Posts Tagged With: Bonnie Raitt

Day 2746: Beliefs

My belief in the topic of today’s post is inspired by this:


What do you believe that means?

My belief, here and now, is that beliefs, unless constantly questioned and reexamined in the light of new experiences and awareness, might become rigid beliefs — too “strong” to allow for growth, change, and adaptation.

I wonder what beliefs you might find in my other images from yesterday.

I believe that I forgot to take a photo of Michael’s meal last night, which was so delicious that I was too busy eating it. However, I believe you might enjoy my describing it: tilapia with coconut milk on asian noodles and bok choy.

Here‘s “One Belief Away” by Bonnie Raitt:

My strength is my own belief in the power of gratitude:


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2693: Some things can’t be undone

Last night, after spending many hours in online therapy groups joining with people who felt undone by the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw Bonnie Raitt on our TV …


… performing the song “Undone,” with the line “Some things can’t be undone.”

Some things can’t be undone, like the USA’s initial reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, which will result in many more lives lost.

My other photos from yesterday can’t be undone.
















That salmon was perfectly done.

Some things can’t be undone, like my ordering this massager to undo the knots in my neck, shoulder, and back after working every day from home:



Some things can’t be undone, like my having a pacemaker (see warning #7 above).

Some good things can’t be undone, like the incredible acts of bravery and kindness performed every day by health care workers, like Emergency Medicine Physician Halleh Akbarnia:

I have been an Emergency Medicine Physician for almost 20 years. I have worked through numerous disasters, and I’m used to the daily grind of heart attacks, gunshots, strokes, flu, traumas, and more. It’s par for the course in my field. Yet nothing has made me feel the way I do about my “job” as this pandemic has—that knot-in-the-pit–of-your-stomach sensation while heading into work, comforted only by the empathetic faces of my colleagues who are going through the same. I am grateful for their presence, knowing they are both literally and figuratively with me, that they understand and accept so profoundly the risks we take each day. I also hope that my friends and family forgive me for my lack of presence during this time—precisely when we need each other most—and that they realize that their words, their encouragement, and their small gestures that come my way daily are the fuel that gets me through each day. This is a story for all of us.

I met my patient, Mr. C., on my first real “pandemic” shift, when what we were seeing that day was what we had been preparing for. He was classic in his presentation, his X-ray findings, his low oxygen levels… we just knew. And he was the nicest man I had met in a long time. Gasping for breath, he kept asking if we needed anything, and that it would all be okay. He told us he was a teacher but that he was learning so much from us, and how much he respected what we were doing. The opposite could not be more true.

We had to decide how long we would try to let him work through this low oxygen state before needing to intubate him. His levels kept falling and despite all our best efforts it was time to put him on the ventilator. He told us he didn’t feel great about this, “but Doc, I trust you and am putting myself in your hands.” That uneasy feeling in my stomach grew even more in that moment. But he, with his teacher’s steady voice, kept me grounded, where I was supposed to be. I saw his eyes looking at me, seeing the kindness in them, even as we pushed the medications to put him to sleep. To say this was an “easy” intubation is an understatement. It was not. He nearly left us a few times during those first minutes, but he kept coming back. We fought hard to keep him with us. The patience and strength of my team that day, truly remarkable.

I handed him over to my friend and colleague, Dr. Beth Ginsburg, and her team in the ICU, and her calming voice reassured me that they had it from here. And then for the next twelve days, I waited and watched his progress, knowing the statistics, and how sick he was when he got to us. They did their magic, and just yesterday my new friend Mr. C was extubated. I decided to go “meet” him again.

Mr C. was in the COVID stepdown unit, recovering, without family. Nobody was allowed to visit him; even worse, his wife had been home alone in isolation for the past fourteen days, too. My heart broke thinking of how that must have been for her. I cautiously went into his room, donned in my PPE, and when he saw me, he stopped for a second. A moment of recognition.

I introduced myself. “I’m Dr. Akbarnia, Mr. C. I was the last person you saw in the ER. You told me you trusted us to get you to this side. Looks like you did just fine.” He started to cry. He said, “I remember your eyes.” And I started to cry. What he didn’t know is that, at that moment, I realized that we do what we do exactly for people like him, for moments like these. His strength, his kindness, his calming words to me meant everything. At that moment, my heart (which had been beating over 100 bpm since this pandemic began) finally slowed down.

