Posts Tagged With: blogging

Day 2218: What you have survived

Take a breath, in this present moment, and consider what you have survived.

How does that affect you?

When I look at what I have survived, I feel braver and more hopeful about what I’m facing now.

I have survived

  • many holidays over my almost-66 years,
  • two thousand, two hundred, and eighteen days of blogging,
  • a congenital heart condition,
  • many surgeries,
  • sexism,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • the death of both my parents,
  • other departures,
  • fear,
  • misunderstandings,
  • miscommunications,
  • personal comments (including being called “incapable“),
  • silence,
  • anger,
  • rivalries,
  • the dark,
  • the cold,
  • feeling lost,
  • incompetent leaders, and
  • lots of  crap.

What have you survived?

I assume we’ll all survive my recent photos.

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Here‘s a reggae version of “I Will Survive.”

What helps me survive?  Gratitude, all those who help me create these daily blogs, and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 1729: New words 

Pre-form-ance Anxiety

The anxiety one feels before filling out a form.

Kneeologisms

New words or phrases inspired by new news stories (which may be related to knees).

Condesexsion

A attitude of patronizing disdain based on a belief in the superiority and inferiority of different sexes.

Halloweenie

Someone who gets squeamish about  death images associated with Halloween.

Seaking

Looking to the sea for inspiration and solace.

Techycardia

A rapid heartbeat induced by unpleasant technology-related surprises.

Photogsynthesis

Presenting a group of photographs together  with hopes that they illuminate, clarify, or entertain.

Eutubing

Using YouTube videos for the good of your blog.

 

Grattitude

An attitude of gratitude, especially at the end of a blog post, for all who contribute and all who read (including YOU)!


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

Day 1688: Killing two birds with one stone

I don’t like killing, I don’t like killing one bird (much less two), and I don’t like throwing stones, but I’m using this title today because

  • it means “achieving two aims at once” and
  • I’m killing two birds with one stone right now.

The two “birds “are (1) an article I promised to write for a professional group therapy organization’s newsletter before I leave for a two-week trip to Scotland on Saturday and (2) today’s blog post.

The “stone” is the following:

When the intrepid editor of this newsletter asked me to write a 600 – 800 article about what it’s like to be the President Elect of NSGP, I thought that would be a relatively easy assignment. I mean, I write a blog post every day, I used to be a professional writer before I changed careers in the 1990s, and — most importantly — I AM the President Elect of NSGP, so that perspective is immediately accessible.

However, I’ve been working on this article for days, and it’s been remarkably difficult. Perhaps it’s difficult because in all the years I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization, I never dreamed I’d be writing an article like this one. Indeed, when a nominating committee member called me earlier this year to ask if I would consider being president, I asked, “president of what?”

Perhaps I’m finding this assignment difficult because I’m not sure how to separate out the perspective of an NSGP President Elect from all my other perspectives as a human being who

  • has a passionate belief in the healing power of groups,

  • kept changing careers until she found the right match for herself,

  • lives to communicate with others in a meaningful way,

  • loves her work providing open-access therapy groups at the Primary Care Practice at a major teaching hospital in Boston,

  • appreciates every opportunity to learn and grow,

  • maintains hope for the future even during difficult and challenging times,

  • has faith in people’s and organizations’ ability to adapt and survive,

  • is sustained by “personal medicine” including family, friends, music, good food, the ocean, travel, singing, cats, and NSGP,

  • was born with an unusual heart,

  • is sometimes intimidated by brilliant colleagues,

  • has learned to overcome fear in many aspects of her life,

  • tries to keep her sense of humor no matter what, and

  • is aware that she needs several hundred more words to complete this article.

Perhaps I can fill out the rest of that newsletter article with photos …

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… and a YouTube video:

 

I’m thanking lots of birds with one sentence  — those who helped me create this post and those who are reading it, here and now.

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

Day 1089: The Meaning of Life

Earlier this year, I attempted to explain The Meaning of Life. Thanks to my niece Julie’s lovely Christmas present to me last night …

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… I am choosing to revisit this topic today.

Because I’m a group therapist, I usually like to go to the group, first, about any important topic.  Therefore, my esteemed group of readers, what would YOU express in a journal called “The Meaning of Life”?  Might you fill that journal with:

  • thoughts?
  • feelings?
  • the past?
  • the present?
  • the future?
  • hopes?
  • dreams?
  • disappointments?
  • yourself?
  • other people?
  • lessons?
  • warnings?
  • the facts?
  • imagination?
  • words?
  • images (like these, from yesterday,  Christmas eve 2015)?

Your meanings will give more meaning to this meaningful post.

Happy Christmas, love, and peace to all my readers.  And I mean it.

