heart condition

Day 2919: Poop

If you want the poop/scoop on why I’ve chosen today’s title, here’s one reason why:

Here‘s the poop on “poop” from Merriam-Webster:

poop noun (1)
Definition of poop
1 informal : FECES, EXCREMENT
As a brand-new father, a new substance plays a big role in my life: poop.
— Scott Kramer
As the years go by, there’s trouble in paradise, and it isn’t just the ubiquitous goose poop.
— Katherine Lanpher
2 informal : the act of defecating
I have a complaint against dog owners that take their dogs for a walk but do not take a bag, then let their dog stop by people’s mailboxes and take a poop.
— Billie Johnston


poop
intransitive verb

slang : to become exhausted
poop out


poop
slang
: INFORMATION, SCOOP

If you check the definition of “poop” at Merriam-Webster, you’ll see that I left out some poop there. These days, there’s only so much poop I can take.

Do you see any poop in my other photos from yesterday?

I wonder how much poop we’ll have to deal with in 2021?!

Today is November 22, a day which usually makes me feel like poop (and you can get the poop on that here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). I guess I’ve gotten my poop together over the years, because I feel like the opposite of poop today.

What IS the opposite of poop? According to wordhippo.com, the opposite of poop includes

  • calm
  • delight
  • cheer
  • help
  • cure
  • being
  • philosopher
  • genius
  • sage
  • learned woman
  • wise woman
  • old soul.

Here’s “Whose Poop is It?” by JunyTony:

Here’s the poop about all the poop songs I found on YouTube: all have comments turned off. However, comments for this poop post are NOT turned off, so — if you’re not too pooped — please share your thoughts and feelings, below.

Thanks to all who help me share the latest poop in this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, definition, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Trump stickers | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2910: I know things ordinary people don’t know

I know things ordinary people don’t know because I

  • was born with a very unusual heart,
  • grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household,
  • had an incredibly funny, creative, and kind father, who loved to make people laugh,
  • had an incredibly caring, kind, clean and neat mother, who loved to laugh,
  • realized I had a connection with cats when I was very young,
  • had my first major heart surgery when I was 10 on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated,
  • have relied on cardiac pacemakers to keep me alive since that day,
  • spent a lot of time in hospitals where I met many different types of people,
  • danced in our basement to musicals when nobody was watching,
  • read voraciously when I was young,
  • learned to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele,
  • attended three schools where everyone there knew I had a heart condition,
  • travelled across the USA by bus when I was 21,
  • visited many different countries,
  • danced, danced, danced in the 1970s even though my heart rate was fixed at 72 beats per minute,
  • majored in English literature at college,
  • worked as a technical writer, marketing writer, teacher, manager, and psychotherapist,
  • volunteered for several years at a suicide hotline,
  • attended graduate schools for film studies and social work,
  • love hearing other people’s stories,
  • married two extraordinary men,
  • gave birth to an extraordinary son when I was 45 years old,
  • saw people behave at their best and their worst and everything in between (including me),
  • survived the coronavirus,
  • have kept learning from all the people I have encountered in my long life, and
  • have the Daily Bitch calendar, which knows a lot.

Can you tell that I know things ordinary people don’t know from the rest of today’s photos?

Harley knows things that ordinary cats don’t know, but he’s not telling.

It’s a good thing I know things that ordinary people don’t know, because I’ll be teaching several interns about my Coping and Healing groups this morning at 9.

Here is “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, whom I’ve known I’ve loved for a long, long time.

I also know gratitude that ordinary people don’t know, every day, so thanks to to all the extraordinary people I’ve known, including YOU!

Categories: group psychotherapy, heart condition, heart surgery, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2891: Endure

I keep noticing this rock, which endures in the enduring Kindness Rock Project near our home:

The only other time I’ve used the word “endure” in a blog title was Day 1409: Adapt and Endure, which I published the day after Donald Trump became the U.S. President four years ago.

