Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

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

Day 1694: Enjoy

Here are my latest photos from Edinburgh, which I hope you enjoy.

IMG_3094

 

fullsizeoutput_291d

IMG_3107

IMG_3097

IMG_3095

 

IMG_3093

IMG_3103

 

IMG_3100

IMG_3099

IMG_3098

IMG_3104

IMG_3092

IMG_3109

For two weeks,  my son Aaron and I will stay in the happy place of Edinburgh. Then, Aaron will stay here to enjoy his second year at University and I’ll fly home to enjoy my new happy place by the sea with my boyfriend Michael.  By the way,  today is Michael’s birthday.  Enjoy!

I enjoy thanking all who help me create this daily blog and all who enjoy reading it.  Enjoy this enjoyable day, wherever you are.

 

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

Day 1693: Happy

Here’s what I found in our hotel room in Edinburgh:


I’m happy that

  • I’m in Edinburgh with my son Aaron for the Festival Fringe and
  • I feel so much better than I did at this time last year.  

Do any of my other photos today make you happy?


Here’s a song that always makes me happy. 

I’m happy to thank all those who made this happy post possible and — of course! — you, who happen to make me happy. 

Categories: personal growth | 37 Comments

Day 1692: Traveling light

For as long as I can remember, whenever I travel, I travel light. That is, I bring along as little as possible. Personally, the less baggage I’m carrying around, the freer I feel.

There are things I have to take, though, as I pack for today’s flight to Edinburgh. Those necessities are

  •  my passport,
  •  my medication,
  • my laptop, and
  • money.

Anything else — including things I forget to pack — I can always buy in Scotland.

Certain people help me travel light. One of them is my boyfriend, Michael.  Yesterday, when I said I hadn’t checked the news yet, he said, “You don’t have to.  I can tell you what the news is. ‘The President said something incredibly ridiculous.'” I added, “And somebody left the administration.” No need to check the news right now, which helps some people travel light.

I think this blog is going to be light on photos today.  Let’s see ….

 

IMG_3067

IMG_3065

IMG_3062

That second goal was added to my work white board yesterday by another person who helps me travel light: my son, Aaron.

It helps me travel light to know that Aaron and I are going to see my standup-comedy teacher and comedian extraordinaire Ron Lynch in Edinburgh this year.  If you’d like to travel light years into the past for previous posts about Ron, see here (which includes links to other Ron-Lynch-related posts).

Traveling light to YouTube, I found this ….

and this.

Funny people and artists shine a light, helping us travel more lightly through life.

I take gratitude wherever I go, no matter how light I’m traveling.  Thanks to all who helped me create this traveling-light post and — of course! — to you, for traveling here, now.

IMG_3063

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1691: Matters of life and death

Yesterday, people in my therapy groups talked about life and death matters, because that mattered to them.  They asked each other life-and-death questions, including the following:

If you were immortal, how would that change how you live your life?

If you had control over how you would die, what would you choose?

They found those life-and-death questions — and questions  about other matters (like the sources of fear) —  in the book “If … Questions for the Soul.”

When I answered the second question in last night’s therapy group, I referenced a memorable scene from the TV show St. Elsewhere, where an old man, dying alone in the hospital, asks to be held by an orderly in the middle of the night.  When the orderly lifted the man off the bed and held him in his arms as he passed, that mattered so much to me.

How might you answer those life-and-death questions? I hope you know your answers matter.

I wonder if there are any life-and-death matters in my photos from yesterday. Let’s see ….

IMG_3057

IMG_3060

 

Was losing and finding my wallet this week a matter of life and death?  My next step is quoting Shakespeare:

He who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike.

I took one other photo yesterday.

IMG_3061

Is being calmer a matter of life and death?

Does this YouTube video about a St. Elsewhere cast reunion include matters of life and death?

I have some important matters to deal with today, including getting an INR blood test before I leave for Scotland tomorrow. But what matters most to me, here and now, is thanking all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

 

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

Day 1690: What makes life worth living?

Yesterday, in a therapy group, somebody asked this question:

Using one word, what makes life worth living?