I sat down and we talked. I told him that while he is here, we are his family. He will always have a place in my heart. And whether he knows it or not, he will be my silent warrior and guide as I take care of every patient, COVID or not. He will fuel me until the day I hang up my stethoscope.

(Picture and story posted with full permission from patient)

ETA: I was asked if this can be shared. Please do.

#covidsurvivor #hope #covid19 #advocatehealth #condell #frontliners #inthistogether #heartofaphysician

Image may contain: 2 people, beard and indoor



Some things can’t be undone, like my daily gratitude to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1685: Together again for the first time

“Together again for the first time” is 

  • a phrase that has appeared many times on superhero comic book covers,
  • somewhat confusing,
  • the title of today’s post, and
  • inspired by a photo I took last night when I was together again with Boston’s Fenway Park for the first time sitting in the outfield to see Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor, who were together again for the last time on their current tour. 

The world and I have been together since 1953 and so have the Boston Red Sox and The Jimmy Fund — “the oldest and most successful partnership between a sports team and a charity in the nation.” 

The photos in this blog post are together again for the first time, starting now:

My iPhone and I are together again for the first time today creating this post (because my laptop won’t load my photos) and for some reason, my iPhone is putting my pictures together again for the first time in reverse chronological order. The words in that previous sentence are together again for the first time and I hope it’s the last time, too, because I’m going to the Apple Store today to get my technology together again for the first time in a few months. 

At this point, I need to get myself together again and decide which music goes together with today’s blog. 

If I close my eyes, I can still see James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt singing beautifully together again for the last time on their 2017 tour. 

I’m gathering my gratitude together again, so thanks to all who helped me create this together-again-for-the-first-time post and to you —  of course! — for getting yourself together again to visit here, now.  

Categories: gratitude, Music, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1684: What’s the difference between a bad day and a good day?

In last night’s therapy group, somebody was having a good day and somebody was having a bad day. I suggested we all think about and share the differences between a good day and a bad day, which included:

  • perspective,
  • mood,
  • hope,
  • helplessness,
  • action,
  • rest,
  • shame,
  • awareness,
  • self-judgment,
  • faith,
  • doubt,
  • gratitude,
  • expectations,
  • assumptions,
  • self-care,
  • isolating,
  • connecting,
  • the weather,
  • the news,
  • worry,
  • patience,
  • anxiety,
  • nature,
  • guilt,
  • technology,
  • other people,
  • acceptance, and
  • being in the moment.

What’s the difference between a good day and bad day for you?

I am now trying to share yesterday’s photos in this post, but it’s no good.  Does that make today a good day or a bad day?  I am choosing to see it as a good day, especially because I’m seeing Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor tonight at Boston’s Fenway Park.

Because my son and I are leaving for Edinburgh, Scotland, a week from tomorrow to share several good days together, I shall try to resolve these photo-loading issues a good day before then.

Here are Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor sharing a Goode song with thousands of people:

Good thanks to all who helped me create today’s good-enough post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1655: Letting go

Is everybody ready for another post about letting go?

Before I say more about letting go, I’m not letting go of my habit of sharing links to my previous posts with similar titles (here, here, and here).   I am now letting go any judgment of the fact that all those previous “Letting Go” posts occurred during the first year of this living-non-judgmentally blog.

Now that I’ve let go of that, I want to tell you that yesterday’s  therapy group focused on “Letting Go.”


I’m now letting go of my disappointment about my inability to include a blow-up of that white board, zooming in on the words “letting go” (in a different color, on the right). If you can’t find “letting go” amid all the red on that white board, let it go.

People in yesterday’s therapy group did an exercise in letting go by writing down words of things they wanted to let go. Here are some of the words I let go:










Since last fall, I’ve been letting go of negative reactions about

  1. my open heart surgery,
  2. the recall of my pacemaker/defibrillator, and
  3. the U.S. election.

Letting go takes a lot of work!

Now, I’m letting go of many things as we prepare for our move close to the ocean. Sister Thrift is a great place to let go of possessions for a wonderful cause.





Now I’m letting go of all my other photos from yesterday.




While I did let go of many CDs yesterday, I’m not letting go of any of the Compact Discs shown above.

Here‘s Bonnie Raitt singing an amazing song about letting go:

Feel free to let go of any thoughts and feelings about this post in a comment, below.

