Posts Tagged With: blogging

Day 3288: Closure and moving on

Last night — to get some closure for 2021 while moving on to 2022 — I asked this question on Twitter:

This was a rather controversial question — some people objected to the concept of closure as a possibility or even as a helpful concept. As long as we have pain and memory, how can we truly get closure?

Recognizing that there is no perfect or complete closure, I had actually rewritten that question many times before posting it. Here are some other versions of the question that I considered:

What helps you get good-enough closure to move on to the next thing?

What helps you move on to the next thing?

What helps you move on?

That last one was simpler (and brevity can be the soul of wit), but those other versions didn’t really capture what I was trying to express for the end of one year and the beginning of another. I also considered using the term “radical acceptance” instead of “closure.”

I settled on the question I posted because I, personally, do feel some need for closure before moving on to the next thing. For example, I feel the need today to acknowledge the end of my 9th year of this daily blog, thus moving on to my 10th (way beyond my expectations when I started this on 1/1/13).

In my therapy groups, I give people the room to get a good enough sense of closure before we end the session. Since 2020, I’ve been pointing out in these groups that the lack of closure about the pandemic is incredibly stressful, so that getting some measure of closure about anything can be helpful and healing.

Closure, in my mind, is neither tidy nor final. For those of us dealing with trauma or grief, we will never lose the memories or be totally free of the pain of the losses.

I think of closure as putting the period on the end of a sentence before moving on to the next one. Doing that neither wipes out nor reduces the importance and power of the previous sentences. And I do believe that we can benefit from those “periods” — otherwise life can feel like a run-on sentence with little room to breath, pause, and get some measure of peace.

Do you see any closure and/or moving on in my other images for today?

I need to get some measure of closure about the death of Betty White yesterday, so here’s a tribute to her:

Expressing gratitude at the end of every blog post allows me to get the closure I need to move on, so thanks to Betty White and to all who are here, now, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 3221: Keeping track

Lately, I’ve been having trouble keeping track of

  • the important news,
  • what I need to remember,
  • obligations,
  • my own self care,
  • other creatures’ needs,
  • the differences between working from home and at the hospital,
  • changing COVID precautions,
  • what life was like before COVID,
  • stuff which seems to disappear,
  • changes in technology,
  • my phone,
  • what I want to watch on TV,
  • books I want to read,
  • new movies,
  • my feelings,
  • my thoughts,
  • responses to my blog and my tweets,
  • the past,
  • the future,
  • the precious current moment, and
  • cat toys.

Yesterday, I was keeping track of many things in my office at the hospital…

… so I asked this question on Twitter:

People responded with practical solutions for keeping track of things as well as empathy for how keeping track can seem overwhelming.

Keeping track of the time, I need to finish this blog post before I start another work day (this time from home). Here are my other images for today:

Because I am keeping track of important days, I want to share that today is the marriage anniversary of my late parents, who always kept track of me.

Keeping track of my fondest memories, here’s what my father sang to my mother on one of their anniversaries, decades ago.

I’ll be keeping track of your comments and doing my best to respond to them when I can!

Many, many thanks for keeping track of me through this daily blog.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3182: Freaking out

Yesterday, I asked this question on Twitter about freaking out:

People were freaking out about many things, including money, health issues, work, family members, relationships, the pandemic, other people’s behaviors, etc., etc., etc. Indeed, some people suggested that a better question might have been “What are you NOT freaking out about right now?”

I didn’t answer my own question, but I was freaking out about our kitty Joan, her ongoing mastitis, and how she outsmarts us and every cone we put on her to promote its healing.

There’s Joan, trying to figure out how she can lick her wounds after my husband Michael tried to adapt her cone with a well-placed paper clip.

When I freak out, it’s usually because I feel helpless, so yesterday I ordered TWO MORE cones in addition to the inflatable cone that’s being delivered today.

Joan’s irritated area extends down into the top of her rear leg, so it’s very difficult to get a cone that completely prevents her from accessing it with her rough kitty tongue. Also, most cat post-surgery body suits don’t cover that area.

Over the past month, as we’ve treated her with antibiotics, applied topical lotion to the area, sent lots of pictures of the area to the vet, and helped Joan adjust to the different types of treatment (while trying to bond with her), we’ve seen the problem area get better and then get worse.

It freaks me out that I know so much about trying to help a cat heal, but we’re still not past this.

When I freak out, Michael tries to calm me by focusing on the positive: she’s not in pain, it’s not going to kill her, and she will get better, even if it takes much longer than we expected.

When I freak out, it also helps me to write about it in this blog. This blog — and all of you — have helped me get through many freak outs over the years.

Let’s see if the Daily Bitch is all about freaking out today.

It is!

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “freaking out.”

What might you be freaking out about right now? Whatever it is, chances are you’re not alone.

I have so much freaking gratitude for all who help me write this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: cats, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2431: Everything

After almost seven years of daily blogging here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, I sometimes wonder if I’ve written about everything.

Fortunately, there are  always more everythings, every day, to notice and share.

This blog is everything to me, so I’m planning on including it in my five-minute “Ted Talk” about Picking up the Pieces at my upcoming 45th college reunion.

Here’s what I wrote about that, this morning:

So as I tell my story to you today, I wonder, perhaps along with you,
what has allowed me to survive, so intact, through all these years of
uncertainty and crisis? What has helped me pick up the pieces, over
and over again? As when I was a child — the love of my family and
friends sustain me. Also, about seven years ago I expanded my
network of friends by starting a daily blog. Every morning, including
today, I write about my heart, my son, my boyfriend, my work,, my
passion for the healing power of groups, my music, my cats, my
hopes, my fears, — whatever helps gird and prepare me for the day
ahead. The day after my heart valve replacement surgery is the only
day I needed a substitute blogger — my boyfriend Michael let my
thousands of readers know I had survived the complicated surgery.
The comments from my readers that day included “This is the best
news that I could receive!” “She’s going to be alright guys’ is the best
line ever!”
As I know with my work with groups, community is essential for
survival. Perhaps because of all the traumas I’ve been through, I need
a bigger group than most to keep me going. Thanks for being part of
my group, today.

I’ve written several drafts to make sure that talk is everything to me and to my listeners at the reunion.  I hope everything, above, will make it to my final speech. I’ll keep you posted about that and everything else.

Here’s everything I photographed yesterday:

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Michael’s meals are everything.

Here‘s an “Everything” song:

 

I look forward to everything you choose to share in a comment, below.

Thanks to all for everything!

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

Day 2182: 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: , , , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

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