gratitude

Day 2889: Eyes

Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing group, people told stories about eyes.

With my own eyes, I noticed people’s strong reactions to the stories about eyes, because eyes are

  • sensitive,
  • vulnerable, and
  • the windows to the soul.

At the end of the group, somebody made a commitment to turn their sensitive and vulnerable eyes away from the news for the rest of the day. The group members showed their approval and support with their eyes.

What do your eyes see in today’s photos?

Because my eyes have been hurting lately, I think I’ll watch this video over and over again instead of tonight’s U.S. President debate:

I’m so glad those people were using their eyes. Another good sight for my sore eyes would be comments from you.

I am thankful for my eyes and the observant eyes of kind people, like YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2885: Look into the distance

Yesterday, after a restorative Nia (Non-Impact Aerobics) class on ZOOM, the wonderful instructor Suzanne Cohen told us to spend the day using our eyes to look into the distance, because we spend so much time with our eyes focused on screens (like now!).

When I look into the distance, I see

  • hope,
  • change,
  • joy,
  • sadness,
  • all the feelings,
  • celebrations,
  • disappointments,
  • hard work,
  • restorations,
  • reparations,
  • losses,
  • gains,
  • beauty, and
  • so much more.

What do you see when you look into the distance with me?

Sometimes, when we look into the distance, we see ourselves. If we widen our perspective, we might see …

… everything.

Here‘s Bette Midler singing “From a Distance.”

When I look into the distance, I also see gratitude, which is close at hand.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Trump stickers | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2880: Sarcasm

Sarcasm is

  • “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt,”
  • “an ironic or satirical statement tempered by humor,”
  • saying “the opposite of what’s true in an attempt to make someone look or feel foolish,”
  • something my son requested that I stop using when he was young,
  • difficult to avoid in certain situations, and
  • the subject of today’s Daily Bitch Calendar.

Do you detect sarcasm in any of the following statements?

  • The people in power care about the rest of us so much.
  • Politicians try really hard to keep their promises.
  • Everybody in the United States has equal rights.
  • The United States citizenry always does a great job exercising the precious right to vote.
  • People are so well versed on the real issues that are going to affect them.
  • The squeaky wheel not only gets the most grease, it also deserves more attention than the quieter wheels (and the wheels that have trouble being heard).
  • Everyone agrees with me and my late mother that honesty is the best policy.

To help you detect sarcasm in those statements, here is “Lie Witness News — 2019 Year End Edition” from Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Do you detect sarcasm in any of these images?

What are your thoughts and feelings about sarcasm in this age of anxiety?

These days, I am never sarcastic when expressing gratitude (although some people are), so thanks for everything!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2863: Running from problems

There’s an overwhelming amount of problems these days, so I understand the wish to be running from them.

The problem is that there is no place to run from problems. No matter where you go, there you — and the problems — are.

If you do run, make sure you wear a mask. Otherwise, you’ll be making problems for everyone.

Let’s see if there’s any running from problems in my latest photos.

Before you run, here is “What if we stopped running away from problems” — a Ted talk by Bekhruz Abdurakhmonov, a young world-class fencer from Uzbekistan, about his experience with adolescent depression.

Consider running to the comments section below for a running commentary about this “Running from Problems” post.

Running toward gratitude is never a problem for me, so thanks to Bekhruz Abdurakhmonov, the Daily Bitch Calendar, Michael for the delicious Mexican lasagna, Harley for not running away, solution-oriented groups, and everyone else who helps me face my problems by writing this blog, including YOU!

Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

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 2730: Rulers of the House

If you saw the headline “Rulers of the House” (which I’m recreating in my house, here and now), what would your immediate association be?

Might “Rulers of the House” be

  • Men?
  • Women?
  • Adults?
  • Children?
  • Monarchs?
  • Elected officials?
  • Appointed officials?
  • Democrats?
  • Conservatives?
  • Corporations?
  • People with money?
  • People with privilege?
  • Sports figures?
  • Animals?
  • Deities?
  • Emotions?
  • Conscious thoughts?
  • Unconscious thoughts?
  • Dreams?
  • The weather?
  • Nature?
  • Technology?
  • Television?
  • Planets?

Do you see any Rulers of the House in my photos from yesterday?

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Here’s what I find when I search YouTube for “Rulers of the House”:

More rulers of the house:

I love the way Jewel Gilchrist rules her house.

Christine BaranskiMeryl Streep, and Audra McDonald are Rulers of the House in this version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” (from the 90th birthday celebration for Stephen Sondheim):

If you want to be one of the Rulers of the House of Living Non-Judgmentally, please leave a comment below.