Somebody replied, “Love.”  Somebody said, “Learning.”  I said, “Everything,” which I thought might be cheating, but people didn’t think so. We noticed that  nobody said “Money.”

Then, last night, after many hours of shopping and trekking all over the South Shore of Boston in preparation for my trip to Scotland on Saturday, I discovered that my wallet was missing.  Suddenly, life seemed very difficult (although still worth living).  Michael suggested we retrace our steps and that I also call the Target Store in Braintree, which was about to close in fifteen minutes. I was almost positive that my wallet was not at Target, but I called anyway.

Here’s the phone conversation:

Me: I was at your store earlier tonight and I’m missing my wallet. I was wondering if anybody turned it in.

Customer Service Representative:  What does it look like?

Me:  It’s mostly  red and black. It’s made from recycled billboards.

Customer Service Representative:  Is there a name on cards?

Me:   Ann Koplow.

Customer Service Representative:  Yes.  It’s here.

I think the word “Yes” can make life worth living. Or, at least, less of a hassle.

Let’s see if my photos from yesterday include anything that makes life worth living.

IMG_3043

 

IMG_3046

IMG_3053

IMG_3054

IMG_3049

IMG_3047

IMG_3050

Just so you know, I took all of yesterday’s photos before I knew that my wallet had been lost or found.

Here’s what comes up on YouTube, over and over again, in response to “What Makes Life Worth Living.”

I am ending this post with one word: “Thanks.”

IMG_3051

IMG_3052

IMG_3055

IMG_3056

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1689: What is your personal experience of love?

In your personal experience, has anybody asked what your personal experience of love is?  If they did, would you love that?

Yesterday, we asked that question in a therapy group.

IMG_3036

People had many different personal experiences of love.  We also discussed the obstacles to love and ways to increase love in our lives.

What is your personal experience of the other photos I took yesterday?

IMG_3033

IMG_3034

IMG_3037

IMG_3038

 

IMG_3040

IMG_3041

IMG_3042

Personally, I love all those photos.

What is your personal experience of this YouTube video about 36 questions that make strangers fall in love?

 

What is my personal experience of comments from my readers?  I love them.

When we discussed ways to increase love yesterday, we agreed that gratitude promotes love.  Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

 

 

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

Day 1688: Killing two birds with one stone

I don’t like killing, I don’t like killing one bird (much less two), and I don’t like throwing stones, but I’m using this title today because

  • it means “achieving two aims at once” and
  • I’m killing two birds with one stone right now.

The two “birds “are (1) an article I promised to write for a professional group therapy organization’s newsletter before I leave for a two-week trip to Scotland on Saturday and (2) today’s blog post.

The “stone” is the following:

When the intrepid editor of this newsletter asked me to write a 600 – 800 article about what it’s like to be the President Elect of NSGP, I thought that would be a relatively easy assignment. I mean, I write a blog post every day, I used to be a professional writer before I changed careers in the 1990s, and — most importantly — I AM the President Elect of NSGP, so that perspective is immediately accessible.

However, I’ve been working on this article for days, and it’s been remarkably difficult. Perhaps it’s difficult because in all the years I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization, I never dreamed I’d be writing an article like this one. Indeed, when a nominating committee member called me earlier this year to ask if I would consider being president, I asked, “president of what?”

Perhaps I’m finding this assignment difficult because I’m not sure how to separate out the perspective of an NSGP President Elect from all my other perspectives as a human being who

  • has a passionate belief in the healing power of groups,

  • kept changing careers until she found the right match for herself,

  • lives to communicate with others in a meaningful way,

  • loves her work providing open-access therapy groups at the Primary Care Practice at a major teaching hospital in Boston,

  • appreciates every opportunity to learn and grow,

  • maintains hope for the future even during difficult and challenging times,

  • has faith in people’s and organizations’ ability to adapt and survive,

  • is sustained by “personal medicine” including family, friends, music, good food, the ocean, travel, singing, cats, and NSGP,

  • was born with an unusual heart,

  • is sometimes intimidated by brilliant colleagues,

  • has learned to overcome fear in many aspects of her life,

  • tries to keep her sense of humor no matter what, and

  • is aware that she needs several hundred more words to complete this article.

