Posts Tagged With: appreciation

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 1908: What’s around us

Yesterday, Bernadette at Tufts Medical Center was around me.

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We talked about what was around us at work and with our families.  When I asked her if she wanted to appear in my blog (where I document what’s around me),  she said, “Sure!”

I showed her the other photos I had just taken around her.

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She said, “Those are great!  Where did you find them?” When I told her they were around her, she was all shook up.  “Really? I’ve never noticed them!”  We talked about how often we don’t notice what’s around us.  We both resolved to not worry, be happy, and notice what’s around us.

Here’s what was around me for the rest of the day:

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What’s around you, here and now?

Elvis is no longer around us, but he’s still shaking it up on YouTube.

 

Admiration and gratitude is around us, if we look for it.

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Thank you!

 

 

 

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

Day 1044: At Last You’re Here

At last I’m here with today’s daily blog post.

At last you’re here to read it.

I heard “At Last You’re Here” by Pat Metheny last night and knew, at last, that today’s blog title was here.

“At Last You’re Here” is a perfect title and song for today, because:

  1. I know my parents said, “At Last You’re Here” when my older sister Ellen was born, 68 years ago today.
  2. At last it’s official that my esteemed friend and fellow social worker Megan will be here with me at the hospital, starting in December. At last we’re here, working together again.
  3. At last, these photos are here from my iPhone:

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At first and at last, Oscar is here while I create these posts.

At my last birthday party (almost three years ago), Megan was here (next to my ex-sister-in-law Deborah):

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At last, my sister and I are here:

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At last and at least, we’re all here together on this earth.

At least since January 1, 2013, I’m here on WordPress every day.

At last you’re here, at the end of this post.

Lasting thanks to Ellen, Megan, Deborah, Oscar, Pat Metheny, Marie Kondo, and all who are here today, including you!

Categories: Happy Birthday!, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1000: A Thousand

A thousand days ago, I published my first blog post ever:  “Day 1 in the Year of Living Non-Judgmentally.”

A thousand days ago, I had no idea I would:

  • blog a thousand days in a row,
  • get thousands of followers,
  • have a thousand ideas for blog posts,
  • grow and learn in a thousand ways, and
  • be a thousand times grateful, every day, for this blog.

There are a thousand different ways I could celebrate this thousandth blogging day. For example, I could write a post that contains exactly a thousand words. Or, I could share a thousand memories from over the last 1000 days of blogging. Or, I could include a thousand links to past posts. Or, I could quote a thousand favorite comments from you, my readers.

However, after a thousand thoughts and feelings about this, I’d like to use my tried-and-true formula,  here and now.

Therefore, today’s thousandth day post will include sharing less than a thousand pictures.  Yesterday, I took almost a 1000 (base 2) x 1000 (base 2) photos, when I went into Boston to see a matinee of  A Little Night Music with my son Aaron and spent the evening with Aaron and my boyfriend Michael.

I hope this thousandth post doesn’t take a thousand seconds to load, with these all these images:

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Perhaps you have a thousand things you might say or ask about those photos.  No matter what number of words it takes, consider leaving a comment to celebrate this thousandth post.

I bet if you took a thousand guesses, you wouldn’t come up with the song I’ve chosen for this “A Thousand Days” post.

Should I wait a thousand seconds while you guess?

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Times up! I’m sure you didn’t get it, because it includes a much higher number than a thousand.

“A Hundred Million Miracles” is the song that was in my head, yesterday, as I was thinking about this thousand-day post.

As that song says,  a hundred million miracles happen EVERY DAY.  Infinite thanks, to each and every one of you, for sharing some of those miracles with me.

Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments

Day 814: What’s So Interesting?

What’s so interesting to this cat, on any day?

  

What’s so interesting about this plate of food,  on Monday?

What’s so interesting about these words,  on Thursday?

    

What’s so interesting about this, on Friday?

What’s so interesting about any of these, on Saturday?

What’s so interesting about these, on Sunday?

  

What’s so interesting about the day ahead of me, on a Wednesday? Today  I’ll be

  • Doing individual therapy
  • Doing group therapy
  • Having lunch with my friend Ada, who drew this interesting picture of me so long ago that I’m not sure what day it was:

  • Seeing my primary care physician
  • Participating in an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) session, and
  • Spending the evening with my boyfriend Michael, who is (1) interesting and (2) a person of interest responsible for the contents of at least one of today’s photos.

Are you interested in my supplying more information about anything in particular, at this point?

