photojournalism

Day 2280: Are we having fun yet?

“Are we having fun yet?” was something I expressed several times yesterday, as I

  • started packing for my trip to L.A.,
  • grappled with money issues,
  • added a new verse to a song,
  • dealt with hurt feelings,
  • talked to people about hope and hopelessness,
  • had the self control to have the soup instead of the very fun-looking and highly caloric  pasta dish in the hospital cafeteria,
  • couldn’t find my folder filled with group therapy worksheets and exercises,
  • glanced at the news, and
  • facilitated two groups, one of which focused on fun.

Are we having fun yet in today’s blog post?

Are we having fun yet as we try to read my handwriting in today’s photos?

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Are we having fun yet as I share this story about when I decided to have fun earlier this week?

Wednesday morning, after my second night in a row of insomnia, I looked at the weather app on my iPhone to decide how to dress for the day.  I saw that the day was going to start out cold but become considerably warmer, so I decided to wear a very light coat.  When I was driving to work, I looked at the app again and noticed that I had been looking at the weather for Cupertino, California, instead of the weather for Boston, Massachusetts, which was going to start cold and stay that way.  I decided to have fun with it, so I laughed instead of complaining whenever I felt the cold.

Are we having fun yet trying to guess what music I’m going to share in today’s post?

YouTube suggests that I share this one:

 

Are you having fun yet?  If not, how might you have more fun today?  Would it help to leave a fun comment?

Have I expressed my gratitude yet for all those who helped me create this are-we-having-fun-yet post and — of course — for YOU?

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 2279: Everything will be okay in the end.

The title of today’s post leaves off the end of a quote from John Lennon:

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

In the end, everything will be okay in my previously unshared and recent photos.

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If it’s not okay, it’s not the end of my photos or my blog posts.

Everything will be okay in the end with the two songs I’m deciding to share today (here and here on YouTube).


Everything will be okay in the end of each post, because I express my thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2278: Stress balls

What are stress balls?  Are they squishy balls that you can squeeze when you’re stressed?

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Are they creatures who are feeling lots of stress?

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Harley does not look like a stress ball in that photo, but usually he stresses and runs away when I try to take a picture of him.

Even stress balls, like Harley, can relax at times.

I’m a stress ball today because I have to do many things (including giving a presentation about my therapy groups, singing songs in meetings,  running a board meeting, preparing for a trip to L.A., planning a dinner in L.A., and more) all while dealing with a bout of insomnia and some ambivalence about possible choices.

What helps when you’re a stress ball, besides squeezing a stress ball? My niece Julie, of The Joy Source, suggests changing the words “have to” (see previous paragraph) to “get to.” So, it’s not that I have to do many thing (including giving a presentation, etc.) , it’s that I get to do many things (including giving a presentation, etc.).  That shifts me from being a stress ball about too many obligations to being grateful about having the opportunity to do all those things, connecting me with confidence in my skills to get things done adequately enough.

I don’t have to share my other photos from yesterday, but I’m glad I get to share them with you.

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Here‘s what YouTube gives me for “stress ball song”:

 

Somehow, I’m not a stress ball any more.

What helps you be less of a stress ball?

Thanks to all who helped me stress less by stressing all the things I stressed in this “stress balls” post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2277: Probable

Yesterday, I shared with my boyfriend Michael the latest catastrophizing fear in my brain.  Michael listened and then responded:

That sounds probable.

It’s probable that Michael was being sarcastic and it’s probable that I will continue to seek out Michael when I’m catastrophizing because it’s probable he will say something helpful.

It’s probable that I will continue to blog daily because that helps me, too.

It’s probable that I will snap photos and share them with you.

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It’s probable that Michael is going to make something delicious for dinner, like those burritos.

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I don’t know how probable it is that we’ll get a dog some day because of, you know, the cats.

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It’s probable that comedian Pete Holmes is visiting Lexington High School in that scene from his excellent show Crashing (even though I initially thought it was probable that was my son’s high school, instead).

According to my news feed, it’s probable that  many people will be running for U.S. President in 2020.

It seems probable, to me, that unless we human beings drastically change our behaviors, the future might look like the movie WALL-E.

It’s probable that my day at work today will be different from WALL-E’s.

It’s probable that some of my readers will comment and it’s more than probable that I’ll express gratitude to all who helped me create this “probable” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2276: Take time to reflect

In the midst of all the action in yesterday’s petty post, there was this invitation to take time to reflect:

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You may not have noticed that good advice from this good book:

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because I was guilty of reflecting it on its side, like this:

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I didn’t take time to reflect those two page  in their correct orientation yesterday, because there was so much petty information I wanted to share.

