Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

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

Day 1999: Presidential

What does “presidential” mean to you?

Here’s an online definition:

pres·i·den·tial
ˌprezəˈden(t)SH(ə)l
adjective
relating to a president or presidency.
“the French presidential election”
having a bearing or demeanor befitting a president; dignified and confident.
“America wants a president who looks presidential”

Do you believe that America wants a president who looks presidential?

This president-elect of a group psychotherapy organization needs a presidential photo.

 

Which of those looks the most presidential to you?

Are any of the following photos (taken by a soon-to-be-president) dignified. confident, or otherwise presidential?

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This month’s big presidential question IS where do we go from here?

This president-elect is going from here to Chicago today, for a gathering of other group psychotherapy presidents. Here is Chicago asking “Where Do We Go from Here?”

Presidential thanks to all who helped me create this presidential post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1998: Good

It’s good that I noticed that my first two photos from yesterday have good in them.

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Do you see the good there, my good people?  Do you see the good in other people? Do you see more good than bad?

I guess I see more good than bad:   I’ve written 41 posts here with the word “Good” in the title (starting with Day 3: The Fear of Feeling Too Good) and I’ve written 14 posts with the word “Bad” in the title (starting with Day 263: Bad Day/Good Day, which has good in it, too).

Do you see the good in the other photos here?

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A good friend texted me that good drawing, above, with this good caption: “Got your back.”

Last night, at a good board meeting, I sang a small portion of this very good song from Into the Woods,  in memory of our very good friend, Michelle.

The good lyrics I sang were these:

Sometimes people leave you

Halfway through the wood.

Do not let it grieve you

No one leaves for good.

You are not alone.  No one is alone.

It’s always good to end with thanks.  Thanks to all who help me create all my good posts, including this one, and to you — of course! — for being good enough to be here, now.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 1997: Showing Up

Showing up today, I notice that I wrote another post titled “Showing  Up”  at the beginning of this year.

I also notice there are twice as many likes showing up for that post than for my posts that have been showing up here lately. Much to my surprise, self-doubt and judgment are not showing up about that.

Here’s why this topic is showing up again today:

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Yesterday, in a therapy group, the people who showed up expressed appreciation and gratitude for others showing up.

Let’s see what other photos have been showing up on my iPhone.

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Beautiful sunsets keep showing up near where I live.

Because I have to keep showing up at Physical Therapy on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 AM, I only have time to thank you for showing up, here and now.

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

Day 1996: When I make a mistake …

When I make a mistake ….

  • I feel bad.
  • I admit it.
  • I dwell on it.
  • I try to forgive myself.
  • I can experience guilt and shame.
  • I might wake up in the middle of the night.
  • I worry about lasting effects.
  • I sometimes call myself “stupid.”
  • I make reparations as best I can.
  • I learn something.
  • I move on to other things (including new mistakes).

What happens when you make a mistake?

Make no mistake, we all make mistakes.

When I take photos, I usually share them, mistakes and all.

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When someone makes me a delicious meals, it would be a mistake not to eat it.

When I search YouTube for “When I make a mistake” I find this

this

… and this.

It would be a mistake not to express thanks to all who helped me make this post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Ooops!  I made a mistake taking that photo, so here’s a better “thank you.”

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 1995: What wakes you up in the middle of the night?

What wakes you up in the middle of the night?

For me, it could be

  • concern about children,
  • worry about the state of the world,
  • something I ate,  and/or
  • something that’s eating me.

What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night?

Sometimes, I blog.

Here are some photos from yesterday:

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Here are “8 Reasons You Are Waking Up at Night”:

Here’s “What to Do When You Wake Up in the Middle of the Night”:

Finally, here’s “How to fall back asleep in the middle of the night.”

I’m going to follow the advice of that last video and do some deep breathing.

Thanks to all who helped me create this blog post and — of course! — thanks to YOU.

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

Day 1994: What makes a good father?

Today seems like a good day to ask “What makes a good father?”

My response to that question would be based on my experience of my late father:

  • Honesty.
  • Humor.
  • Authenticity.
  • Consideration for other people’s feelings.
  • A commitment to doing the right thing.
  • Acts of kindness.
  • Social involvement.
  • Joie de vivre.
  • In the words of a friend of his soon after he passed, “I never heard your father say anything bad about anyone and I never heard anyone say anything bad about your father.”

Here are other responses to the question “What makes a good father?”

A good father is somehow just THERE, always, a reassuring presence — even when he’s not there anymore, because of the rules of mortality, and all you can do is hear his voice in your head.  –– Joel Achenbach

So what makes a man a good father? A stew of love, humor, empathy, humility, and, perhaps most of all, time. — Dave Taylor

 

 

Do you see any good fathers in my photos for today?

 

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What makes a good comment on this Father’s Day, USA?  Anything you choose to share.

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1993: Power

Yesterday, in a therapy group, I randomly picked this “angel card”:

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We all have power. Soon, I will be taking on more power as the President of a professional group therapy organization. I hope to use that power well.

