Day 2079: How many people does it take?

How many people does it take to make a difference?

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How many people does it take to

  • write a blog post?
  • change a light bulb?
  • take some photos?

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How many people does it take to be you?

How many people does it take to make this amazing video and sing and play all these parts?

 

How many people does it take to make a comment?

How many people does it take to thank Jacob Collier, good cats, good humans,  good cooks, friendly people, people who heal in groups, survivors, and — of course! — YOU?

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

Day 2078: Preparing for the worst-case scenario

Yesterday, as I was preparing for several worst-case scenarios, I noticed this headline in a local newspaper:

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I captured that image, preparing for the worst-case scenario of people getting confused, angry, or annoyed that I was inexplicably snapping a photo of a folded newspaper in a busy restaurant, perhaps momentarily inconveniencing people going about their business.

I wanted to photograph that “Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario” headline — despite the worst-case scenario of bothering other people — because  I believe that I am not alone in preparing for the worst-case scenario, consciously and unconsciously, every day.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario that the previous paragraph was either confusing or otherwise inadequate, I will now redirect you to many blog posts about the cognitive distortion of catastrophizing (here, herehere, here, here, here, here,  here, and here).

Preparing for the worst-case scenario that nobody will look at those previous posts I’ve written, I shall now prepare a list of my current thoughts and feelings about preparing for the worst-case scenario, as follows:

  • People who want to sell you something often do so by seemingly preparing you for the worst-case scenario.
  • Action movies, like the latest Mission Impossible film (which I saw yesterday), are built on worst-case scenarios (e.g., the destruction of the world)  being thwarted, at the last possible second,  by super human actions performed by people who are much stronger and smarter than anybody I know.  My mind then goes to this worst-case scenario: what chance do actual human beings have in averting disaster in real time and real life?
  • Some reader might chastise me with this: why can’t you just enjoy a great action movie without all this thinking about worst-case scenarios?
  • It’s difficult to prepare for the worst-case scenario when so many seem possible in the moment. How do we even  choose what the worst-case scenario is, from moment to moment and day to day?  And then, how do we prepare for it amid all these shifting sands and different opinions out there?
  • Whenever I listen to or watch the news, I notice people preparing for worst-case scenarios that are often diametrically opposed from each other.
  • A nation (and world!)  so polarized and conflicted is — according to Abraham Lincoln —  a worst-case scenario: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
  • I’m preparing for the worst-case scenario that my readers might think I haven’t done my homework in preparing this post by pointing out that “A house divided against itself cannot stand” originally appeared in the New Testament.
  • Preparing for worst-case scenarios in our daily lives (e.g., my health is declining,  my money is running out, I won’t be able to survive this latest loss, I may fail miserably in this venture, people will judge and/or abandon me) may seem to prepare and arm us for difficulties, but it also depletes and sometimes defeats us, even before we’ve tried.

Should I be preparing you for any worst-case scenarios in my other photos from yesterday?

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Last night, as I watched the fabulous fireworks celebrating the opening of the new Hancock Adams Park in historic Quincy, Massachusetts, USA, I was preparing myself for the worst-case scenario that I wouldn’t capture any of the wonderful smiley-face fireworks that were a part of the display. Despite preparing for that worst-case scenario, I loved every moment of those fireworks.

So I guess that’s the best I can do, these days: realize that my mind is going to naturally be preparing for the worst-case scenario but also getting as much as I can from every moment I’m still alive.

I’m now preparing for the worst-case scenario that people will notice all the flaws I see in this performance of my second original song “Catatrophizing” from two months ago …

… and this more recent performance, listed under the title “How not to be a busker, by Ann Koplow” on YouTube (and starting at 4:04):

How are you preparing for the worst-case scenario, these days?

As always, I’m preparing for the worst-case scenario by focusing on gratitude for what I do have. Thanks to all who helped me prepare this worst-case scenario post and — of course! — YOU, from the bottom of my catastrophizing heart.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2077: Applause

Several times in therapy groups this week, there was spontaneous applause, as people supported each other’s perspectives and progress.

