original song

Day 2729: Whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes, I will

  • post a daily blog,
  • create spaces for healing,
  • continue my therapy groups,
  • support better leadership,
  • look for the good in people,
  • try to have fun,
  • enjoy literature, art, film, and music,
  • spend time in nature,
  • show up,
  • be gentle,
  • tell the truth,
  • remember the past,
  • embrace the present moment,
  • hold hope for the future,
  • improve the quality of life for those I love,
  • maintain my ideals,
  • welcome all thoughts and feelings,
  • look for the helpers,
  • seek answers to important questions,
  • find my voice,
  • be creative,
  • keep growing, and
  • take photos of whatever catches my eye.

IMG_3636

fullsizeoutput_4535

IMG_3673

IMG_3638

IMG_3665

fullsizeoutput_452b

fullsizeoutput_452c

fullsizeoutput_452a

fullsizeoutput_4529

IMG_3651

IMG_3652

IMG_3646

IMG_3647

IMG_3656

IMG_3658

IMG_3660

IMG_3661

fullsizeoutput_452e

IMG_3675

IMG_3670

IMG_3671

fullsizeoutput_4530

IMG_3674

IMG_3676

IMG_3677

IMG_3678

IMG_3679

IMG_3680

IMG_3682

IMG_3683

IMG_3685

IMG_3686

IMG_3689

IMG_3690

IMG_3691

IMG_3688

Whatever it takes, we’re going to spend quality time with our cat Oscar, even when I’m sharing an original song on a Zoom-based Open Mic.

Whatever it takes to share your thoughts and feelings, consider leaving a comment below.

What would it take to show my gratitude to all, including YOU?

IMG_3623

IMG_3622

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2724: What is essential?

I believe I may have published another blog post with the title “What is essential?” However, I’m creating this post on my iPhone, which makes it more difficult to check past posts, and I’m deciding that knowing that is not essential.

Other facts are much more essential, these days.

I often take photos of things that are essential to me.

I essentially don’t know how these two images …

… got onto my iPhone. Other facts are much more essential these days.

Because of the work I’m doing — remotely providing group and individual therapy at an essential Boston hospital — it’s essential that I take a day off once in a while, which I’m doing today.

If you’re interested in attending a remote Open Mic this Friday May 15, 7 – 9 PM U.S. Eastern Time, when I’ll be performing a slightly rewritten version of my original song “Triggers,” it’s essential that you sign up by the end of the day before (May 14), using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn3

The essential Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been cancelled this year — the first time in its history — but here‘s my performance of “Triggers” at last year’s festival:

https://youtu.be/VfFKNFJuCEA

What’s essential to you?

It’s not essential that you leave a comment, but if you do, it’s essential that I express my sincere gratitude.

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2715: What’s your biggest strength?

What’s your biggest strength?

IMG_3201

Holding a grudge is not one of my biggest strengths. Neither is cooking. Luckily, I’m married to somebody whose biggest strengths include making great meals, like chili and cornbread.

IMG_3213

IMG_3214

IMG_3216

My biggest strengths include

  • group therapy,
  • blogging, and
  • writing and performing original songs, like this one:

I felt stronger lat night because fellow blogger beth and my friend Barbara both attended that Zoom Open Mic, and when I finished my song, somebody yelled out “Bitchin‘!”

Do you see any biggest strengths in my other photos from yesterday?

IMG_3200

fullsizeoutput_4495

fullsizeoutput_448f

fullsizeoutput_448a

fullsizeoutput_4484

IMG_3208

IMG_3210

IMG_3211

IMG_3218

IMG_3219

IMG_3220

Until last night, I didn’t know that Michael’s sister Lydia’s biggest strengths included rock painting!

