Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

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

Day 3049: Trust

Because of experiences in my past, I sometimes find it difficult to trust. I trust that I am not alone in that.

Trust — in myself and in others — is especially important when I’m doing something new, like traveling to Nashville on my own in three days.

Do you see trust in my photos for today?

Harley, like the rest of us, needs to feel safe enough to trust.

Here’s “How to build (and rebuild) trust” with Frances Frei.

I trust that you will find value and inspiration in that TED talk.

Please trust your thoughts and feelings enough to express them in a comment, below.

Trust me to end these daily posts with gratitude for all who trust my blog, including YOU.

Categories: inspiration, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 3048: Too much

Yesterday, people in my Coping and Healing group said they were dealing with too much.

There was too much

  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • stress,
  • anxiety,
  • uncertainty,
  • loss,
  • conflict,
  • pressure,
  • frustration,
  • disappointment, and
  • worry.

It didn’t take too much time for people in the group to understand, connect, and support each other.

People talked about death, a topic some find too much to take on. The person who had used the term “too much” early in the group asked the group this question: “How would you choose to die?” While a few people found that question too much to answer, several people said they would choose to die in their sleep. Because I have too much fear of heights, I wondered if my choice were to be leaping off a tremendous height, soaring all the way down, that might ease my acrophobia.

Sometimes I think I’m too much.

Let’s see if there’s too much in my photos today.

Because Jet Blue charges too much to check a bag, I’m not taking too much with me to Nashville.

Here’s “Too Much” by Marshmello x Imanbek featuring Usher.

Here’s “Too Much” from The Spice Girls:

Don’t worry about sharing too much in a comment, below.

There can never be too much gratitude, so thanks to all for visiting my blog today!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3047: Worst feelings

Yesterday in my therapy group, people shared worst feelings, including disappointment in oneself and disappointment in others. At the end of the group, members said that sharing those feelings and realizing they were not alone helped them feel better.

Do you see worst feelings, best feelings, and in-between feelings in today’s images?

Are you the master of your feelings, besides being the master of your judgments, decisions, and actions? Do you let ALL feelings flow through you, without judgment?

Speaking of feelings, here is the saddest song I’ve ever heard:

As I like to say in my group, all feelings are welcome.

One of the best feelings is gratitude, so thanks to all who visit this blog, including YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3046: What the hell?

What the hell are these things that showed up overnight in our shower?

In the morning, I texted my excellent ex-sister-in-law Deborah, who knows what the hell is going on in architecture, construction, and remodeling, and here’s part of our conversation:

Me: I found these in the shower this morning and they’re not mushrooms and should we move out immediately?

Deborah: that is pretty interesting! can’t say I have ever seen that happen before.

Me: Didn’t “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” start out like this?

Deborah: if it didn’t it should have. was there an occasion of extreme heat in that space?

Me: Nope

Deborah: are the bubbles hard? or sticky?

Me: Michael has been power washing the decks.

Deborah: is there a deck behind that wall?

Me: No. Weird.

Deborah: is the adhesive water soluble? if you break a bubble off will it get soft in water?

Me:

Me: Doesn’t seem to. Maybe there’s a portal to hell there.

Deborah couldn’t explain what the hell those are, but she thinks there is probably water getting in where the shower wall meets the seat, which could easily be solved with some clear caulking.

Later in the day, I took it to Twitter:

I showed the photos last night to people at Home Depot and they all said, “What the hell?” and asked why I didn’t bring a sample with me and my only response was “What the hell was I thinking?”

What the hell is happening in the rest of my images today?

What the hell are people thinking on Twitter?

What the hell am I going to sing at an Open Mic in Nashville next week, if I actually get a slot?

What the hell am I thinking, presenting all my original songs in a playlist here?

What the hell kinds of comments am I going to get about this post?

What the hell are we doing if we don’t express gratitude for each other?