Like Wilma, I believe it is important to take time to reflect, even in the midst of emergencies and adventures.   Today, I have a day off from work because of Presidents Day, so I can take time to reflect.  My boyfriend Michael, who definitely takes time to reflect, asked me to reflect on who were my most favorite and least favorite U.S. Presidents.

If you take time to reflect, how would you answer Michael’s question?

I’m  going to take time to share something else Michael reflected: “These days everything seems sinister to me.”  I took time to reflect Michael’s feelings and then to ask him if I seemed sinister to him.  When he said no, I took time to reflect  that I AM sinister, because “sinister” means “left-handed” in Latin.

I take time to reflect my gratitude that there is less bias against left-handed people than there used to be.

Please take time to reflect on these recent, previously unreflected photos:

 

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I take time to reflect when I drive and when I ride, especially when there’s snow on the ground.

I take time to reflect that a week from now I will be in Los Angeles, taking time to reflect with many other group therapists about the work we do.

Last night, I took time to reflect to Michael  how much I love this performance of “In France They Kiss on Main Street” with my favorites Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny,  Lyle Mays, and Jaco Pastorius.

I’m taking time to reflect that Pat and Lyle looked like that when I first saw them at the Paradise in Boston, decades ago.

Please take time to reflect your thoughts and feelings in a comment, below.

As usual, I take time at the end of each post to reflect gratitude towards all who help me create this reflective blog and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2275: Petty

When I’m petty, I feel guilty.  When I observe other people being petty, I get scared, because I’ve observed pettiness wreaking havoc with relationships.

Here’s a definition of petty:

pet·ty
/ˈpedē/
adjective
1. of little importance; trivial.
“the petty divisions of party politics”
synonyms: trivial, trifling, minor, small, slight, unimportant, insignificant, inessential, inconsequential, inconsiderable, negligible, paltry, footling, fiddling, niggling, pettifogging, nugatory, of little account
2. of secondary or lesser importance, rank, or scale; minor.
“a petty official”

My personal goal for today is to make other people being petty of little importance, trivial, minor, small, slight, insignificant, inconsequential, and negligible to me.

Here are some “petty” quotes:

I fly because it releases my mind from petty things. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul, not secrets of the brain. Kind ones bring us happiness; petty ones, untold pain. –– Ritu Ghatourey

Party loyalty lowers the greatest men to the petty level of the masses. — Jean de la Bruyère

Guilt is petty; I am above guilt. — Susan Cheever

Reproof should not exhaust its power on petty failings. — Samuel Johnson

More than jealousy or  possessiveness pettiness kills love. — Marty Rubin

Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of petty success. — Maude Adams

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out — it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. — Robert Service

The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify the minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts. — Sun Tzu

The constant petty behests of life permit few opportunities for major satisfactions, and when one is offered it should be seized.  — Rex Stout

Petty things don’t bother me as much as they used to  — Rebecca Lobo

Mankind accepts good fortune as his due, but when bad occurs, he thinks it was aimed at him, done to him, a hex, a curse, a punishment by his deity for some transgression, as though his god were a petty storekeeper, counting up the day’s receipts. — Sheri S. Tepper

Great necessity elevates man.  Petty necessity casts him down. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is better to lose everything you have to keep the balance of justice level, than to live a life of petty privilege devoid of true freedom. — Bryant H. McGill

Beware of those who attribute petty instructions to God. — Abdul Sattar Edhi

Petty laws breed great crimes. — Ouida

Never fear being a petty fool it means you ain’t dying.  — Timothy Spall

Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things. — George Carlin

In the Wikipedia entry about Ouida, it says she “dressed expensively but not tastefully.”  That seems rather petty, doesn’t it?

Do you see anything petty in my photos from yesterday?

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That puppy at Pet Express was very pet-ty and here’s a quote from me:

Petty is the enemy of friendship. — Ann Koplow

Here‘s a Petty Song:

 

Here‘s  the Petty Song I was looking for:

 

It’s not petty for me express my gratitude to all who helped me create todays “Petty” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2274: Guilty

I’m guilty of sharing guilt in my blog lately, as you can see in these photos:

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I’m guilty, in my therapy groups, of using this book

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to pose questions like “If you were to take a look at the various ‘guilts’ that you carry around with you, which would be least justified and which would be most justified?”