A few days ago, I noticed that the cafeteria in the hospital where I work had stopped including vitamin-K-rich spinach in their salad bar. Because I take the powerful medication Coumadin. I need the power to control the amount of Vitamin K in my diet, and I usually do so by taking the same amount of spinach every day from the salad bar.   I owned my personal power and asked to speak to the person who had the power to decide what items to include in that salad bar. She told me that the hospital had decided to feature local produce and had replaced the spinach with locally grown kale. I told her about my taking Coumadin, which is a very common drug, and explained that kale had too much vitamin K and that I can’t eat kale.  As I was explaining all this to her, these were my powerful thoughts, “Why am I doing this?  I don’t have any power here. They’ve already made this decision.    I’ll have to figure out how to regulate my vitamin K a different way.”

The next day, I saw this at the hospital salad bar:

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Sometimes we have power even when we think we don’t.  The powerful moral for me: keep speaking up, because maybe somebody is listening.

Do you see power in my other photos from yesterday?

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People have the power to decide whether they want their pictures taken.  My son Aaron was okay with that last night (and Michael wasn’t).

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The ocean has the power to heal, I believe.

Today, Aaron and I will be experiencing the power of “West Side Story” at Boston’s Symphony Hall.  I never get tired of the power of that score by Bernstein and Sondheim and I’m glad that YouTube has the power to provide the musical clips I need for this blog (here and here).

I look forward to the power of your comments, below.

I always end these daily posts with the power of gratitude to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1992: Michelle

Yesterday, my good friend Michelle passed away.

Last month, I wrote and shared this limerick with Michelle:

A wonderful person Michelle,

Treats all whom she meets very well.

I’m consistently crying

’cause I know that she’s dying

Though I know she’s not going to Hell.

Michelle smiled and said, “Maybe I am going to Hell.”  I replied, “With everything I know about you and Hell, there’s no way you’re going there.”

I don’t know where Michelle went yesterday but I do know she’s no longer here where I and many others have known and loved her for so long.

Michelle’s husband Joe wrote yesterday about how she had spent her last day on this earth. He told us she heard her favorite Irish blessing.

“May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”

He wrote that she felt held and that she died at home at peace with grace and dignity. He signed his email to us “With profound sadness.”

With profound sadness, here are all the photos captured on my iPhone yesterday.

 

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Many years ago, when I was in the hospital recovering from a heart-related illness, Michelle loaned me her DVD of “Rent.”  Today, I include this song from that musical in honor of her.

Thank you, Michelle, for all the seasons of love.  And thanks to all of you for visiting here, now.

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1991: Untold stories

I’ve told many stories in this blog over the years, but many remain untold.

We all have untold stories, including Boston’s Public Garden.

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In my profession as a group and individual therapist, I hear many previously untold stories.  Because of patient confidentiality, those stories remain  untold outside the room (unless the story is mine).

Every picture tells a story, I’m told, but there are many untold stories in my pictures today.

 

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I know there are untold stories in the news these days, but hope, respect, joy, peace, kindness, patience, healing, inspiration, comfort, and love seem to be missing in the stories that are being told.

Here‘s “Untold Stories” told by Sinead O’Connor:

 

I look forward to reading some untold stories in the comments, below.

My gratitude — for all who help me create these posts and for all who read them — is not untold.

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

Day 1990: Colorful

As colorful as this daily blog may have been since January  2013, I’ve never written a blog post titled “colorful” before this colorful day.  Ready for a colorful definition?

col·or·ful
ˈkələrfəl
adjective
1. having much or varied color; bright.
“a colorful array of fruit”
synonyms: brightly colored, vivid, vibrant, brilliant, radiant, rich;
2. full of interest; lively and exciting.
“a controversial and colorful character”
synonyms: vivid, graphic, lively, animated, dramatic, fascinating, interesting, stimulating, scintillating, evocative
“a colorful account”

Now I have to make sure this post has much or varied color, is bright, brightly colored, vivid, vibrant, brilliant, radiant, rich, full of interest, lively and exciting, graphic, animated, dramatic, fascinating, interesting, stimulating, scintillating, and evocative. That seems like a tall order, especially since I have to leave soon for physical therapy with my colorful physical therapist, Matthew.

Perhaps my colorful photos from yesterday will help.

I couldn’t capture how colorful those fireworks were last night with my iPhone. Yeah, I live in such a colorful place that sometimes we are surprised by colorful fireworks for no apparent or documented reason. 

Sometimes I wish I didn’t live in such colorful times, but  I still have gratitude for all the colors around me.

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Orange is my son’s favorite color and it’s also the official color of the group psychotherapy organization I’m becoming president of on July 1.   What a colorful life I lead!

I almost forgot to include a colorful song.

If you receive a colorful message saying that video is unavailable, try clicking on the “colorful song” link, above.

I look forward to your colorful comments and hope you have a colorful day.

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

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