Day 1896: Always Remember

Always remember to listen to those you trust.

Always remember to look around. Otherwise, you might miss something.

Always remember to show your love and turn your clocks forward in the spring.

Always remember to share your favorite things, like music.

What do you always remember?

I always remember to express thanks at the end of everything else I remember to say.

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Day 1895: Forget Regret

Yesterday, in a group therapy session, people talked about regret.  I said, “Regret is really present in this room. Should we invite Regret to sit down?”   People looked a little less regretful when they invited Regret to sit in a corner.  They also asked Regret questions like “Why won’t you go away?”  I answered in the voice of Regret: “I won’t go away because I think I help you. What would you do without me?”  People said that as the session went on, Regret was still there but was getting smaller.

Near the end of the session, I went over to the chair where Regret was sitting, picked it up by the scruff of the neck, opened the door with my other hand, threw Regret into the hallway, and slammed the door.  I asked people how it felt now that Regret was out of the room.  “Wonderful,” was one reply.

Later that day, I went to physical therapy for my torn rotator cuff, and Regret visited me there.  I got so discouraged about my lack of progress that I focused on my regret for slipping and falling on January 31.  Then, I remembered the group, took Regret by the scruff of the neck and threw it out the door.

Here‘s the song I heard yesterday with the lyrics “Forget Regret.”

There’s only us

There’s only this

Forget regret

Or life is yours to miss

No other road

No other way

No day but today.

Kind and wonderful people — like Dr. Maria Gonzalez Del Castillo and Kate at Beacon Hill Dental Associates — help me forget regret.



Taking photos for this blog helps me forget regret.










Forget regret but don’t forget to comment!

I never forget to send a big thank-you to everyone who helps me create this daily blog, especially YOU.


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Day 1894: Prescriptions

In my work as a therapist, sometimes I write prescriptions for people.  I’m not licensed to prescribe medications, so those prescriptions have included

  • Rx:  Keep doing what you’re doing.
  • Rx:  Be kind to yourself.
  • Rx:  This too shall pass.
  • Rx.  One  day at a time.
  • Rx:  One minute at a time.
  • Rx: Follow your heart.
  • Rx: Stay safe.
  • Rx:  Forgive yourself.
  • Rx:  Love yourself.
  • Rx:  Speak your truth.
  • Rx:  It’s safer than it feels.

I happen to have a blank prescription here.


What prescription would you write for yourself, here and now?

My daily prescriptions include writing this blog and sharing photos.














Those Yogi Tea sayings seem like prescriptions to me.

What’s the prescription for the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu?

Prescribed thanks to all who helped me write today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.





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

Day 1893: Up the wall

Yesterday, I was told to meet my physical therapist by following some feet on the floor. I followed those feet out of the waiting room, through a door, and past small and large treatment rooms, but  I wasn’t sure what to do when the feet went up the wall.


Not knowing where to go can send me up the wall and so can

  • cell phones,
  • injuries,
  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • injustice,
  • meanness,
  • thoughtlessness, and
  • people consistently misspelling my name.


What sends you up the wall? Does it send you up the wall that I haven’t defined my terms?

send someone up the wall

Fig. to annoy and irritate someone; to drive someone crazy. Don’t scratch your 
fingers on the  blackboard. It sends me up the wall! 
That noise sends me up the wall!


Do any of my other photos from yesterday send you up the wall?







Personally, love and acceptance don’t send me up the wall. They  send me over the moon.

When working in high tech sent me up the wall in the 1980’s,  I would sometimes dance to this:

Please don’t write your comments up on the wall; instead, write them down below.

Over-the-moon thanks to all who helped me create this up-the-wall post and — of course! — to YOU.


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

Day 1892: Why people respond to you the way they do

One thing I consistently relearn in this world (especially when I attend a group psychotherapy conference) is why people respond to you the way they do.

Last week in Houston, I found that people responded to me the way they did because of

  • assumptions,
  • memories,
  • feelings, and
  • the unconscious.

Here are two examples of people responding to me the way they did:

Example #1.

In a very large group, a woman sitting near me responded to everything I said with hostility, aggression, and opposition.  After the group session,  I approached her and  asked her if I had offended her in some way.  She said, “Oh no!  I’ve never done one of these large groups before. I just thought that was what you were supposed to do — argue with the person who had just spoken.”

Example #2.

In a different, much smaller group, I was the first to speak up.  A man sitting across from me seemed to respond to everything I said with some mild hostility. After about an hour, I let him know, in the group, that I was experiencing  some hostility from him and I wondered what that was about.  At first he said he wasn’t aware of being hostile towards me.  When another group member joined me by telling him she also saw the hostility towards me,   he thought about it. Then he  said, “I guess there is some hostility there. I saw you yesterday in another group where you spoke up first.  When you spoke up first here, I thought, ‘Oh, there’s Ann, doing THAT again.’  I said, “Oh!  Now I understand.  Thank you!”

