Author Archives: Ann Koplow

About Ann Koplow

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

Day 1757: Don’t take it personally

Don’t take it personally, but I’m reusing a photo from two days ago to start off this blog post.

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Don’t take it personally, but I’ve personally blogged about personalization — the cognitive distortion of taking things too personally — several times before (including here, here, and here).

Yesterday, my niece Laura

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(on the left, next to her daughter Victoria) told me that people might take it personally when I recently blogged about a get-together at my place next weekend, because I hadn’t invited them.  I told Laura, “Don’t take it personally.  That’s a gathering for a professional organization of group therapists.”

I hope Laura and Victoria don’t take it personally that I didn’t take a better picture of them yesterday.

Don’t take it personally that I personally took all these photos yesterday and you’re not in any of them.

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Actually, don’t take it personally that I said you weren’t in any of those photos and you are, because you’re my ex-sister-in-law Deborah (who appears in several portraits above and who designed and built another beautiful home for sale), Cher,  Audrey who works at Pet Life, or Harley the cat.

Don’t take it personally that I have to rush and finish this post before I go to work.

Don’t take it personally that I’m using Michael Brecker’s tune “Nothing Personal” again in this blog.

Please take it personally that I’m thanking everybody who helps me create these blog posts and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 1756: Where is it?

Because I often misplace things (usually temporarily) and because we recently moved to a new home, I’m often asking

Where is it?

Here are recent examples of my asking today’s title question:

I just listened to my iPhone with my new pair of bluetooth earbuds.  Where is it?

I love wearing my mother’s long-sleeved denim shirt. Where is it?

I get so many compliments on my “Left the House before I Felt Ready” t-shirt.  Where is it?

I haven’t filled out that donation receipt from the MetroWest Humane Society.  Where is it?

There’s a control somewhere for the steam shower.  Where is it?

There’s got to be a market around here that has great produce.  Where is it?

I smell cat pee.  Where is it?

Where is it that I took these photos yesterday?

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Where is it that I took all those photos? In and around Boston, Massachusetts.

There’s a performance on YouTube from the musical Fun Home, which I saw  yesterday in Boston with my fun friend Deb.  Where is it?

There’s a place to leave comments for this blog.  Where is it?  (It’s below the post.)

I always express gratitude at the end of my posts.  Where is it?

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

Day 1755: Insecurity

I can’t get over it:  I’ve apparently never written a post about insecurity in all the one thousand, seven hundred and fifty-five days I’ve been blogging.

I don’t feel insecure about that, but I do feel insecure about hosting get-togethers, which I’ll be doing next weekend at our new home.

Whenever somebody tells me about an insecurity, I assume the insecurity is based on experiences in the past.  However, despite my long-lived insecurity about hosting social events, I’ve never had a bad experience doing that.

At this point, I’ll feel more secure about this blog post if I define my term.

in·se·cu·ri·ty
ˌinsəˈkyo͝orədē
noun
1. uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.
“she had a deep sense of insecurity”
synonyms: lack of confidence, self-doubt, diffidence, unassertiveness, timidity, uncertainty, nervousness, inhibition
2. the state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection.
“growing job insecurity”
synonyms: unstable, rickety, rocky, wobbly, shaky, unsteady, precarious

When I first started doing group therapy, I was uncertain, anxious, unconfident, self-doubting, diffident, unassertive, timid, uncertain, nervous, and inhibited, and I felt unstable, rickety, rocky, wobbly, shaky, unsteady, precarious, and insecure. These days, when I am facilitating my groups, I securely observe that people often feel better about their insecurities when they realize they’re not alone.  Do any of my readers share my insecurity about hosting social events? If so, what helps relieve the insecurity?

 

When I first started sharing photos in this blog, I had insecurity about that. Not any more.

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That photo of Harley — who has a lot of insecurities — reminds me that I intended to write about wrinkles today.  There’s a lot of insecurity, especially in women, about wrinkles.

I see many songs about insecurity on YouTube. Here‘s one of them:

 

Secure thanks to all who helped me create this post about insecurity and — of course! — to you.

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

Day 1754: I can’t get over it

I can’t get over how many people I see in group and individual therapy who’ve been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused.

One of those people recently borrowed and returned this book I have in my office:

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In both of  my therapy groups yesterday, everybody shared thoughts and feelings about personal experiences of abuse.

I can’t get over people’s resilience, too.

I also can’t get over how “Get over it!” never helps people get over anything.

 

I can’t get over taking and sharing photos on this blog.

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I can’t get over how the sink at work is always clogged.

I can’t get over how many people read this blog.

I can’t get over my gratitude for you!

 

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

Day 1753: When we die

When I die, I won’t be checking the news any more.    Because I’m still alive, I recently read this news story stating “Some studies suggest our minds still work after we die.  Meaning, when we die…we know we are dead.”

