personal growth

Day 3174: Nagging questions

I’ve been asking lots of nagging questions lately, including these:

  • will you help me do this thing I can’t seem to do on my own?
  • can you help me do that now?
  • when are you going to replace your missing vaccination card?
  • why are technology “improvements” usually so disruptive?
  • have you turned on your new phone yet?
  • should I go to my high school reunion this Saturday?
  • when will people in-person stop looking like germs to me?
  • what did so-and-so mean when they said that?
  • why does the convection oven never cool down?
  • why do I worry so much about stupid things?
  • does worry ever help?
  • when will I feel safe again?
  • what would my late father (born on today’s date) say about the current state of the world if he were alive now?
  • why do the cats keep nagging me to feed them when I just fed them?
  • what are your plans for today?
  • what’s for dinner?

I don’t like being a nag (especially to my son and my husband), but I have all these nagging questions!

I’ve also been asking nagging questions on Twitter. Indeed, one person there called my questions “nosey” (although not about any of these questions):

Here are two more nagging questions: which photo do you like best and why?

Apparently I’m not the only one with nagging questions.

Do you listen to the music I share here on this blog? I don’t mean to nag, but you might really enjoy these two tunes about questions (found here and here on YouTube).

Are you going to comment on this post? When?

No matter what the nagging question, gratitude always seems like a good answer to me, so thanks to all who help me share my nagging questions, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 3173: Ampersands

Today is National Ampersand Day & the second day of Rosh Hashana & the day I go back to see the Ear Nose & Throat people at the hospital about my nosebleed caused by my anticoagulant medications & our new & adorable cat Joan trying to wake me up by scratching my nose & so much more.

Yesterday I started working again after my 2-week vacation & people were very glad to reconnect in an online therapy group & had a lot to say.

Today, as always, I want to welcome all thoughts & feelings including happiness & sadness & fear & anger & despair & hope & so on.

Here are photos & screen captures for today’s post.

How are you going to celebrate & otherwise mark this precious & unique day?

Last night, when we were eating this delicious & nutritious vegetarian chili …

… my husband & cook Michael & my son Aaron & I were talking about the many ways you can get chili in Cincinnati, including with cheese & beans & spaghetti.

Here’s “Ampersand” by They Might Be Giants (a band that Aaron & Michael & I saw in person years & years ago).

Thanks & more thanks to all who visit this blog, including you & you & you & YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 3172: National Grateful Patient Day

Since the day I was born in 1953 with a very rare heart condition, I have been a grateful patient. And today — as well as being the first day of Rosh Hashana — is National Grateful Patient Day.

This morning, I am a little less grateful and patient than usual to be a patient, because my nose bleed — caused by the unfortunate combination of our new kitty Joan scratching inside my nose and my being on anticoagulants because of my mechanical heart valve — has not completely resolved.

However, if I focus on being patient and grateful, I know that I have wonderful people on my medical team who will help solve this problem, just as they have solved so many issues with me before.

I am especially grateful and patient, every day, because it’s so unlikely that I would have survived — with such overall good health — as long as I have with my very unusual heart.

And really, what’s so terrible about a little nosebleed? I have been a grateful patient through so many surgeries, set-backs, scares, disappointments, surprises, dangers, close-calls, and physical and emotional traumas over the years, and look! I’m still here to blog about it today.

So let’s try our best, during these challenging times, to gratefully and patiently celebrate another precious day. Here are the other images this grateful patient has to share with you on September 7, 2021.

The Daily Bitch is right about this: with my heart condition and my tendency to catastrophize, the way I do things may not always be the easy way. However, the way I’ve done things has helped keep me alive and resilient, even if I’m not always the most patient of patients.

Here’s something I find when I search YouTube for “National Grateful Patient Day.”

If you’re patient enough, you’ll always find gratitude at the end of my blog posts!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 3171: Old habits

Yesterday, while I was indulging in my new habit of being on Twitter, I tweeted this question:

I have an old habit of wanting to acknowledge and validate everything that people share, and there have been many profound answers to that question. I also have an old habit of not asking anyone to do anything I’m not willing to do myself, so here’s my answer to my own question:

Actually when I look at that answer, I’m not sure if I’ve totally broken those old habits. However, I’ve made a lot of progress on each, for sure!

One old habit I’ve definitely broken was sucking my thumb, when I was kid. It was a difficult habit to break, and what helped cure me were hospital stays for my heart condition. That reminds me of an old habit I choose not to break: looking for the silver lining in every situation, even if it’s difficult to find.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve gotten into the habit of not working because of my long-awaited vacation. I’ve also developed an 18-month habit of working completely from home.