One of my biggest strengths is expressing gratitude for everything and everyone, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2711: What to think about in the morning

What to think about in the morning, for me, includes

  • blogging,
  • those I love,
  • work,
  • what’s not working,
  • possible disasters related to what’s not working,
  • reasonable reframes of my fears,
  • group therapy,
  • my obligations,
  • the birds singing outside,
  • Oscar,

IMG_3105

IMG_3107

 

  • the health of others and myself,
  • how much sleep I got and need,
  • staying safe during the pandemic,
  • achievable next steps,
  • who is in pain,
  • what might help,
  • the news,
  • the immediate future,
  • the past,
  • the present moment, and
  • how to improve the present moment.

I’m improving the present moment by sharing  “What to Think About in the Morning Before You Remember the Sad State of the World” by Eugenia Viti, from the New Yorker.

What to think about this morning includes the virtual Jam’n Java Open Mic this Friday, May 1, 7PM- 9PM USA Eastern Time, which will feature me, my ukulele, and my song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready.”  If you think you might want to attend, sign up using this link by Thursday, April 30.

What to think about these images I captured yesterday?

 

What to think about this morning, for me, includes my first performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” at the Jam’n Java Open Mic, when I forgot the words and somehow recovered:

What to think, here and now?

What to think about, any time, is expressing thanks to others, including YOU.

img_3084

 

 

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2709: Messages of Encouragement

Thank you, dear readers, for all the messages of encouragement you’ve given me for my blog posts, my photos, my original songs,  my work, my sense of humor,  and my various adventures, through sickness and in health.

The messages of encouragement people left about yesterday’s post, featuring my t-shirt and song “Left the House Before I Felt Ready” were incredibly profound. I am now thinking about ways I might market my t-shirt and song, encouraging people to share those messages and also support a worthy charity.

My long-time and encouraging reader Maureen (a/k/a Sitting on my own Sofa) left this message about my “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” song …

I think that you also stayed at home before you felt ready. 😊

… which encouraged me to write this additional verse:

I stayed at home before I felt ready.

The virus has made us all scared and unsteady.

I caught it in March and then flattened the curve

Even though isolating gets on my last nerve.

To protect other people and save my own heart

Staying home before ready was just doing my part.

I encourage you to listen to “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready,” imagining those new messages at the end:

.

I am now encouraged to start writing songs again, ignoring and otherwise overcoming any messages of discouragement from myself or others.

Do you see any messages of encouragement in the images I captured yesterday?

 

If you want to see the messages in any of those smaller pictures, I encourage you to click on them to expand.

Messages of encouragement and gratitude to YOU, here and now.

IMG_3068

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

Day 2700: Oddballs

Greetings, fellow Oddballs!

This blogging Oddball noticed this oddball headline yesterday from my oddball local paper:

fullsizeoutput_43e4

 

Do you agree that the coronavirus makes oddballs of us all?

Earlier in my oddball day, somebody in a Coping and Healing group said they felt like an oddball until they expressed their feelings and realized they were not alone. Oddly enough, I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times over my 20-odd years as a group therapist.

Later in my oddball day, several Oddballs in another remote Coping and Healing group did a scavenger hunt in our oddball homes, finding and sharing  oddball things that were important to us.  One of the oddball, important, and favorite items shared was this:

IMG_2862

Oddly enough, this oddball item was not shared by me during the scavenger hunt but by a different Oddball.

Are you ready for some other recent oddball images captured by this Oddball during these oddball times?

fullsizeoutput_43e6

fullsizeoutput_43e3

IMG_2854

IMG_2853

fullsizeoutput_43e2

IMG_2856

 

IMG_2859

IMG_2858

That last oddball photo shows an oddball item I retrieved and showed in yesterday’s oddball scavenger hunt. Does anybody have an oddball guess of what that entertaining item was?

This Oddball has oddly been having trouble writing oddball songs lately, but I did write these recent oddball lyrics:

Now more than ever

We need to be together,

But now is the time we need to stay apart.

Because people are contagious

New behaviors seem outrageous

And each of us is holding lots of worry in our heart.

 

Here and here are two oddball original songs I performed in August 2019 for lots of oddballs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of the biggest yearly gatherings of oddballs in the world (which has been cancelled during this oddball year):

 

 

This Oddball had planned to perform that second oddball song at a gathering of other social worker oddballs at the hospital where we work, but that annual party was also cancelled during this oddball year.

