Posts Tagged With: 2016 U.S. election

Day 2028: Comparisons

Not to make comparisons, but I’ve written at least two previous posts about the cognitive distortion of comparisons (here and here).

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we focused on comparisons.

fullsizeoutput_3140

I believe the human mind is built to make comparisons, in order to make meaning of what’s around us.  However, when we compare ourselves to others, the resulting blows to our self-confidence and self-esteem can be beyond compare.

I’ve been making a different type of comparison lately.  I compare the blog posts I’ve written after and before the November 2016 USA presidential election and I see differences. Less joy.  Less hope.  Less confidence in the future.  Less faith in humans to be respectful and kind.

Some might compare me to a snowflake.  Personally, I don’t mind being compared to a snowflake — each one is beautiful, intricate, and unique.

Let’s see how the rest of my photos compare to the one I’ve included above.

IMG_1487

IMG_1486

IMG_1488

IMG_1494

When I search YouTube for “comparisons,” most of the results have to do with money and wealth — not particularly useful comparisons.

If we don’t realize all animals are beyond compare, we will continue to lose more and more to extinction.  Here’s a video showing comparisons of animal size:

The most recent comment on that video includes this: “Fake news.” I now compare my life to how it was before I heard that phrase so frequently.

Here‘s one result for “comparisons music.”

I look forward to comparisons in comments, below.

Now it’s time to compare  two ways of my expressing gratitude to all who helped me create another “comparisons” post and — of course! — to YOU.

IMG_1489

IMG_1493

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

Day 1453: American Standards

Having been an American all my life, I have certain standards.  With our latest non-standard Presidential election, I wonder about new American standards and America’s standing in the world.

My standards for creating this daily American blog include looking at my photos from the day before and deciding on the title and the topic. Here’s the American Standard that inspired today’s post:

img_7625

Here are my other standard American photos from yesterday:

img_7626

img_7628

img_7629

img_7627

img_7631

img_7632

img_7630

img_7633

img_7634

img_7635

img_7636

img_7638

While my mood is addled, deprived, and puzzled regarding American standards in politics, my mood is also giddy and fabulous because Michael made tuna noodle casserole and MY SON AARON IS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

To celebrate, here’s an American standard from the heroic American  Glenn Miller:

 

I’ll end with some standard American gratitude for all who helped me create this American Standards post and for you — of course! — for upholding your standards, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1448: I feel bad

Because of various medical and political tribulations over the past few months,  when I wake up every morning I feel bad.

I feel bad about feeling bad, so as soon as I wake up, I do my best to feel better by

  • blogging,
  • exercising,
  • showering,
  • eating nutritious and delicious food,
  • drinking plenty of water,
  • connecting with people I love,
  • spending time with animals and/or nature,
  • taking care of an obligation or two,
  • laughing,
  • practicing kindness, compassion, and caring, and
  • capturing images on my iPhone.

img_7522

img_7523

img_7524

I feel bad that I took only three photos yesterday. I feel bad that the last picture is so fuzzy.

I feel better when I let someone know I feel bad.

When I feel bad, music also helps me feel better.

 

What do you do when you feel bad?

I feel bad whenever I forget to express gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and  — of course! — to you, no matter how you’re feeling, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Day 1445: What’s in store?

What’s in store for this blog post?  The usual new photos stored on my iPhone,  some thoughts and feelings  being stored in the here and now, and music that’s stored on YouTube.

What in store for the next four years?  What’s in store for this moment?  What’s in store for the moment after that?  Only everything.

People in my therapy group yesterday did not know what topic was in store for them, until we decided to write and draw about the concept of “home.”

img_7486

img_7489

This present was in store for me at work:

img_7484

All these things were in store for me during the rest of the day:

 

IMG_7493.JPG

img_7491

img_7492

img_7494

img_7495

img_7496

img_7497

img_7498

img_7499

img_7500

img_7501

 

I didn’t know tears were in store for me, but here I am, crying, as I create this post.  Those tears were probably stored up  from my  recent open heart surgery, the additional surgery I had to undergo soon after that because of a recalled pacemaker battery, and the U.S. election.

The message that was stored on the teabag that was in store for me last night stores the truth:

img_7502

By listening you comfort me.

Here‘s the music in store today (which I listened to twice, yesterday, for comfort):

 

I wonder what comments are in store for me?

