original song

Day 2482: Difficult people

Yesterday, in a Coping and Healing group, non-difficult people talked about difficult people.

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If it’s difficult to see “difficult people’ in that list of topics, it’s on the third line, third topic from the right..  Some solutions to dealing with difficult people are also on that third line: “self care” and “letting it go.”

Coincidentally,  I was researching difficult people the day before that group.  Here‘s a link to a Psychology Today article by Kimberley Key — “How to Handle a Crazymaker:  4 keys to keep from losing it when they start playing games.”  Kimberley Key’s 4 keys to dealing with difficult people are:

  1. Take an observer’s point of view.
  2. Maintain a healthy sense of self worth.
  3. Keep a healthy distance.
  4. Cultivate internal validation.

I need to deal with a difficult person at work today.  Blogging about that, here and now, is reducing the difficulty for me — I’m actually looking forward to the opportunity to practice these helpful skills.

Is that difficult to believe?

Let’s see if there are difficult people in my other photos from yesterday:

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Harley deals with difficult people by hiding under the bed.

Even difficult people can inspire good things.  It was because of a difficult person that I wrote my first original song, 16 months ago:

And a difficult person inspired my latest song, which I performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last month:

How do you deal with difficult people?

Here’s another way I deal with difficult people: I get in touch with the gratitude I have for all the non-difficult people in my life, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2479: Why should we care?

Since last month, when somebody told me that something I wrote didn’t pass the “Why should I care?” test, I’ve cared too much about that comment. I’ve tried to let go of caring so much about that by

  • rewriting very carefully,
  • caring about other things,
  • spending time with people I care about and who care about me,
  • starting a new original song, “Why Should You Care?”, and
  • caring to take this picture:

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Sometimes it seems like cats and people don’t care, but why should we care about that?  Let’s just keep caring anyway.

Here are the beginning lyrics of “Why Should You Care?”

Why Should You Care?

by Ann Koplow

Why should you care about me?

Why should I care about you?

If I should share about me,

Maybe you’ll share about you.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Why should we care about the other photos I took yesterday?

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Why should we care about “Why Should I Care?” sung by Diana Krall?

I not only care, I express my caring with gratitude at the end of every post.  Thanks to all who helped me create this “Why Should We Care?” post and — of course! — to you, my caring readers.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2477: Can’t stop, won’t stop

I can’t stop, won’t stop

  • blogging,
  • letting go of the past,
  • having hope for the future,
  • enjoying the riches of the present moment,
  • writing original songs,
  • telling everybody about the healing power of groups, and
  • taking photos of what I see around me.

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I can’t stop, won’t stop posting videos of my performances even though I have — OMG! — only 18 subscribers to my YouTube channel. Here’s the latest video:

 

 Can’t stop, won’t stop singing about triggers until all the worst triggers go away.

Can’t stop, won’t stop expressing gratitude to all who help me keep going every day, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2464: Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler alert!

I’m working on a new original song, called “Spoiler Alert!”

Spoiler alert! If you don’t want to know any of the lyrics before I finish writing “Spoiler Alert!”  please leave this post immediately or scroll down rapidly past this following section:

Spoiler Alert!

by Ann Koplow

I hear a lot of people avoiding spoilers,

They want to be surprised, their future disguised, they’ve said.

Those who reveal what’s coming for real are annoyers.

They don’t want to know, so please do not show what’s ahead.

I’m going to say I’ll be giving away future happenings.

If that’s your pet peeve, you have the option to leave any time.

Spoiler alert!

You’ll encounter things that definitely will hurt.

You’ll be afraid of losing your shirt.

Some foolish words you’re going to blurt.

Spoiler alert!

Nice people will sometimes be curt.

Someone you love will treat you like dirt.

You’ll eat too much of a fattening dessert.

You may have encountered some of these spoilers already.

Since that’s probably the case, I’ll continue my pace to reveal

Future things to occur, I’m reasonably sure and steady,

More spoiler alerts — not all of them hurts —  now coming your way.

Spoilers from me!

You’ll get something unexpected for free.

Cats and kites will get stuck up in a tree

You’ll see something that you’re happy to see.

(to be continued)

©Ann Koplow, 2019

 

Spoiler alert!  I want to finish that song before the first Friday in September, when I’ll be singing at my usual Open Mic in Arlington, Massachusetts. If I don’t make it, here’s another spoiler: I’ll be alert enough to sing another one of my original songs.