I remember attending an “Opening the Heart” weekend workshop many years ago, where each one of us received thunderous, sustained applause after introducing ourselves. I still vividly recall how that applause felt, after I had revealed myself and my vulnerabilities to many strangers.

How do you respond to applause?

Last night, I was surprised by the timing of the applause to my latest original song, “Shameless Appeals for Applause.”

 

I now shamelessly appeal for applause for my photos from yesterday:

 

No matter what kind of comment you leave below, you’re sure to get applause from me.

Gratitude is a kind of applause, so I’m now clapping for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 2076: So you think you can … ?

So you think you can read another one of my posts today?

So I think I can …

  • write another daily post this morning,
  • facilitate another therapy group today,
  • sing another original song at an Open Mic this evening, and
  • see the dancers from So You Think You Can Dance on tour in October.

So if we think we can, we usually can!

So you think you can understand my three photos from yesterday?

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So you think you can watch this performance from this year’s So You Think You Can Dance, featuring my favorite singer?

So you think you can believe there is someone to watch over us?

So you think you can comment on today’s post?

So you think you can accept my gratitude to you (and to everyone who helped me create today’s post)?

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

Day 2075: Et tu, Brute?

“Et tu, Brute?” is a famous Shakespearean quote in Latin (from Julius Caesar).  Et tu, do you know what that quote means?

Et tu, Wikipedia! What do you say about “Et tu, Brute?”

Et tu, Brute? (pronounced [ɛt ˈtuː ˈbruːtɛ]) is a Latin phrase meaning “even you, Brutus?” It is notable for its occurrence in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, where it is spoken by the Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Junius Brutus at the moment of Caesar’s assassination….The phrase is often used apart from the plays to signify an unexpected betrayal by a friend.

Et me, I’m going to point out that the literal translation of “Et tu, Brute?” is “And you, Brutus?”   “Et” means “and” and “tu” means “you.”

Et tu, readers! Do you wonder why I’m explaining et ‘splaining about “Et tu, Brute?” today? Two reasons:

  1. President Trump seems to be saying a variant of that quote to the anonymous author of a damning insider editorial recently published in the “failing New York Times.”
  2. I noticed this yesterday:

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Et tu — if you’ve been a faithful et incredibly attentive reader of this blog — might remember that the first encounter with me et my boyfriend Michael (eight years ago in September) involved beets (described here ).

Et me, do I have any other photos to share with tu, here et now?

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Et tu, do you notice that Michael et I always vote  et that Michael never cooks with beets?

Et tu, YouTube: What do you have about “Et tu, Brute?”

This

et this

et this

et this

et this

et this

et this ...

et this.

 

Et tu!  Are you going to comment on this post, below?

Thanks to Shakespeare et Michael et Julius Caesar et AGNI et the genie from Aladdin et Assassin’s Creed et Community et Community Theater et Irondale Center et Archer et beets et everyone et everything else that helped me write today’s post et — of course! — TU!

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

Day 2074: Voting

Since many of us in Massachusetts, USA were voting yesterday, today I’m inviting my readers to think about voting.

What does voting mean to you?  Will you be voting this year? What influences your voting?

Voting is now open for your favorite images among these:

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No worries about my sharing this photo of my write-in voting for my boyfriend Michael:

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According to this site, that used to be illegal in Massachusetts,  but now it’s okay to take a photo of your own voting here. In the future, I hope to be voting for Michael for public office.

I’m voting for “Vote” by Blazer Fresh at GoNoodle.

I hope you’ll be voting in the comments section, below.

Any interest in voting for the preferred way to thank all those who helped me create today’s “Voting” post and — of course! — YOU?

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2073: What does CPR stand for?

Commonly, People Reply that CPR stands for CardioPulmonary Resuscitation.

Certain Picture Reveals that CPR  also stands for

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… Clean Portable Restrooms.

CPR also stands for Cats Posing Randomly,

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Chairs Properly Recycled,

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Civil Public Respect,

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Curious Political Rivalries,

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Cute Puppy, Right?

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Candy Prominently Rearranged,

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Carving Pumpkins Returns,

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and Captured Panoramas, Recently:

Captioning Performer Riffs:

Comments?  Personal Replies?