What’s so interesting about the song “Seven Days” by Sting, which I heard yesterday, on Tuesday?

Could it be the time signature that’s interesting? The lyrics? Something else? If “Seven Days” interests you and you don’t see it here, you can find it on YouTube, any day of the week.

In any moment, only you can decide what’s interesting to you.

Whatever it is, I’m interested.

Thanks to Oscar the cat, Ada, Michael, people who heal as best they can, Sting, and — of course! — you, for being interesting and interested, here and now.

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

Day 730: Honestly

Honestly, I’ve been wondering what kind of post to create on the last day of this year AND my second year of blogging.

Honestly, I could reminisce about the highlights,

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the lowlights,

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and the midlights

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of the days and nights of 2014. But honestly, it would take me a long, long time to go through all the photos and all the experiences I shared with you in 2014.

Honestly, I’d like to write a regular, run-of-the-mill post today, because isn’t today just another day (no matter how much significance we tend to give certain days over others)?

Honestly, all the posts I wrote for you (and — honestly —  for me, too)  this year included:

  • some acknowledgement of the past (usually, a link to the day before),
  • a list or other collection of connections,
  • a mixture of light and dark,
  • an invitation to let go of fear, dread, shame, or something else that gets in the way,
  • some ideas about moving forward,
  • a mixture of thoughts and feelings,
  • randomness,
  • love, and
  •  honesty.

Honestly, every post I wrote for you and for me in 2014 helped me

  • learn,
  • grow, and
  • face the day ahead with more courage.

Honestly, if it weren’t for this blog, I don’t think I would have seen, heard, thought, felt, and experienced as much wonder, curiosity, and hope in 2014.

Honestly, having this blog was like confiding in a community of great listeners,  carrying everybody’s presence with me no matter where I went, and enjoying everything so much more, because I knew I could show it to you the very next day.

Honestly, I saw these yesterday, and looked forward to sharing them with you today:

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Honestly, I think Harley’s gotten more comfortable with everybody, in 2014.

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Honestly, I really need to straighten up and clear off my blogging table.

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Honestly, I took only ONE of all those delicious chocolates offered to me at work yesterday. Would you like to guess which one I took? Which one would YOU have chosen?

Honestly, whenever I ask you to guess, listen, look, or respond  in these posts, I don’t need you to do anything. I’m just glad you’re here.

Honestly, whenever I say that I heard a song on one of my walks that fits a blog post perfectly for me, I’m telling you the truth. For example,”1999” by Prince was the first song that came on yesterday and I thought,

Wow!  That’s always seemed like the PERFECT New Year celebration song, ever since I first heard it in 1982. I can’t wait to use it in my end-of-year celebration post!!

Honestly, I can’t find “1999” anywhere on YouTube right now.

Honestly, every time I’ve encountered an obstacle in 2014, whether in blogging or elsewhere ,  it’s all worked out — maybe, even for the better.

Honestly, who knows?  We’re all just doing the best we can.

Honestly, as I was dancing yesterday, next to my car in my work-place parking lot …

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…  I heard a song which reminded me of the one video I kept meaning to share with you in 2014.

Honest!

Honestly, this is why I love that video of Carly Rae Jepsen, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots playing “Call Me Maybe” with kids’ classroom instruments, so very very much.

It’s filled with honest, heart-felt joy.

AND bongos*!

Call me maybe, tomorrow? I’ll be here.

Many honest thanks from me to you, here and now.


* Also found, in 2014, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 343: What Other People Say, Part 2

Today’s post is dedicated to my friend, Janet, whom I met in film school along with her soon-to-be-husband, Ray.  Janet and Ray appeared in this post, earlier this year, when we were all recovering from the trauma of the Boston Marathon bombings. As much as I would like you to link to that earlier post, I’ll make it easier on everybody and include that photo, again, here:

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Today is Janet’s birthday. Happy birthday, Janet!  Earlier this year, Janet and Ray, along with one of their fabulous sons, attended my 60th birthday party.  This was a very memorable occasion for me, but there are several Janet-related memories that stand out for me, from that day.

Some of those memories have to do with Janet’s amazing creativity and humor. For example, she has a long history of putting together perfect combinations of words and images, to celebrate things.  While I may try to create similar magic in this blog, she’s The Master, and has been, for decades.

Thank you, Janet, for those hilarious words-and-pictures celebrations of my wedding, my birthday, and all those Christmas masterpieces you put together for your friends, every year.

