Posts Tagged With: cats

Day 2780: Sunshine and hurricane

The sunshine in my life includes family, friends, my work as a group therapist, cats, music, this blog, humor, nature, good memories, the riches of the present moment, persistent hope about the future, and a helpful stance of curiosity.

The hurricane in my life includes the imminent death of our sweet, plucky, and ailing kitty Oscar; losses of good friends;  bureaucracies; corrupt world leaders; social injustice; the coronavirus pandemic; and yet another taxes-related fiasco (the IRS rejecting our e-filed return yesterday because “your spouse’s birthday doesn’t match the IRS records”).

When I was freaking out and focusing on the hurricane yesterday, my spouse (whose birthday SHOULD match the IRS records!!!!) said to me:

“What is it that you tell your patients?  Nothing is actually hurting you now. I think the taxes glitch will be easily resolved.”

My spouse brings so much sunshine into my life, even during the hurricane.

Do you see sunshine and/or hurricane in these images from July 4, 2020?

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Here‘s Dolly Parton’s  “Jolene” covered by Sunshine and the Hurricane:

What are your thoughts and feelings about sunshine and hurricane?

I like to end every post, no matter what the weather,  with the sunshine of my gratitude for everything, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2776: No longer

I am no longer President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, so I am no longer worrying about acting Presidential (although “acting Presidential” no longer has the same meaning it used to).

Carl Reiner is no longer on this earth.

This sentence, at the end of the Wikepedia entry about Carl Reiner, is no longer than 20 words:

Reiner died at his home on June 29, 2020, aged 98, in the company of his family.

This episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which Carl Reiner wrote, produced, and created, is no longer than 25 minutes:

This 2000-Year-Old Man Routine, co-created by the no-longer-with-us Carl Reiner and the-still-with-us-as-of-this-writing Mel Brooks, is no longer than four minutes:

I am no longer able to say that I never saw that before. It’s been no longer than 55 years that I’ve known Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks as comic geniuses.

Mel Brooks, who describes himself on Twitter as “Writer, Director, Actor, Producer and Failed Dairy Farmer” and who no longer can have dinner every night  with his old friend and co-writer Carl Reiner, posted this no-longer-than-280-character tribute yesterday:

Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment. He created comedy gems like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Jerk, and Where’s Poppa? I met him in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, and we’ve been best friends ever since. I loved him. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So whether he wrote or performed or was just your best friend — nobody could do it better.  He’ll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner’s case it’s absolutely true. He will be greatly missed.

It took me no longer than a few seconds to find this great photo of Carl Reiner, Annie Reiner, and Mel Brooks that was taken no longer than two days away from Mel Brooks’s 94th birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day:

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I hope it is no longer debatable in this country that black lives matter.

I am no longer worried about other people’s incorrect assumptions or my inadvertent miscommunications, like Mel Brooks’s birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day being the same day (which they aren’t — they are one day apart).

This post is no longer focusing on words as I share my images from yesterday:

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I am no longer expecting comments but I will welcome any you choose to make.

It takes no longer than one word to express heart-felt gratitude.

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

Day 2769: Big hikes

Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar relates to big hikes:

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I am hearing from many people, through my Coping and Healing groups, that food choices and walks are very important these days.

Here are some photos from yesterday’s big hike:

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Thanks to Michael for that big meal (with monkfish, vegetables, and noodles) after my big hike.

It was hot here yesterday, so here‘s “Heat of the Day” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays:

 

No matter where I’m hiking, I’m always feeling big gratitude:

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2752: Working it

Since I recovered from COVID-19 in March, I’ve been working non-stop.

Yesterday, a hard-working friend texted me that I should take a vacation and I replied “What is this ‘vacation’ that you speak of?”

As foreign as the concept seems, I will be getting a vacation from work to spend time with my son, who has finished up his school work for the year in Scotland.

Now it’s time to work this post with photos that show different ways of working it.

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I had trouble working that dish by Michael into a recent post, so there it is, working it here and now.

There are several versions of the Beatles’ “We Can Work it Out” working it on YouTube, including here and here.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing our government working it better in future months and I’m looking forward to people working it in a comment, below.