I’ll be breaking those newer habits soon, and reconnecting with older habits as I work at my hospital office on Mondays and work remotely the rest of the week. I also want to break the old habit of doubting my abilities to adapt to challenges that feel new.

I have no plans to break my old habit of sharing my latest images with you here.

Since it’s National Read a Book Day, I strongly recommend “Blind Spot,” which is about the difficulty of breaking old habits that result from unconscious biases, including internalized racism, sexism, and ageism.

I have an old habit I have no wish to break: that of sharing great music here, every day.

I also have no intention of breaking my old habit of thanking those who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 3170: What does the world need?

Does the world need an explanation of what inspired my blog post title today?

If so, here’s the answer, which arrived in the mail yesterday:

The world needs therapy, according to that brochure. I’m a therapist, but there’s only so much I can do. (Also, I’m still on vacation, for two more days.)

Do you see what the world needs in my other photos for today?

Personally, I don’t think the world needs all this pumpkin spice.

Do you see what the world needs in these tweets?

I think the world needs us to preserve our favorite sounds from nature.

Here’s a great song about what the world needs:

I think the world needs comments from you about what the world needs.

What the world also needs is gratitude, so thanks to all who read this blog, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 3169: What we can learn from cats

I believe there’s a lot we can learn from cats. The trouble with cats is that they’re not talking, so we have to figure out these lessons for ourselves.

As I observe our two cats, I learn to be more in the moment, letting go of regret about the past and fears about the future.

Lately, I’ve been watching our cats rather than watching TV.

I also learn that very territorial creatures can somehow work out differences and coexist in the same place, without bloodshed.

Can you learn anything from my other images today?

Maybe we can learn something from the song “Everybody Wants to be a Cat.”

What do you think we can learn from cats? I know I can learn from your comments, below.

I am grateful to all the cool cats I learn from, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 3168: National Lazy Mom’s Day

I just found out that today is National Lazy Mom’s Day.

Speaking for myself, it’s difficult for this mom to be lazy. There seems to be so much to do to make this world safer for our children, that slowing down is a challenge, must less being lazy (even for just a day).

And even though I’m still on vacation from work this week, I’m never on vacation from being a mom.

However, I do believe that periods of “laziness” (or rest, relaxation, letting go, or whatever else we want to call it) help us maintain our energy for being moms/nurturers to our children, to others, and to ourselves.

Do you see any evidence of National Lazy Mom’s Day in my other images for today?

In order for us moms to be lazy, we need to get enough sleep.

To celebrate National Lazy Mom’s Day, here’s non-lazy Vanessa-Mae playing the electric violin.

This mom is never too lazy to express gratitude to all who visit her daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3167: Noses

People that knowses this blog know that I’ve been thinking a lot about noses lately, because the little girl with this nose …

… who didn’t know what she was doing, caused my nose to start bleeding out of control last weekend.

My husband Michael thinks that Joan the cat has a funny nose, but I love her nose.

I’m also loving MY nose more, here and now, because it no longer has an ugly and painful balloon stuck up it and it seems to be healing rather well!

I have to be careful and gentle with my nose for the next week. Because I take a blood thinner, the cat scratch inside my nose will take longer to heal. But the mouth under my nose is smiling today, for sure!

Yesterday morning, before I saw the reassuring Ear, Nose & Throat specialist at the hospital, I searched for quotes about noses and found these:

Do you see noses in any of my other images for today?

I smell blueberry popsicles in some people’s futures.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “noses.”

My nose knows that gratitude always smells sweet, so thanks to all who poke their noses into this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3166: No rhyme nor reason

Today, September 1, is National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day in the USA.

I started looking at and sharing National Days some time in July, and this is the first day where there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for any of the designations. Why do we need a day for any of these? There seems to be no rhyme nor reason.

Also, every other list of National Days I’ve seen has included some kind of food or drink. Therefore, when I ask on Twitter how people are going to celebrate the precious day, there seems to be a rhyme or reason for that question. For example …

Actually, the more I think about it, No Rhyme Nor Reason Day seems like the perfect day for me to head back into the hospital, since the nose balloon that we hoped would fix my cat-claw-Coumadin nose bleed doesn’t seem to be working. When things don’t work, it can seem like there is no rhyme nor reason to anything. Also, National Burnt Ends Day seems appropriate, since they’ll probably cauterize the end of my nose, where our new kitty Joan scratched me three nights ago.

Maybe there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for me to be writing this blog at 3:45 AM. However, I’m distracting myself because the Ear Nose Throat on-call doctor I spoke to on the phone at 2 AM suggested that I wait some hours before coming in to be seen. The Emergency Room at my hospital is all filled up, she said, and it would be better to wait until 5 AM to show up there and even better if I could wait for my scheduled 10 AM appointment in the ENT clinic.

