health care

Day 3163: Say Yes to the Mess

“Say Yes to the Mess” is something I put on a t-shirt years ago.

I chose to wear that t-shirt yesterday, partly because we’re all imperfectly messy human beings, trying to deal with the mess we’ve made — climate change, racism, pandemics, wars, etc. etc.

Little did I know that I would be wearing that same t-shirt to the Emergency Room this morning because of the first nosebleed I’ve ever gotten in my life, which started last night at 2 AM and is showing no signs of abating as I’m writing this.

What a mess!

I’ve had no choice but to say yes to many messes in my life. Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I like the messes; saying “yes” means I accept the reality of them and do my best to deal with them while staying positive. It also means accepting the intrinsic messiness of being alive while figuring out the next achievable step to move forward.

Let’s say yes to the mess in today’s images as I wait for a doctor to show up to stop my current mess.

A doctor just came in and we’re figuring out a way to say yes to this mess and to get me home soon!

Say yes to a mess of gratitude from me to you!

Categories: health care, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2860: Achieve a calm state

How to achieve a calm state four days before the most important Election Day in my long lifetime ?

  • Breathe.
  • Get some nutritious sleep.
  • Eat some nutritious food.
  • Listen to people you love.
  • Restrict your “doomscrolling” through the latest news.
  • Laugh.
  • Express yourself.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Play music.
  • Play.
  • Keep your blood pressure low.
  • Be safe.
  • Share your views, including fun fotos.

Also, realize that it’s hard for the current administration to make a comeback.

Let’s achieve a calm state together as we watch “Porch restaurant caters to chipmunk.”

Achieve a calm state as you take in my gratitude to all who helped me create this achieve-a-calm-state post, including my wonderful, dog-loving Primary Care doctor Laura Kate Snydman at Tufts Medical Center, Georgia food writer Angela Hansberger, Thelonius Munk, the Daily Bitch Calendar, and YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, health care, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2641: Who is the enemy?

These days, sometimes what I’m hearing is people trying to figure out who the enemy is.

Is the enemy

  • a political party?
  • a political leader?
  • those telling us to practice social distancing?
  • old habits?
  • cognitive distortions?
  • the news media?
  • the virus itself?
  • ourselves?
  • those we see as different from us?
  • confusion?
  • mixed messages?
  • hoarding?
  • lies?
  • the truth?
  • greed?
  • business?
  • socialism?
  • capitalism?
  • fear?
  • death?

Trying to figure out who the enemy is can take up a lot of energy.

When I look around, here, and now, I see no enemies. I see people trying their best to (1) figure out an ever-changing, unknown landscape and (2) get through this with minimal losses.

Do you see any enemies in my photos from yesterday?

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Here is “The Enemy Inside” by Dream Theater:

And just to balance things out, here’s “You’ve Got a Friend” covered by my musical hero Jacob Collier, whom I am almost definitely not going to be able to see perform in Boston this May.

I’m sure I’ll see Jacob Collier in better days to come.

Who is going to comment on enemies, friends, or anything else below?

As this tea bag tells us …

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… kindness has no enemy and neither does gratitude.

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Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2640: What I’m hearing

What I’m hearing, whenever somebody asks me what kind of animal I might want to be, is myself answering: “I would want to be a duck, because ducks are comfortable on land, on water, and in the air, they mate for life, and they make extremely silly noises.”

What I’m hearing, these days, are people are having more difficulty hearing because there is so much competing noise out there about what people need to do to be healthy and to survive.

What I’m hearing is that it’s time for me to share my first photo of the day:

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What I’m hearing is that I will be able to conduct my Coping and Healing groups using a remote telehealth platform, starting today.  What I’m hearing is that several different people will be participating in today’s group.

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What I’m hearing is that people are nervous when they do anything new for the first time.  Who looks particularly nervous in that photo above?  I’m hearing that the duck is a little anxious.

What I’m hearing is that the supply chain of food is okay, for now.

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What I’m hearing is that sometimes happy coincidences happen, as you can see from last night’s teabag saying:

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I’m hearing that the power of music can help us stay sane during these nutty times.

Here‘s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” performed by Marvin Gaye, a capella (because we’re all making do without all our usual supports, these days).

What are you hearing, here and now?

I hope you’re not sick of hearing gratitude from me.

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Categories: group therapy, health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2639: Nuts! We’re all nuts!

Hello, my fellow nuts!  Today’s title is inspired by the very first photo I took yesterday:

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We’re all nuts because people are still

  • ignoring requests from governments to maintain social distancing,
  • hoarding certain provisions,
  • acting in old ways in the face of major new realities, and
  • personalizing, labeling, minimizing, magnifying, blaming, fortune-telling, mind-reading, negative-filtering, and all those other nutty cognitive distortions.

I hope that we nuts can figure out how to save ourselves and the planet before it’s too late, so we can keep being nuts together in less nutty ways.

All my photos today are nuts!

 

If you’re nuts about any of those photos, you can click on them to enlarge them.

Here‘s one of my favorite songs about how we’re all nuts (from before the days of social distancing):

 

If you’re nuts like me, please leave a comment below.

I am grateful to share this nutty blog with you, every day!

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Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2638: What we can teach each other

Yesterday, I decided that our shy cat Harley could probably teach people a thing or two about social distancing, so I started taping this tutorial:

However, Harley didn’t teach the way I expected him to. Based on my past knowledge of Harley, I assume that Harley’s behavior was different because his best friend Michael was in the room.

