friendship

Day 2831: Categories

If I were to categorize my associations with categories, they would include

  • a kid’s game I used to play with my friends in which we sang “categories, names of, (some category)” while clapping our hands and naming things in the category back and forth until somebody couldn’t think of one, which I cannot find categorized on YouTube (which I categorize as disappointing)  and
  • this online definition:

category[ kat-i-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee ]
noun, plural cat·e·go·ries.
any general or comprehensive division; a class.
a classificatory division in any field of knowledge, as a phylum or any of its subdivisions in biology.
Metaphysics.
(in Aristotelian philosophy) any of the fundamental modes of existence, such as substance, quality, and quantity, as determined by analysis of the different possible kinds of predication.
(in Kantian philosophy) any of the fundamental principles of the understanding, as the principle of causation.
any classification of terms that is ultimate and not susceptible to further analysis.
categories. Also called Guggenheim. (used with a singular verb) a game in which a key word and a list of categories, as dogs, automobiles, or rivers, are selected, and in which each player writes down a word in each category that begins with each of the letters of the key word, the player writing down the most words within a time limit being declared the winner.
Mathematics. a type of mathematical object, as a set, group, or metric space, together with a set of mappings from such an object to other objects of the same type.
Grammar. part of speech.

During these days, which I would categorize as staycation days for me, my son Aaron is trying to teach me about categories in mathematics (see above and see here).

Leon, who I would put in the categories of ex-husband, father of my son, friends, and people I love, showed up recently in this diagram of categories my son drew …

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… and also showed up yesterday …

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… with a framed photo of mine he put into the category of photos worthy of framing when he saw it in a recent blog post.

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I would put Leon’s actions —  printing out my picture,  framing it, and giving it to us  — into the categories of kind, creative, thoughtful, unexpected, and also very, very flattering.

What categories might we put these other recent pictures into?

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Jeanette, who I would also put into the categories of friends and people I love sent me this beautiful card …

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… which I would put into the category of condolence card for the loss of our cat Oscar, and so much more.  The  PictureThis app  (categorized as “Botanist in Your Pocket”) couldn’t place it into the category of flowers or plants.

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Dave Smith, who I would also put into the categories of friends and people I love as well as into the category of talented teacher and musician, provides today’s musical selection — “Time Waits for No One” from the album Dave Smith & Friends:

I’m looking forward to any comments of different categories, below.

Whatever categories I might put my blog into (which today includes “personal growth,” “photojournalism,” “friendship,” “definition,” and “life during the pandemic”), I should always include the category “gratitude.”  Thanks to all who help me create these categorized posts every day, including YOU!

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

Day 2791: Reasons you should speak up

Are you ever in situations where you don’t speak up, and you’re not sure why you are silencing yourself?

I’ve noticed this in myself and in others. And this tendency to not speak up is especially critical these days, when silence can equal violence.

Besides that article about speaking up against racism (linked to in the previous paragraph), I’m also looking at a helpful article by Kevin Daum that discusses 5 Reasons You Should Speak Up (Even When You Think You Shouldn’t).  For me, the highlights of that article are that

  • Silence is deemed approval and is not an effective way to avoid conflict.
  • Many stay silent because they don’t want to do any harm by criticizing or offending someone.
  • It’s important to show your commitment to the process by being vocal.
  • Honesty builds trust, especially when combined with tact and empathy.
  • What’s obvious to you might not be obvious to others.
  • You may not be alone in your thinking.

Are there other reasons to speak up? What might get in the way of you speaking up about that, here?

For me, what gets in the way of speaking up includes:

  • fear of doing harm,
  • fear of being misunderstood,
  • fear of feeling alone,
  • fear of being attacked for my opinion,
  • fear of exposing myself or others,
  • fears that are difficult to describe but which have lived in my heart for a long time,
  • wanting to maintain harmony whenever possible,
  • internalized sexism,
  • internalized ageism,
  • the saying “silence is golden,”
  • not being sure, in the moment, of what I want to say,
  • wishing to hear all sides before I decide what I want to say,
  • denial about what is going on (if the situation feels uncomfortable),
  • believing that the time  to speak up has passed,
  • distraction,
  • exhaustion,
  • mind-reading, catastrophizing, and other cognitive distortions.

However, when I don’t speak up, I usually regret it. It’s helpful for me to

  • remember that I CAN  speak up next time and
  • forgive myself for my past silences, because guilt and shame are silencers.

Are there reasons to speak up about my pictures from yesterday?

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Please don’t be afraid of those right and wrong buzzers and speak up in a comment, below.

I also want to speak up about my friend Megan

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… who gives me the courage to speak up. Yesterday, we spoke up to each other about the pandemic, racism, privilege, our work as therapists, the death of a shared patient from COVID-19,  difficult people, uncertainty, masks, politics, hopes, our children, the past, the present, the future, and our long-time friendship.