As always, gratitude is working it in this blog.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2733: Signature moves

One of my signature moves is sharing the Daily Bitch calendar:

Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all need to practice this signature move of pushing everyone away. At least, however, we don’t have to wonder why we’re alone.

Another one of my signature moves is taking photos of what moves me.

Harley and Oscar have very different signature moves (as you can see in this post).

Another one of my signature moves is to choose a song related to one of my images.

My signature moves these days also include:

  • Working from home.
  • Going on socially distanced walks.
  • Facilitating five online “Coping and Healing” groups every week.
  • Winding up my Presidency for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.
  • Spending quality time with those I love.
  • Rewriting my original songs to fit current realities.
  • Expressing gratitude and appreciation.

What are your signature moves?

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2730: Rulers of the House

If you saw the headline “Rulers of the House” (which I’m recreating in my house, here and now), what would your immediate association be?

Might “Rulers of the House” be

  • Men?
  • Women?
  • Adults?
  • Children?
  • Monarchs?
  • Elected officials?
  • Appointed officials?
  • Democrats?
  • Conservatives?
  • Corporations?
  • People with money?
  • People with privilege?
  • Sports figures?
  • Animals?
  • Deities?
  • Emotions?
  • Conscious thoughts?
  • Unconscious thoughts?
  • Dreams?
  • The weather?
  • Nature?
  • Technology?
  • Television?
  • Planets?

Do you see any Rulers of the House in my photos from yesterday?

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Here’s what I find when I search YouTube for “Rulers of the House”:

More rulers of the house:

I love the way Jewel Gilchrist rules her house.

Christine BaranskiMeryl Streep, and Audra McDonald are Rulers of the House in this version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” (from the 90th birthday celebration for Stephen Sondheim):

If you want to be one of the Rulers of the House of Living Non-Judgmentally, please leave a comment below.

As always, the rules of this house include expressing gratitude for all those in my life with hearts of gold, including YOU.

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Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2724: What is essential?

I believe I may have published another blog post with the title “What is essential?” However, I’m creating this post on my iPhone, which makes it more difficult to check past posts, and I’m deciding that knowing that is not essential.

Other facts are much more essential, these days.

I often take photos of things that are essential to me.

I essentially don’t know how these two images …

… got onto my iPhone. Other facts are much more essential these days.

Because of the work I’m doing — remotely providing group and individual therapy at an essential Boston hospital — it’s essential that I take a day off once in a while, which I’m doing today.

If you’re interested in attending a remote Open Mic this Friday May 15, 7 – 9 PM U.S. Eastern Time, when I’ll be performing a slightly rewritten version of my original song “Triggers,” it’s essential that you sign up by the end of the day before (May 14), using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn3

The essential Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been cancelled this year — the first time in its history — but here‘s my performance of “Triggers” at last year’s festival:

https://youtu.be/VfFKNFJuCEA

What’s essential to you?

It’s not essential that you leave a comment, but if you do, it’s essential that I express my sincere gratitude.

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2719: Don’t even talk to me unless …

Don’t even talk to me unless you are

DO even talk to me about what you see in this post.

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I can’t even talk about how anxiety-provoking it is when an animal is sick, because they can’t even talk to you about how they’re feeling and I can’t talk to Oscar about the ultrasound he’s having today.

Are these two people even talking to each other?

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Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda can really talk about friendship.

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Don’t even talk to me unless you accept my appreciation and thanks that you showed up today, exactly the way you are.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2716: Goofballs and Hearts

Yesterday,  somebody called me a “goofball” during a Zoom meeting after I expressed my love for people by making the sign of a heart with my hands.  While I could have easily used my standard reply — “It takes one to know one” —  I said, instead, “Thank you for the compliment.”

I do believe that was a compliment, because being a goofball and sharing my heart are two of my biggest strengths.

Do you see any goofballs or hearts in my photos from yesterday?

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This goofball believes that our hearts could use a repeat of  the awwsome cat video I posted two bitching days ago.

 

Heartfelt thanks to all the goofballs and oddballs who help me create these daily posts, including you.  (And from me, that’s a compliment!)

 

 

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

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… 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.

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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:

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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

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

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

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