I’m now letting my gratitude — for all those who helped me create this post and for all those who are reading it — go out into the universe.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1637: I’ll buy that

Writing yesterday’s blog post inspired me to buy that ticket to see James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt perform at Boston’s Fenway Park in August. Even though I’ve said, “I’ll buy that!” about lots of concert tickets and many Bonnie Raitt albums and James Taylor CDs, I’ve never seen either of them in person. 

I can’t wait to see them.  Do you buy that?

Do you buy that my boyfriend Michael said, “I’ll buy that!” about one of the items  shown in these pictures?












What do you think Michael bought? Buy the way, I took something away from the yard sale, too.   If you buy into guessing what Michael bought and what I chose,  I’ll provide the answers, by and buy.

Because we recently said, “I’ll buy that!” to a home by the ocean,  we’ll be moving those two things and other things we’ve bought, very soon.

Do you buy that my ex-husband said this to me yesterday?

You’re scary when you’re angry.

I found that difficult to buy, because I never see myself as scary, even when I’m angry. Maybe that’s because I’m a 5’3″ 64-year-old woman without weapons. Do you buy that I LIKED being seen as scary by my ex, who is very big and strong? Do you buy that we both shook hands soon after he said that?

Do you buy that searching YouTube for “I’ll buy that” gets you some “Ocean Front Property” by George Strait?

Do you buy this Fenway Park performance by James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt from two years ago?

I’m now ready for the thing called  comments.

Are you ready to buy my gratitude? Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for buying it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1501: Persisting

In my persisting need to follow the news, I read that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, yesterday:

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

I can see that this statement is persisting in many ways on social media and elsewhere.

Because I have been persisting for so long as a woman with lots of ideas who likes to express them, I have also  been warned, given explanations, and nevertheless persisted.

Do I have to give explanations for these persisting images on my iPhone?












Is it the right moment for me to post this music persisting on YouTube?

I hope you leave a persisting comment about this persisting post, below.

Persisting thanks and love from this persisting blogger.


Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1393: In the driver’s seat

I have gotten the go-ahead from my cardiologists to drive again, now that I have recovered sufficiently from my open heart surgery of September 21.

Now that I’m back in the driver’s seat, I have many places to go today, including:

  1. Cardiac rehab at a nearby hospital, where I’ll sit and walk on different types of exercise equipment with my usual drive,
  2. My dentist’s office, for a 3-month teeth cleaning (driven by  my real risk of endocarditis),
  3. A Boston hospital, to surprise people who are used to being in the driver’s seat,
  4. A real estate property in a nearby town within easy driving distance, where perhaps I’ll soon be driving and parking my car.

Here‘s one of my favorite in-the-driver’s-seat tunes, performed by the amazing and driving Bonnie Raitt:


I love my life with me and the boys — my boyfriend Michael, my son Aaron, and our kitties Oscar and Harley.

Here are some photos I was able to take yesterday because I was in the driver’s seat:



















When I see a product like Chinese Szechuan Chicken-flavored potato chips, I wonder who’s in the driver’s seat over at Lay’s.

What helps you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat?

When I’m in the driver’s seat, gratitude is often sitting in the passenger’s seat beside me, so here’s a driving feeling I want to express to all those who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what seat you’re in right now:



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

Day 612: Not the only one

This is not the only year I’ve been writing this once-a-day, letting-go-of-judgment blog.  I started this 1.6 years ago (but who’s counting?).

This is not the only post I’ve written about my passion — doing group therapy at a major Boston hospital’s Primary Care Practice.

Yesterday, my therapy group was the largest it’s ever been.  As usual, the people there had many  differences — age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, size, personality, life experience, class, country of origin, economic situation, diagnosis, and reason for being in the group. And yet, they all shared something — the wish to feel and do better in their lives.

That was not the only thing they had in common,  as we all discovered. Yesterday, somebody — who had never attended a  therapy group before — suggested we work on shame.

I’ve written, many times, about the experience of shame, in posts  here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here , here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (and those are not the only ones, believe me).

As I’ve often expressed, Shame says:

There is something wrong with me.

I am broken.

I am abnormal.

I am weird.

I am the only one.

What’s one cure for shame?  Finding out that all those things …

… are NOT true.

Shame on shame, for lying, so shamefully.

At the end of yesterday’s group — after people shared thoughts, feelings, experiences, and  images of  shame — I heard something, voiced again and again:

I’m grateful to know I’m not the only one.