Here‘s “Speak Up, Speak Out” from Melinda Carroll:

 

Nothing gets in the way of my speaking up  about my gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, friendship, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2592: New Year’s Eve

For a long time, my New Year’s Eve tradition has been to compile  a list of my personal ten best and worst of the year.

This year’s best includes

This year’s worst includes

  • the death of close friends,
  • how divided my country is and
  • all the time I spent on worry and dread.

Do you see any evidence of  my best and worst in these new end-of-year photos?

 

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I also put musician Jacob Collier on my personal best list for 2019 and it’s the best that I’ll be seeing him perform live in 2020!

It’s best to start planning for the best of 2020 and not to worry about a thing.

What’s your personal best and worst of 2019?

The best way for me to end this post is to express gratitude to all  who have supported me through another year of daily blogging, including YOU!

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Happy New Year!

Love,

Ann

Categories: blogging, celebrating, friendship, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 2544: Flow

Two days ago, I drew this flow chart on my office white board for somebody who was trying to decide what action to take in a very difficult family situation.

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Then, in a flow of  synchronicity, somebody who used to participate in my Coping and Healing groups sent me this flowchart in an email:

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I love the way that flow chart keeps flowing into the same conclusion.

Are you ready for the flow of lots of other photos?

 

Last night, my dear friend Jeanette flowed into town from Philadelphia and shared our dinner, flowing conversations, photos of a Nailed It! cake and her trick-or-treating dog Gidget, and also this:

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It looks like that kitty has some opinions.  Go with the flow and don’t worry about it!

Here‘s a review of the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

 

Here’s “Flow” by Shawn James:

 

I look forward to the flow of comments below, because

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Are you ready for the flow of gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU?

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Categories: friendship, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2370: Based on a true story

All my blog posts are based on a true story, so it’s true that I love starting today’s blog post with a true image from my true friend Barbara’s truly lovely home.

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Yesterday, Barbara

  • went with me to see guitarist Pat Metheny for Barbara’s first time,
  • had the best fish dish of her entire life,
  • took selfies of herself and her friend of sixty-three years (me),
  • swapped amazing stories with her friend,
  • admired the gorgeous concert venue in Rockport Massachusetts,
  • experienced the wonder of synchronicity,
  • was, as usual, a wonderful friend,
  • enjoyed many adventures, and

these are all true stories!

We have proof that these stories are true, because of all these true photographs:

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Barbara and I both agreed that we truly enjoyed Pat last night especially when he involved more instruments than just one solo guitar. I told her the true story of his development of his own incredible Orchestrion, of which he had a small sample on stage with him last night.  I also told her the true story of how I saw Pat play at the Orpheum theater in Boston a decade ago when his Orchestrion album came out, and how truly amazing that was.  She wished she could have seen more of that, so this is truly for you, Barbara:

 

I’m looking forward to all your true stories, below.

My gratitude is always based on true stories, so thanks to Barbara,  to true friendship, to Pat Metheny, to all who helped me create today’s true post and — truly! — to YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2364: Where would you go in a time machine?

Yesterday, before I met my dear friend Megan and her wonderful daughter Kathryn for lunch and a stroll at a nearby beach, I was reading many of my past blog posts (including ones with Megan here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here and here).

Whenever I read my past blog posts, it’s like traveling in a time machine.  For example, when I was reading all those posts about Megan, I definitely traveled through time …. all the way back to 2013, my first year of blogging, and beyond!

This week, I’ve spent some time traveling in the time machine of memory to my May vacation week of exactly one year ago, during which somebody made me lunch and then travelled in a time machine to recount years of resentments.  Personally, when I travel in my time machine, I prefer to visit moments of love, not  times of resentment (even though my time machine goes everywhere, to moments of pleasure and pain).

My time with Megan and her daughter, yesterday, was truly a reparative experience, which I hope you can see, as you take the time to travel through my latest photos:

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Throughout time, I’ve been sending photos of pugs to my friend Jenn, because she loves them.  Yesterday, I sent Jenn that photo of Megan’s neighbor’s dog, Ruby.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?  One place I would (and do) revisit is the first time I heard Pat Metheny play, at the Paradise Theater in Boston in 1979.  On that day, I heard and saw Pat and his group play music from the album American Garage and I was never the same again.  Here and now, I’m traveling in my  personal time machine to the FUTURE — next week, when I’ll be seeing Pat live, again, playing solo guitar.

YouTube is a kind of time machine, too, allowing me to travel back to 1979,  the year of American Garage (and, coincidentally, the year that Megan was born!)