Sincerely,

My brain, heart, etc.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1004: Losing It

Yesterday, I encountered an unexpected snag when I tried to transfer my photos from my phone to my laptop during my morning blogging. That resulted in my losing the opportunity to share several photos I had taken the day before.

Sometimes, when I encounter unexpected snags, I end up losing it.

I didn’t lose it yesterday morning, though.  What prevented me from losing it?

  1. Blogging, which centers me wonderfully every morning.
  2. Skills I’ve developed over decades of dealing with difficult and challenging situations.
  3. Skills I’ve developed over years of working as a psychotherapist.
  4. The inexplicable appearance of one and only one photo from the day before:

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Note the last column, third item from the bottom, in that one photo from September 29 that chooses to be easily available to me, even now.

Yesterday, faithful reader Mark Bialczak prevented me from losing it about my photos with this comment about yesterday’s post:

And I choose to mildly suggest that when Apple won’t share the photos between them — I hate when that happens between my iPhone 6 and iPad Air — you could type all your text on your laptop, save draft, call the file up on your iPhone, and add the pictures last.

Thanks, Mark!

I’m guessing Mark chose to “mildly” suggest, there, because he’s read posts of mine when I’m on the verge of losing it about strong, rigid, and unhelpful suggestions from doctors and other experts.

Lest you think I’m losing it, now, I’d like to share those previously missing-in-action photos from two days ago.

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Of all those photos from two days ago, which best represents “losing it” to you, and why?  I promise I won’t lose it if you ignore those questions or this one:  which photo are you most glad I did not lose?

Falling behind in my obligations and departing from my regular routine can put me on the verge of losing it, so here are the photos I took yesterday:

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I was successful in not losing it, yesterday, as I was taking all those pictures in the midst of

  • pouring rain,
  • fog,
  • various gatherings of people and vehicles,
  • an appointment with my Primary Care Physician, where she told me that somebody at her hospital ended up losing their job when they took a selfie that included patient-sensitive material, and
  • other challenges.

However, I DID end up losing it, temporarily, after a 90-minute meeting at my son’s high school last night (not pictured) which focused on many stressful details and deadlines involved in his applying to colleges and for financial aid.

Personally, I believe it can help to lose it, every once in a while, in order to find it again.

What’s the “it” I’m talking about losing and finding again, in that last paragraph?

  • Composure.
  • Tranquility.
  • Control.

If I don’t include some music here and now, you’ll probably think I’m losing it, this morning.

I’m not.

Here’s a tune I heard on the radio yesterday (as people all around me were trying to not to lose it in rainy traffic):

That’s not the version of “Blue Skies” I heard yesterday morning. And neither is this:

That’s actually a different tune called “Blue Skies” performed by Tom Waits, a performer much beloved by my son and my boyfriend.

Together, my son Aaron, my boyfriend Michael, and I support each other in not losing it, every day.

Losing-it-and-gaining-it-again thanks to Aaron, Michael, Mark, Dr. Laura Snydman, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Waits, blue skies, my work, music, blogging, taking pictures,  and everything in this world that helps me not lose it — including you!!!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 29 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 755: Binge Watching

If you’ve been binge watching this blog, you know that I like to define my terms.

binge-watch
[binj-woch]

verb (used with object)
1. to watch (multiple videos, episodes of a TV show, etc.) in one sitting or over a short period of time:
“We binge-watched two seasons of the show in two days.”

verb (used without object)
2. to engage in this activity.

Also, bingewatch, binge watch.

My 16-going-on-17-year-old son, Aaron, and I have been engaging in the activity of binge-watching this TV show:

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… and we finished watching Season 2 of the American version of House of Cards last night.

Here’s one result of binge watching a series about compelling, manipulative, and smart schemers:

When I’m doing or saying something for my own self-interest, it’s difficult NOT to feel evil.

Aaron and I agree about that side effect of binge-watching House of Cards.

My boyfriend Michael — who has seen the original, UK version of House of Cards — plans to bingewatch the American House of Cards when Aaron and I are away, binge-watching all things California, next month.

Other things I’ve been binge watching lately include …

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… the current season of American Idol (thanks to the recommendation of binge-watched and binge-watching blogger, Mark Bialczak) and …

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… snow.

As you may have noticed, Oscar the cat likes to binge-watch me (among other things):

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This week, I shall be binge-watching — and also be binge-watched by — doctors, nurses, and other health professionals a) where I work and b) at two other Boston-area hospitals, for lots more cardiac tests.

What do you think would be a good binge-listening accompaniment for this binge-watching post?

I’ve already used the theme music  from House of Cards in this here recent post, so how about this?