During oddball times like these, we have to remember to grieve our losses and to realize that we are not alone.

I’m looking forward to lots of oddball comments, below, and here’s some oddball thanks from one oddball to another!

IMG_2777

 

 

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2651: Something terrible is probably about to happen

Everyday I look around, wondering if something terrible is about to happen.

Here’s what today’s Daily Bitch Calendar has to say about that:

fullsizeoutput_42da

Something terrible might include floods …

fullsizeoutput_42d9

or  technology disasters.

IMG_1978

How do we enjoy the good times if something terrible is probably about to happen? Is it possible that knowing that something terrible (like injustice, pain, sickness, and death) is probably about to happen might HELP us enjoy the good times?

In both of my Coping and Healing groups yesterday, people talked about good times AND somethings terrible, which I wrote up on The Board of Importance.

IMG_1981

Somebody who had been away from the group for a long time shared that  listening to this song on YouTube had helped them get through something terrible:

Good times!

Feel free to share good times, something terrible, or anything else in the comments section, below.

Something thankful is probably about to happen.

IMG_1912

 

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2626: Questions for the ride home

Yesterday, on my birthday (which was the first international palindrome day in 909 years)  …

fullsizeoutput_4221

… I saw this at a local performance of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical:

fullsizeoutput_422c

That reminded me of seeing plays and movies with my parents when I was a kid, when we always had questions and discussions on the ride (or  walk) home.

Here’s how I would answer that second question for the ride home:

I’m already angry or concerned enough to speak up, protest, march, or become an activist for change. MY question is, “Why aren’t YOU?”

Do you have any questions for the ride or walk home about my new cover photo on Facebook?

Anyfunctioningadult

Do you have any questions about my other photos from yesterday?

Do you have any sitting-on-the-sofa questions for Harley?

Some people on Facebook had questions about what I posted there the day before my birthday:

On my last day of being 66, it occurs to me that I am now entering the time of life that when I die, nobody will say, “Oh no! She was so young!”

I answered those questions by writing these lyrics for a new song:

NOT TOO YOUNG TO DIE

I’m not too young to die,
’cause I’m over 65,
Yet I plan to stay around for lots more years.

Young is not a word
That is regularly heard
By my aging but still operating ears.

You might call me old,
But I’ll just be staying bold
And enjoying every moment left to me.

No one knows how long
I’ll be here to sing my song,
So I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

© Ann Koplow, 2020

There are questions in this song from Hair.

How can people be so heartless?  How can people be so cold?  How can people have no feelings?

I don’t have the answers to those questions but I am unquestionably grateful for every day I’m alive and for YOU.

 

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

Day 2596: Adults

In all the thousands of daily blog posts this adult has written over the past seven years, there’s been only one blog post with “adult” in the title. That was Day 1466: Adulting, posted ALMOST EXACTLY three years ago today (but which adults are counting … and why?).

Adults (according to this adult):

  • make mistakes,
  • admit they’ve made mistakes, and
  • learn from their mistakes.

Here’s what other adults have said about adults:

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.  — Peter De Vries

Why did adults have to be so thick?  They always say, “tell the truth,” and when you do, they don’t believe you.  What’s the point? — Rick Riordan

“If you’re going to be a grown-up,” said Joan, “you’ve got to start thinking about grown-up things. And number one is money.” — Julian Barnes

Oh Christ, he groaned to himself, if this is the stuff adults have to think about I never want to grow up. — Stephen King

It’s only adults who read the top levels most of the time. I think children read the internal meanings of everything. — Maurice Sendak

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Some people discard their childhood like an old hat. They forget about it like a phone number that’s no longer valid. They used to be kids, then they became adults — but what are they now? Only those who grow up and continue to be children are humans. — Erich Kästner

Adults are just making things up as they go along. And when they’re scared, adults have no more answers than us kids. — Mike A. Lancaster

