life during the pandemic

Day 2924: Thankful

I am thankful for so much on this Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful to be alive and in love with life and with so many living creatures.

I am thankful for my eyes and for what they see.

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I am thankful for my ears. I’m thankful for what they hear.

What are you thankful for, in six words, less, or more?

On Thanksgiving and every other day, I am thankful for YOU!

Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Day 2922: Exhausting

It’s exhausting how exhausted everybody is from

  • the news,
  • the coronavirus,
  • Donald Trump,
  • perpetrators,
  • enablers,
  • liars,
  • deniers,
  • disappointment,
  • loss,
  • social injustice and inequalities,
  • systemic racism, and
  • hate.

Even though life is so exhausting today, we have to keep fighting together for a better life tomorrow. However, don’t forget to rest along the exhausting way ahead.

Thankfully, I don’t find blogging exhausting. It’s the opposite of exhausting to connect with you and to share images like these:

What’s been exhausting you? How are you taking care of yourself during these exhausting times?

Here’s Jai’Len Josey singing “Exhausting.”

Besides “Exhausting,” Jai’Len Josey also sang “My Mind” nine months ago, which she shared on my birthday.

When I first saw that today, I assumed she recorded it during this exhausting pandemic, but that was more than a month before we all started losing our minds together.

Expressing gratitude is also the opposite of exhausting, so thanks to all who help me get through these exhausting times, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2921: Identity

Last week, Human Resources at work sent me an email stating that if I had not filed for unemployment benefits (I had not), my identity had been stolen. Because I had heard previously that our work email system might have been hacked, I doubted the identity of the emailer and wrote back “Why should I believe YOU?” The HR person validated my concern and offered to prove her identity by calling me. In that phone call, we established that, indeed, my identity had been stolen.

As I looked into the theft of my identity, I discovered that it had been stolen TWO YEARS AGO. All this time, I’ve been blissfully ignorant of my identity theft, even though part of my identity has been preparing and protecting myself from trouble.

In the past, when I’ve heard that somebody’s identity had been stolen, I’ve reacted with worry, concern, and fear that this might someday happen to me. Now that my identity has been stolen, I am happy to identify that I am still me, doing what needs to be done, surviving it all, and remaining hopeful about the future.

As a matter of fact, my identity theft has seemed so insignificant to me — compared to the attempted theft of the identity of my country — I haven’t mentioned it here on my blog, until now.

Because part of my identity is to define my terms, here’s a definition of identity:

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Do you see identity in any of my other recently captured images?

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I can’t wait for the day when we stop obsessing about the identity of Donald Trump and focus on much more important identities.

Here‘s “How Artists Explore Identity” from The Museum of Modern Art, featuring Frida Kahlo, Glenn Ligon, and Andy Warhol.

Feel free to express your identity in a comment, below.

Thanks for all the identities that helped me create this identity post, including YOU!

Categories: personal growth, definition, life during the pandemic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2920: 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 2919: Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Joe Biden has been declared the next President of the United States. Again.

Wait for it.

I sang “The Impossible Wait” at a remote Open Mic last night.

Wait for it.

I had to wait until everybody else had performed first.

Wait for it.

My ex-husband wrote me this: “That was worth waiting for. I hope it was recorded. If it gets posted online it could make you a star.”

Wait for it.

Wait for the photos I took yesterday.

Wait for it.

It takes steadiness, character, and commitment to wait for it.

For those who are waiting for my 3000th blog post, I’ll be publishing that on a very special day.

Wait for it.

Unless I’ve miscounted,* that special day is the long-awaited inauguration of Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States.

Wait for that day, along with millions of others. Good things come to those who wait.

If you have any thoughts and feelings about this wait-for-it post, don’t wait to express yourself in a comment, below.

Wait for my gratitude to all who have helped me create this daily blog since January 1, 2013, including YOU.

* I TOTALLY miscounted. Next time, I’ll wait to check my math before I publish a post. Those will both be special days, but not the same one. I’ve been waiting to be more forgiving of myself when I make mistakes, and that special day is here!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, life during the pandemic, Music, personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2918: Waking Up

What are you waking up to today?

I’m waking up to

  • stress, stress, stress all around,
  • more terrifyingly ridiculous news about the transfer of presidential power in the USA,
  • frightening spikes in the number of COVID cases and deaths,
  • a world where climate change threatens everybody,
  • egregious social injustices and inequalities,
  • people’s incredible levels of denial,
  • the amazing resistance some people have to admitting mistakes and owning responsibility,
  • a brand new day, and
  • these new images on my cell phone.

I love waking up to the Daily Bitch.

Here’s “Waking Up” by We The Kingdom.

Every day, no matter what, I’m waking up with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2917: Hands

Yesterday, when the wonderful hands of Mia from MiAlisa Salon were giving me a hands-down fabulous haircut, Mia told me about a beautiful way she has been self-soothing during these hard times. She holds her own hand.

Mia said that she held and held her mother’s hand in her hand while her mother was dying, and she misses her mother. Now, when she clasps her own two hands together, she feels powerfully comforted, settled, and anchored. Mia said holding hands with herself also helps her fall asleep.

I told Mia that I have been encouraging people in my Coping and Healing groups to give themselves hugs and that I will add clasping their own hands to the self-soothing repertoire.

And I am happy to report, this morning, that holding hands with myself helped me sleep through the night for the first time in months!

My sleep is also being helped by the growing certainty that my country will soon be in better hands. For the past four years, the USA has been in the hands of a toxic narcissist.

Speaking of hands, if anyone wants to see me play the ukulele with my own hands tomorrow evening, please sign up to be in the audience before the end of the day today using this link:

https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn15

As people continue to count ballots by hand, I’ll be singing “The Impossible Wait” to the tune of “The Impossible Dream.”

