blogging

Day 2500: What are the words that you live by?

Yesterday, at a Boston performance of the wonderful musical Choir Boy, I saw this:

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Audience members (including me) responded to that invitation to share the words that we live by, by posting  sticky notes:

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Can you spot the words I live by among all those words?

 

Do you see any words to live by in my other photos from yesterday?

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What are the words that YOU live by?

 

Here  is a Rosh Hashana song ….

… and here’s “Rockin’ Jerusalem” from  Choir Boys.

 

Two of the words I live by, every day, are “Thank You,.” Thank you for helping me create two thousand and five hundred daily blog posts with (I hope) some words to live by.

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

Day 2491: What helps?

What helps you?

What helps me is blogging every morning.  What helps me is sharing my experience.

Today, I’ll be sharing my experience at my college reunion in a five-minute speech about living with my very unusual heart. It’ll help if I can record it, so I’ll do my best. If I can’t record it, I’ll help you experience the speech by sharing the full text here, tomorrow.

Yesterday, it helped for me to facilitate a Coping and Healing group at work and then to spend the day at my reunion with my long-time friend Lawry.

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It helps to have friends. Here’s part of today’s speech:

So as I tell my story to you today, I wonder, perhaps along with you, what has allowed me to survive, so intact, through all this? What has helped me pick up the pieces, over and over again? As when I was a child — the love of my family and friends sustain me. Also, seven years ago I expanded my network of friends by starting a daily blog. Every morning, including today, I’ve written about my heart, my son, my passion for the healing power of groups, my song-writing, my cats, my hopes, my fears, this speech — whatever helps gird me and prepare me for the day ahead. The day after my heart valve surgery was the only day I needed a substitute blogger — my boyfriend Michael let my thousands of followers know I had survived the complicated procedure. Their comments included “Fantastic news! I’m in public but I’m dancing all the same,” and “’She’s going to be alright guys’ is the best line ever!”

In other words, I get by with a little help from my friends, including YOU!

 

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

Day 2465: Note to self

Note to self: go back to work today after an incredible trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Note to self: write notes for …

Note to self: share some new photos from yesterday, which I took myself.

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Note to self: Halloween and Thanksgiving are actually several months away.

Note to self: Share Class Notes: A Journey Through Musical Emotion.

Notes to self:

  • Practice acceptance of all feelings.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by too much to do, take one step at a time.

If you want to leave a note to me, yourself, and others, see the comments section below.

Note to self:  express  gratitude and thanks for all the selves who help me create these daily posts and for those who read them, including yourself!

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Categories: blogging, gratitude, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2443: Mass shootings

This morning, I looked at the news with dread to find out more information about the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.  After I found out more horrible details about that one, I saw that there had been another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

For years, many people have presented credible cases on ways to reduce gun violence in the United States and polls indicate that most Americans agree with these changes.

And yet, the mass shootings go on.

What can we do?

This is what I do:

  • I write about it in my blog (even when it’s too much to process).
  • I ask for contributions to Everytown for Gun Safety on my birthday and today.
  • I vote for people who share my views about gun violence.
  • I support my son in attending a University outside of the United States, partly because I believe he is safer there.
  • I encourage the acceptance and love of the different parts of each human being and the different parts of the human race.

I also distract myself from this horrific violence in my country by taking photos of other things.

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It’s an uphill climb to find a solution for uncontrolled violence; I hope we find it fast.

Here’s “Mass Shootings: When words fail”  featuring Steve Hartman and The Onion:

 

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course — to you, for being here, now.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2442: Everybody’s somebody’s _____

Last night, I sang my latest original song — “Everybody’s Somebody’s A–hole” — at the Jam’n Java Open Mic in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Everybody’s somebody’s

Everybody’s somebody’s …

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teammate,

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proud partner,

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ninja,

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angel,

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feartrigger, time off, safety, news, danger, clickbait, health, illness, stillness, trip, and

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talented local performer.

I’ve asked the coordinators of the Jam’n Java Open Mic if I could be a featured performer some day and they replied, “We usually book people who’ve had a show elsewhere.”

