (and big) thing one’s catastrophizing mind might think of and
  • other things, too.

Asking myself “What could possibly go wrong?”  is not my favorite waste of time, because expected and unexpected things go wrong every minute, every hour, every day.

However, there is a way of asking that question that assumes a positive outcome. For example, what could possibly go wrong if I share all my photos from yesterday?

IMG_9922

IMG_9923.JPG

IMG_9924.JPG

IMG_9926.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3f1d.jpeg

IMG_9927

IMG_9929.JPG

And what could possibly go wrong if I share another version of “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time”?

Finally, what could possibly go wrong if I ask for comments and express gratitude to all my readers, including YOU?

fullsizeoutput_3e93

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.