Posts Tagged With: Catastrophizing

Day 3596: Friendly reminders

Yesterday, I got this friendly reminder email at work:

This friendly reminder triggered many unfriendly thoughts in the unfriendly parts of my brain, like “Oh no! My license is going to expire and I won’t be able to work and I love my work and usually they send me a renewal notice in the mail but I didn’t see it and bureaucracies are so screwed up since COVID and I better do something about this NOW!” So I went to the Massachusetts licensing board website and spent many unfriendly minutes trying to renew my license as soon as possible (as I was directed to do by that friendly reminder) until I found a screen that said “your license renewal code will be mailed to you approximately 60 days before the expiration date of your license.” There is absolutely nothing I can do until I get that renewal code, which made me wonder why I was sent that friendly reminder 90 days in advance.

I mean, really, how friendly is that?

Do you see any friendly reminders in my images for today?

There’s another not-so-friendly reminder from the Daily Bitch Calendar.

Two friendly reminders: today is a good day to have donuts and play outdoors.

The Peter Gunn theme by Henry Mancini is a friendly reminder of my childhood.

This is a friendly reminder that all comments are welcomed, below.

Thanks to all who remind me that there are friendly people out there, including YOU!

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

Day 3538: I will never get over this

I will never get over how great it is being back at Disney World, where I saw this yesterday:

I said to my niece Laura that I didn’t expect to see “I will never get over this” — which I immediately associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” However, I realized that it’s very possible to never get over wonderful experiences, too.

Apparently, I will never get over catastrophizing (imagining the worst case scenario), especially when I’m stressed. Yesterday morning, when the Lyft driver showed up earlier than I expected to take me to the airport, I rushed out the door and then worried that our cat Joan might have gotten out and been attacked by the coyote that was on the street. During the drive to the airport, I tried to talk myself out of that very far fetched possibility.

I will never get over how the mind can make up unlikely scenarios even when there is little evidence or data to support them.

I tried to get over this by texting my husband Michael at home.

I will never get over this: I wish my wonderful late parents had been able to meet my hilarious and adorable husband Michael.

Here are the rest of my images for today’s “I Will Never Get Over This” blog post.

I will never get over how many National Days there are & I will never get over how it’s also World Ampersand Day.

Here’s what I find when I search YouTube for “I will never get over this.”

I will never get over my gratitude for all those who help me create this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 3344: FEAR is Forgetting Everything’s All Right

In a Coping and Healing Group this week, one of the members shared a very helpful phrase that a cherished friend had given her years ago:

FEAR is Forgetting Everything’s All Right.

People in the group, including me, had very strong, positive reactions to this gift the group member paid forward to us.

Since then, I’ve shared that gift with several people and the reaction has been the same: a pause and then an expression of gratitude.

As a habitual catastrophizer, who typically fears the worst case scenario no matter what the situation, I am finding this idea incredibly healing. And it’s helping me deal with

  • my own fears,
  • other people’s fears or other reactions,
  • my work as a clinical social worker,
  • relationships,
  • our cat’s health issues,
  • my health issues,
  • home issues,
  • money issues,
  • preparing my taxes,
  • uncertainties about the future,
  • an over abundance of empathy, and
  • the news.

If I have any fear about the images I’m about to share, then I’m Forgetting Everything’s All Right.

I have no fear about setting a good example, pistachios, or telling fairy tales, which are all right.

When I search YouTube for “fear is forgetting everything’s all right, I find this, which includes other acronyms for FEAR — False Evidence Appearing Real and Face Everything And Recover.

I have no fear about comments you might leave.

I’m not forgetting everything’s all right, nor my gratitude to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3130: Predicting the future

I haven’t looked at the news yet, but I’m predicting that much of it involves people predicting the future.

We humans specialize in predicting the future, especially when the present is uncomfortable and confusing.

When I’m predicting the future, I’m usually catastrophizing — assuming the worst case scenario. I do that to prepare myself, but that prevents me from being in the moment — which actually helps me to prepare better for what’s coming.

Two of my tweets yesterday were about predicting the future.

I was predicting that those tweets would be much more popular than they were. I couldn’t predict that this tweet would be MUCH more popular:

As always, I’m terrible at predicting the future. However, I predict that I’ll keep trying to do it.

Certain things are easy to predict, like my sharing images every day in this blog.

I wouldn’t have predicted that the Daily Bitch would be so non-bitchy today! Maybe that’s because it’s “National Love is Kind” Day.

I’m predicting that I’ll find something interesting on YouTube if I search for “predicting the future.”

Here’s a song from Donald Fagen about predicting the future:

I’m predicting that some of you will comment on this blog and some of you won’t.