Here’s a comment about that video of the Pat Metheny Group circa 1979, in which nctomatoman is time traveling:

nctomatoman
1 year ago
My first Pat Metheny concert was in 1980 at the chapel on the UVermont campus in Burlington. He played this, Unity Village, Phase Dance, San Lorenzo – and an early version of As Fall Witchita, among other songs. Breathtaking – changed my musical life for good and I’ve seen Pat nearly 20 times in concert – Waltham, Philadelphia, Seattle, Raleigh….The Way Up, to me, is the peak of his art. I so hope that the PMG reunites, though the Unity Group is wonderful as well.

The last line of that comment and the word “wonderful” takes me back to yesterday, when I took this photo …

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…. assuming, at the time, that the title for today’s blog post would be “Wonderful.”

So, my wonderful readers, where would you go in a time machine?

Now I’m going to travel through time to recall years of gratitude, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, for all those who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

 

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2363: Gifts

Yesterday, my life-long friend Barbara and I met for lunch and we gave each other gifts.  Those gifts included lunch, sunglasses,  great conversation, praise, appreciation, support, validation,  honesty,  hugs, and acknowledgements of the importance of our friendship.

I now offer you the gifts of the photos from yesterday:

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Michael, who is a gift to me, gave the board members of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy the gift of those strombolis last night.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?  What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

I’m also going to offer my readers the gift of a guessing game.  The photos, above,  show my Mother’s Day gift from a family member.  You can give me the gift of your guesses in the comments section, below.

As I look forward to the gift of another day on this earth, here‘s the “Simple Gifts” section from Aaron Copland‘s Appalachian Spring, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

I end each post with the gift of gratitude.  Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to you, my readers (who are always a gift to me).

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

Day 2268: What makes me smile

Yesterday, I got this in the mail from my friend, Janet, who makes me smile:

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It makes me smile to read what Fluffy and Spot are discussing and Janet’s thoughtful note at the end:

Hi Ann!  Thought you could use a pick me up after all the not-great news you’ve been getting. Hope this makes you smile.  ❤  Janet

Janet has made me smile MANY times over thirty-plus years, including the smiles in previous blog posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, here,and here.

It makes me smile to think of all the great smiles Janet has given me.

Sharing these other recent photos makes me smile:

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Those last two photos were taken by our cat Oscar, which makes me smile:

 

It also makes me smile that one of the linked blog posts, above, including Janet (who, as has already been discussed,  makes me smile) involved Oscar posting on Facebook.

Oscar’s mastery of technology and social media makes me smile.

It makes me smile to realize I’m seeing my friend Megan for a birthday brunch today and then my friend Arnie for dinner.

It also makes me smile to realize that all the work I’ve been doing to silence my harsh inner critic, who does NOT make me smile, has been paying off!

It makes me smile to see Chicago‘s  Terry Kath, gone way too soon, rocking out on vocals and lead guitar  on “Make Me Smile”:

 

What makes you smile?

Gratitude makes me smile, every day.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 2205: Who gives a crap?

Who gives a crap about where today’s blog title came from?

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If you do give a crap, I saw that sign yesterday on the wall of a huge glass-blowing facility called Almost Perfect Glass  in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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There’s my  almost perfect friend, Deb, who was working the annual holiday glass sale at Almost Perfect Glass, which is the home of NOCA Glass School (where Deb has taken many courses, because she gives a crap about glass blowing). Deb and I give a crap about each other and have since we were in our teens. People say we look and act like sisters, and not just because we both wear the same t-shirt (which I gave her years ago because she gave a crap about what it says).

Who gives a crap about any of my other photos from yesterday?

 

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I give a crap about  talent, nature,  mindfulness, and all that’s in your head.

While we all give a crap about what’s important to us,  it also helps to let go of worry, shame, and other crap filling your brain by saying, “Who gives a crap!”

Who gives a crap about this“Who Gives a Crap” song on YouTube?

Who gives a crap about whether Who Gives a Crap is “toilet paper” or “bathroom tissue”?

Thanks to all who helped me create this who-gives-a-crap post and to you — of course! — for giving enough of a crap to read it.

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

Day 2185: Understanding how good people think

Yesterday, I saw this on a magazine cover:

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I don’t know about you, but I’m good and tired of trying to understand how bad people think.  How about understanding how good people think?

My good friend and good person Jeanette thinks this way: She wanted to celebrate — with other good people — turning 55 in November (even though her birthday is in April).  Other good people thought that was a great idea.  Here are some photos from that good celebration, yesterday:

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Good people like Jeanette think of dressing their good dog in a Princess outfit and calling it a “pink wave.”

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Good people like Jeanette think a black unicorn would be wonderful and good people like our good friend Carol  create one, just for Jeanette.

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Good people like our good friend Janet like to pose like this and good people like me post this photo with this caption: “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Also, I think I there’s some good Vitamin K stuck in my teeth there.

Here’s Jack Johnson with “Good People.”

My good and understanding readers, please show how you think in a comment below.

Now it’s time for understanding  how grateful people think about people who help them create blog posts and also — of course! — about YOU:

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

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