I’m also guilty of writing Day 126: Ridiculous Things I’m Feeling Guilty About and Day 977: Super Guilty for this daily blog.

This week, many U.S. TV shows were guilty of sharing the exact same “guilty” clip:

 

Sometimes I feel guilty when I snap photos. Yesterday, I saw a mangled bicycle in the middle of a busy intersection on my daily walk near work.  I considered capturing that sad but compelling image on my iPhone, but I knew I would feel guilty if I did. This story about that bicycle showed up on my news feed a few minutes ago.

I did not feel guilty taking these other photos yesterday:

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I’m guilty of holding on to hope even in the midst of  death, destruction and national emergencies.

I’m guilty of being unaware of this great tune by Tom Wopat before yesterday:

Are you guilty of knowing Tom Wopat from the U.S. TV show The Dukes of Hazzard?

I’m guilty of wanting comments on today’s post.

No matter what we’re guilty of, I’m very grateful that you visited my blog today.

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

Day 2273: Declaring a National Emergency

There’s a lot in the news, here and now, about declaring a national emergency.

Last night, in a therapy group, people were declaring that the U.S. President declaring a national emergency seemed like a national emergency to them.  Some people declared that the election of Donald Trump  seemed more like a national emergency than 9/11. Somebody else declared that the U.S. President setting the precedent of declaring this national emergency paved the way for a national emergency about climate change.

I’m declaring a national emergency of worry, shame, and guilt.

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I’m declaring that the people I meet, every day, who suffer worry, shame, and guilt are not  people who deserve to have those excessively painful feelings.  I’m declaring that I’m doubtful that the people declaring a national emergency today have worry, shame, and guilt about that.

Are there any other emergencies declared in my other photos from yesterday?

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I’m declaring a national emergency of peace and love.

Here is “State of Emergency” by Phil Gawen.

Here is “National Emergency” by the Deplorable Choir.

 

Here is “The Ballad of the Wall” by The Parody Project.

 

What national emergency might you declare? I’m declaring there’s a space for your declarations in the comments section, below.

I’m declaring my thanks to all those who helped me share the declarations in today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2272: Build your own adventure

Yesterday, when I was building my own adventure, I saw this:

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Actually, I need help from others to build my own adventure.  How do you build your own adventure?

When my son was very young, he posted a build-your-own-adventure game on YouTube, which I can’t find.  Therefore, shall we build our own adventure together, here and now, using forty-eight of my photos from yesterday?

You can further build the adventure if you click on any photo you’d like to more adventurously explore.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube for “Build Your Own Adventure”:

 

I don’t have time to make the choices for that scary adventure, because I’ve got to go out into the world and build my adventure for today.

I look forward to the adventures people build in the comments section, below.

Gratitude helps me build my own adventure, so thanks to all who helped me build today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 2271: You look like ____

Yesterday, when it looked like I was looking at a difficult drive home through a scary-looking snowstorm and  I looked like I needed some hot chocolate, I looked and saw this:

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Everybody looks like they’d love a free drink, don’t they?

I don’t know what you look like as you’re reading this but I rarely know what I look like, especially these days, when my looks have been changing.  My boyfriend Michael, who looks like a wonderful person, has had trouble recognizing me when he looks for me in the supermarket when we’re food shopping.

On Sunday, my life-long friend Arnie, who looks beautiful to me,  took me on a walk to look at a poster of somebody he thought looked like me.  He had looked at that poster, very near to where he lives, for many months and thought “That looks like Ann” until he was inspired to call me and reconnect with me after six years.

You look like you’d love to see that poster and what I look like now, next to it.

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I don’t know what that looked like to people in  busy Coolidge Corner on Sunday.

Look, I don’t think I look like her but, like her, I have tamed brows and am wild at heart.

An hour before Arnie took that photo, I looked like a guilty person when the Brookline police stopped me for looking at my phone while I was driving a few yards from that poster.  It looked like I might get a ticket, but the two policewomen, who looked kind and reasonable, gave me a warning. It looks like I won’t look at my phone any more when I’m driving.

You look like you’d like to see my other new photos from yesterday.

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You look like you’d like some of that home-made chili and like you’d like to hear “You Look Like I Need a Drink” by Justin Moore.

I look like I need a comment from you. Look below to leave one.

You look like you’re expecting me to express my thanks  to all who helped me create the looks in today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU, for taking a look, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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