Posts Tagged With: “Anyone Can Whistle”

Day 1760: Popular

According to the popular and unpopular press this morning, the unpopular U.S. President is increasingly popular with a segment of the populace.

According to my “likes” on WordPress, I’m becoming less popular with the  blogging populace.

How important is popular?

Here’s a popular definition of “popular”:

1. liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group.
“she was one of the most popular girls in the school”
synonyms: well liked, favored, sought-after, in demand, desired, wanted;
2. (of cultural activities or products) intended for or suited to the taste, understanding, or means of the general public rather than specialists or intellectuals.
“the popular press”
synonyms: nonspecialist, nontechnical, amateur, lay person’s, general, middle-of-the-road

Which of my photos from yesterday will be most popular with my readers?







Our newly cleaned couch and  the refinished dining room table are very popular with the cats. I’m hoping  that tolerance (discussed in yesterday’s therapy group) becomes more popular with the populace.

Here and here are two songs about being popular (and unpopular).


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

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

Day 1011: Simplicity

Simplicity came up in a therapy group, yesterday.

After that group, I simply saw simplicity everywhere.


Those last two simple photos are of a simple yet sturdy walking stick at an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy session. I used that stick to simply beat the stuffing out of some pillows, expressing some old and simple feelings of anger.

How did I feel after that exercise? Simply wonderful. As I told George, my EMDR therapist:

Instead of having a painful tiger inside me, now I am the tiger.

I’ve simply been considering, for over two years, sharing the non-simple song “Simple” from Stephen Sondheim’s 1964 musical Anyone Can Whistle (which features a psychotherapist sorting people into groups).

I prefer the simplicity of a local stage production, sometimes. (“Simple” simply starts at the 4-minute mark in that YouTube video.) If you want the simplicity of “Simple” from the original cast album, here it is, in two simple parts:

If you simply do not have time to watch those videos, I simply understand.

Some more simplicity: there’s no time like the present to do something helpful you’ve been considering for years.

Like simply beating the crap out of some pillows and accepting your own anger.

What do you think of the simplicity of this post?

Sincerely simple thanks to therapy groups, my EMDR therapist, sticks, pillows, Stephen Sondheim, and you — of course!

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

Day 640: All over the place

I woke up in one place this morning, but my mind was going lots of places, wondering what I might post about today.

Here’s the first thing I heard, on the radio:

On a morning like this, rainy and dark, we would expect problems on the road. Here are some spin-outs and accidents on your commute this morning.

Sounds like some cars were all over the place, too (before ending up in one spot).

Are there any places I want this post to go,  before I hit the rainy road?

For those who read my post yesterday, I want to tell you that — after I fearfully went all over the place from watching the beginning of a webinar about my very unusual heart (which had some scary data) — I watched the rest of it, which brought me to more balanced, hopeful places.

Speaking of all over the place, I just went to another place (my other blog at WordPress, which has lists of cognitive distortions and antidotes for unhelpful thoughts) to retrieve these:

This is a particularly extreme and painful form of fortune telling, where we project a situation into a disaster or the worst-case scenario. You might think catastrophizing helps you prepare and protect yourself, but it usually causes needless anxiety and worry.

Examine the Evidence.
Instead of assuming your negative thought is true, look at the evidence. For example, if you think “I never do anything right,” list some things you do well..

My mind has been going all over place, distracted, as I’ve been writing this, because the toilet has been running, running, running (while staying in one place), without stop.

I just fixed it, and that annoying noise has stopped. Now my mind can go other places.

But where?

Yesterday afternoon, my car went all over the place (because I misunderstood some instructions from my GPS system, Waze) on my way to see my therapist. I haven’t seen my therapist for a while, so our conversation went all over the place. At one point, the meandering discussion stopped at this blog, as follows:

Me: I’ve been posting every day since January 1, 2013, and I haven’t received any negative comments. Not one.

My therapist: That’s extraordinary.

My thoughts are going all over the place, right now:

  • My therapist just does not know my readers. If she did, she wouldn’t be that surprised.
  • When I’m writing a post and my thoughts and words are going all over the place, I often do imagine negative comments somebody might make.
  • What if somebody did make a negative comment here? So what?!  I like to invite negative reactions in my work as a psychotherapist … I’m sure I would survive (and learn from) any negative comments, in any place.
  • I wonder what I should eat for breakfast?

I think this post has successfully gone all over the place. Are there any other places I want to send it, before it comes to a stop?

Well, loyal and extraordinary reader Mark Bialczak wrote this in a comment, a couple of days ago:

I admire how you turn readers on to artists and songs they’d otherwise never encounter, Ann.

I like going places that my readers — including Mark — send me.