Conclusion Primarily Relies on gratitude to all who Contributed Parts Related to this CPR Concentrated Post Readily and — Certainly! — Praiseworthy Readers.

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Concluding Pun Revealed!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2072: Shameless Appeals for Applause

Here’s my first shameless appeal for applause in today’s  blog post: I have finished writing my fourth original song this year!

The name of the song is “Shameless Appeals for Applause” and I hope you find the chorus appealing:

These are shameless appeals for applause.

They are true and reliably cause

Clapping and oooohs and some awwwwws.

These shameless appeals for applause.

© Ann Koplow 2018

My shameless appeals for applause in that song include having a heart condition, being a single mother, and who I did NOT vote for in the 2016 USA presidential election.

This year, I’ve been making shameless appeals for applause with my original songs on the first Friday of every month at an acoustic Open Mic in Arlington, Massachusetts (see here for my shameless appeals for applause there in August). However, I still have some laryngitis, so I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to appeal for applause this coming Friday.

In the meantime, do you see any shameless appeals for applause in my photos from yesterday?

I shamelessly included one of those photos above because it evokes the name of another song I’m writing: “Triggers.”

Is including this patriotic song — also evoked by a photo above — another shameless appeal for applause?

Now I shall make another shameless appeal, this time for comments on this post.

Thanks to the Hingham Shipyard, to those who serve, to every one else who helped me create today’s shameless appeals for applause here at WordPress and — of course! — to YOU, who deserve applause for visiting my blog.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2071: Back in a flash

Yesterday, at the back end of my post, I flashed this photograph:

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Was that fake news?  Yes, I’m back at WordPress, as always, but was it really in a flash? Actually, I’m back more than 24 hours after I originally flashed that sign yesterday in Day 2070: What’s your super power.

Here and now I’m flashing back to yesterday, when I listened to people whose views I respect, including

The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. This person will receive a fair trial, as it should be. If convicted, he will face the consequences society has set. Beyond that, he deserves no more attention.

To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody.

My stepdaughter, whom Mollie loved so dearly, is Latina. Her sons — Mollie’s cherished nephews and my grandchildren — are Latino. That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American. As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union.

Given that, to knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag.  It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul. It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.

When I connect to people whose views I respect, here’s what comes back in a flash:

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Hope.

I’ll be back in a flash after I find the other photos I’ve taken most recently without a flash.

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Across the street from where we live, birdwatchers and photographers are often back in a flash.

Back in a flash, after I search for some relevant music on YouTube….

In a flash, I found “Back In A Flash” from Disney’s House of Mouse.

I’ll be back in flash, after I publish this post, to find out what thoughts and feelings you’ve flashed in the flashy comments section, below.

Back in a flash with my latest flash of gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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* When I published this, I erroneously wrote that Mollie Tibbetts’s father’s first name was John. When I realized my mistake, I was back in a flash to correct it to his right name: Rob Tibbetts.  I apologize for the mistake.

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

Day 2070: What’s your super power

Yesterday, I used my photographic super power to take a picture of this:

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What’s your super power?  Do you have more than one? Are you so super modest that it’s difficult to own your super powers?

Here’s a super incomplete list of my super powers:

  1. Taking pictures (see above).
  2. Blogging daily.
  3. Facilitating group healing.
  4. Coming up with new ideas.
  5. Finding cool socks.

I recently told a  super co-worker that helping a patient find a psychiatrist was NOT one of my super powers. I’m super secure that it’s super helpful to be aware and accepting of our super powers AND our limitations.

Speaking of limitations, I recently had the super idea that I stop using the super-judgmental  label “stupid” about myself or anybody else and use the superior word “limited” instead.

Do you see any super powers in my other super snapshots from yesterday?

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We think you deserve a treat, no matter what your super powers or limitations. I shall now attempt to find a super treat on YouTube for my super readers.

There’s a super number of videos on YouTube asking and perhaps answering the question, “What’s your super power?”  However, I’d rather share some super music like Super Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious” and “Superwoman.”

I hope you use your super power of making comments, below.

It’s time to use my super power of expressing thanks to all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.  And I shall use my super powers to get back here as quickly as possible.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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