Spoiler alert! One of my photos from yesterday inspired one of those lines in “Spoiler Alert.” Are you alert enough to find it?

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Spoiler alert!   There’s already a song titled “Spoiler Alert” by the incredible band They Might be Giants:

 

Spoiler alert!  Here are many thanks coming your way (and please don’t be afraid of being spoiled by my gratitude).

 

 

 

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2459: The Greatest Theatrical Event Ever

While I would like to think that my first Fringe show — “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann” — was the greatest theatrical event ever, a different show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is making a claim for that distinction, as you can see:

Even if my Fringe show was not the greatest theatrical event ever, it still went very, very well. Thirteen people showed up and seemed to get a lot out of it. I got permission from the participants for my son Aaron to tape the two original songs I performed. Here and here are two of the greatest musical events ever on YouTube:

Are these my greatest pictures ever?

Five of those photos were taken by the greatest family event ever … my son, Aaron!

I’m looking forward to the greatest comments ever.

The greatest thanks ever to all those who helped me create this post  — including the cast and creators of “The Greatest Theatrical Event (in this place at this time for this price) EVER!” — and the greatest thanks ever to the greatest readers ever: YOU!

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 2446: Recurring dreams

One of my recurring dreams is to have a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Much to my amazement, that will be occurring on August 19 at 13:00 (1 PM) at the Natural Food Kafe basement room. I only have one show this year, but I’m hoping the show will be recurring next year.

My show — “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann” — is loosely based on the recurring groups that I do five times a week at work. At this point, I’m staying up and having dreams about how to make that work well  since there are new and non-recurring elements I’ve never dealt with before, including:

  • it’s about half the time of my usual groups,
  • I don’t know how many people will show up,
  • several of the participants will be total strangers to me, and
  • it’s a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

I know that I will be using some recurring elements of my real groups, like mindfulness and a check-in where everybody will have the space and time to speak uninterrupted.  In  my recurring groups, I always introduce the check-in by saying what I’m curious about in the moment, as a way to suggest what people might want to share. For the purposes of my Edinburgh show, I’m planning on curiously asking people:

  • why they came to the show,
  • how they would introduce themselves,
  • something we might not guess about them,
  • their experience in the moment,
  • what keeps them up at night,
  • what keeps them going,
  • a favorite saying and/or song, and
  • a recurring or vivid dream they’ve had.

In my check-in, I plan on singing one of my original songs and also sharing a recurring dream I have, about trying to call somebody on the phone and not getting through.

Last night, what kept me up was my indecision, at this point, about what to do at the mid-point of the show.  When I finally fell asleep, I had my recurring dream (which hasn’t occurred in years).

In my dream last night, I was trying to call Michael on my cell phone. It was incredibly difficult, because of new changes to the phone, which I couldn’t figure out.  People were trying to help me connect to him,  but nothing was working.  Eventually, I attempted the tried-and-true method of saying to Siri, “Call Michael!”  At that moment, Michael showed up. I was very relieved to see him,  but it was too late for me to get to an important appointment. (The dream had other non-recurring elements,  including a Trump supporter who kept trying to steal one of my boots as I was putting it on, but never mind.)

Do you have a recurring dream?  Would you talk about it if you came to my show? Actually, it would be a dream for me if any of my readers showed up at my Fringe show, no matter what they decided to share.

Certain recurring dreams and themes show up in my photos.  Can you spot any today?

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Here’s the original song I’m going to sing during my check-in, which has had recurring appearances in this blog:

I have a recurring dream about people leaving comments, and they often do!

Recurring thanks to all who help me create this daily recurring blog, including you!

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2442: Everybody’s somebody’s _____

Last night, I sang my latest original song — “Everybody’s Somebody’s A–hole” — at the Jam’n Java Open Mic in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Everybody’s somebody’s

Everybody’s somebody’s …

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teammate,

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proud partner,

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ninja,

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angel,

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feartrigger, time off, safety, news, danger, clickbait, health, illness, stillness, trip, and

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talented local performer.

I’ve asked the coordinators of the Jam’n Java Open Mic if I could be a featured performer some day and they replied, “We usually book people who’ve had a show elsewhere.”

I’m working on it.