This morning, when Michael was not in the room, I tried again:

Somebody can teach me something about how to hold the camera and Harley can teach us all this about social distancing:

  • Maintain a distance of six feet from people.
  • If somebody gets too close, move away, if possible.
  • If not, ask the person to back off.

Harley also teaches us that fear can make us very catty.

What can these other recent images teach us?

That teabag can teach us that our strength is our own knowledge.

I hope our knowledge and our strength help us all get through this.  I look forward to the teachings in the comments section, below.

Thanks to all who teach and learn, including YOU!

Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 2579: Proud to be

Proud to be

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  • someone who follows my dreams,

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  • a  healthcare worker,

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  • a functioning adult,

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  • somebody who notices requests and rules,

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  • somebody who gives respect and gets it,

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  • quiet, and thankful every day.

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What are you proud to be?

 

Categories: group therapy, health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2381: Roadmap for a respectful culture

Hello, my respectful readers!

Yesterday, I noticed this big roadmap on the office wall of our Senior Director of Social Work and Patient/Family Engagement at the hospital:

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Respectfully, I realize that parts of that important roadmap are difficult to read.  I hope this helps:

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In case it doesn’t, I respectfully submit this list of behaviors promoting a respectful culture:

  • Intentionally engaging and including all constituents by participation and information sharing
  • Spending time with people
  • Introducing new employees via walkabouts through the department
  • Saying thank you
  • Asking questions
  • Listening more, talking less
  • Paraphrasing to check understanding
  • Coming up with at least 3 possible rationales for an action
  • Making eye contact
  • Saying “hi” to everyone
  • Helping those who are lost
  • Smiling
  • Show gratitude frequently
  • Asking for and accepting help when needed
  • Asking for feedback across, down, up

Yesterday, I met our neighbor Will Isenberg,  who is offering a roadmap for a respectful culture …

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I’m voting for Will on September 10 because I believe his roadmap will lead to a more respectful culture.

Today, I will be respectfully appearing on the podcast Heart to Heart with Anna, in which Anna Jaworski and I will be intentionally engaging and including all listeners by participation and information sharing about my very unusual heart. I don’t yet have a specific roadmap to my episode, but I’ll insert that link later today.

Here’s the link to the podcast. The first airing will be noon USA Eastern time.

And this link lets you listen at your convenience.

I respectfully submit all my other photos from yesterday, wondering which offer a roadmap for a respectful culture:

What music comes to mind when you think of a roadmap to a respectful culture?

This is what comes up on YouTube:

This shows up, too:

Now I’m asking for feedback across, down, up, with a respectful roadmap to the comments section, below.

Since gratitude is such an important part of a roadmap to a respectful culture, thanks to all who helped me create this blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2291: Why? Why?

Why oh why am I writing a fourth blog post about Why?  Why am I linking to the previous three posts (here, here, and here)?

Why did I write “Why?” on two different white boards at work yesterday?

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Why do white boards consistently get more difficult to erase?

Why were people in therapy yesterday asking so many WHY? questions, including:

Why is there so much traffic?

Why did it take me four times as long as usual to get here today?

Why do people back their cars into spaces in parking lots?

Why do people do what they do?

Why do I deliberately act like a mischievous child?

Why am I in so much pain?

Why am I in therapy?

Why aren’t other people in therapy?

Why did I take the rest of these pictures?

 

Why is it taking so much longer for me to access and transfer my photos? Why does that happen periodically?  Why does it bother me less each time it happens?

Why am I still having trouble writing that letter from the President for my professional organization’s newsletter?  Why did I start fresh yesterday with a new topic?  Why did Michael say he thought my first, abandoned topic  (the rejuvenation of Spring) was better? Why am I going to finish the second topic and then write another letter with the first topic if I have time? Why am I using the quote “If you want something to get done, give it to the busiest person” in my letter?

Why did I ask all the questions I did in this podcast (starting at 19 minutes and again at 28:34)?

 

Why did Michael not want to listen to that podcast last night? Probably for the same reason he doesn’t usually read this blog.   Why did I think I could find the post that explains that by searching on “Why Michael doesn’t read this blog”?

Why would you leave a comment today?

Why would I thank all those who help me write these posts and also YOU?  Why do you think?

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Categories: health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2206: How to use your energy

When I was using my energy, yesterday, to return to work after a week at Disney World, I saw this energetic teabag saying:

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An hour earlier, I saw many people using their energy to destroy a building.

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Sometimes we have to destroy what’s there to build something new in its place.  Of course, that takes a lot of energy.

An hour before I took that photo, I had the energy to take this one:

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No matter how much I summon my strength, I have less energy in the winter and also as I’m getting older.  So it becomes even more crucial how I choose to use my energy.

I didn’t have the energy to take any more photos yesterday, but I do have the energy to list what I am NOT using my energy on, these days:

  • worry about the future,
  • regret about the past,
  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • judgment,
  • toxic people,
  • anger, and
  • the news.

However, I do have the energy to think about positive, achievable solutions and I do have the energy to take the next, small steps towards those solutions. I think those are good uses of my energy.

Yesterday, at my first day back at work, many things happened that could have sapped my energy — like multiple crisis calls coming at the same time AND a patient showing up a day earlier than she was scheduled.  It always helps my energy to embrace “the full catastrophe” of life and I survived another work day, with energy to spare.  I’m glad I’m using my energy, at this phase of my life, on work I love and value.

Now I’m using my energy to share the original use of “the full catastrophe” in a very energetic movie.

Here‘s another energizing scene from Zorba the Greek:

I hope you use your energy to share your thoughts and feelings about this post.

As always, I use my energy to express gratitude to all who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU, for using your energy to read it.

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Categories: gratitude, health care, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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