I, having endured many medical scares and challenges through 2016, also posted this enduring (and, I hope, endearing) message back then on Facebook:

“I survived open heart surgery for THIS?”

As we approach November 2020, let’s think about what we have endured over the last four years. Has it been an AFOG (Another F-ing Opportunity for Growth)? An irredeemable disaster? Something else? Your answer may depend on how you tend to endure.

Which of these images might endure for you?

Okay, I’m ready to endure the next 10 days. Are you?

Here’s a 1972 tune by Stephen Stills which endures for me:

What else endures? Comments on WordPress and my gratitude to all who help me endure, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Trump stickers | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2838: Just keep walking

Yesterday, I

  • facilitated a Coping and Healing group remotely from my home,
  • went to Tufts Medical Center to get my first echocardiogram since contracting COVID-19 in March,
  • heard from my wonderful cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem via email that there was no change in my heart,
  • celebrated the great news by buying cream puffs from my favorite bakery,
  • drove by a demonstration of Black Lives Matter people and Blue Lives Matter people,
  • told my husband and son my good news,
  • walked back toward the demonstration,
  • visited the beautiful collection of painted rocks on the beach,
  • Sharpied more Trump stickers,
  • stood with the Black Lives Matter people as many more Blue Lives Matter people swirled around us with flags and loud noisemakers,
  • asked one of the Black Lives Matter people whether the Blue Lives Matter people were supporting Democrats (whose national color is blue),
  • explained to that person that I was kidding,
  • was told by another Black Lives Matter person that I was awesome and my hair looked great,
  • started walking back home,
  • told a guy who passed me and started talking nonsense about the Black Lives Matter people, “I don’t agree with you so just keep walking,”
  • got caught in a wild and windy rainstorm,
  • just kept walking home for another 30 minutes,
  • changed out of my wet clothes,
  • had some cream puffs,
  • ate a delicious swordfish dish made by my husband Michael,
  • watched the Vice President debate with my husband and son,
  • commented on a fly’s affinity for Mike Pence,
  • ate more cream puffs,
  • declared Kamala Harris the winner,
  • dealt with our internet and cable going out during the debate analysis,
  • put aside worry about it being restored in time for my groups today,
  • went to sleep, and
  • woke up in time to blog before my dental cleaning this morning at 8 AM.

Let’s just keep walking through my most recent photos.

I just keep walking through my Daily Bitch Calendar until November.

I just walked over to YouTube to find “Kamala” by Randy Rainbow:

Just keep commenting, below.

Thanks to all who help me keep walking and blogging every day, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2837: Stranger Danger

Have you ever experienced a stranger time with so much danger? Above all, there is danger because of the stranger in the White House.

Do you see stranger danger in today’s images?

I am having an echocardiogram today at 3 to discover whether COVID-19 has damaged my heart, which is stranger than yours. Everyone will be wearing masks during this procedure, so that strangers won’t cause danger to each other. Even though masks might make us look and feel stranger, it’s the strangest behavior in the world not to wear one to reduce danger to oneself and others.

The stranger in the White House is endangering countless lives of strangers with his stranger and stranger behavior. If you are voting for him, nothing is stranger to me.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and “Stranger in Town” from Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion showed up in my headphones yesterday when I was taking my “Stranger Danger” photos.

What are your thoughts and feelings about this Stranger Danger post?

Thanks to all the friends and strangers who help me create this daily blog, which reduces my danger during these stranger and stranger times.