As always, the rules of this house include expressing gratitude for all those in my life with hearts of gold, including YOU.

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Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2710: Jaw Dropping

It’s jaw dropping to me that I forgot about the invitation (which I included in yesterday’s  post)  to stream Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday celebration last night, with its jaw-dropping lineup of stars:

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I have found many things jaw-dropping lately, including

  • American leadership’s responses to the pandemic crisis,
  • racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia,
  • how difficult it is for people to get what they need,
  • how little there is to celebrate these days, and
  • people’s ability to celebrate, anyway.

Do you see anything jaw-dropping in my photos from yesterday?

It’s jaw dropping

  • that there was no spinach, parsley, or flour at the supermarket yesterday,
  • the delicious meal Michael made anyway,
  • how hard nurses work for us every day of the year,
  • the level of suffering out there, and
  • how lucky I am, here and now.

 

Here‘s the jaw-dropping celebration of Stephen Sondheim from last night:

I look forward to your jaw-dropping comments with (of course!) jaw-dropping gratitude.

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

Day 2707: Outlets

It’s challenging to find outlets for our feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, and wishes when the coronavirus is out there, not letting us live our normal and familiar  lives.

Yesterday, my outlets included

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My outlets also include music and dancing, and Michael and I recently danced to this old R.E.M. tune:

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
R.E.M.
Looking at your watch a third time
Waiting in the station for the bus
Going to a place that’s far
So far away and if that’s not enough
Going where nobody says hello
They don’t talk to anybody they don’t know
You’ll wind up in some factory
That’s full time filth and nowhere left to go
Walk home to an empty house
Sit around all by yourself
I know it might sound strange but I believe
You’ll be coming back before too long
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year
At night I drink myself to sleep and pretend
I don’t care if you’re not here with me
‘Cause it’s so much easier to handle
All my problems if I’m too far out to sea
But something better happen soon
Or it’s gonna be too late to bring you back

When people have an outlet to express themselves (like my Coping and Healing Groups), they’re saying it feels too late to bring ourselves back to where we were before the pandemic and that we might all be wasting another year waiting for this to be over.

How can any year be wasted if we meet each moment fully and as a friend?

What are your outlets, my friends?

Here’s another daily outlet for me: gratitude.

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Categories: gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2706: Urgent

Despite my dealing with many urgent situations over the last two thousand, seven hundred and six days (but who’s urgently counting?), I’ve never published a blog post with the title “Urgent” before.

Well, there’s no time like the present and these can seem like urgent times, although “urgent” is not an adjective I’ve heard about these times we’re living through together. I HAVE heard people describe these times as

  • challenging,
  • uncertain,
  • difficult,
  • strange,
  • weird,
  • anxious,
  • upsetting,
  • frightening,
  • scary,
  • terrifying,
  • troubling,
  • painful,
  • confusing,
  • unexpected,
  • unprecedented,
  • stressful,
  • crazy,
  • crazy-making, and
  • surreal.

Yesterday, during these challenging, uncertain, difficult, strange, etc. times, we brought our cat Oscar back to the Urgent Care Veterinary Center for a blood pressure test and to get medication. His situation didn’t seem urgent enough for an ultrasound of his digestive tract yesterday. However, if he ever throws up dried blood again,  we’ll urgently schedule that test as soon as possible.

Anything urgent in my pictures from yesterday?

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People in my Coping and Healing group yesterday talked about many topics — urgent and otherwise —  including the anniversary tribute to Prince , which I had missed. So, after our trip to the Veterinary Urgent Care Center, Michael, Oscar, and I watched “Let’s Go Crazy: Grammy Prince Tribute” On Demand last night, including this performance posted on YouTube by BoDerekSmith:

Here’s an urgent performance of “Baby I’m A Star” by the original, one-and-only Prince.

What feels urgent to me, during times like these, is finding and sharing moments of joy with others.

It’s not urgent that you express your thoughts and feelings about this “Urgent” post in a comment; however, it’s definitely appreciated. Urgent and emergent thanks to all who help me create these blog posts, including YOU!

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Categories: gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2704: The Light of Life

During dark times like these, we all need the light of life.   The light of life, for me, includes sharing thoughts, feelings, and images with you, every day.

Do you see the light of life in any of my photos from  yesterday?

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Last night, Michael and I were reminiscing about how our anxious, social-distancing cat Harley has also been described by veterinarians as “fretful” and “kind.”

And kindness is the light of life.

Then, we danced to a Townes Van Zandt song that has been a light of life for Michael:

Thanks to all who have been the light of life for me, including YOU.

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

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