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Everybody’s somebody’s observer, so feel free to leave any observations in the comments section, below.

No matter what I am to anybody else, I’m always grateful to be your blogger, every day.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2389: On a roll

I’m on a roll, as I roll out this definition:

on a roll
phrase of “roll”
INFORMAL
experiencing a prolonged spell of success or good luck.
“the organization is on a roll”

I’m on a roll in my role as President of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy.

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I’m on a roll in my role as songwriter, because I wrote a new song yesterday.

 

Everybody’s Somebody’s Asshole

by Ann Koplow

 

Everybody’s somebody’s asshole.

Everybody’s somebody’s jerk.

You may think you’re great,

But you’re bound to irritate

Someone when you’re driving or at work.

Everybody’s somebody’s asshole.

Everybody’s somebody’s creep.

Even if you’re nice,

You needn’t wonder twice

You’ve definitely disturbed somebody’s sleep.

Who’s your asshole?

Whose asshole are you?

We’re all assholes

In somebody’s view.

Everybody’s somebody’s asshole.

Some asshole told me that long ago.

It might cause you grief

Or give you some relief

That it’s okay to let your asshole show.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

If I used an old-fashioned camera, all these photos might be on a roll:

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Dinner was on a roll Sunday night, but not last night.

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Here (and here) are two versions of Head Like a Hole/On a Roll:

 

Trent Reznor, Miley Cyrus, and Black Mirror are all on a roll.

Time to roll out the comments, below!

I’m on a roll with my daily gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this “On a Roll” post and — of course! — thanks to YOU.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2387: What would you like the power to do?

Yesterday, after a day of owning my  power at the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy annual conference (Diving In: From the Shallows to the Deep) and on my way to a wonderful party at the home of one of the NSGP members, I saw this sign:

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What would you like the power to do? I would like the power to

  • speak up,
  • grow,
  • be confident,
  • play,
  • influence,
  • encourage people to heal in group therapy,
  • reach people through this blog, and
  • share my other photos from yesterday.

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I wish our current national leaders had the power to be nice and I’m wondering about the power of the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary.

I would like the power to share my one video from yesterday, but I will have to power up my phone to do that after I share this post via my laptop.

Here, here, here, and here are the original songs I played at the party last night that one powerful  person had the power to call “Brilliant.”

The brilliant person at the party had the power to convince me to try to do a workshop at next year’s conference based on my original songs.

Would you like the power to comment?

I have the power to do gratitude at this daily blog, so thanks to all who gave me the power to create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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I have the power to share this video of my singing my conference committee gratitude song at the NSGP business meeting yesterday. I also have the power to sing it today at the end of the conference, when it may be more powerful.

 

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2353: Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert!  Yesterday I saw Avengers: Endgame, the kind of movie that evokes the use of the words “Spoiler Alert!” when people write about it.

Spoiler Alert! I’m alert to the importance of not give away spoilers about a movie that

  • billions of people have not yet seen,
  • has lots of twists and turns,
  • has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes,
  • makes people laugh and cry,  and
  • says, to me, that group therapy is a very effective way to deal with trauma and loss.

Spoiler Alert!  I am not doing my usual thing of linking to the Wikipedia entry about Avengers: Endgame,  because that has countless alert spoilers in it.

Spoiler Alert!   I wonder if I’m reducing my readership for this blog post by repeating the words “Spoiler Alert”?

Spoiler Alert!  Last night I couldn’t sleep and started writing a song called “Spoiler Alert.”

Spoiler Alert! Here are the lyrics I’ve written so far:

Spoiler alert!

Things in your life are going to hurt.

Even nice people will sometimes be curt.

Some foolish words you’ll be certain to blurt.

Spoiler alert!

You’ll eat too much of a fattening dessert.

   You’ll be afraid that you might lose your shirt.

Someone you love will treat you like dirt.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

My sleepless hours  are not going to spoil my day —  I’ll be alert at work today and also tonight at the sold-out John Mulaney and Pete Davidson comedy benefit for My Brother’s Table.

Spoiler Alert! I’m going to share all my photos from yesterday, right now!

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I spoiled that last shot, obviously,  by walking and talking while I was taking it.

Spoiler Alert!  They Might Be Giants have a song called “Spoiler Alert”!

Spoiler Alert!  I’m alert to gratitude all around me, so I can share it with you!

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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