(Live version of “Watching the Detectives” by Elvis Costello available for binge-watching here on YouTube.)

Many thanks to dictionary.com, Aaron, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, all the other talented people responsible for the fabulous binge-watching experience that is House of Cards,, Michael, binge-watching cat Oscar, my friend Carol (appearing in yesterday’s post and with Oscar, above), Mark Bialczak, American Idol, Elvis Costello, and YOU, for binge-watching or otherwise watching this blog.

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

Day 731: Small change

I think a lot about change because

  1. I’m a psychotherapist (so change is my business),
  2. three years ago, I was hired at a large Primary Care Practice of a major Boston teaching hospital to be a “Change Agent” (introducing more group work and more in-the-moment responsiveness to patients in emotional distress),
  3.  changes we choose can feel a lot different from changes that are thrust upon us,
  4. change is a part of growth and healing,
  5. noticable change — even good change — often evokes resistance in others,
  6. change is scary for many human beings,
  7. small changes  can seem invisible, trivial, and unimportant, and
  8. I’ve witnessed enormous changes starting with one, small change.

I think about change SO much,  that the small change list above could be much, much larger. However, I’d like to change this post into a more visual one, now.

Today, on the first day of the new year, I’m considering this small change:

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Changing my profile picture, here at WordPress.

Now, you have to admit that’s a REALLY small, unimportant change — totally undeserving of a dramatic reveal like that, or of much time spent by you OR me.

Nevertheless, this is exactly how I choose to spend my first moments of 2015, here at WordPress.

Here are some candidates, for that particular change:

#1:

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That’s Jane Austen, still my favorite writer after all these years, who appeared in this recent post I wrote, which — I think — has already created observable changes in me.

#2:

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That’s one of my favorite T-shirts, from one of my favorite diners, which has appeared in several important (to me) “Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally” posts (including this, this, this, this, this, and that).

#3:

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It’s another t-shirt, which I created a few years ago because I (and many experts) honestly believed  I was the longest surviving person in the entire world with a cardiac pacemaker.  I don’t wear that t-shirt any more. Why?  Because, somebody — who found this blog and who got her first pacemaker before I got my first one in 1963 — contacted me. So,  I changed about that, too.

#4:

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That image appeared in this post, a year and a half ago. I found it, just now, by searching the word “chocolate” through all 730 of my previous, daily posts.  Would anybody like to guess what number of posts that was?  Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing about any of all that.

#5:

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That was my profile photo from my first year of blogging. Returning to that might seem like the opposite of progress, but as I’ve described here, here,  and elsewhere, we cycle through changes in our lives, often going over similar territory (but always moving up and onward).

#6:

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That’s a nice photo, but it’s not me. Also, it’s never appeared in this blog before. It’s just a picture I saved a while ago before I got my hair cut by the fabulous Mia (previously appearing in this blog — according to my search  for “Mia”– here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

#7:

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That IS me, and it continues (while also substantially changing) some personal visual mysteries I’ve created so far,  in this blog.  But that’s a little scary for a profile picture, isn’t it?  I hope I didn’t scare my then 15-year-old son Aaron — who was in the emergency room with a collapsed lung — by looking like that while I was with him there, back in June 2013. By the way, that black cat around my neck is a gift from my guy/boyfriend/partner/whatever-you-want-to-call-him, Michael.

#8:

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That’s similar to my current profile picture, with two obvious changes — the tiger is wearing a hat and NOT wearing glasses (which I do need, to see clearly). I should also confess this: I’m not wearing that hat these days.

#9:

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That photo continues the tiger theme, plus it shows two puppets very important to me, one I’ve had since I was a little girl. I inadvertently changed the larger puppet (named “Tiger”) when I placed his head on a lightbulb, so he could listen to me practice piano, many years ago.

#10:

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I think this photo probably appeared in this previous blog post and it was drawn by my longtime friend Ada (appearing in the comment section of this non-trivial blog post and this one, too, among other places), decades ago.  I wouldn’t change a thing about Ada or that drawing.

There are many more profile-picture possibilities I could write about, including

  • sticking with my current glasses-wearing tiger,
  • changing to any of the hundreds of photos appearing in this blog previously, or
  • changing to one of the images I captured since writing yesterday’s post:

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… but I’d like to end this post so I can be ready for today’s resumption of that trivial pursuit game pictured above, with Aaron and Michael.

What changes are important to you, here and now?

I suppose I should make one final change to this post, by adding some music about change.

(“A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke found here, on YouTube.)

Thanks to all who go through changes every day, including you, y’know.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 582: Cool

“Cool” is a word I use, almost every day.  “Cool” is very high praise, from me.