If you predicted that I would end this post with gratitude, you are correct!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3032: How are y’all feeling right now?

“How are y’all feeling right now?“ is a question I responded to yesterday on Twitter.

How are y’all feeling right now as you look at these other images?

Unlike the Daily Bitch, if I used either kale or vodka, I wouldn’t be feeling that great.

Here‘s “How Do You Feel Today” by Ryan Olmstead.

Please tell us how y’all are feeling right now in the comments section, below.

How am I feeling right now? I’m feeling thankful for all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU.

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

Day 2745: First guess, best guess

What’s your first guess about why today’s post is titled “First guess, best guess”? Let’s find out if it’s the best guess.

Since the first day I met my best friend/husband Michael, he’s been saying, “First guess, best guess.”

One of my other best friends wrote to me the other day, when I felt insecure about how I had run a board meeting:  “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful.”

Is it your first guess, best guess that both those pieces of advice — “First guess, best guess” and “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful” — mean the same thing?

I love guessing and I don’t stop with my first guess. If I DID stop with my first guess, our ailing and adorable cat Oscar would not be alive today.  Also, Michael’s first guess was that the Social Security office had his correct birthday on file and they did NOT.  My next guess about filing our taxes is that we’ll have to do that by mail, which is not exactly a catastrophe (although my first guess — when the IRS rejected our e-filing this weekend because Michael’s birthday on the form did not match Social Security’s record — was that it WAS a catastrophe).

Catastrophizing is a common cognitive distortion (which we talk about in my Coping and Healing groups) where our first guess is that a catastrophe is imminent, even though it isn’t.

Since catastrophizing is a first guess, not best guess, I’m now guessing that “first guess, best guess” is not always best.

However, my first guess about Michael, when I first met him on okCupid, was that he was a wonderful person I wanted in my life.  I’ve had similar first guess, best guesses about other people, including the other best friend I quoted above.

My best guess about guesses, here and now, is that it’s best to trust our intuition AND also be open to new evidence that comes along.

What’s your first guess, best guess about what’s next in this blog post?

If you guessed photos, your first guess was the best!

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In today’s Daily Bitch Calendar, auto-correct’s first guess was not the best guess.

This is the first song I heard by The Guess Who, which I think is their best:

My first guess was that the title of that song was “She’s Come Undone” but my best guess is that it is “Undun.”

My first guess, best guess is that there will be great comments about today’s post.

First guess, best guess, constant guess is to express gratitude every day.

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

Day 2529: What could possibly go wrong?

These days, I don’t ask myself “What could possibly go wrong?”  because I know the answer might be:

  • every little (and big) thing one’s catastrophizing mind might think of and
  • other things, too.

Asking myself “What could possibly go wrong?”  is not my favorite waste of time, because expected and unexpected things go wrong every minute, every hour, every day.

However, there is a way of asking that question that assumes a positive outcome. For example, what could possibly go wrong if I share all my photos from yesterday?

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And what could possibly go wrong if I share another version of “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time”?

Finally, what could possibly go wrong if I ask for comments and express gratitude to all my readers, including YOU?

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

Day 2351: What would you like the power to do?

Yesterday, after a day of owning my  power at the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy annual conference (Diving In: From the Shallows to the Deep) and on my way to a wonderful party at the home of one of the NSGP members, I saw this sign:

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What would you like the power to do? I would like the power to

  • speak up,
  • grow,
  • be confident,
  • play,
  • influence,
  • encourage people to heal in group therapy,
  • reach people through this blog, and
  • share my other photos from yesterday.

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I wish our current national leaders had the power to be nice and I’m wondering about the power of the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary.

I would like the power to share my one video from yesterday, but I will have to power up my phone to do that after I share this post via my laptop.

Here, here, here, and here are the original songs I played at the party last night that one powerful  person had the power to call “Brilliant.”

The brilliant person at the party had the power to convince me to try to do a workshop at next year’s conference based on my original songs.

Would you like the power to comment?

I have the power to do gratitude at this daily blog, so thanks to all who gave me the power to create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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I have the power to share this video of my singing my conference committee gratitude song at the NSGP business meeting yesterday. I also have the power to sing it today at the end of the conference, when it may be more powerful.

 

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2297: Trust is …

Trust is  …

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Intelligence and integrity tell me that trust is many different things to many different people.

Trust is something I felt yesterday, when I walked near our home during the day and then performed two of my original songs at an Open Mic in Boston in front of a very noisy, post-Boston Marathon crowd.

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Trust is important  if you perform in front of people.

Trust is part of expressing gratitude, so I trust you will accept my thanks for visiting my blog, here and now.

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Categories: original song, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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