“You and I both know that love is for children,” he said. “We’re adults. Compatibility is for adults.”  “Compatibility is for my bluetooth and my car,” Teresa replied. “Only they get along just fine, and my car never makes my bluetooth feel like shit.” — Maggie Stiefvater

I bet if you look at the average teenager and the average adult, the average teenager has read more books in the past year than the average adult. Now of course the adult would be all like, “I’m busy, I got a job, I got stuff to do.”  WHATEVER!  READ! I mean, you’re watching CSI: Miami. Why would you be watching CSI: Miami when you could be READING CSI: Miami, the novelization? — John Green

Here are all the photos this adult took yesterday (when she could have been reading instead):

IMG_0633

IMG_0634

IMG_0635

IMG_0636

IMG_0637

IMG_0638

IMG_0642

fullsizeoutput_4092

fullsizeoutput_4098

fullsizeoutput_409e

fullsizeoutput_409f.jpeg

IMG_0645

Yesterday, I was looking forward to performing at an Open Mic, with my child (who is now an adult) in the audience.  One of my worst fears as an adult (based on an actual experience I had as a child) is to forget the words and chords when I’m in front of a audience. Last night, that worst fear came true …

… but I’m enough of an adult to be okay with it!

I’m looking forward to what adults have to say about today’s post.

I think gratitude is a very adult way to end this post, so thanks to all who help me blog every day, including YOU.

fullsizeoutput_4068

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2583: What’s this?

What’s this?

It’s the two thousandth,  five-hundredth, and eighty-third consecutive day of blogging in The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally!

What’s this?

fullsizeoutput_3f95.jpeg

It’s something I liked on Twitter that explains our current political situation.

 

What’s this?

fullsizeoutput_3f96.jpeg

 

It’s an interesting article from the New Yorker  I was reading on my phone yesterday.

 

What’s this?

IMG_0276.JPG

It’s my too-large wedding ring on a hand that needs a manicure.

 

What’s this?

IMG_0279.JPG

IMG_0277.JPG

It’s Oscar, on a cold New England day.

 

What’s this?

fullsizeoutput_3f99.jpeg

It’s Annia from Lunaris Jewels responding to my message about my too-large wedding ring.

 

What’s this?

IMG_0281

IMG_0282

IMG_0283

IMG_0284

IMG_0286

It’s Louis, Michael, and Robert at Men’s Wearhouse in Braintree.

 

What’s this?

It’s a song I started writing this morning:

What’s This?

by Ann Koplow

 

What’s this in your brain

That’s driving you insane?

That keeps you up at night

That dims your special light?

What’s this in your head

That fills your head with dread?

That makes your blood run cold

And freeze as you grow old?

Is it fear of the unknown?

Is it knowing you’re alone?

Is it worry, shame, or doubt?

All your critics, inside and out?

 

What’s this in your mind

That turns your vision blind?

That makes it hard to see

With any certainty?

 

Is it danger all around?

Believing you’re on shaky ground?

Is it thinking that it’s just

Never safe enough to trust?

 

What’s this in your soul

Feeling like a deep, dark hole?

That makes you want to hide

And never go outside?

Is it reality breaking through

With shocking news you never knew?

Or false negativity

Tinting everything you see?

What’s this song’s intent?

What is even meant?

What is its writer’s goal

Evoking brain, mind, head, and soul?

Should you try to banish fear?

Is that what I’m saying here?

Feel the fear, do it anyway?

Go out and face each brand new day?

Or am I warning you

That your fears are really true?

That it isn’t safe out there?

If you do move, step with care?

How many in this room

Think this is a song of doom?

How many of you hear

A call to let go of your fear?

How many are unaware

Of why people’s hands are in the air?

How many just don’t care?

Did anybody note

That I didn’t cast a vote?

For me the jury’s out

What this song is all about.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

What’s this?

 

It’s “What’s This”  from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

What’s this? You’re thinking of leaving a comment?  You can do so, down below.

What’s this?

 

It’s thanks for being YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.