Posts Tagged With: blue sky umbrella

Day 375: Direct Communication

I am having lots of thoughts, right now, about the topic of “Direct Communication.”  The challenge (as usual) is translating those thoughts into a blog post that’s coherent and enjoyable (enough), today.

Allow me to start out with a short trip down memory lane — that is, a return to yesterday’s blog post, called “We’re doing the best we can.”

In that post, there was (at least) one thing I communicated indirectly.  Because direct communication is very important to me,  I will be more direct about this, right now:

I wanted you to notice my cool umbrella, in yesterday’s post.

Here’s a photo of this umbrella, which I have been enjoying for many years:


I have been considering featuring that umbrella in a blog post for many months, because it always cheers me up.

Yesterday, I was hoping that somebody would notice that umbrella (which appeared in two, very similar photos). However, nobody commented on it.

Here’s  one of the photos from yesterday, which included the umbrella.


I don’t want to indulge in the human cognitive distortion of mind-reading, but hey!  Why should I be any different from anybody else?  Here are my guesses as to why nobody noticed that umbrella in yesterday’s photos:

  1. The umbrella is being upstaged by Fenway Park.
  2. Those aren’t great photos of the umbrella. Maybe the umbrella isn’t even recognizable there, but hey! YOU TRY taking a good picture when it’s freezing, the light sucks, you don’t want to be late for work, and you’re trying to capture a favorite ballpark and umbrella, while balancing an iPhone, your mittens, AND that friggin’ umbrella! **


Please forgive the somewhat hostile tone of #2, above, which is most likely due to the cognitive distortion of Mind Reading (see here for the complete list of those common judgmental ways of thinking) and perhaps other things, too.**

What was the topic of today’s blog post, again?   Oh, yes, direct communication.

At this point, I wanted to look at what’s been getting in the way of my direct communication about my umbrella:

  • Sometimes, being coy can be fun.
  • Saying, “Look how great this is!” can feel uncomfortable, especially if it’s about something of yours.

Also, when I’ve considered being more direct about that umbrella, before — that is, featuring it more prominently in its own blog post —  these things have gotten in the way of that:

  • Hassles, discomfort, and absent-mindedness (I write my blog posts in the morning and my umbrella lives in my car).
  • Superstition (it’s bad luck to open an umbrella inside).

What else did I want to tell you about direct communication, this morning?

Just this: I’ve been thinking about something my son told me, after he had his teeth cleaned for this first time by my new dental hygienist.  (I wrote about my first visit to her, here.)

My son told me some very positive, flattering things she said to him, about me.

Now, this dental hygienist, named Michel,  is a very direct person, I think. That’s one of the things I really like about her. However, I was surprised by what she said to my son, about me. As a matter of fact, some things were SO positive,  that I’ve been holding on to them, as gifts, to help me feel more confident and secure, and to help me replace old, negative (and very common) types of self-judgmental thinking.***

So I wonder why she told my son these positive things, instead of telling me?

I will tell you this: Despite Michel’s directness (which I’ve observed in other ways), she did a similar thing about praise, regarding my son. That is, the next time I saw her, she raved about how wonderful HE was.  But she didn’t tell him.

I think there are lots of reasons why people don’t communicate directly, including their positive thoughts about other people.

I might wish other people would be more direct, more often, because I think that helps.

However, I believe that everybody — including Michel — is doing the best that they can.****

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is something else I wanted to communicate directly, in yesterday’s blog post.

Thanks to all who are doing their best at communicating directly AND to my wonderful readers, whom I probably don’t praise enough (which would include you, y’know).


* I found this photo through Google Images, which informs me you can find this umbrella many places, these days, like here.

** Regular readers of this blog might have considered another Usual Suspect: hunger.

*** Hey!  I’ve now linked to the same page three times in the same blog post!  A new personal record!

**** Which does NOT mean that people can’t improve, grow, mature, evolve, and get better in many ways.

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

Day 374: We’re doing the best we can

Yesterday, I wrote about giving somebody a prescription that said: “Rx:  Check Engine Light = Guilt.”

If that doesn’t make sense to you, read yesterday’s post, people!

If that still doesn’t make sense, leave me a comment and tell me to get my writing act together, people!

Or, since my readers seem to be kind, considerate, and eager to understand my sometimes unclear or otherwise imperfect writing …. just let me know if anything doesn’t make sense to you, and I shall do my best to clarify.

When I gave that Engine Light Prescription to that person, she mentioned the first prescription I ever gave her, which was this:

Rx:  You’re doing the best you can.

She told me that prescription has helped, and that she’s posted it somewhere when she can easily see it.

That surprised me, momentarily. And I don’t know why it surprised me, actually. Over the course of many years, several people have said they find that prescription useful.

As with any prescription, some people have also told me that it doesn’t work for them.  And that’s fine.  Other prescriptions are available, in that case, that would work better.

Speaking for myself, though, I  find that prescription very useful. When I tell myself that I’m doing the best I can in any particular moment, I find that:

  • Motivating
  • Reassuring
  • Calming, and ….
  • Loving.

To continue my braggy * ways from yesterday’s post, I also recently come up with a brand new prescription! Here it is:

Rx: Replace the word “wrong” with the word “human.”

I’m realizing, right now, that perhaps many of my prescriptions are related. I think that one, above, is related to “You’re doing the best you can.”  What do you think?

Before I end this post, I’d like to show you some photos I’ve taken recently, hoping they fit today’s topic.

Before I show you these photos, I want to let you know that — when I was snapping them (sometimes hastily) —  I was always doing my best to take care of myself and others.** Also,  I am presenting these photos in the order they were taken, and I have not changed these photos in any way***.











Okay!  I didn’t explain any of those images, but if you have any questions, just let me know. If they don’t make sense, I will do my best to clarify.

The remaining question is: did these photos fit the topic?   I think they did, but I would like to say this:

It’s more difficult for me to do my best during the winter months, when the world seems cold and less colorful. It will help me do the best I can today  if I post this photo — a blast from bloggings past****:


Ahhhhhhhh!  Time to get ready for work.

Thanks to all those who do their best, humans everywhere, and — especially — to you, for visiting today.


* While some people kindly pointed out yesterday that my post didn’t seem braggy to me, which I greatly appreciated, today I am using “braggy” proudly.  Yes, I am proud to brag. It’s fun and otherwise highly recommended. Try it!

** For example, some of those photos were taken when I was in my car. Each time, I was at a full stop and not inconveniencing anybody else.

*** The only way I change photos is to crop them. Once or twice, I think I enhanced them for clarity.

**** Which is appropriate, since today IS Throw Back Thursday, according to some cultures.

***** This photo (also unaltered in any way) first appeared here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

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