I’m working on it.

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Everybody’s somebody’s observer, so feel free to leave any observations in the comments section, below.

No matter what I am to anybody else, I’m always grateful to be your blogger, every day.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2407: Tell me about it

I’m going to tell you about Merriam-Webster’s definition of “tell me about it.”

tell me about it (idiom)

Definition of tell me about it
informal
—used to say that one understands what someone is talking about because one has had the same or a similar experience
“Something is wrong with that computer.” “Yeah, tell me about it. I can never get it to work properly.”

I don’t know if something is wrong with my computer, but I can’t post a shortened version of this video (in which I seem to be saying “Tell me about it” for 18 minutes) (and which I first told you about in this post) to YouTube.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xTT1B5mT6uiWAp_Z-k4MB9fcDFDGg8Mb/view?usp=sharing

Let me tell you about what happens when I (and perhaps you)  click on that link.  I receive a message that says “Unable to process this video.”  However, I could still download it, although I got a message that told me “Google Drive can’t scan this file for viruses. Free.mp4 (1.4G) is too large for Google to scan for viruses. Would you still like to download this file?”

Too complicated or too much trouble?  Tell me about it.

Once my son returns from teaching English in Jordan, maybe he can tell me about how to post that video (which he shot in our gazebo two weeks ago) to YouTube.  If you do look at the video, tell me about which title you prefer:

  • “Tell me about it.”
  • “Free therapy with Ann.”
  • “I’m listening.”

I can also tell you about the original, unedited, noisy, uncentered version of that video, which is here:

At this point, when I’m looking at a preview of this post, I’m telling you that video has this message: “Please wait. We are converting this video.”

Tell me about it.

In the meantime, I’m going to tell you about these recent photos I haven’t told you about before.

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Which is your favorite photo?  Tell me about it.

Tell me about your reactions to this music in the air:

 

I want to break free of more technical problems, but I won’t tell you about it.  Instead, I’ll tell you about my gratitude to all who support my telling you about it, every day, here on WordPress.

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Thoughts about those ways of expressing gratitude?  Tell me about it.


YouTube now tells me that this very abbreviated, silent version of “Free Therapy with Ann” has shown up there.

My expression in that still shot, above, seems to say, “Tell me about it.”  If I manage to post a longer version, I’ll tell you about it.

Categories: blogging, definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2367: I’m a fan

I’m a fan of:

 

 

What are you a fan of?

I’m also a fan of gratitude, as I hope you know.

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

Day 2345: What would I do without you?

What would I do without you, my readers, who have supported and sustained me through 2,345 consecutive days of blogging?

What would I do without my iPhone and my eye for interesting images and connections all around me?

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What would I do without wonderful people like Ryan Gee, sales manager extraordinaire  for Boston Roofing and Gutters, who helped us quickly fix our leaky roof and also told us about the best local Thai Restaurant EVER (Thai Noodle Bar in Quincy, Massachusetts)?

What would I do without sustaining organizations like the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy  (see conference brochure pictured above) especially during challenging times like these?

What would I do without YouTube and music like Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors“What Would I Do Without You”?

What would I do without your comments?

What would I do without my daily chance to express gratitude here to all those who help me create these posts and — OF COURSE! — to YOU.

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

Day 2321: Responsibilities

My responsibilities today include

  • letting you know I’ve never written a “Responsibilities” post before,
  • facilitating two Coping and Healing groups at work, and
  • sharing my photos from yesterday (which has recently become more difficult, for some unknown reason, and I don’t know if WordPress or my laptop are responsible).

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My responsibilities, here and now, include telling you that “Responsibilities” was the topic chosen by yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, and that this is what I wrote in response to the question “What is your personal experience of responsibilities?”

I can be over responsible, which can get in the way of enjoying the present moment. “What do I have to do right now?”  “Nothing except be here, now, as best I can.” I am going to ask myself that question, with that answer, more often.

What is your personal experience of responsibilities?

