Day 1960: I AM

I AM in New York City while I AM writing today’s blog.

I AM a fan of the Off Broadway one-man performance In & Of Itself by magician Derek DelGaudio, which has the subtitle “Identity is an illusion.”

I AM telling you that I, like every other audience member, needed to choose an identity before last night’s performance of In & Of Itself.

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I AM happy that I chose that identity, but I AM more than just a blogger. I AM also a mother.

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I AM a photographer.

 

 

 

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I AM also a Social Worker, among many other things.

I AM curious about what you would say you are.

I AM sharing this interview of Derek DelGaudio by Stephen Colbert, which inspired me to see In & Of Itself last night.

 

I AM grateful to all who help me be a blogger every day, including you, no matter who or what you are.

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… and I AM adding this, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1959: Random Crap

Yesterday, when I was thinking and doing random crap in NYC with my excellent friend Jeanette, I said to her, “‘Random Crap’ is the title of tomorrow’s blog.”

That was not totally random crap on my part, because Jeanette and I had both noticed this Random Crap bag in the window of a random NYC store.

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Here are some random thoughts about “Random Crap”:

  • Through our lives, we accumulate a lot of random crap.
  • Many of our thoughts are random crap.
  • We worry about a lot of random crap.
  • This blog could conceivably be renamed “The Year(s) of Random Crap.”
  • Some of the random crap in this blog is not as random as it might initially seem. For example, I deliberately took my first two photos yesterday for non-random reasons.

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Those are two worry dolls I found as I was cleaning out some random crap from my bag before I left for NYC. I photographed them because (1) I want to stop worrying and (2) they look like me and Jeanette.

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I took this photo in the parking lot of the Amtrak station near Boston because today is Mother’s Day and my  late mother was THE cleaning authority. There were a lot of random jokes about my mother’s neatness including this one of my late father’s: “I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and when I came back your mother had made the bed.”

I  think  my blog can seem like random crap especially when I randomly avoid photographing the famous landmarks that most people do. Can you find the one thing many people photograph when they’re in New York among all the random crap below?

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If you know your shit and spotted the famous NYC landmark in all the random crap above, please consider leaving a random comment, below.

This may seem like more random crap, but one of the random stores Jeanette and I walked into yesterday was displaying these earrings

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AND the exact same socks I had decided to wear that morning.

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When I randomly told Jeanette that I love those socks and that I also own socks that say “THIS MEETING IS BULLSHIT,” Jeanette revealed what socks she was wearing.

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So maybe all this crap we encounter in life is not so random after all.

Among all the random crap on YouTube, I found this “Random Crap” song:

 

There’s no randomness about my commitment to end each blog post with thanks to all  who help me create the random crap I share every day and — of course! — to all  who read it, like YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1958: What’s your favorite season?

What’s your favorite season?

My favorite season is spring.  That’s why I’m taking this next week off from work, so I can enjoy the flowering trees, the glorious colors, and the warmth of my favorite season.  This morning, I’m leaving on a fast train for New York City to enjoy two days of my favorite season with one of my favorite people, Jeanette.

What’s your favorite picture of these, which I took during my favorite season?

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Here are Alex Horne and the Horne Section asking and answering “What’s Your Favourite Season?”

My favorite way to end a blog post — no matter what the season —  is with thanks.  Thanks to all who helped me create today’s seasonal post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1957: Choices

In every therapy group I facilitate, people have choices about how they participate and about what topic we choose to focus on.  Yesterday, the group members had many choices and decided on the topic “choices.”

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My choices of photos, above, include only what I chose to reveal in group.  My handwriting is not choice, so I choose to type my choices of what I shared.

What is your personal experience of choices?

I like having choices.

What helps with choices?

Self-care.

Realizing what the choices are.

Checking out choices with others.

Self-confidence.

Realizing I’ve made good choices before.

Recognizing that most choices are not irrevocable.

Before the group, I made these photographic choices:

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Are my photographic choices good enough?

Many people I know feel guilt, shame, and regret about choices they’ve made in the past. I invite them to make these choices, moving forward:

  • Recognize that they were doing the best they could at the time and
  • Forgive themselves.

As always, there are many choices of songs to share.

You have the choice to make any comment you choose.

As always, my choices for ending a blog post include thanks to all who helped me create it and — of course! —  to YOU, for making the choice to visit here, today.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 1956: This Way and That Way

These days, some people tell you it’s right to think and act this way

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while other people  tell you it’s right to think and act that way.

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In our way, there are so many ways that divide us.

My way is to celebrate life’s moments,

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invite hope,

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express myself,

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work on stress,

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promote self-forgiveness,

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be smart,

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help people reach their potential,

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appreciate the arts,

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accept the child and the adult,

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walk past the news,

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stay away from death,

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deal with people leaving,

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focus on our chances,

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let go of worry about the future,

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eat healthy meals,

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look this way and that way on YouTube,

and express my gratitude, every day.

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I’m thankful, here and now, that I can ask this community:  What’s your way?

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

Day 1955: For Safety

As a psychotherapist, I’m concerned about people’s safety.

I work at a Boston hospital, where others also look out for your safety.

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For our safety, I wish world leaders would use the negotiating table.

For my safety, I observe what’s going on around me, like this:

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For our safety and sanity, we’re using our seaside table.

Here’s an old advertisement for safety  I safely remember.

What do you do for safety?

Appreciation and gratitude increase my sense of safety,  so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post for safety  and — of course! — thanks to you.

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

Day 1954: Drowning

On Vivian the intern’s last day, I received this page at work.