I just took a break, for a few seconds, to look for the incredible piece that Janet put together for my 60th birthday. This piece not only celebrated me, hilariously, but also included smart commentary on all the decades I’ve lived through.  During the party, I placed it in a location of honor, so that all my other guests could see it. And they loved it.

But I can’t find it, in the moment. Which doesn’t surprise me, because I tend to lose track of things. Especially in the mornings. Especially when I have limited time (which I do, today, since  I blog before I go to work).

And, I also tend to lost track of positive things that people say about me.  At least, I have easily lost track of those things, in the past. This year, I’m working on getting better at holding on to What Other People Say (Positively) (as difficult as those things might be to believe, at times).

Part of this process has involved letting go of unhelpful things that people have said. (The first blog post entitled “What Other People Say” focused on that.) The other part of this process is learning how to make the positive “stick.”

In Janet’s genius creation for my 60th birthday, she said something positive, which has stuck with me, all year.  It’s been indescribably helpful, every time I sit down to write a blog post.  On the last page, which focused on my present and my future, she wrote:

“Ann starts a blog. A good blog. A damn good blog.”

When I locate Janet’s Birthday Masterpiece (which I will, later today), I will double-check my memory, to see if I’m quoting her correctly.

However, it doesn’t matter whether my memory is perfect.  Here’s my punchline, for this post:

What Janet said, one month into my first blog, has helped keep me going, all year. It’s been there, for me, helping me write every day, no matter how much I doubted myself and my abilities.

As I’ve been encouraged by all your feedback, too, dear readers, no matter where or in what form that’s occurred.

Thanks to Janet, to all who encourage their friends in any way, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

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

Day 340: Humble Hesitation

This post was inspired by many things, this morning, including:

  • A blogger I greatly appreciate, prayingforoneday, nominated me for “The Versatile Blogger” award.
  • Another blogger I greatly appreciate, sittingonmysofa, wrote that she had tried nominating me for that award, too, “although I sensed a humble hesitation on your part about accepting any awards.”

I love that phrase, “humble hesitation.”  That reminds me of ambivalence, which was a topic of yesterday’s post.

And sittingonmysofa was correct.  I AM ambivalent about accepting awards.

Why?

  • I wonder if I’m deserving.
  • I’m concerned about doing “the right thing in response.
  • It takes me a lot of time to respond to the nominations, especially if I am concerned about responding “the right way.”
  • I haven’t quite figured out what my personal  “right way” is.

I haven’t decided, yet, what I would like to do, when nominated for an award here. And each time, throughout the year, my response has been somewhat different.

I’ve noticed what other people do, in response to awards.  There’s a whole range of behaviors.

Some people follow the rules of each award exactly.  That’s great.

Some people indicate, on their blogs, that they do not accept awards.  That’s great, too.

Some people are in the middle — they follow some of the rules of the award. Or they respond in spirit, somehow.

I appreciate other people’s decisions about What To Do, In Response to Awards.

I especially appreciate those who are clear about their stance on awards.

I love clarity.

However, I am not in a clear place about this, yet.  I can’t clearly communicate to people what I want, regarding awards here. Not yet. I assume I will get to that place. But I’m not there, yet, in this moment.

And I have to admit, I have some judgment about my own ambivalence — about being in middle of a process of deciding what works for me.  Regarding awards, and other things, too.

Okay!  I am ambivalent about some aspects of this post, but it’s time to wrap things up.  And I KNOW there’s something else I wanted to write about, today.

I’m going back to the title of my post, now.

I associate the word “humble” with this man:

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… but I don’t associate the word “hesitation” with him.

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However, when I read his words carefully, I am learning something from him, again.

I want to rewrite this old adage:

He who hesitates is lost.

to this:

Those who hesitate are human.

AND let’s add this, too, today:

Take the next step, as best you can.

Thanks to Nelson Mandela, for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And thanks to prayingforoneday, sittingonmysofa, all the other bloggers here whose paths have crossed with mine, and to you — no matter where you are — for reading today.

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* I found this image here.

** I found this image here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 270: Help with hangovers

Yesterday, at work, I felt  …

Cloudy.

Not myself.

Distracted.

I was thinking thoughts like these:

I’m having trouble being here today.

I wish I could go home.

Why am I feeling this way, after having such a great day yesterday?

I wonder if I’m getting sick?

Have I taken on too much?

What can I identify, right now, that might have contributed to those feelings and thoughts?