Recently, when I was walking and thinking all over the place,  I heard “Me and My Town” from Anyone Can Whistle — a musical Stephen Sondheim wrote when he was very young (before he really went places).

Even if you go all over the place on WordPress, I doubt you’ll encounter “Me and My Town” anywhere else. Here it is, from the original cast of Anyone Can Whistle.

When I was listening to”Me and My Town,” sung by Angela Lansbury, I took some photos of my town, Boston, which I would like to show you today.

Hmmm. I’m going all over the place, right now, looking for those photos I took last week. I know there were lots of photos of

[Me and] my town, battered about …

… Grass on the sidewalks, but not in the park 

… but I can’t find those images right now.  That’s not surprising … they look like a lot of other photos I take for this blog!

(Pssst!  If you want to see all the lyrics of “Me and My Town,” here‘s another place you can go.)

I have to leave soon to go another place (that would be work), so here are some photos you haven’t seen before, taken in Boston, which will just have to do:


IMG_9432 IMG_9578


I’ll end this all-over-the-place post with some words the Mayoress from Anyone Can Whistle sings again and again, as she goes all over the place in “Me and My Town.”

We just want to be loved.

Thanks to everybody who ever goes all over the place, which (I assume) would include Dr. Carole Warnes* (the expert from the webinar on congenitally corrected transposition), my therapist,  Mark Bialczak, Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, the people of Boston, and — of course! — you!

* One more place I want to go, here. When I googled “Dr. Carole Warnes” just now, I found another WordPress site, called “Adventures of a Funky Heart.” I’ll be going there (and other places) soon.

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

Day 565: Anyone can whistle

My son, who’s been rehearsing in a local production of a  Stephen Sondheim musical, has to whistle in the play, as part of his role.

Whistling doesn’t come naturally to him, and he has expressed some reactions to that, including the observation that most people can whistle.

Why does my son have trouble whistling?

I’m not sure, but I will tell you this:  his mother’s not such a great whistler, either.

Coincidentally, Stephen Sondheim, when he was quite young, wrote a musical called Anyone Can Whistle

Regular readers of this blog may know (1) the thought  “anyone can whistle” is an example of some cognitive distortions (listed here) and (2) I love Stephen Sondheim (see here, here, and here).

In any case, here is the title song from Anyone Can Whistle:

I chose that video version (found here) of “Anyone Can Whistle” because:

  • I am fascinated with the process of rehearsing,
  • I’ve never seen the show on stage (even though I know the original cast album by heart),
  • I like watching people’s faces, and
  • I loved the way Sutton Foster sings it there.

In case it wasn’t easy for you to hear the words to “Anyone Can Whistle” in that video, here they are:

Anyone can whistle, that’s what they say, easy
Anyone can whistle, any old day, easy
It’s all so simple, relax, let go, let fly
So someone tell me, why can’t I?

I can dance a tango, I can read Greek, easy
I can slay a dragon, any old week, easy
What’s hard is simple
What’s natural comes hard

Maybe you could show me
How to let go, lower my guard
Learn to be free
Maybe if you whistle, whistle for me

(lyrics found here)

Today, I was considering writing a post titled “Easy/Difficult,” inspired by many things, including:

  • Somebody at WordPress telling me they found the questions in yesterday’s post too difficult to answer.
  • Many people in therapy talking about what’s easy and what’s difficult for them.
  • My receiving praise, this week, for some things that come easily to me.
  • My focus on things that are difficult for me to do.
  • How human beings tend to dismiss the value of what’s easy for them to do and to magnify the importance of what’s difficult and hard.
  • How things might be easier for us if we let go of the need to be right.  For example, there were no right or wrong answers to my questions, yesterday. (But, I neglected to mention that, so how would anyone know?)

I didn’t use that title, however, because I’ve already used a similar one, a hundred-and-a-half days ago.

Also, I love this title, today.

Let’s see if I have any visuals that match today’s words.

Rats!  I don’t see any images of anyone whistling on my iPhone.  However, I did take these photos, yesterday, with varying degrees of easiness/difficulty:


IMG_7062 IMG_7068  IMG_7069 IMG_7072  IMG_7095  IMG_7139IMG_7098


IMG_7100  IMG_7103 IMG_7106

IMG_7118  IMG_7127IMG_7122

IMG_7131 IMG_7134 IMG_7135   IMG_7136 IMG_7148 IMG_7150IMG_7156 IMG_7159 IMG_7164 IMG_7165

Thanks to my son, Stephen Sondheim, and Sutton Foster; to the Fenway area of Boston (including the Rose Garden); to things that are easy and/or difficult; to people who do the best they can; and to you — of course! — for whistling by here, today.

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

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