I respond to the world the way I do, sometimes through pictures.







I responded to my son Aaron’s news about winning the University of Edinburgh Stand Up Comedy Championship by taking a screen shot of his award (above).  I responded to my wish to find his comedy routine on YouTube by searching  that site by his name.  YouTube responded with this video:


I respond to that video the way I do because I’m his mother.

Please respond to this post the way you do.

I respond the way I do, here and now,  because I’m grateful to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.




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

Day 1891: Stones

About a thousand days and blogs ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post about the basket of stones I use in my work as a group therapist.

When I orient a new person to my groups, I ask them to choose a stone from the basket for a mindfulness exercise.  At the end of the orientation, I tell them that the stone they chose is their “Coping and Healing Stone” to keep. People seem to love their stones.

Yesterday, when I returned to work from a week-long group therapy conference in Houston,  the basket of stones was not in its usual place on my bookshelf.  I searched my office and the rooms where I do group therapy, but that big basket of beautiful stones  remained missing.

I asked Juli,  who had facilitated some of my groups while I was away, if she had taken the basket of stones from my office.  She said, “What? No!  What a weird thing for somebody to take!”  As she thought about it, she remembered that when she had gone into my office to get some shells for a group mindfulness exercise,  she didn’t see the stones there then. So they had apparently disappeared early in the week I had been away.

I continued to look for the stones and they continued to remain missing.

Then, I started to compile a list of suspects, which is what we humans do.  The most probable suspect was a patient with chronic mental illness, who  had been in my office and chosen a stone from the basket.  I checked to see if this patient had been in the practice the week I was gone and I discovered that he had been —   on Monday to see his primary care doctor.  I told his doctor that I suspected this patient had taken the stones.  His doctor agreed  that was possible and  we discussed the patient’s mental state and how to help him.  I told the doctor I was not going to mention the missing stones to the patient.

I got on eBay and ordered a new basket and new stones. I had two people scheduled yesterday to be oriented to my group, which meant I needed stones for the orientation mindfulness exercises. However, in an amazing  and fortuitous coincidence,  I had brought in with me several beach stones that were given to me on my birthday by my friend Megan’s daughter.

Later in the day, I was standing in the hallway talking to a co-worker, when the practice director came out of her office carrying MY BASKET OF STONES.  She explained that she had gone into my office while I was gone, taken the stones, and used them in a group.  She said, “You have a funny look on your face.”  Maybe she thought I was stoned.

I let the falsely suspected patient’s doctor know about what had happened  My conclusion: “The mentally ill get blamed for everything.”

Last night, I noticed that I had missed a phone call from my son Aaron, who is studying at the University of Edinburgh, which has many buildings built of stones.  He had called around 4:00 AM, his time.   I called him back right away.

Aaron, who often looks a little stoned (especially when he’s tired), said, “I won the Edinburgh University Comedy Competition tonight.”   My boyfriend Michael asked (as I knew he would), “Did you win any money?”  Aaron said, “No. ”  And he showed us what he had won. It was an enormous stone.

Feeling stoned yet?  Here are some photos from yesterday.







If you look closely at that last photo, you can see Aaron holding the stone he won as the Edinburgh University Revue Comedy Champion 2018.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but feel free to throw out some comments below.

Thanks to all who helped me write this post about stones and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1890: Just breathe

Let’s just breathe as I own that  Oscar and I always watch the Oscars together.



What helps you just breathe?  For 22-year-old Oscar nominee Timothee Chalamet last night, it was this video message from his high school drama teacher, Mr. Shifman:

Shifman here. I’m here with a few of LaGuardia High School’s future Oscar contenders to leave you with a few familiar words: Just breathe. You always know where home is, pal.

I always know where home is, too, especially when I just breathe.

Just breathe as you take a look at two more photos.



It’s easier to love this day when I just breathe.

I watched Eddie Vedder just breathe and sing  Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top”  during  last night’s  “In Memoriam” sectionHere‘s Eddie Vedder singing “Just Breathe.”

Just breathe and take in my gratitude for all who helped me create this “Just Breathe” post and — (taking a breath) — YOU!

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Day 1889: I own this

Yesterday, in a group therapy workshop  titled Living Improv: Using Improvisation to Access the Group Here and Now, the leaders — Elizabeth Ehrenberg and Ali Kimmel —  facilitated an exercise where we could do certain actions and use particular phrases in a circle. At one point, they added the option of repeating “I own this town” while putting your thumbs through imaginary suspenders and strutting through the circle, with everyone else getting out of your way.  I couldn’t wait to own that and whenever I got a chance,  I stuck my thumbs out, chanted “I own this town!  I own this town!” and strutted my way to wherever I wanted to be.  I own that I loved doing that and I own that I loved how the other group members appreciated the way I did it.  Somebody said, “You wear that so well.”