  1. Some people, whom I have really enjoyed working with, are leaving.
  2. I’ve been watching many hours of “Breaking Bad,” in a row.
  3. Because of changes in the weather, I  am often too hot or too cold (thanks a lot, Goldilocks).
  4. Because of operating system changes to my iPhone AND to my computer at work, lots of things look quite different.
  5. Perhaps lots of things are looking quite different, because of other things on this list.

What helped with these feeling and thoughts, yesterday?

Listening to other people’s wisdom about what helps them, including the following:

It helps to do a cost-benefit analysis.

Yesterday, somebody named this antidote as particularly helpful to them:

Cost-Benefit Analysis.  List the pros and cons of a negative thought (like “I always screw up”) or a behavior pattern (like isolating when you’re depressed). A simple version of this is to ask yourself, “Does this [thought or action] help me?

It helps to let people know that you appreciate them.

This is especially helpful during these times:

  1. When people are leaving.
  2. When people are still there.

It helps to make a list of Pros and Cons, especially when you are facing a difficult decision.

I just went to my Go-To Application (Google), for some back-up on Pros and Cons.

Here’s what I found, thanks to The Oatmeal:

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Which leads me to this:

It helps to laugh.

This is especially helpful during these times:

  1. When you’re alone.
  2. When you’re with other people.

That concludes our blog post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to The Oatmeal, to wise and funny entities of all kinds, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 201: Naming vs. Labeling

This year, I’m working on reducing and letting go of anxiety.

That’s one of the kashmillion things, it seems, that I’m working on, during Our Year of Living Non-Judgmentally. Another thing I’m working on this year is focusing on what I AM doing, rather than on what I am NOT doing. That effective coping strategy is just another way of being more present in the moment.

Speaking about focusing, in the moment….)

I’m working on reducing and letting go of anxiety, this year, for these reasons:

  1. I am a psychotherapist, who does group and individual work at a large teaching hospital.
  2. As one of the Primary Care doctors in my practice described it, anxiety is “an epidemic among the people we see.”
  3. As I’ve mentioned here, anxiety is sometimes a sign that something is very important, and the work I’m doing is very important to me.
  4. Hospitals can be a PTSD trigger for me, because I spent a lot of time, as a child, in the hospital, undergoing heart surgeries and other scary things, often alone.

Regular readers of this blog may know that I like to acknowledge when somebody does something new.

The New is always risky, and deserves recognition, don’t you agree?

Here’s something new I just did, in this blog.

I used the term PTSD.

Time for my old friend, Google:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you have gone through an extreme emotional trauma that involved the threat of injury or death.

Another gift, from Google Images:

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(That image, above, which I chose just because I liked it best? Turns out it’s from a blog called “PTSD after Open Heart Surgery. Go figure.)

Here’s a third gift from Google, regarding PTSD:

A helpful description of PTSD from NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health):

Yes, I do love Google. Let me count the ways:

  1. When I am writing this blog, I can use Google to search for definitions and images to help support, clarify, and enrich my topic.
  2. Google gives me a large and varied choice, in response.
  3. I have the control to choose what I want.

I like having lots of choices and options.

I also like having the control to name things, in a way that helps me. As I’ve written about in this blog, naming something is the first step to recognizing and accepting it. (And acceptance — which doesn’t mean liking or approving– is the first step towards change.)

Naming is very different from labeling.

Labeling is one of the 12 Cognitive Distortions in CBT:

Labeling or Name-calling. We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” Labels are not only self-defeating, they are irrational, simplistic, and untrue. Human beings are complex and fallible, and in truth cannot be reduced to a label. Consider this: we all breathe, but would it make sense to refer to ourselves as “Breathers”?

While naming is helpful, expansive, and generous, labeling is not.

Labeling is restrictive. Labeling is judgmental. Labeling can cause paralysis and pain.

Very different from naming.

Diagnoses, at times, can be a kind of labeling. I work with people who have diagnoses of PTSD, and I see the effects of stigma attached to that diagnosis (and other diagnoses, too).

But diagnoses can also be a kind of helpful naming, too.

People, when they receive a diagnosis, often express relief. I hear people say that a diagnosis helps to contain and clarify their experience.

And, it helps to identify options. And identify next steps.

Like with my old friend, Google.

Okay! Time to put this blog post to bed, so I can start getting ready for my high school reunion tonight (where I’m looking forward to seeing other old friends).

Thanks to Google, my friends, my high school reunion, my readers, and everybody and everything else that is helping me, so much, on this year’s journey.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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