photojournalism

Day 2688: What’s essential, anyway?

During another essential day, I noticed this online article in the Washington Post:

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What’s essential, anyway? It all depends on who’s deciding.

Here and now, I’m deciding that what’s essential, anyway, is sharing my latest photos with you.

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What’s essential, anyway, is my letting my Facebook friends know that I am “a face of the coronavirus (recovered)”

Here‘s an anyway essential song from the late Bill Withers:

Please lean on me by leaving a comment about what you think is essential, anyway.

What’s essential,  anyway and every day, is gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create this essential-to-my-sanity blog, including YOU!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2687: Today is …

Today is …

  • the two thousandth, six hundredth, and eighty-seventh day I’ve been blogging,
  • a day when we are dreading the upcoming surge of COVID-19 cases,
  • a day unlike any other,
  • a day that feels like this:

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  • a day when I’m noticing the many prescient images I posted in this blog during the days of February and March 2020:

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  • a day when I remember that ID stands for Infectious Disease, and
  • a day when I share all of the photos I took yesterday.

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Today is a day I share all these songs about today (found here, here, here, here, here, and here today on YouTube):

Today is a day I am curious about your thoughts and feelings about today.

Today is a day, like every other day, that I express gratitude for all that I have, including YOU.

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

Day 2686: Doing new things

During times like these, we’re all doing new things.  Doing new things can be

  • scary,
  • intimidating,
  • frustrating,
  • exciting,
  • challenging,
  • annoying,
  • exhausting, and
  • enlightening.

My new photos show us doing new things, including …

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… using a beloved book in the remote versions of my Coping and Healing groups,

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… trying a new fish we’ve never eaten before,

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Harley practicing LESS social distancing, and

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… all of us here working hard to forgive ourselves and others.

I just learned new things about the Faroe Islands when I searched YouTube for “social distancing music” and found people doing new things here:

 

If you’ve never left a comment before, consider doing that new thing, here and now.

It also helps to do familiar things, like my expressing gratitude for all those who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2685: Coping strategies during a pandemic

Yesterday, after I was sharing coping strategies with a Coping and Healing online group, I found this online article “How to look after your mental health during a pandemic.”

The coping strategies in that article include

  • Coping with loneliness.
  • Tools for coping with anxiety.
  • Open communication and simple relaxation.

Here are some quotes from that article:

“Physical distancing and isolation measures, the closure of schools and workplaces, are particularly [challenging for] us, as they affect what we love to do, where we want to be, and who we want to be with.” —Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe

” Routine is very important for well-being, so … write a list of people and activities that lift your spirits; be sure to prioritize time for connecting with others and doing things you enjoy every day.”  —  Tania Diggory, founder of Calmer.”

… we can also reconnect with those hobbies and relaxation techniques that don’t require a screen — reading, taking a bath, gardening, listening to music, playing music, journaling, writing, arts and crafts, cooking new recipes, stroking your pet,  daydreaming … so much to savor and enjoy.” — Kat Hounsell, founder of everyday people.

“Personally, I’m sticking to what has worked for me in the past when I want to be calm — for example, learning and practicing simple relaxation techniques, like breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, mindfulness [and] meditation [which] can all be very helpful in alleviating mental distress.”  — Dr. Hans Kluge

Most of these issues and coping strategies came up in my Coping and Healing online group yesterday, which included one member theorizing that the pandemic was caused by a conspiracy of house cats, who want us to be home more.  Several cats were attending the group (including Oscar) and none of the cats denied it.

Do you see any coping strategies in my recent photos?

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I think letting go of self-judgment, guilt, shame, and worry are important coping strategies, especially during a pandemic.

Music and dance are wonderful coping strategies, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater has posted this on YouTube:

For a limited time only, as part of Ailey All Access, you’re getting access to watch Alvin Ailey’s ‘Revelations’ in its in entirety from your own home. We hope this rare opportunity brings you a moment of joy during these uncertain times.

Please share your coping strategies during a pandemic in the comments section, below.

Gratitude is always a coping strategy for me, so thanks to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2684: What the world needs now

One thousand, two hundred, and sixty-three days ago, when it was a different world, I published another blog post with today’s title.  Now, more than ever, what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

Yesterday, people participating in the world of my online Coping and Healing groups shared that they enjoyed watching this video of Berklee students —  alone but together —   performing “What the World Needs Now.”

I really need that video and I need to share my new photos with the world, here and now:

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Yesterday, I needed that delicious chicken dish, I needed Michael, I needed a walk outside, I needed the cats, and I needed to figure out how to make my new whiteboard work for my online groups.

What the world needs now is

  • love, sweet love,
  • any thoughts and feelings you choose to share in a comment, below. and
  • gratitude, so thanks to all who are showing love during these difficult times (including YOU).

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2683: Alone

Over the years, I have written, while alone, these blog posts with “alone” in the title:

Day 163: Alone in the presence of others

Day 247: No one is alone

Day 289: Sometimes, it just helps to know you’re not alone

Day 839: Never worry alone

Day 908: You are not alone

Day 1028: Can’t do it alone

Day 1180: Alone

Day 1294: Alone/Connected

In the three years since I wrote that last “Alone” post,

This week, I’m going to conduct five Coping and Healing groups  and each one of us participating will be alone in a room because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I may wear this t-shirt while facilitating a Coping and Healing group this week:

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I alone took all these other photos yesterday:

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Michael alone makes amazing meals for me.