Categories: home repair, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 3045: Truly

Truly, I

  • am flying to Nashville a week from today,
  • have never been to Nashville before,
  • am not sure what I’m going to see and do in Nashville,
  • am out of practice traveling because of the pandemic,
  • like a combination of planning and spontaneity,
  • understand that Nashville has a lot of great restaurants,
  • have trouble imagining eating in unfamiliar restaurants these days,
  • will likely avoid Nashville’s world-famous hot chicken,
  • don’t know which of my original songs to sing at Nashville open mics,
  • am not sure how people in Nashville will react to a 68-year-old woman like me singing non-country songs with a ukulele,
  • hope for the best and am prepared for the worst,
  • hope to see amazing blogger Chris Waldrop there,
  • know from Chris’s blog that there is public transportation in Nashville,
  • hope to do a lot of walking,
  • believe my hotel is centrally located,
  • expect to find lots of material for my blog next week,
  • will probably feel homesick while I’m away,
  • recognize that life is short,
  • don’t know if I’m an extrovert or an introvert,
  • am true to myself and others, and
  • never know what will inspire the title of these blog posts.

Truly I’ve captured many images to share with you today.

Truly I think the groundhog is doing the best that he can, and so am I.

Here’s Lady A (formerly know as Lady Antebellum) from Nashville performing Lionel Ritchie’s first solo hit, “Truly.”

Truly I would love to see your comments about this post and truly I’m grateful for all who read this blog, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 3044: Your thoughts

Your thoughts, I’m thinking, go everywhere. Your thoughts go into the future, sometimes with anxiety and fear. They go into the past, sometimes with regret. Your thoughts go all around the world.

Your thoughts, for whatever reason, have trouble staying in the here and now.

Your thoughts can keep you awake when you are trying to sleep.

Your thoughts can be unhelpful cognitive distortions, like personalization, catastrophizing, mind-reading, and blaming.

Your thoughts can be busy, serene, hopeless, hopeful, rigid, flexible, judgmental, open, quick, slow, mean, loving, painful, and reassuring.

Your thoughts affect your feelings and your behaviors.

Whatever your thoughts are, more thoughts are coming.

What are your thoughts about today’s images?

When I search YouTube for “your thoughts,” this is what I find:

Feel free to express your thoughts in a comment, below.

As always, at the end of every blog post, my thoughts turn to gratitude for everything, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 3043: Whatever doesn’t kill me

Who said “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?

It didn’t kill me to discover that it was Friedrich Nietzsche.

It didn’t kill me to finally spell “Friedrich Nietzsche” right in that previous paragraph.

Here are others things that didn’t kill me:

  • being born with a rare heart condition,
  • spending lots of time in the hospital when I was kid,
  • ridiculous hospital rules which prevented my parents from staying with me,
  • a few awful nurses and doctors,
  • medicine that made me sick,
  • many surgeries,
  • relying on cardiac pacemakers since age 10,
  • the assassinations during the 60’s,
  • bullies at school,
  • mean or incompetent teachers,
  • bad leaders,
  • bad weather,
  • bad food,
  • choking on a piece of hard candy I accidentally swallowed while laughing,
  • car accidents,
  • scary plane trips,
  • scary movies,
  • scary people, including a rapist,
  • jobs that didn’t fit my skills or interests,
  • walking across a frozen river,
  • my mistakes,
  • other people’s mistakes,
  • traveling by myself,
  • not being able to swim,
  • three bouts of endocarditis because of a leaky heart valve,
  • valve replacement surgery,
  • public speaking,
  • public singing,
  • mountains,
  • valleys,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • PTSD,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • rejection,
  • disrespect,
  • sexism,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • ageism,
  • COVID-19, and
  • everything and everybody else I’ve encountered in my long life, including what you see in today’s images.

The Daily Bitch Calendar kills me (in a good way).

Here’s Finger Eleven with “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me”:

It doesn’t kill me to express gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3042: Talk about how awesome you are.

Is it difficult for you to talk about how awesome you are?

Why?

While I used to be afraid of seeming immodest, these days I talk about how awesome I am and I also invite you and others to talk about how awesome you are.

If it’s hard for you to see how awesome you are, keep looking. Ask people you know to talk about how awesome you are. (Many people find it easier to talk about how awesome you are than to talk about how awesome they are.)

It may be difficult to talk about how awesome you are when you’re not feeling your best, but who IS feeling their best these days? Even when you’re not feeling your best, you’re still awesome.