I have a few more blogging responsibilities right now:  inviting you to be kind,

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sharing this photo of Michael’s delicious chicken parmesan from last night,

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… posting a song about responsibilities,

asking for comments, and expressing my thanks to all who helped me meet my responsibilities with today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2290: Love Letters

Today’s blogging love letter is inspired by a lovely conversation with loving WordPress blogger Debra, whom I loved meeting in Los Angeles on Friday. I told Debra that my son, Aaron, whom I love, does not read my blog and how he has told me that he will read all the letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs in my blog after I die.

I told Debra that I love that, because after I’m gone Aaron will discover that this blog is “a love letter to him, as well as to many others.”

In this daily blog, over the past six years, I have written love letters to

  • my son Aaron,
  • my boyfriend Michael,
  • my sister Ellen,
  • my parents,
  • my therapy groups,
  • group therapy,
  • my readers,
  • my ex-sister-in-law Deborah,
  • my ex-sister-in-law Diane,
  • my other ex-in-laws (including my nieces Laura, Julie, and Victoria)
  • my sister-in-law Linda,
  • my cousin Lani,
  • my friend Barbara,
  • my friend Deb,
  • my friend Carol,
  • my friend Jeanette,
  • friends and ex-college-roommates Marcia and Maria,
  • my friends Janet and Ray,
  • my friend Megan,
  • my friend Janis,
  • my friend Dave,
  • my friend Lawry,
  • my friend Eleanor,
  • my friend Arnie,
  • my friend Peggy,
  • My friend Kathy,
  • My friend Jenn and her family,
  • My Scottish heart sisters Vicki and Andrena,
  • my son Aaron’s friends,
  • my co-worker Alice,
  • other co-workers (past and present),
  • my ex-neighbor Karen,
  • my dentist,
  • healers,
  • school friends,
  • childhood friends,
  • children of all ages,
  • fellow bloggers I’ve met including Mark Bialczak, Lisa from Daily Musings,  Val Boyko from Find Your Middle Ground,  and the aforementioned Debra from breathelighter,
  • fellow bloggers I haven’t met (yet),
  • blogging,
  • my high school classmates including Jean and Beth,
  • my old schools,
  • my old business partner Jonathan,
  • Ron Lynch,
  • Dr. Neil Portenza/Josh Ladgrove,
  • Irv Yalom,
  • Pat Metheny,
  • Lyle Mays,
  • Michael Brecker,
  • Jean-Luc Ponty,
  • Jaco Pastorius,
  • Miles Davis,
  • Stephen Sondheim,
  • Gene Kelly and other dancers,
  • Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, and other singer-songwriters,
  • Mel Brooks and other film-makers,
  • Jackie Chan,
  • Walt Disney,
  • Jane Austen and other writers,
  • other celebrities,
  • people with unusual hearts,
  • musicals,
  • movies,
  • television shows,
  • jazz,
  • strangers I’ve met who have immediately become less strange,
  • Boston, Massachusetts,
  • the North Shore of Boston,
  • the South Shore of Boston,
  • South Carolina,
  • Panama,
  • Iceland,
  • Edinburgh,
  • the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
  • the ocean,
  • my hair artiste MiAlisa,
  • my car mechanics,
  • my car,
  • my medical doctors and other treaters,
  • group therapy professional organizations,
  • comedy,
  • comedians,
  • music,
  • musicians,
  • writers,
  • other creative types,
  • our cats,
  • dogs,
  • animals,
  • nature,
  • happy people,
  • people in pain,
  • all the different human emotions,
  • languages,
  • words and definitions,
  • signs,
  • certain letters of the alphabet, and
  • many other inspiring and/or ordinary subjects and objects.

I sometimes love linking to past blog posts and sometimes I don’t, especially when my love letter list is so long! I also don’t love leaving people off of loving lists, so I may be adding more love letters to this post, later.

What love letters are you writing these days?

I should write love letters to Ron Lynch for inviting me to warm up the crowd last night at his Tomorrow! show in L.A. and also to Don for sending me the video, as promised.

I look forward to all the letters in the comments section, below.

Love letters to all  who helped me create today’s blogging love letter and — of course! — to YOU, my lovely and loving readers.

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Categories: blogging, love, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

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