Day 1601: Stress Relief

I’m going to relieve some stress by confessing that  I wrote another post titled “Stress Relief” last August, when I had a LOT of stress needing relief, including

  • my only child leaving for college in Scotland and
  • my first open heart surgery.

As always, it was a relief for me to describe and let go of my stress in that post. I can’t stress enough how writing this blog is stress relief for me, every day.

Yesterday, I definitely needed some stress relief.



I did end up happy yesterday, but that took some time and work because of all this stress:

  • My boyfriend Michael is away from home  helping out his brother for three days.
  • We’re moving to a new place near the ocean this summer.
  • Scientific reports indicate that our new house will be under water soon.
  • Because of a ridiculous series of unfortunate events, I will be losing long-term disability payments for the rest of my part-time leave from work.
  • I was so stressed by all the urgent calls at work yesterday that I didn’t have time to take any more photos.

As usual, it’s a relief to name my stress here.

Pat Metheny’s music is a reliable source of stress relief for me.

However,  on June 10, I’ll have the stress of deciding whether to use my ticket and see him live in concert or attend an important dinner at a group therapy conference.

It relieves my stress to realize that some of these are good problems to have.

Gratitude is always great stress relief, so thanks to all who helped me create this stress-relief post and to you — of course!  — for the relief of your presence, here and now.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1600: Round numbers

Today is the 1600th day in a row of blog postings, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.  1600 is a round number and a much bigger number than expected when I began this blogging journey back on January 1, 2013.

Do you have any reactions to round numbers?  In therapy, people often describe negative reactions they have about reaching round numbers as they age. For example, somebody yesterday talked about turning 40 with a lot of self-judgment.  For some reason, when people approach round numbers, they can roundly judge themselves about their accomplishments and life situations.

A round number is just a number, no more significant than any other number. And yet,  here I am roundly noting it.

However, I am not going to get into a round of self-judgment about my posts. Instead, I’m going to post two musical round numbers (going round here and here on YouTube).

Here’s a round number of photos I took yesterday:











This is my blogging world, and I’ve tried to shape it as best I can.

A round of applause for the large number of people who’ve help me create these 1600 posts and — of course! — for you, on this round-number day.


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

Day 1462: A cup of kindness

For auld lang syne and for new times ahead, let’s take a cup of kindness, dears.


Here‘s Auld Lang Syne, with cups of kindness from Scandinavian Soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø:


Any cups or kindness in my other photos from yesterday?












In case anybody was wondering, there will be another sequel to The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally. That is, I’ll be blogging daily in 2017, sharing cups of kindness with you all.

For all your support since my first post on January 1, 2013, thanks from the bottom of my heart.



Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1459: In the dark

I’m in the dark as I’m writing this because

  • the sun hasn’t come up yet,
  • I’ve not turned on any lights, and
  • there are so many things I don’t understand.

I took this photo when it was dark last night.


I guess I felt the need for some sunshine, although that was just somebody trying to sell me soap.

When  I’m in the dark, it helps to remember happy times, like this scene from my favorite movie:

Even though I’m in the dark about so many things, I’ll still keep  singin’ in the rain with the late Gene Kelly,  the late Donald O’Connor, and  the late Debbie Reynolds.

As light through yonder window breaks, good morning and thanks to all of you for brightening my life, here and now.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1434: Face Time

Face it! For the second time in the (almost) four years that people have been facing time and having face time with my daily blog, I’m publishing a post titled “Face Time.” I wrote that previous Face Time post during the time when I was facing my first open heart surgery AND  when my only son (who has a great face) was leaving for a five-year program at the University of Edinburgh.

Now it’s time to face

  • another day,
  • the consequences of the U.S.  presidential election,
  • my ongoing recovery from open heart surgery AND unexpected pacemaker replacement surgery,
  • another New England winter,
  • my son returning home on December 22 for the holidays, and
  • the faces in the photos I took yesterday.










If you have the time, please tell me which faces are  your favorites.

Do you have time to face the music of “Feliz Navidad”?


Thanks to all the faces who helped me create today’s Face Time post and to you — of course! — for having face time with me, here and now.


Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1430: Welcome

Welcome to the one thousand, four hundred and thirtieth daily blog post here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

Yesterday, when I returned to work after a two-month medical leave, I saw welcome.




Today, I’m looking forward to welcomes at the hospital where I work and also at the hospital where I get my medical care, as we try to adjust my cardiac pacemaker to make climbing stairs and other exercise a more welcoming experience.

I try to welcome every new day with hope. So tomorrow, I’ll do my best to welcome December. I hope there will be more to welcome in that month than there was in November.

Now it’s time to welcome all my other photos from yesterday!














I believe it helps to welcome every moment and all your feelings, no matter where you’re going.

Now, let’s welcome today’s song  choice!


Comments from my readers are always welcome. If you would welcome a suggestion about what to include in a comment, how about what helps you feel welcome?

Thanks to all who helped me create this “Welcome” post and to you — of course! — for welcoming my blog into your world.  And if you enjoyed being here, you’re welcome!

Categories: blogging, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1414: I wake up this morning feeling uneasy

Almost fourteen hundred days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post titled Day 17: I think I wake up most mornings feeling uneasy. Here’s what I think, as I wake up this morning feeling uneasy:

  • That was an important post for me to write back then, because I named and accepted my feelings, which freed me up to look at next steps.
  • When I wrote that post, I ABSOLUTELY had significantly fewer reasons to feel uneasy than I do this morning.
  • Uneasy is not the only feeling I’m having these mornings.
  • I’m also feeling dread, hope, fear, disappointment, and love.