I know that’s a coincidence, because I recently had a  we-died-laughing conversation about when we die. I said:

  1. My body could be stuffed and placed in my usual chair in the group room and
  2. The groups would probably still do great work with a facilitator who doesn’t say anything.

I know I haven’t died, yet, because I’m still taking pictures with my iPhone.

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Isn’t that flounder dish to die for?  I’m not trying to impress you, but I have the perfect song for today’s blog post.

 

I’m dying for some comments, here and now.

Undying thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to all my living readers.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1752: The universe

There’s a mindfulness exercise I often do in my therapy groups where I mention the universe, as follows:

When you breathe in, think of something positive you’d like to breathe in —   from this room or from the universe.

Every time I do that  universal mindfulness exercise, I tell the group I expect to breathe in gratitude, and I do.

Here are the pictures I was grateful to take in from the universe yesterday:

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What would you like to take in from the universe, here and now?

Here’s The Universe in 4 Minutes:

If you don’t have time for the universe in four minutes, here’s the universe in less than two minutes:

Finally, thanks to the universe and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1751: This is your life

This is my life.  Whenever I update my phone or my laptop, the “improvements” make it more difficult for me to blog.

This is my life. After updating my iPhone yesterday morning, I’m having trouble taking and loading new photos.

This is my life. I’m going to deal with this problem by repeating a picture  from yesterday’s post:

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This is your life.  What stands out for you in that “This is Your Life”  poster?

This is my life, so here’s how I answer my own question:

All emotions are beautiful.

Life is short.

If you don’t like something, change it.

I don’t like something. The camera app I’ve been using for years no longer works with the latest iPhone update, so I’ll change it. My emotions about this include frustration and disappointment, but those are as beautiful as the hope I feel about the future. Life is short, so let’s move on to  music

… and my gratitude for everything’s that’s in my life, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1750: Water

Water can be

  • healing,
  • destructive,
  • nourishing,
  • polluted, and
  • the inspiration for blogs and for quotes.

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. — Rabindranath Tagore

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. — Eleanor Roosevelt

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. — Isak Dinesen

No water, no life. No blue, no green. — Sylvia Earle

The mind is like an iceberg. It floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. — Sigmund Freud

Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks.  Also learn from holy books and wise people.  Everything — even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees — should be your teacher. — Morihei Ueshiba

My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them. — Mitch Heberg

Water is the driving force of all nature. — Leonardo da Vinci

Yesterday, most of my photos were of water, as I visited  the Fort Point Arts Community Open Studios.

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Repeating the question from yesterday’s blog post — What’s your favorite picture?  Or quote?

Also, during my travels near water yesterday, I purchased something pictured above.  Any guesses about what that might be?

Yesterday  was the anniversary of the first performance of Debussy’s La Mer (The Ocean).

 

Thanks to the ocean, Claude Debussy,  the Fort Point Artists Community (including Jennie Griffith and my old business partner Jonathan Stark),  Tacey Luongo, all the people I quoted, and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 1749: What’s your favorite picture?

What’s your favorite picture?

What kind of question am I asking there?

Am I asking …

  1. What’s your favorite movie?
  2. What’s your favorite image?
  3. What’s your favorite photograph of every photograph you’ve ever seen?
  4. What’s your favorite photograph that you’ve taken?
  5. What’s your favorite photograph in today’s blog?

 

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My favorite picture in today’s blog is the one of my stand-up comedy teacher Ron Lynch and his wonderful girlfriend, Shelly (above).  Last night, Michael and I (not pictured) had dinner with Ron and Shelly at Vinnie’s Ristorante and talked about many things, including  Ron’s Wikipedia page (which makes him too old by a couple of years), blogging, cupcakes, skeptics, beliefs, Steve McQueen movies, napkins, cats,  Dads, pasta, the ocean, L.A., Boston,  comedy, comedians,  politics, the pictures of comedian Lenny Clarke on the restaurant’s walls,  and many other interesting topics I’m picturing in my head, right now.

Here‘s Ron, Fred Armisen  and CELERY BOY (if you can picture that):

 

I’m now picturing many comments on this blog, below.

Can you picture how grateful I am for people like Michael, Ron, Shelly, and — of course! — you?

 

 

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

Day 1748: Keep calm and carry on

Several years ago, a calm co-worker carried this gift from London to my office:

I need that reminder as I carry on at work, sipping calming tea from that cup which I carry on my way.

Today, I shall do my best to keep calm and carry on through

  • the news,
  • loss,
  • obstacles,
  • miscommunication,
  • mistakes,
  • injustice, and
  • everything else.

I hope my other photos from yesterday help us keep calm and carry on.

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Last night at the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour in Boston, Lex found it difficult to keep calm and carry the pizza when he saw Koine. Here‘s a reprise of the video from yesterday’s blog post:

How do you keep calm and carry on?

I keep calm and carry on with the help of others, including you!

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

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