I took all of these photos using my hands. Can you spot the hands of Mia and my husband Michael?

Here is “Hands — A Song for Orlando” from four years ago, showing how hands can hurt and heal.

If you leave a comment with your hands, I will respond with my hands and my heart.

In this time of social distancing, please wash your hands and wear a mask. My hands go out to yours in gratitude, here and now.

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

Day 2916: Leave

Leave us consider people who do not leave when they are supposed to leave.

Maybe this song by Buffalo Springfield will help them leave.

Here’s a recent cartoon by Signe Wilkinson from Philadelphia, where some lawyers have refused to leave off challenging the results of the fall election.

When people don’t leave, you can

  • Clearly and decisively ask them to leave.
  • Present a united front with others.
  • If necessary, call the authorities.

Since people in Washington are doing none of the above, I wonder if they have taken leave of their senses.

Even in the middle of a pandemic, I leave the house to take photos, but I never leave my mask at home.

People leave behind life jackets, balloons, and all sorts of other leavings outside.

Years after leaving high school, my friend Lawry and I were having a conversation about people’s behavior. Lawry (who also has a WordPress blog) expressed frustration that people were acting like they had never left high school. I replied, “Life is always high school,” which left a big impression on him.

Great minds think alike, apparently, because here are some wise words from Barack Obama, who had no trouble leaving the White House graciously four long years ago.

Of course, I’m leaving out parts of that long and illuminating interview from The Atlantic. But thinking like Barack Obama leaves me with a great sense of satisfaction.

Shall I leave you with last night’s delicious nutritious dish and today’s Daily Bitch Calendar?

Remember phone calls, decency, and knowing when to leave?

I know when and how to leave — with gratitude.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2915: Vigilant

As we enter a cold, dark season of illness and political uncertainties ahead, I feel the need to be vigilant.

I am vigilant about

  • the health of those I love,
  • my own health,
  • other people’s anger and tendencies towards violence,
  • ignorance,
  • denial,
  • misunderstandings,
  • mistakes,
  • money,
  • lies, and
  • systemic injustices.

I assume I am not alone in feeling vigilant. I’m just trying to figure out how to turn off my vigilant mind at night so I can get more sleep! It’s difficult to be vigilant when you’re exhausted.

I took these photos yesterday while I was being vigilant (and if you’re vigilant you might spot my son Aaron in one of them):

We need to be vigilant, every moment of our lives, to be what we ought to be AND to keep our refrigerators clear of old condiments.

I definitely need some sort of break from all this vigilance.

My vigilant and diligent husband Michael recently introduced me to this wonderful song — “Little Tornado” by Aimee Mann.

I will be vigilant as I look out for your comments, below.

Vigilant thanks to Aimee Mann, Aaron, Michael, Harley, the Daily Bitch, and all those who help me remain vigilant about blogging daily, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, insomnia, life during the pandemic, personal growth, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2914: Apathy

Here’s what Merriam-Webster says about apathy:


1: lack of feeling or emotion : IMPASSIVENESS
drug abuse leading to apathy and depression
2: lack of interest or concern : INDIFFERENCE
political apathy

How Apathy Differs From Impassivity and Indifference
Apathy, impassivity, and indifference all denote a lack of responsiveness to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. Apathy suggests a puzzling or deplorable inertness or lack of passion, as in “the problem of continued voter apathy.” Impassivity stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression, as in “teachers frustrated by the impassivity of their students.” Indifference connotes a lack of interest in or concern about something, as in “the company’s apparent indifference to the needs of its employees.”

The Greek Origins of Apathy
There’s no reason to be uncaring about the origins of apathy—though there is a clue to the word’s beginnings in this sentence. Apathy was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Greek apatheia, which itself comes from the adjective apathēs, meaning “without feeling.” Apathēs, in turn, was formed by combining the negating prefix a- with pathos, meaning “emotion.” Incidentally, if you’ve guessed that pathos is the source of the identically spelled noun in English (meaning either “an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion” or “an emotion of sympathetic pity”), you are correct. Pathos also gave us such words as antipathy, empathy, sympathy, pathetic, and even the archaic word pathematic (“emotional”).

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Here are some quotes about apathy:

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their backs on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their behinds.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. the opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” — Elie Wiesel

“If I didn’t care for fun and such,
I’d probably amount to much.
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.” — Dorothy Parker

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.” — Fulton Sheen

“I’m terrified at the moral apathy, the death of the heart, which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long that they really don’t think I’m human. I base this on their conduct, not on what they say. And this means that they have become, in themselves, moral monsters.” — James Baldwin

“Scientists talk about dark matter, the invisible, mysterious substance that occupies the space between stars. Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don’t know what it is. Well I do. It’s apathy. That’s the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives a Fuck.” — David Wong

“… the opposite of love is not hate — it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must “feel” something … or they couldn’t possibly hate. Therefore, there’s some way in which I can get to them.” — Leo Buscaglia

“Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question of what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing ‘we’ can do — but who is that ‘we’? — and nothing ‘they’ can do either — and who are ‘they’ — then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.” — Susan Sontag

Do you see apathy in any of today’s images?

I don’t know what I was feeling when I took that selfie five years ago, but I know it wasn’t apathy.

Here’s a song about apathy from the 1967 movie Bedazzled, performed by the devil (in the guise of the latest pop star).

I am filled with the opposite of apathy as I look forward to comments about this “Apathy” post, below.

Non-apathetic thanks to Abraham Lincoln, Elie Wiesel, James Baldwin, Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Parker, David Wong, Leo Buscaglia, Susan Sontag, Dan Rather, people on the front line of this pandemic, Merriam, Webster, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and everyone else who helps me create these daily posts, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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