Stored up thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — whose appreciated presence was a present in store for me today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1418: Qualified

Because I’m not qualified to give you an exact definition of “qualified,” here’s how it’s defined online:

qual·i·fied
ˈkwäləˌfīd/
adjective
1.officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job; certified.
“newly qualified nurses”
2.not complete or absolute; limited.
“I could only judge this CD a qualified success”

Yesterday,  I asked my boyfriend Michael — who is qualified to be a boyfriend, a cook, and (according to one of my doctors) a nurse — how he was feeling. Michael qualified and quantified his feelings like so:

 I am Q fine.

While Michael is more qualified than I to explain exactly what he meant, I can tell you that “Q” stands for “Qualified””  I will also qualify that by explaining that Michael’s “Q” reflects the second definition of “Qualified” above.

Why is my qualified boyfriend responding that he is “Q fine”  lately?  Again, Michael is more qualified than I to describe his thoughts and feelings, but I am qualified to guess that Michael’s feelings are qualified by worries about whether Donald Trump is qualified to serve as our President for the next four years.

I don’t think of myself as a qualified photographer, but some of my readers do. Here are my qualified images from yesterday:

 

I think those photos need to be qualified as follows:

  1. My son Aaron and I are both qualified to use FaceTime to communicate while he is away at school in Scotland.
  2. Aaron was qualifying many of his remarks to me yesterday while playing with tomatoes.
  3. Even though I am a qualified mother, I did not tell Aaron to stop playing with his food.
  4. We are all qualified to practice mindfulness, to breathe, and to make time for ourselves.

Am I qualified to pick the right music for today’s post? Yesterday, Michael and I heard beautiful music on the radio played by Nicholas McCarthy, who is completely qualified as a concert pianist despite having been born with only his left hand.

 

How would you qualify your thought and feelings, here and now?  You are the ONLY ONE qualified to truly know and express your own experience.   I declare that as a qualified psychotherapist, mother, and  human being.

I am also qualified to give unqualified thanks where thanks are due — to all those qualified people who helped me create today’s post and to you, of course!

img_6730

 

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

Day 1414: I wake up this morning feeling uneasy

Almost fourteen hundred days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post titled Day 17: I think I wake up most mornings feeling uneasy. Here’s what I think, as I wake up this morning feeling uneasy:

  • That was an important post for me to write back then, because I named and accepted my feelings, which freed me up to look at next steps.
  • When I wrote that post, I ABSOLUTELY had significantly fewer reasons to feel uneasy than I do this morning.
  • Uneasy is not the only feeling I’m having these mornings.
  • I’m also feeling dread, hope, fear, disappointment, and love.

What helps when I’m feeling uneasy?

  • Naming it.
  • Connecting with others.
  • Self care.
  • Reminding myself, “It might be safer than it feels.”
  • Remembering that no matter how I’m feeling, some people out there are thriving and some people are suffering.
  • Identifying something I can do.
  • Doing it.

Here’s what I’d like to do right now: share my photos from yesterday, which I took when I was feeling uneasy (as well as many other feelings). But I’m feeling uneasy because:

  • I can’t access my photos.
  • WordPress is not saving this post as I’m writing it.
  • I need to restart my computer to complete this post the way I want to.

 

I’m going to just do it and hope for the best!

 

img_6581

img_6582

img_6584

img_6585

img_6586

img_6587

img_6588

img_6589

img_6590

img_6593

img_6594

img_6595

img_6596

img_6598

 

img_6600

img_6604

Is anything making you feel uneasy, now that you’ve read my post and seen my photos?

When I was feeling very uneasy in the hospital after my recent open heart surgery, I listened to a Bach CD on repeat, mornings and nights.   Here‘s some Bach for us all:

 

More things that help when I’m uneasy:

  • Reading people’s comments on my blog.
  • Expressing gratitude to all  who help me create new posts in the morning.
  • Thanking you — of course! —  for making my life easier.

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Day 1413: ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about the title of today’s post is right here:

img_6578

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about that photo includes the fact that I took it last night at Target.

At times in my life, I’ve thought to myself, “That’s ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.” Soon, though, I knew I needed to know more.