Yesterday’s group was not the only one where I’ve heard that sentiment expressed.

That’s what therapy groups are for, I believe  — to reduce shame. To connect people, in a vulnerable, safe, and authentic way. To give people room to realize they’re

Not the only one.

At this point, if you suspect I’m about to share a song I love, I’ll bet you’re not the only one.

(YouTube video of Bonnie Raitt‘s “Not the Only One” found here)

At this point, if you know  I’ll be sharing some photos I took yesterday,  you’re not the only one there, either.



IMG_8636 IMG_8637 IMG_8650

The images, thoughts, feelings, and experiences I’ve shown you here, today, are not the only ones I could have shared. I could write a lot more about “Not the Only One.”

However, yesterday’s group is not the only one I’m doing  this week. I have more group work to do, very soon.

Many thanks to Bonnie Raitt, to Paul Brady (for the lyrics to “Not the Only One”),  to all those who share in groups of any kind, and to you — of course! — for being not the only one reading this post, here and now.

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

Day 359: Gifts

The title of today’s post was a no-brainer, because it’s Christmas Day!

Now I need to make my first decision of this post.  What image should I present?

Checking my trusty iPhone ….


When I saw this scene last week, even winter felt like a gift to me.

Let’s see what gifts the Google Images Buffet* has to offer us, today!

This photo reminded me of the first time I ever celebrated Christmas in the early 1980’s,  with my then-future-and-now-ex-husband’s family.**


I can’t make that photo appear larger here, but I am happy to say that finding this photo gave me the gift of discovering another WordPress blogger, theuglyvolvo, whom I am now following. I would like to thank theuglyvolvo for the gift of that photo, and I am looking forward to more gifts from her blog.

To go back to my reason for choosing that photo: My first Christmas with my in-laws was a gift, as was my most recent one with them, last night.

Okay!  It looks like I’m doing Random Thoughts About Gifts!!  I don’t know about you, but I love these Random Thought posts.

Here are some more random thoughts about gifts:

When I was in my early 20’s, I joined an 8-week therapy/support group called “Women and Self Esteem.”  I got a lot of gifts from that group.

For example, I remember a homework assignment where we each chose a hero, who was a woman.  I chose Bonnie Raitt.


Use your eyes, people!



Still wondering why I chose Bonnie Raitt?  Use your ears, people!


And here is Bonnie live, from the 1970s:

And, Bonnie live, from 2012:

There were lots of things I wanted to say, regarding that Women and Self Esteem group, but damn!  Isn’t Bonnie Raitt amazing?  It’s no wonder I picked her as my hero!

Anyway, here’s what I wanted to tell you about that Women and Self Esteem Group:

  1. I got many gifts from the group, which I still use, including the realization that the qualities I admire in others, I may also possess.  (And if I don’t possess them yet, I will most likely acquire them, because I value them so much.)
  2. I gave gifts to other people in that group, although it’s taken me many years to realize and appreciate that.
  3. One of the gifts I gave that stands out for me, now: During one session, I reacted with impatience to another member of the group, which I felt guilty about.  However, during the group’s last session, she told me that my reaction helped her realize something important about herself and her family. She thanked me for that gift, adamantly. I was not able to accept her thanks at the time, because I still felt the guilt about my not-perfectly-polite reaction. But that encounter, which I still remember, was a gift that keeps on giving.

I’m sure I have many other gifts I could share with you, right now.

That last sentence brings me back to my first Christmas with my in-laws, when I was also in my late 20’s. That night, for the first time, I saw a huge display of gifts under a Christmas tree, in person. Let’s see if Google Images can offer up the gift of another photo, that might evoke that experience for me:


That’s better.

When I first saw a tree with all those gifts, at my in-laws, I froze with amazement and delight. And lots of the gifts were for  ….. me!

Last night, lots of the gifts were for me, too, but most of them weren’t in packages.

Thanks to my heroes, my in-laws, my family, my friends here in the Blog-o-Sphere, and my friends in the Real-Life-o-Sphere.  Whether or not you realize it, you bring me gifts, every day.


* Searching on the word “gift.”

** Let me know if I need to explain this. It makes sense to me.

*** Thanks to Rolling Stone, for that image.

**** I found that image here. And that first video, also.

***** I found that image here.

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

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