Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar is about throwing out what no longer fits.
We all have things that no longer fit — unhelpful thoughts, toxic people, harsh self judgment, second guessing, crippling fears about the future, regrets about the past, hopelessness, body shame, etc. — and wouldn’t it be great to throw those out?
At the end of every therapy group, I invite people to throw out what no longer fits them in a “magic” waste paper basket, which either holds or reduces the power of whatever they throw away. Over the years, people have thrown away a ton of trash in these magic waste paper baskets.
Because all my groups are remote these days, here’s the “home version” of the magic waste paper basket:
Next to the magic waste paper basket is the magic hat, an addition recently suggested by a group member. Out of the magic hat, people can pull whatever they want, like self love, courage, acceptance, strength, and hope.
Do you see anything that fits the magic waste paper basket or the magic hat in my other images for today?
Yesterday, I threw my rough day into the magic waste paper basket and it fit in there just fine.
This is the first thing that comes up on YouTube when I search for “throwing away what doesn’t fit”:
Today, September 1, is National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day in the USA.
I started looking at and sharing National Days some time in July, and this is the first day where there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for any of the designations. Why do we need a day for any of these? There seems to be no rhyme nor reason.
Also, every other list of National Days I’ve seen has included some kind of food or drink. Therefore, when I ask on Twitter how people are going to celebrate the precious day, there seems to be a rhyme or reason for that question. For example …
Actually, the more I think about it, No Rhyme Nor Reason Day seems like the perfect day for me to head back into the hospital, since the nose balloon that we hoped would fix my cat-claw-Coumadin nose bleed doesn’t seem to be working. When things don’t work, it can seem like there is no rhyme nor reason to anything. Also, National Burnt Ends Day seems appropriate, since they’ll probably cauterize the end of my nose, where our new kitty Joan scratched me three nights ago.
Maybe there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for me to be writing this blog at 3:45 AM. However, I’m distracting myself because the Ear Nose Throat on-call doctor I spoke to on the phone at 2 AM suggested that I wait some hours before coming in to be seen. The Emergency Room at my hospital is all filled up, she said, and it would be better to wait until 5 AM to show up there and even better if I could wait for my scheduled 10 AM appointment in the ENT clinic.
Maybe the doctor thought there was no rhyme nor reason to my disappointment and discouragement about the balloon not solving the problem as we had hoped. I tend to catastrophize and assume the worst for no rhyme nor reason, and when I expressed my worst fear — that the doctors would not be able to fix this problem for me — she seemed to think there was no rhyme nor reason to my despair.
For no rhyme nor reason, just writing those words is helping me feel better, here and now.
For no rhyme nor reason, I can’t load more images from my phone for this blog post, so I’m going to switch to my laptop to finish creating it.
Is there no rhyme nor reason for these images in today’s post?
Sayings like “We grow through what we go through” help provide some rhyme and reason, don’t you think?
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.
Living with uncertainty is very difficult, yet we do it every day. Certainty is often an illusion — a denial of mortality and the constant changes we are barely aware of.
Here and now, as we live with the uncertainties of the pandemic and the results of the USA election, the level of uncertainty is very difficult to live with. I’m certain how this uncertainty is affecting me, my family, my friends, and my patients:
changes in appetite,
lack of motivation,
a reversion to old unhelpful habits,
the rest of the cognitive distortions (which I’m certain you can find here).
I’m uncertain how I and millions of other people are going to live with so much uncertainty in the days ahead.
In a sea of uncertainty, I’m certain that routines — like daily blogging — help. I’m certain I have new images to share but I’m uncertain exactly what they are.
I’m certain that I felt less uncertainty about the future when I took those photos than I’m feeling now.
Here‘s “The Courage to Live with Radical Uncertainty” — a Ted Talk given by “Compassion-Driven Oncologist Shekinah Elmore” in March 2020, right before our current age of uncertainty.
Here‘s “Coping with Uncertainty” by MindTools Videos:
What are your thoughts and feelings about living with uncertainty?
No matter how I’m living with uncertainty, I’m certainly grateful to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.
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!
In today’s Daily Bitch Calendar, auto-correct’s first guess was not the best guess.