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I assumed that page was from Vivian, drowning in all the tasks she needed to complete. And it was.  However, that page could have been from a lot of people, because many of us are drowning in tasks, work, obligations, news, politics, self-recrimination, violence, worry, guilt, and shame.

What do you do when you’re drowning?  Do you reach out, like Vivian?  How do you reach out?

I don’t worry about drowning in water, even though I can’t swim.  Being near water keeps me from drowning.  And so does blogging and taking photos, like these:

Here’s a live version of “Drowning in a Sea of Love” with Boz Scaggs and Donald Fagen.

I hope you don’t mind drowning in a sea of gratitude from me.

 

 

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

Day 1953: 1953

In all the one thousand, nine-hundred, and fifty-three days I’ve been blogging here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, this is the first time that the title of the post has been the same as the number of the day.

Any guesses as to why that might be?

After I write for approximately 1953 seconds, I’ll tell you the answer.

I’m not going to share 1953 photos today,  because that would take too long. However, I will share these 2018 photos.

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Let’s stay engaged, experience discomfort, speak our truth, and expect and accept non-closure as I try to list important 1953 events.

Top News Stories from 1953

Population: 4.378 billion

Nobel Peace Prize: George C. Marshall (US)

Joseph Stalin dies (March 5). Georgi Malenkov becomes Soviet Premier; Lavrenti Beria, Minister of Interior; Vyacheslav Molotov, Foreign Minister (March 6).
East Berliners rise against Communist rule; quelled by tanks (June 17).
Korean armistice signed (July 27).
Moscow announces explosion of hydrogen bomb (Aug. 20).
Tito becomes president of Yugoslavia.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (2 June)
U.S. Events
President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Population: 160,184,192
Life expectancy: 68.8 years
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.8

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated President of United States (Jan. 20).
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed in Sing Sing prison (June 19).
Alleged Communist Charlie Chaplin leaves U.S. for good. Justice Dept. warns him any attempt to reenter the country will be challenged.

US GDP (1998 dollars): $379.7 billion
Federal spending: $76.10 billion
Federal debt $266.0 billion
Consumer Price Index: $26.7
Unemployment: 3.0%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03

World Series
NY Yankees d. Brooklyn Dodgers (4-2)

Wimbledon
Women: Maureen Connolly d. D. Hart (8-6 7-5)
Men: Vic Seixas d. K. Nielsen (9-7 6-3 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Dark Star
Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
Drama: Picnic, William Inge
Academy Award, Best Picture: The Greatest Show on Earth, Cecil B. DeMille, producer (Paramount)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Sir Winston Churchill (UK)

The first issue of TV Guide magazine hits the newsstands on April 3 in 10 cities with a circulation of 1,560,000.

Playboy magazine hits newsstands. A nude Marilyn Monroe graces the cover.

Books
William Burroughs, Junkie
Randall Jarrell, Poetry and the Age
Henry Miller, Plexus
Alain Robbe-Grillet, The Erasers
Jean Stafford, Children are Bored on Sunday
James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March

Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Hermann Staudinger (Germany), for research in giant molecules
Physics: Fritz Zernike (Netherlands), for development of “”phase contrast”” microscope
Physiology or Medicine: Fritz A. Lipmann (Germany-US) and Hans Adolph Krebs (Germany-UK), for studies of living cells

Rosalind Franklin (England), Francis Crick (England), and James Watson (US) discover the double-helical structure of DNA.
Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal reach the top of Mt. Everest (May 29).
First successful open-heart surgery is performed in Philadelphia.

According to magnalink600, here are the Best Songs from 1953:

There was some non-closure there, too.

I’ve had 1953 days of gratitude here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.  I’ve also had 65 years of gratitude here on this earth, since I was born in 1953.

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

Day 1952: We Are One.

On Friday, when I was one of  many patients seeing a doctor at Tufts Medical Center, this was one of the photos I took:

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This morning, when I was researching the concept of Hungry Ghosts, I  became one with these words by Rumi, who believes we are one.

This is how a human being can change:
There’s a worm addicted to eating grape leaves.
Suddenly, he wakes up…
Call it grace, whatever,
something wakes him,
and he’s no longer a worm.
He’s the entire vineyard,
And the orchard too,
The fruit, the trunks, a
Growing wisdom and joy
That doesn’t need to devour.

With growing wisdom and joy, I  believe we are one.  Do any of these photos show that we are one?

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One of those photos reminds me of this one joke:

What did the Zen master say to the hot dog vendor?  “Make me one with everything.”

There are more than one “We Are One” songs (which are currently one with YouTube here, here, and here).

 

In the end, we are one with gratitude.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1951: Vivian

Vivian is a social work intern who makes me smile, especially when she shows me photos like this:

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Yesterday, Vivian and I  made each other cry because it was her last day at work.  Soon, as a new graduate,  she’ll be off on her own road trip to Chicago.

In the final Friday therapy group she facilitated with me, we discussed goodbyes and helpful phrases like “The pain of a loss is a direct reflection of the importance of the connection” and “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Vivian, who is a very gifted student, shared many gifts yesterday.

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In honor of the many  things Vivian and I shared this year,  here‘s Jackie Chan singing “Believe in Yourself.”

I hope Vivian believes in herself,  as many of us in her community believe in her.

Vivian let me know she appreciates my gratitude. I am very grateful for Vivian, Jackie Chan, Nikita Gill, A. A. Milne, Rupi Kaur, healing groups and communities, and — of course! — YOU.

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

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