As I wrote about here, I remember being 7 years old and suddenly  being aware of how cool I was, in my own unique way.  Then, as I dealt with illness, multiple  hospitalizations, and adolescence, I lost  touch with my own coolness.

However, whenever I heard cool music, I would move cool and feel cool, during that time.

Here are some examples of what I would classify as  “cool music.”:

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(coolness found here, on YouTube) (and in a previous post, here)

Listening to cool music helps me feel cooler. Even when I feel awkward, down, out of sorts, out of place, or uncool in any way, cool music is a great cure for all that.  When I’m listening to cool music, no matter what’s going on, I feel cool.  I walk cool. I talk cool. Hey!  I am cool.

Let me check in with you, right now, to see if we have this in common. When you listen to sounds you find cool, don’t you feel cooler? Even just a little bit?

Cool.

And now, my cool compatriots, here are some  cool things I’ve encountered recently, in this cool world of ours.

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I know that, for some of you, when I include a lot of images, the page can take a while to load. I hope you were able to stay cool, during that.

And I hope you know it is very cool to ask questions and to ask for other things you need, here and elsewhere.

In conclusion, isn’t it cool that I get to share with you sounds and sights I love?

I’m telling you, writing for you all is the coolest.

 

Thanks to Nelson Riddle, to Hank Mancini, to Leonard Bernstein, to cool cats everywhere, and to you, for how cool you are, naturally.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 360: Amazing

This post is dedicated to my amazing sister-in-law, Linda, whose birthday is today.

My 360th* post title was inspired by a comment on yesterday’s post by a blogger I admire very much, Shakti Ghosal. The comment concluded with this:

Have fun and continue to be amazing.

As I hope I have demonstrated this year, fun is very important to me (and here’s one post about that).  So I already love what Shakti wrote.  What makes me love that sentence even more, is the use of the word “amazing.”

“Amazing” is one of my favorite words, apparently.**  I use it a lot.  People have pointed that out to me.   And because I can be a rather self-conscious person, when something personal is pointed out to me, I can wonder about it.

Why do I use that word?  What does it mean to me?

And if I’m judging myself, I might ask myself this question, too: Is my frequent use of the word “amazing” … annoying***?

Here’s my answer to that last question:  “Who cares?” (As usual, asking that question helps me let go of self-judgment.  Isn’t that amazing?)

I think the other questions I asked above — the less judgmental ones —  are more interesting.  And I will try to answer them,  in the time I have left before I need to leave for work this morning.

1. Why do I use that word?

I like the sound of it.  It authentically *** reflects that way I feel.  I am amazed, a lot of the time, at how creative, kind, loving, brave, resilient, and hopeful people can be, even after experiencing incredible challenges and set-backs. Often, when I am trying to express my reactions to all that, other words seem inadequate — incapable of capturing the depth of somebody else’s experience and the range of my responses to them.

2.  What does it mean to me?

“Amazing,” when I use it, is almost always a positive word.  I can’t prove that “amazing” is ALWAYS a positive word, when I use it, because I don’t have the tape of everything I’ve said in my entire life.  However, that’s my gut feeling right now: when I use the word “amazing,” it’s a compliment.

It’s true that I am also surprised — amazed —  by negative events. However, I believe, in those circumstances, I use words like “terrible” and “awful.” And, yes, those words are judgmental. Because, as I hope I have conveyed, throughout this year, judgment is human.

And I am human.  And so are you.  And we are connecting, in some way, right now.

Isn’t that amazing?

Okay, it’s time for an image.  Let’s see how Google Images responds to the word “amazing” today.

Aha***!  Google Images responds in many different ways, which does not amaze me. Here are some of the first responses, in order of appearance:

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Image*****

Image******

Image*******  Image********

And before I end, for today, I shall consult my iPhone, too.

As my iPhone just showed me,

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A-Okay!  I have some personal images to show you, too.

I think it’s amazing that I get to do work I love:

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that I can walk around, every day, and see beauty where I live (no matter how clear my vision is that day):

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and that I get to blog here, every day, for readers like you, including those who tell me they would order “Year of Living Non-Judgmentally” merchandise:

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There are many more things that I find amazing, this morning, including

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how some creatures are  not afraid of heights (which is amazing to me, because I am afraid of heights) ….

…  but it’s time to end this post.

Thanks to amazing creatures, readers, writers, walkers, and humans everywhere and — most of all — to you, for visiting today.

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*Actually, it’s the 361st post, but who’s counting?

** Another one of my favorite words is “apparently.”  Another one is “actually.”  I don’t know why so many of my favorite words begin with the letter “A.”

*** Another favorite word.

**** This image was here.

***** This image was here.

****** This image was here.

******* This image was here, today. (I’ve seen this one before.)

******** This image was here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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