Maybe the doctor thought there was no rhyme nor reason to my disappointment and discouragement about the balloon not solving the problem as we had hoped. I tend to catastrophize and assume the worst for no rhyme nor reason, and when I expressed my worst fear — that the doctors would not be able to fix this problem for me — she seemed to think there was no rhyme nor reason to my despair.

For no rhyme nor reason, just writing those words is helping me feel better, here and now.

For no rhyme nor reason, I can’t load more images from my phone for this blog post, so I’m going to switch to my laptop to finish creating it.

Is there no rhyme nor reason for these images in today’s post?

Sayings like “We grow through what we go through” help provide some rhyme and reason, don’t you think?

I love George Duke, so here’s “No Rhyme No Reason” from one of my favorite keyboardists, who left this earth for no rhyme nor reason too soon.

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Here’s “No Rhyme No Reason” performed during a 2014 jazz festival tribute to George Duke, featuring a solo by guitarist Chuck Loeb, who also left this earth too soon for no rhyme nor reason that I can see or understand.

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For No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day, I’ve written this rhyme for my own reasons.

On No Rhyme Nor Reason Day,

I think it’s wise for me to say,

That nosebleeds aren’t the worst things that occur.

People die before their time,

At least I’m still alive to rhyme,

And Joan the cat can soothe me with her purr.

There is no reason to rhyme any comments, below.

There’s always a rhyme and a reason to express gratitude, so thanks to all those who help me blog every day, including YOU!

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

Day 3165: Cats

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved cats.

My mother, who was very neat, did not want pets in the house, so she resisted my requests for a cat. Also, because she had a dog growing up, she couldn’t understand why I wanted a cat rather than a dog.

I couldn’t explain it to her. I just felt a connection when I looked into the eyes of a cat. I was fascinated by them, and encountering a cat anywhere always made me happy.

One day, when I was about seven years old, my father brought home a stray cat, a small tiger kitty, who had wandered into his store. I was beyond thrilled. My mother didn’t want the cat in the house so my new kitty was relegated to the garage. I remember spending hours watching that cat eat and play in the garage, so happy to finally have one.

Soon though, the cat escaped from the garage. I remember searching desperately through the neighborhood, crying as I called out for my lost kitty. When I got home, I found that my parents were frantic about my being gone so long.

My parents were particularly worried about me because I was born with a heart condition. My heart condition really needed a pacemaker, but pacemakers hadn’t been invented when I was born in 1953.

Soon after the cat in the garage ran away, I had to go into the hospital more and more as my condition got worse. The doctors tried different treatments, including yucky medication I had to take under my tongue, which speeded up my heart but made me feel really sick.

Then, when I was in the hospital for observation at age 10, I had a heart stoppage. The doctors decided to implant a pacemaker, which they had been avoiding because pacemakers were so new and really too big for a small kid like me.

When I woke up from the heart surgery that was required to implant pacemakers back then, I said to my mother, “What have I got to look forward to if I don’t have a cat?” Tears streaming down her face, she promised me a cat.

After I had recovered enough from my surgery (which by the way, was on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was killed), my dad took me to the local vet, who had several cats there for adoption. I chose the shyest one, who was a calico kitty I named Tuffy.

Tuffy was definitely my “personal medicine,” helping me heal and be tough enough to endure the many surgeries I needed to undergo as my pacemakers broke in every conceivable way.

Since then, I often choose shy cats who remind me of Tuffy. Our cat Harley is one of those cats. Harley, even though I feed him every morning, much prefers my husband Michael. Harley avoids me when he can, although he sometimes affords me the privilege of patting him for two seconds. Mostly, he run away from me, like I’m the enemy.

Our new cat, Joan, is not shy. I chose her because she gets along with cats, humans, AND dogs. My husband Michael loves dogs so I’m thinking there MIGHT be a dog in our future. And because Joan is not an alpha cat, she and Harley get along surprisingly well.

Joan is very rambunctiousness and always wants to play. Harley tolerates that, keeping her away with a hiss when he wants more personal space.

Last weekend, Joan invaded my personal space, clawing my nose when she wanted to wake me at 2 AM. Because I take anticoagulant medication (required because of the mechanical heart valve I got in 2016), Joan gave me a nose bleed that just wouldn’t quit.

So here I am, in the second week of my long-awaited vacation from work, stuck at home with a painful balloon up my nose and two cats.

And you know what? I still love cats and always will.

Do you see any cats in my images for today?

I was kind of hoping that today would be National Cat Day, but to us cat lovers, EVERY day is cat day.

I wonder if I’ll find anything on YouTube if I search for “cats”?

Thanks to all the cool cats who have helped me get through the tough days, including YOU.

Categories: cats, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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