What helps when I’m feeling uneasy?

  • Naming it.
  • Connecting with others.
  • Self care.
  • Reminding myself, “It might be safer than it feels.”
  • Remembering that no matter how I’m feeling, some people out there are thriving and some people are suffering.
  • Identifying something I can do.
  • Doing it.

Here’s what I’d like to do right now: share my photos from yesterday, which I took when I was feeling uneasy (as well as many other feelings). But I’m feeling uneasy because:

  • I can’t access my photos.
  • WordPress is not saving this post as I’m writing it.
  • I need to restart my computer to complete this post the way I want to.


I’m going to just do it and hope for the best!



















Is anything making you feel uneasy, now that you’ve read my post and seen my photos?

When I was feeling very uneasy in the hospital after my recent open heart surgery, I listened to a Bach CD on repeat, mornings and nights.   Here‘s some Bach for us all:


More things that help when I’m uneasy:

  • Reading people’s comments on my blog.
  • Expressing gratitude to all  who help me create new posts in the morning.
  • Thanking you — of course! —  for making my life easier.


Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Day 1410: Let it out

Yesterday, when I was letting it out at cardiac rehab, Danise let it out, like so:


Danise — who helps people, like me, who are recovering from cardiac surgeries let it out on exercise machines and in other healing ways  — let it out by telling me about a dream she’d had the night before.  After the TV coverage let it out that Donald Trump was on his way to winning the U.S. presidential election, Danise dreamed she found Hillary Clinton in her home flipping things over (as Danise is demonstrating, above). In her dream,  Danise  said to Hillary, “Let it out, girl! ”

After I let it out with Danise and others at cardiac rehab, I went home where I let it out with our two cats. I also let it out by turning on the TV, where I was privileged to witness Hillary Clinton letting it out with her  concession speech.

I have to let it out with you, my dear readers, that when I typed that previous sentence, I erroneously wrote “acceptance” rather than “concession.” As my boyfriend Michael and I have been letting it out with each other after the shock of the election result,  we’ve discussed how the stages of grief include denial.

Speaking of the stages of grief, my son Aaron sent me these messages, yesterday, from Scotland:

very very odd

it feels like someone died

Michael, Aaron, and I then let it out with each other during two extended FaceTime sessions.

On Facebook yesterday, I let it out by posting quotes by H.L. Mencken, including these:

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ”

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

I also let it out on Facebook by posting this recent, pre-election clip where Patton Oswalt let it out  that grieving in public is therapeutic:

I also believe that letting it out — where “it” includes all your feelings —  is therapeutic.  I will let it out, now, that if I didn’t believe that, I would not have become a psychotherapist nor would I have started this daily blog.

One more way I let it out on Facebook the day after the U.S. election:

I made it through open heart surgery for this?

I think it’s time to let it out by including all my other photos from yesterday:














If you have  thoughts or feelings about this post, please let it out in a comment, below.

I hope I let it out how grateful I am to all who help me let it out in this daily blog and to you — of course! — for being with me as I let it out, here and now.


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

Day 1405: Belongings

I’m so glad I belong to this belogging  community!

Yesterday, after I underwent additional surgery to stem the beleeding of my latest incision, I took this photo at a hospital where I belong:


Later, when I got back to the home where I belong, I found one of my belongings soaking in the sink:


Believe me, many of my belongings became beloodied from  bedeviling  beleeding after Wednesday’s surgery (which belonged in the category of “I Can’t Believe They Recalled the Medical Device Which Belonged in my Body.“)  My beloved boyfriend, Michael, with whom I belong, washed  all my beloodied belongings last night.

It won’t be long before I post the rest of my photos from yesterday, taken at places where I belong:


I be longing, now,  for you to let your manners speak for you.  That is, just ask or otherwise express any belonging thoughts or feelings in a comment, which belongs below.

What music belongs here?



Thanks to all who help me know I belong, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1383: Blooming

I hope this blooming post finds you blooming well on this blooming beautiful October morning.

Speaking of blooming, all my blooming doctors and everybody else who sees me says that I look blooming wonderful as I am blooming and recovering from my blooming valve replacement surgery last month.

My blooming friend, Carol, gave us a blooming plant soon after my blooming boyfriend and I got home from blooming Rochester, Minnesota, where I had my blooming open heart surgery.


As you can see in that blooming photo, that plant has a lot more blooming to do. As a matter of fact, I took that blooming photo moments after my blooming boyfriend, Michael, was saying out loud to that blooming plant: “Bloom!  Bloom!”

Would you like to  blooming see all my other blooming photos from yesterday?








That blooming tea bag is now reminding of one of my favorite blooming songs, ever, by the blooming Beach Boys.

Isn’t that blooming great? Now, please leave a blooming comment so I know what you blooming think of this blooming post.

Now I have to blooming decide whether to publish this blooming post at 2:42 AM, when I’m blooming finishing it, or wait until a more reasonable blooming hour tomorrow morning.

Oh, blooming hell! Does it really blooming matter?

Blooming thanks to all who helped me create this blooming post and to you — of course! — for being my blooming reader, here and now.

Categories: blogging, heart surgery, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

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