Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

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

Day 2120: Almost totally natural

It’s almost totally natural for me to

  • create a blog post every morning,
  • talk to every cat I see,
  • sleep less than I’m supposed to,
  • overthink decisions,
  • have too much on my plate,
  • feel unprepared at times,
  • worry about the future,
  • focus on U.S. politics,
  • enjoy living near the ocean despite climate change,
  • say too much,
  • say too little,
  • go the distance,,
  • feel tired on stairs,
  • trip over things,
  • sing,
  • dance,
  • enjoy baseball,
  • notice signs,
  • make messes,
  • be confused by rapid technological change,
  • look at greeting cards,
  • learn from my mistakes,
  • show my feelings,
  • fear that I’m losing or bothering people,
  • be concerned about people I love,
  • try to solve problems,
  • have hope,
  • watch what I eat,
  • laugh,
  • listen,
  • observe,
  • celebrate,
  • apologize,
  • think of others,
  • facilitate groups,
  • make lists, and
  • take photos every day.

 

It’s almost totally natural for me to remind you that you can click on any photo to enlarge it.

I posted one of those photos yesterday on Facebook with the caption “Almost totally natural.”  It’s almost totally natural for me to ask you to guess which photo that is.

When I search YouTube for “almost totally natural” it’s almost totally natural that I found “How to make a $1500 sandwich in only 6 months.”

 

It’s almost totally natural that over four million people have watched that video.

It’s almost totally natural for me to ask for feedback and to look for new ways to thank those who help me create these blog posts and — of course! — YOU.

 

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2119: The wrong decision

When I have trouble making a decision, it’s often because I fear making the wrong decision. But how do I know a decision is wrong until I make it?

Sometimes I tell people who are having trouble making a decision to consider that there are no wrong decisions.  Is that the wrong decision?  Because decisions do have consequences.

However, it’s often the wrong decision to obsess about possible consequences before making a decision.  The right decision is to decide, act, and then deal with the consequences as best you can.

Last night, I was thinking I had made the wrong decision to sit in the front row of the live show of So You Think You Can Dance.

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See those rectangular boxes?  They were foot lights that wrongly obscured my view of the dancers’ feet.

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It was the wrong decision for me to focus on what was wrong with my view. I made the right decision to enjoy what I could see.  And Hannahlei,  Jensen, Genessy,  Slavik, Darius, Jay Jay, Cole, Magda, Evan, and Chelsea all made the right decision to be dancers.  They don’t just think they can dance — they most decidedly can.

Is it the wrong decision to share the Yellow Trench Coat performance from So You Think You Can Dance?

I’ve decided it was not the wrong decision to vote Hannahlei Cabanilla the winner of the latest season of So You Think You Can Dance.

Any wrong decisions in my other photos from yesterday?

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I wonder if it’s the wrong decision to tell  this story about my being a temporary worker during the summer of 1971 at Lynn City Hall (the location of Lynn Memorial Auditorium, where I saw the performance last night).

One of the many jobs I held as a temp worker during the summer of 1971 was in the rent control department of Lynn City Hall.  One day, I saw a man I knew from my synagogue come in to speak to the director of the department.  When he left, the director said a defamatory word about Jews, which starts with the letter “K.”   I had never heard that word spoken out loud; I was shocked.  Soon afterwards, somebody else who worked there walked over to my desk and asked “Ann, are you Jewish?”   I thought it might be the wrong decision to admit that, so I asked, “WHY?”  This guy said, “Because I saw your face when the director said that. I think everybody here thinks you’re Italian.”  The next day, the director, looking very uncomfortable, came over to my desk and said, “You know, I think it’s GREAT that Israel is bombing the hell out of (whomever Israel was bombing the hell out of that summer).”  I decided to look him right in the eye and say, “Really?  I think it’s TERRIBLE.”

Do you see any wrong decisions there?

It’s never a wrong decision to end with thanks to all who helped me make all the decisions going into the creation of this post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2118: Having too much on your plate

Yesterday, in my therapy groups, people talked about having too much on their plate.

I don’t have too much on my plate to share the meaning of that idiom.

Idiom – Too much on my plate or A lot on my plate or Enough on my plate. Meaning – To be too busy. To have too many things to deal with or a lot of things to worry about. This expression is used to signify that a person has too many different things to cope with.

Coincidentally, there were paper plates in the group room, because of a retirement party earlier in the day. I suggested that people take a plate, write and draw what was on their plate, and then, if they wished, throw the plate away. People threw away plates heaped with politicians, responsibilities, stress, fear, guilt, anxiety, shame, self-doubt, bureaucracies, traffic, abusers, unhelpful thoughts, and (on one plate) Florida.

I had too much on my plate yesterday to take pictures of the plates people created and threw away, but I can share these:

If I didn’t have too much on my plate right now (physical therapy for my shoulder, work, a presentation about my groups, and a live performance of “So You Think You Can Dance”), I’d come up with a pun about home plate.

Do you have too much on your plate to watch this video?

https://youtu.be/qSshr-EQmLM

I never have too much on my plate to thank all those who help me create these posts and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 2117: Unprepared

I often feel unprepared, so I was unprepared to see this on a white board yesterday:

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I erased “unprepared …” to prepare the board for the topics raised by the members of the Wednesday morning therapy group:

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Are you unprepared or prepared for television, the paranormal, travel, gratitude, hope, sleep, pain, noise, too much, too little, what’s going on, advertising, commercials, cold weather, fortune telling, preferences, traffic, reasons, relatives, pros, cons, expectations, art, self care, care of others, falling, keeping people in check, the news, banks, food, nourishment, referendums, cars, healing, what people say, what people don’t say, work, tests, the hospital, where you are, tears, laughter, psychics, the future, the past,  or the present?