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

Day 2767: Paying attention

Here and now, I’m paying attention to these quotes about paying attention:

“The right way to begin is to pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.” — Socrates

“Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.” — Antisthenes

“If you’re not nervous then you’re not paying attention.” — Miles Davis

“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” — Tom Peters

“The difference between hearing and listening is paying attention.” — Ruth Messinger

“If you pay attention to when you are hungry,  what your body wants, what you’re eating, when you’ve had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist.” — Geneen Roth

“When you really pay attention, everything is your teacher.” — Ezra Bayda

“All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.”  —Paulo Coelho

“The universe is full of noise.  True wisdom is in knowing what to pay attention to.” — Debasish Mridha

“Pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still.  A portal is opening up.” — Eckhart Tolle

“Pay attention to the little things.  They’re more important than you think.”  — Matt Gutierrez

“Don’t beg for attention; pay attention to your dreams and others will pay attention to you.” — Israelmore Ayivor

“People will reveal who they are if you just pay attention.”  — Germany Kent

“Pay attention to the gentle ones, the ones who can hold your gaze with no discomfort, the ones who smile to themselves while sitting alone in a coffee shop, the ones who walk as if floating. Take them in and marvel at them.  Simply marvel. It takes an extraordinary person to carry themselves as if they do not live in hell.” —  D. Bunyavong

“Pay attention to what you don’t see.” — Tia DeShay

“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” — Anne Lamott

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.”  — Keanu Reeves

“You’ll have bad times.  But that’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” — Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting

“Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Paying attention is the most basic and profound expression of love.” —Tara Brach

“The greatest act of love is to pay attention.” — Diane Sawyer

“Every single person has a story that will break your heart.  And if you’re paying attention, many people have a story that will bring you to your knees.  Nobody rides for free.”  — Brené Brown

“I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, ‘For the same reason I laugh so often — because I’m paying attention.’ ” — Glennon Doyle

“But when we observe, we are forced to pay attention.  We have to move from passive absorption to active awareness. We have to engage.” —  Maria Konnikova

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” — Mary Oliver

Now it’s time to be paying attention to my latest photos.

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If you’re paying attention, you might notice a typo in that job description. What else are you paying attention to?

Here‘s “Pay Attention” from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

As always, I’m paying attention to gratitude, so thanks to all who help me pay attention to this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2699: For now

For now,

  • Oscar seems to be feeling better, perhaps due to his steroid medication,
  • friends and family seem to be well,
  • I am not suffering,
  • a lot of people are in pain,
  • I am facilitating a telehealth version of my Coping and Healing groups five times every week,
  • I am using the word “mute” and “unmute” way too often,
  • I’m working from home for the foreseeable future,
  • I am still President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy,
  • pasta is still my favorite food,
  • the weather in Boston is beautiful,
  • I am living near the water,
  • most people in my neighborhood are wearing masks when they are outside,
  • I see a lot of white male rage,

  • I love Melissa Villasenõr,
  • I believe in skill, perseverance, flexibility,  and luck,
  • I was inexplicably able to fix an inexplicable and annoying display change on my laptop,
  • when somebody calls me “annoying” or any other critical label, I have trouble letting go of that,
  • I think saying “hello” and “goodbye” are both very important,
  • focusing on the future often raises anxiety,
  • I’m trying to avoid fortune telling, mind reading, and the other cognitive distortions,
  • I prefer to live in the now,
  • I am very grateful for all that I have, and
  • I am sharing all my photos from yesterday.

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For now and forever, I don’t drink wine because I’m on Coumadin for the rest of my life. For now, I am totally fine with that.

For now, I need to end this post and get ready for work, so thanks to all who helped me create another “For Now” post, including YOU!

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Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2686: Responses to Illness

I have many decades of experience observing responses to illness, because I’ve being dealing with a heart condition since birth.  The responses to illness I’ve seen include:

  • pity,
  • sympathy,
  • empathy,
  • fear,
  • courage,
  • ignorance,
  • ingenuity,
  • misunderstanding,
  • understanding,
  • denial,
  • acceptance,
  • coldness,
  • warmth,
  • despair,
  • hope,
  • disrespect,
  • respect,
  • anxiety,
  • calm,
  • avoidance,
  • acceptance,
  • confusion,
  • clarity,
  • cruelty,
  • caring,
  • neglect,
  • kindness,
  • resentment,
  • inspiration,
  • isolation,
  • connection,
  • distancing,
  • embracing,
  • hate, and
  • love.