Here are some quotes about “alone”:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  — Helen Keller

I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone. — Lord Byron

It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company. — George Washington

We are rarely proud when we are alone. — Voltaire

I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone. — Rainer Maria Rilke

I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone  — Audrey Hepburn

The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone. — Albert Camus

Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. — A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. — George Carlin

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. — Maya Angelou

When the people you love are gone, you’re alone. — Keanu Reeves

To live alone is the fate of all great souls. — Arthur Schopenhauer

 

A year ago, when people were able to gather in groups,  Nat Shirley and I  performed this song which I did not write alone.

If you have thoughts and feelings about anything in this “Alone” post, you alone can express them in a comment, below.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my gratitude that we’re all alive, here and now.

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

Day 2682: What’s your worst fear AND what’s helping?

In the online groups I have been facilitating this week, I’ve been inviting people to share their worst fears and also what has been helping them deal with these.

My worst fear is that I won’t leave enough room for people to have all their feelings and what helps is my asking questions like that one.

Do you see any worst fears AND do you see anything that helps in my images from yesterday?

This interview with Dr. Fauci by Trevor Noah included worst fears and was also very helpful.

Please express worst fears AND what is helping you, in a comment below.

What helps me, every day, is finding and expressing gratitude wherever I am, so thanks to all (including YOU).

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2681: Following the hearts

Yesterday, when I was outside in the fresh air, walking around with my heart of hearts, Michael, I noticed hearts on the doors and windows of our neighborhood.

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Michael and I exchanged some heart-felt speculations about what those hearts meant. We both believed, in our hearts, that this display of hearts was related to the coronavirus.

When I saw somebody outside this house with hearts …

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… I asked her (from a distance) what the hearts meant.  She said, “We have health care workers in the neighborhood, so we are showing solidarity, love, and appreciation for the work they are doing for us during these times.”  She also pointed out that people were sharing their hearts with the children in the neighborhood by participating in a social-distanced bear-spotting scavenger hunt.  I looked around, and my heart rejoiced to see this:

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I followed my heart  to capture  other images, which I now send from my heart to yours:

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As we enjoyed that heart-healthy meal last night, Michael and I followed our hearts to watch the wonderful movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.   Here  is heart-felt music from the film, composed by Tan Dun and featuring Yo-Yo Ma on cello.

Please follow your heart to the comments section, below.

Every day, I follow my heart here to express my gratitude to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 2680: The rules

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been thinking about rules.  The rules keep changing, but certain rules are clear:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Connect with others remotely.

Here are the rules for somebody like me — who was almost definitely infected by the coronavirus but who could never get tested because of the scarcity of test kits — according to this email from my Primary Care Physician:

In terms of when you can end YOUR isolation (again, I am assuming you had COVID-19), according to the CDC (as of today – I just verified) you can leave your home once you have been fever-free without fever-reducing medication for 72 hours AND your cough has improved AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you are still fever-free after 72 hours (tomorrow? Thurs?) and your cough is improving, I think you can leave your home but if you are still coughing it would be best to wear a mask.

Because my rules include “first, do no harm”  I waited a couple of extra days and first ventured out of my home yesterday. My rules include staying away from people and using gloves whenever I touch anything. As I wrote to a friend this morning:

I shall do my best to continue flattening the curve while not getting flattened by all this.

The rules at this blog include sharing photos that rule:

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The rules for me, because I have a mechanical heart valve and take Warfarin daily, include my checking my INR at home.  Because my INR was so high yesterday (it’s supposed to be between 2.5 and 3.5), my medical team’s rules included my skipping a dose of Warfarin last night and eating more greens. New rules: We think the coronavirus and my taking antibiotics have probably disrupted my INR temporarily.  The rules of common sense tell us that this number will stabilize again soon.

The rules of this blog also include

  • inviting you to share your rules, thoughts, and feelings in a comment, below, and
  • expressing gratitude for all who help me figure out the rules, every day.

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

Day 2679: What are your priorities?

On this day, what are your priorities?

Do your priorities include taking care of tasks?

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Do your priorities include noticing and appreciating what’s around you throughout the day?

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Do your priorities include staying hydrated ?

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Do your priorities include keeping track of what belongs to you?

Do your priorities include eating healthy food?

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Do your priorities include socializing as best you can during these strange times?

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Do your priorities include compassion, kindness, and grace?

Do your priorities include effective communication?

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Do your priorities include smiling? Studies show that smiling helps improve your mood (even if you don’t feel like smiling).

Face it!  It can be very difficult to set priorities during changing and uncertain times. My priorities, here and now, include

  • blogging,
  • arranging and conducting on-line therapy groups,
  • forgiving myself for my mistakes,
  • listening,
  • communicating,
  • accepting myself and others,
  • balancing action with thought,
  • hope,
  • safety,
  • letting go of judgment,
  • letting go of worry,
  • finding joy wherever I can,
  • caring for myself and others as best I can, and
  • music (here and here).

As always, my priorities include gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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