I own this blog and I’ll say this: I wish that people would

  • own what they want to do and say and
  • own the consequences of their speech and their actions.

I own these photos!












I own this:  When I was owning homesickness on my first day in Houston, I connected with Maurice at Starbucks in the Galleria Mall. Yesterday morning,  I owned the wish to say goodbye to him on my last day at the group therapy conference and I owned the presence of mind to ask somebody in line to take that photo of the two of us. She and I later owned our astonishment when she was a presenter of a group workshop I attended 15 minutes later!

I don’t own this music but I own how well it fits today’s post.

If you have any thoughts or feelings about this blog, please own them in a comment below.

I own my thanks to all who helped me own what I wanted to share today and — of course! — to YOU, for your attention to this blogging town.



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Day 1888: Well … THEY WERE WRONG.

When I was in my early 20’s, somebody did something that can still paralyze me with disbelief.  When I told her where I went to school, she argued with my memories of the experience, telling me that women and men went to separate classes and lived in separate dorms. I kept trying to explain to her that her misconceptions were based on old information, but she persisted in insisting that her opinions were correct.  Finally, I said to her, “Where did you get this information?  Did somebody tell you this?”  She nodded her head.

I paused, looked her in the eye, and said:

Well …….  (eye contact)  THEY WERE WRONG.

And that stopped her.

Yesterday, I spoke with my boyfriend  on the phone, who informed me that  because of a “historic storm” off the coast of New England, he had watched flood waters come up our street and surround our home near the ocean.  While the flood waters had receded, leaving behind a few inches of water in the basement, he was particularly concerned  that, as everybody was forecasting, the upcoming high tide around midnight would be even worse.  My strong and reassuring boyfriend was panicked, believing that he and the cats would need to be removed from our home.  We agreed that I would call him after I attended a dance party at my group therapy convention in Houston — a city that is still traumatized by recent catastrophic flooding.

I called Michael shortly after 11 PM Houston time.  ringing his cell phone because the landline had been knocked out.  He answered the phone.

Me: How are things, honey?

Michael:  I’m in the basement.  I’m afraid to look.  I’m waiting for the flood waters to rush in here.

Me: Why don’t you go upstairs and see what’s happening?

(the sounds of Michael going upstairs so he can see what’s going on with the sea).

Michael:  Wow.

Me: What’s going on?

Michael: There’s no flooding.   Maybe it’s not high tide yet.

Me: Do you want me to check the time of the high tide?

Michael: Please. There’s no internet.

Me:  High tide is at 12:09  AM.

Michael: Oh my god.  It’s 12:20 here.

So, this is what I would say about all the meteorologists and news reports that the second high tide was going to be more destructive than the first one.


Has anybody told you that climate change does not exist?


Did anybody, when you were a kid, tell you there was something wrong with you?


Has anybody ever denied your own experience?


Did anybody ever tell you that you didn’t have what it takes to pursue your passion and your dreams?


Did anybody ever tell you that you had to squelch your feelings and live inauthentically?


Has anybody ever treated you with disrespect?


When I was in my teens, dealing with a heart condition, doctors told me I would never be able to have kids.


Could we say, “Well … THEY WERE WRONG” about any of my photos from yesterday?










Somebody told me I wouldn’t be able to stay to the end of today’s 2 PM workshop about Group Therapy and Improv because I’d need to leave early to make it to the airport in time for my flight home to Boston.


Was anybody wrong to shoot this video? Am I wrong to post it?

Here‘s The Innovation Dance Company performing “THEY WERE WRONG” at a national dance competition in Las Vegas.


Has anybody ever told you that you shouldn’t comment on a blog because other people might attack you for your opinions?  Well …

Thanks to all who helped me create this “Well … THEY WERE WRONG” post and — of course! — to you, for not being wrong.



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

Day 1887: Chaos

About six months ago (but who’s counting?), I published a blog post with the same title as this one.   At the risk of somehow spreading the chaos in today’s news, I want to quote how chaos came up in my group therapy presentation yesterday. This happened in the question and answer period after I described how my open-access groups work in a primary care practice in a renowned teaching hospital in Boston.

Audience member: Ann, I am assuming you are comfortable with chaos. How do you deal with it in your groups, which people can attend as they choose?

Me: When you give people access to the behavioral health care they need, there is less chaos than you might expect.

I actually do not experience chaos in my therapy groups, but I do experience more of it, these days,  in the world outside my groups. As I said in my presentation yesterday, I believe people need the support of therapy groups even more in today’s chaotic world.

What do you see in the chaos of today’s pictures?









Even in all this chaos, I’ve got video. Somebody else on my discussion panel yesterday (Moving Forward: Opportunities for Group in the New Health Care Environmentshowed a video like this:

I’ve also got video of some music to help deal with chaos:

I look forward to the chaos of your comments.

Chaotic thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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