Maybe some of these images will help you talk about how awesome you are.

I won’t stop talking about group therapy, which is an awesome place to talk about how awesome you are.

Here‘s what I find when I search YouTube for “Talk about how awesome you are.”

We all need pep talks, from others (like Kid President) and from ourselves. So please talk about how awesome you are in the comments section, below.

Thanks to all who help me talk about how awesome we are, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 3041: Why?

Why is “Why?” the title of my post today?

Why do people ask “Why?” in my Coping and Healing groups?

Why do songs pop into my head so easily?

Why are those songs often Beatles songs?

Why did I take all of these photos?

Why am I posting a photo of our late great cat Oscar today?
Why did I order a book about Nashville?
Why am I sometimes not wearing a mask outdoors?
Why is there a mound of dirt in front of the local church?
Why do I like taking pictures of animals wherever I go?
Why did somebody hang an American flag and make it more difficult for people to get in their front door?
Why do some vaccination locations in Boston give out cool buttons while others don’t?
Why am I lucky enough to have a now-vaccinated husband who makes delicious meals like sablefish with figs?
Why do I often take photos of Yogi tea sayings?
Why do I love the Daily Bitch Calendar?
Why does Harley love his favorite dry cat food, scorning EVERYTHING else except for popcorn?

Why am I engaging on Twitter these days?

Why did the late, great Professor Irwin Corey break down “Why” questions into two parts, where the first part was just “Why?” (which he could not really answer) and the second part was the rest of the question, which he simply answered “YES!”?

Let’s see how that works for today’s post, shall we?

The first part of all the questions I’ve asked today is Why?” “Why?” is a question that philosophers have been asking for millenniums. We all want to make meaning of what happens to us, and therefore we cry “Why?” from our souls into the world. “Why?” is ultimately unanswerable, especially by a humble person like me.

Now for the second parts of my “Why?” questions today:

Is “Why?” the title of my blog post today?

Do people ask “Why?” in my Coping and Healing groups?

Do songs pop into my head so easily?

Are those songs often Beatles songs?

Did I take all of these photos?

Am I posting a photo of our late great cat Oscar today?

Did I order a book about Nashville?

Am I sometimes not wearing a mask outdoors?

Is there a mound of dirt in front of the local church?

Do I like taking pictures of animals wherever I go?

Did somebody hang an American flag and make it more difficult for people to get in their front door?

Do some vaccination locations in Boston give out cool buttons while others don’t?

Am lucky enough to have a now-vaccinated husband who makes delicious meals like sablefish with figs?

Do I often take photos of Yogi tea sayings?

Do I love the Daily Bitch Calendar?

Does Harley love his favorite dry cat food, scorning EVERYTHING else except for popcorn?

Am I engaging on Twitter these days?

Did the late, great Professor Irwin Corey break down “Why” questions into two parts, where the first part was just “Why?” (which he could not really answer) and the second part was the rest of the question, which he simply answered “YES!”?

The answer to all those questions is “YES!”

Why do I ask for comments and express gratitude at the end of my blog posts?

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 3040: Unexpected appearances

Yesterday, when I was on my walk, the title of today’s post unexpectedly appeared to me when I encountered this unexpected appearance:

When Michael and I first saw our current home almost exactly four years ago, we saw the unexpected appearances of a rafter of wild turkeys in the neighborhood. I’ve expected other appearances of turkeys since then, but yesterday was the first time one unexpectedly appeared to me again.

The first night we moved in to our home by the bay, there was an unexpected appearance of a coyote walking near us on the beach. There have been many appearances of coyotes since then.

At this point, I guess I should expect the unexpected: appearances, disappearances, and everything else.

Are there more unexpected appearances in today’s other images?

Were any of those unexpected appearances particularly useful for you?

When I was looking at flowers yesterday, this Kenny Barron tune made an unexpected appearance in my headphones:

Later, while I was watching A Late Show with Stephen Colbert, there were more unexpected appearances, including this one:

Now I’m wondering if there are going to be unexpected appearances in the comments section, below.

Finally, here are the expected appearances of gratitude at the end of todays post.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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