What responses to illness have you observed, in others and in yourself?

Now that our cat, Oscar, is ill with cancer, I’m noticing my responses to him, which are based on the golden rule:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I am treating Oscar when he is ill as I always wish to be treated when I am ill: with respect, caring, compassion, understanding, love, and connection.

Last night, my responses to Oscar included dancing with him to Steppin’ Out.” by Joe Jackson. Would you like to respond to this by dancing with us?

 

Personally, I think dancing is a great response to everything.

Do you see responses to illness in my other photos from yesterday?

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My response to that last photo is this: In this current time of illness, many people would go more places if more places had drive-thrus.

My final response in this blog post is gratitude for what I’ve got, including Oscar, my health, and YOU!

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

Day 2626: No one asked for this

Yesterday, after I published my breaking news post, I discovered I had cold symptoms and a slight fever.

Worried that I might have caught the coronavirus (which no one asked for) during the week-long group therapy conference in NYC, I informed my manager and my doctors. Because of my risk factors (over 60 years old, chronic heart issues), the doctors decided they would test me for the virus if my temperature went above 100.4. Also, because I’ve gotten endocarditis (a dangerous inflammation of the heart which I also never asked for) three times in my life, I usually ask to get tested for that whenever I run a fever.

No one asked for this, but I stayed home from work, watched TV, monitored my temperature, and took photos of more breaking news which nobody asked for.

I also caught up on the Stephen Colbert shows I had missed last week. I took a photo of this …

… thinking “my next blog post will probably be titled ‘No one asked for this.'”

No one asked for the coronavirus outbreak. Also, no one asked for me to run a fever of 100.6 in the evening, which I did.

When I reported my fever to my medical team, they asked me to go to the Emergency Room, another thing I’ve never asked for. I asked if I could finish the delicious salmon dish Michael had cooked for me first.

They asked me to wear a mask to the Emergency Room. Since I didn’t have a mask, they asked me to wear a scarf around my face. I asked Michael to accompany me to the Emergency Room.

They tested me for many things, including the flu and endocarditis. I certainly didn’t ask to be admitted to the hospital overnight, but the Emergency Room doctor didn’t like my oxygen levels.

No one asked for this, but here are more photos from yesterday.

No one asked for this, but they think I might have pneumonia. Whether or not you ask for this, I’ll give you more updates in my next post.

No one asked for my gratitude, but I give it willingly, every day.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 50 Comments

Day 2593: Fresh on so many levels

Yesterday,  when I was fresh from a very good meeting with my cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem, I saw this:

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There so many levels of meaning for the word “fresh.”

FRESH adjective
\ ˈfresh \
Definition of fresh
1a : having its original qualities unimpaired: such as
(1): full of or renewed in vigor : REFRESHED
rose fresh from a good night’s sleep
(2): not stale, sour, or decayed
fresh bread
(3): not faded
lessons fresh in her memory
(4): not worn or rumpled
a fresh white shirt

b: not altered by processing
fresh vegetables
2a: not salt
fresh water
b(1): free from taint : PURE
fresh air
(2)of wind : moderately strong
a fresh breeze

3a(1): experienced, made, or received newly or anew
form fresh friendships
(2): ADDITIONAL, ANOTHER
a fresh start
b: ORIGINAL, VIVID
a fresh portrayal
c: lacking experience : RAW
coming fresh to the job
— Helen Howe
d: just come or arrived
fresh from school
e: having the milk flow recently established
a fresh cow
4[ probably by folk etymology from German frech] : disposed to take liberties : IMPUDENT
don’t get fresh with me
5 slang : FASHIONABLE, COOL

I hope my other photos in today’s fresh post  are fresh on so many levels.

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Here‘s a song I remember that used the word “fresh”.

I’ll be looking for so many levels in your fresh comments, below.

I’m grateful on so many levels, here and now.

 

 

Categories: definition, group therapy, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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