Unprepared for my other photos from yesterday?

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Are you unprepared for fall, for a cinnamon fig latte, or for seeing a duck in the clouds? What are you unprepared for, here and now?

I am prepared to say that when I am unprepared, I fake it until I make it.

I was unprepared to stay up this late on a Wednesday night, but the fourth Boston Red Sox/Houston Astros Playoff game is still going on at 1:09 AM.

I was also unprepared for Andrew Benintendi’s spectacular game-ending catch that preserved the win for the Red Sox.

Does this YouTube video show an Unprepared Psychic, as advertised?

Here‘s Another Song Called “Anthem” by UnPrepared:

Are you prepared to sing or say that “tomorrow will be better” like UnPrepared does there?

Even if you feel unprepared, consider leaving a comment.

As always, I am prepared to express thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2116: How to respond

Yesterday, people were discussing how to respond to a particular type of comment:

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How to respond to my 7 other photos and 1 video from yesterday?

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How to respond to somebody who is letting her hair go gray?

How to respond to this post?  However you choose.

How to respond to the people who helped me create this post and to you for being here? With thanks.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2115: That’s a Bad Sign

Yesterday, when I saw this …

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… in front of this …

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I thought, “That’s a bad sign.”  And sure enough, the giant Sony TV that came with our house is dead.

Considering what’s been on that big old TV and how it’s been affecting me, I think I’ll be better off not watching TV.  That’s a bad sign.

Do any of my other photos make you think, “That’s a bad sign”?

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Today, I’ve been asked to perform my original song “Triggers” — which has a lot of verbs — at a team meeting at work. That’s probably a bad sign and a good sign.

Is it a bad sign that this comes up on YouTube right after my song “Triggers” or that all these songs use the same four chords?

Is it a bad sign that Axis of Awesome broke up two months ago?

I also looked for good signs yesterday, like this one:

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Thank you for reading all the signs in this post!!!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2114: Master Your _________

Is there something you’d like to master right now?  Could it be

  • worry,
  • work,
  • tasks,
  • technology,
  • time,
  • problems,
  • insecurity,
  • fears,
  • procrastination,
  • negative self talk,
  • appetites,
  • addictions,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • stress,
  • impulses,
  • animals,
  • minerals,
  • vegetables,
  • possessions,
  • finances,
  • sleep,
  • cooking,
  • eating,
  • unhealthy patterns, or
  • pumpkins?

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It’s good to know that, at least, we can master our pumpkins.

I need to master the rest of this post quickly, or I’ll be late to work. As usual, I’m trying to master photography:

Here’s what happens when you look for “master your pumpkin” on YouTube:

 

I’m having difficulty mastering certain aspects of blogging this morning. I suspect some sort of technology update.

No matter what, I can muster and master thanks to all who help me create these blog posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2113: The Future

Decades ago, when I was wondering if I had any future, I had my palm and cards read.  My worst fear — that the reader would grimace, say “Oooops!”  or suggest that I get my affairs in order  — didn’t happen.

Yesterday, when I was wondering about the future of the earth, I  returned to the same tea room I had visited in the 1970s.  Again, my worst fear — that the reader would grimace,  say “Oooops!” or suggest that human beings get their affairs in order — didn’t happen.

While the reader at the tea room  was not doing what I had feared, he did say that I had trouble dealing with the mystery.  When I asked what the mystery was, he explained, “The Future.”

He reminded me of myself when he suggested I let go of worry and try to focus on the positive light of the future. He also kindly gave me a tissue when I shed a few tears describing my fears.  I guess psychics and psychotherapists share some common techniques.

It was a rainy, gloomy morning when I talked to the reader and I didn’t know that all these views were in the future:

 

“Future Me Hates Me” by The Beths is the first song that shows up on YouTube about “The Future”:

Here’s “The Future” by Leonard Cohen:

… and here’s “Not The Future” by Bad Lip Reading:

 

I’m predicting that there will be  comments in the future.

There’s gratitude in the future for all who helped me create today’s blog post, which I’ll be publishing in the very near future, and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 2112: What aren’t you doing right now?

What aren’t you doing right now?

What I’m not doing includes the following:

  • reading the news,
  • driving a car,
  • speaking,
  • worrying about the future,
  • regretting the past, and
  • anything else besides creating this blog post.

Whenever we choose to do anything, there are an infinite number of things that we aren’t doing.  If we focus on what we aren’t doing, rather than on what we are doing, there are infinite reasons to believe that we’re not doing enough or that we’re not doing the right thing.

Here’s something else I’m not doing right now: taking photographs. However, I am sharing these:

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I’m also not

  • wearing Ouija Board socks,
  • drinking tea,
  • being bitten by  sea lions or cats,
  • looking for our shy cat Harley,
  • waving a magic wand,
  • blushing,
  • writing new lyrics or music, or
  • playing the ukulele.

However, I am sharing this:

Whatever you’re not doing right now — like commenting — you can do soon, if you choose.

I am now doing this: expressing gratitude to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2111: Say it isn’t so

“Say it isn’t so” is

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Say it isn’t so that people get hurt at the opera.

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Say it isn’t so that people we love leave.

Say it isn’t so that big brother is watching us.

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Say it isn’t so that the sun will become our enemy, as average temperatures rise around the world.

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Say it isn’t so that our cries for help go unheeded.

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Say it isn’t so that somebody put these bumper stickers on his big SUV.

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Say it isn’t so that so many people are traumatized by abuse.

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Say it isn’t so that Daryl Hall turned 72 yesterday.

Say it, please, in a comment below.

Say it isn’t so that I would ever forget to thank all those who help me say what’s so important to me in these posts and — of course! — YOU.

 

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

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