Recently  I thought, “That’s ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW” about

and then I learned it wasn’t.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about this blog includes this: I try to share ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW  with my photographs from the day before.

img_6548

 

 

img_6551

img_6552

img_6554

img_6555

img_6557

img_6558

img_6559

img_6560

img_6561

IMG_6562.JPG

img_6563

img_6564

img_6565

img_6566

img_6567

img_6568

img_6569

img_6570

img_6573

img_6577

img_6574

img_6579

 

img_6575

img_6576

img_6580

img_6549

img_6550

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about those chocolates:

Did you get  ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW from this post? I’ll get absolutely everything I need to know about that from your comments.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about who I need to thank: absolutely everybody I needed to create this post and you, absolutely!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1412: Veterans

Yesterday was Veterans Day in the USA, so  I visited a special place in my birthplace of Boston.

img_6511

img_6518

img_6514

 

img_6513

I’m a veteran of witnessing war from the safety of my home, thanks to the veterans honored there and elsewhere.

Because I’m a veteran blogger, I woke up this morning with this thought:

We are all veterans of life’s challenges; therefore, we will make it through the challenges facing us today.

Because I’m a veteran group therapist, I had this thought:

In the past, I have  felt alone with my pain, disappointment, and fear.  Today, I know I am not alone.

If you’re a veteran of this blog, you know I like to share photos from the day before.

img_6468

img_6469

img_6470

img_6472

img_6473

img_6477

img_6478

img_6480

img_6481

img_6483

IMG_6484.JPG

img_6502

img_6505

img_6523

 

img_6526

img_6527

img_6531

img_6530

 

img_6533

img_6532

img_6534

img_6535

img_6537

img_6542

img_6544

img_6546

As I look around with my veteran eyeballs, I see lots of beauty.  When I listen with my veteran ears while walking through gardens, I hear music like this:

I would like to thank all the veterans who helped me create today’s post and all the veterans reading this, here and now.

 

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

Day 1411: It could be worse.

It could be worse. It could be raining.

It could be worse. It could be a world without

“Good Bones,” by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

  • Sons who want to FaceTime with their mothers

img_6452

img_6460

  • Cats

img_6461

  • Signs

img_6463

img_6467

  • Fire hydrants

img_6465

  • Mittens

img_6464

  • Pumpkins

img_6466

  • My readers, who I hope will leave a comment about this post (which could be worse)
  • Gratitude, which I’m expressing for all who helped me create today’s blog and for you– of course! — no matter what you think could be worse, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1410: Let it out

Yesterday, when I was letting it out at cardiac rehab, Danise let it out, like so:

img_6438

Danise — who helps people, like me, who are recovering from cardiac surgeries let it out on exercise machines and in other healing ways  — let it out by telling me about a dream she’d had the night before.  After the TV coverage let it out that Donald Trump was on his way to winning the U.S. presidential election, Danise dreamed she found Hillary Clinton in her home flipping things over (as Danise is demonstrating, above). In her dream,  Danise  said to Hillary, “Let it out, girl! ”

After I let it out with Danise and others at cardiac rehab, I went home where I let it out with our two cats. I also let it out by turning on the TV, where I was privileged to witness Hillary Clinton letting it out with her  concession speech.

I have to let it out with you, my dear readers, that when I typed that previous sentence, I erroneously wrote “acceptance” rather than “concession.” As my boyfriend Michael and I have been letting it out with each other after the shock of the election result,  we’ve discussed how the stages of grief include denial.

Speaking of the stages of grief, my son Aaron sent me these messages, yesterday, from Scotland:

very very odd

it feels like someone died

Michael, Aaron, and I then let it out with each other during two extended FaceTime sessions.

On Facebook yesterday, I let it out by posting quotes by H.L. Mencken, including these:

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ”

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

I also let it out on Facebook by posting this recent, pre-election clip where Patton Oswalt let it out  that grieving in public is therapeutic:

I also believe that letting it out — where “it” includes all your feelings —  is therapeutic.  I will let it out, now, that if I didn’t believe that, I would not have become a psychotherapist nor would I have started this daily blog.

One more way I let it out on Facebook the day after the U.S. election:

I made it through open heart surgery for this?

I think it’s time to let it out by including all my other photos from yesterday:

img_6436

img_6437

IMG_6440.JPG

img_6442

IMG_6443.JPG

img_6444

 

img_6446

img_6445

img_6447

img_6449

img_6448

img_6451

If you have  thoughts or feelings about this post, please let it out in a comment, below.

I hope I let it out how grateful I am to all who help me let it out in this daily blog and to you — of course! — for being with me as I let it out, here and now.

 

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

Blog at WordPress.com.