Perhaps I can fill out the rest of that newsletter article with photos …

IMG_3027

IMG_3028

IMG_3029


IMG_3031

… and a YouTube video:

 

I’m thanking lots of birds with one sentence  — those who helped me create this post and those who are reading it, here and now.

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

Day 1687: Solutions

Yesterday morning, I spent several hours on the phone talking to three different people from the Apple Help Desk, looking for solutions for my photo-loading and storage problems. I explained to all three that these solutions were imperative to support my daily blogging habit.

After all that time, I believe that solutions have been found. I’m about to test that out, here and now.

But before I do, what if solutions have NOT been found? How will I react? Will I feel

  • discouraged,
  • panicky,
  • angry,
  • disappointed,
  • hopeless,
  • put upon,
  • exhausted,
  • betrayed,
  • abandoned,
  • accepting, and/or
  • amused?

No matter what the facts are or how I feel about them, I believe there will be more solutions in the future.

Pardon me, while I attempt to load photos into this post, to test out the many solutions we tried yesterday.

IMG_2999

 

IMG_3003

 

 

Yay!  The solutions are a success!

Do you see any solutions in my photos or in this YouTube video?

Thanks to all the wonderful people who provide solutions and (of course!) to YOU.

IMG_3016

IMG_3018

 

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

Day 1686: First do no harm

First, I try to do no harm.

Second, it’s impossible to live a life where we do no harm. But “First do no harm” is a worthy ideal, lest we irrevocably harm each other.

Before today, I believed that “First do no harm” (“Primum non nocere” in Latin) was part of a doctor’s Hippocratic Oath. While it isn’t, it does capture the intent of the oath, and I see no harm in that.

Yesterday, the phone rang early in the morning while I was trying to do no harm in writing my daily blog.  I was afraid that the ringing would harm my boyfriend Michael by disturbing his sleep, so I rushed to grab the phone. Because our new home is still unfamiliar to me, I slightly harmed my head on my way.

I hope I do no harm by quoting this resulting dialog:

Phone caller: Hello! I’m calling from the Department of Public Health. We are doing a survey about people’s health habits. Your number has been randomly selected and I would like to ask you some questions about you and your family’s health blah blah blah

Me (interrupting): I need to tell you that in trying to answer this phone before it woke up my boyfriend I just smashed my head which is not good for my health, so I’m going to go now.

Phone caller (sounding amused): No problem.

I could have said, “No problem for YOU. What kind of public health policy is this?” but I had already harmlessly hung up.

I hope to do no harm with these photos.


First, I hope I do no harm to the walls in our new place by hanging up some pictures. Second, I hope our cats do no harm with their claws.

At 9 AM, some genius from Apple is calling me about my photo posting problems here on WordPress. Perhaps there’s a techie equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath.

Here’s the first thing that comes up on YouTube for “First do no harm. ”

Do no harm by leaving a comment and I’ll do no harm by expressing my thanks to all.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1685: Together again for the first time

“Together again for the first time” is 

  • a phrase that has appeared many times on superhero comic book covers,
  • somewhat confusing,
  • the title of today’s post, and
  • inspired by a photo I took last night when I was together again with Boston’s Fenway Park for the first time sitting in the outfield to see Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor, who were together again for the last time on their current tour. 


The world and I have been together since 1953 and so have the Boston Red Sox and The Jimmy Fund — “the oldest and most successful partnership between a sports team and a charity in the nation.” 

The photos in this blog post are together again for the first time, starting now:


My iPhone and I are together again for the first time today creating this post (because my laptop won’t load my photos) and for some reason, my iPhone is putting my pictures together again for the first time in reverse chronological order. The words in that previous sentence are together again for the first time and I hope it’s the last time, too, because I’m going to the Apple Store today to get my technology together again for the first time in a few months. 

At this point, I need to get myself together again and decide which music goes together with today’s blog. 

If I close my eyes, I can still see James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt singing beautifully together again for the last time on their 2017 tour. 

I’m gathering my gratitude together again, so thanks to all who helped me create this together-again-for-the-first-time post and to you —  of course! — for getting yourself together again to visit here, now.  


Categories: gratitude, Music, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.