Posts Tagged With: community

Day 2278: Stress balls

What are stress balls?  Are they squishy balls that you can squeeze when you’re stressed?

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Are they creatures who are feeling lots of stress?

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Harley does not look like a stress ball in that photo, but usually he stresses and runs away when I try to take a picture of him.

Even stress balls, like Harley, can relax at times.

I’m a stress ball today because I have to do many things (including giving a presentation about my therapy groups, singing songs in meetings,  running a board meeting, preparing for a trip to L.A., planning a dinner in L.A., and more) all while dealing with a bout of insomnia and some ambivalence about possible choices.

What helps when you’re a stress ball, besides squeezing a stress ball? My niece Julie, of The Joy Source, suggests changing the words “have to” (see previous paragraph) to “get to.” So, it’s not that I have to do many thing (including giving a presentation, etc.) , it’s that I get to do many things (including giving a presentation, etc.).  That shifts me from being a stress ball about too many obligations to being grateful about having the opportunity to do all those things, connecting me with confidence in my skills to get things done adequately enough.

I don’t have to share my other photos from yesterday, but I’m glad I get to share them with you.

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Here‘s what YouTube gives me for “stress ball song”:

 

Somehow, I’m not a stress ball any more.

What helps you be less of a stress ball?

Thanks to all who helped me stress less by stressing all the things I stressed in this “stress balls” post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2089: Duh

Yesterday, I wrote and read “DUH!” in a therapy group.

Would it help for me to share why and how I did that?  Duh.

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Things that are right side up are, duh, easier to read.

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What does “Self Care” mean to you?  It means taking care of my self.  DUH!

Self Care also means balancing my needs with other people’s needs and, duh, this:

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Well, duh!  It’s time for a definition of “duh.”

duh

interjection
\ ˈdə , usually with prolonged ə \
Definition of Duh
1 —used to express actual or feigned ignorance or stupidity
Duh, I don’t know.
2 —used derisively to indicate that something just stated is all too obvious or self-evident
Well, duh!
Examples of Duh in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the Web

Lee and his family are buried there, his marble, recumbent statue adorning the campus chapel known as, duh, Lee Chapel.
— Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, “Doc: No clear solution to offensive symbols,” 22 Aug. 2017
Well, duh. Prescott ranked third in the league in passer rating, ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
— Pat Fitzmaurice, SI.com, “Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football 2017 Preview: Can Elliott Repeat Breakout Season?,” 2 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘duh.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

That definition of “duh” is, duh, from Merriam-Webster.   How would you define “duh”?

You’re probably asking yourself if I have any other photos today.  I didn’t have enough time yesterday to include all my photos and I’ve taken more photos since so, duh.

Michael cooked me a delicious meal yesterday. Duh.

Are there any “Duh” videos on YouTube?  Duh.

No Duh.

I love comments. Duh.

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s “Duh”  post and — of course (duh!) — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 2075: Et tu, Brute?

“Et tu, Brute?” is a famous Shakespearean quote in Latin (from Julius Caesar).  Et tu, do you know what that quote means?

Et tu, Wikipedia! What do you say about “Et tu, Brute?”

Et tu, Brute? (pronounced [ɛt ˈtuː ˈbruːtɛ]) is a Latin phrase meaning “even you, Brutus?” It is notable for its occurrence in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, where it is spoken by the Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Junius Brutus at the moment of Caesar’s assassination….The phrase is often used apart from the plays to signify an unexpected betrayal by a friend.

Et me, I’m going to point out that the literal translation of “Et tu, Brute?” is “And you, Brutus?”   “Et” means “and” and “tu” means “you.”

Et tu, readers! Do you wonder why I’m explaining et ‘splaining about “Et tu, Brute?” today? Two reasons:

  1. President Trump seems to be saying a variant of that quote to the anonymous author of a damning insider editorial recently published in the “failing New York Times.”
  2. I noticed this yesterday:

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Et tu — if you’ve been a faithful et incredibly attentive reader of this blog — might remember that the first encounter with me et my boyfriend Michael (eight years ago in September) involved beets (described here ).

Et me, do I have any other photos to share with tu, here et now?

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Et tu, do you notice that Michael et I always vote  et that Michael never cooks with beets?

Et tu, YouTube: What do you have about “Et tu, Brute?”

This

et this

et this

et this

et this

et this

et this ...

et this.

 

Et tu!  Are you going to comment on this post, below?

Thanks to Shakespeare et Michael et Julius Caesar et AGNI et the genie from Aladdin et Assassin’s Creed et Community et Community Theater et Irondale Center et Archer et beets et everyone et everything else that helped me write today’s post et — of course! — TU!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2025: Backbone

The first photo I took yesterday showed some backbone.

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Here‘s a definition of “backbone”:

1 : spinal column, spine
2 : something that resembles a backbone: such as
a : a chief mountain ridge, range, or system
b : the foundation or most substantial or sturdiest part of something
c : the longest chain of atoms or groups of atoms in a usually long molecule (such as a polymer or protein)
d : the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of a telecommunications network (such as the Internet)
3 : firm and resolute character

I hope I’m exhibiting firm and resolute character as I send you this blog post over the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of the internet.

Do you see any backbone in my other photos today?

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There are several “Backbone” songs on YouTube, including this one:

Feel free to show some backbone in a comment, below.

Gratitude is a backbone of this daily blog, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 1951: Vivian

Vivian is a social work intern who makes me smile, especially when she shows me photos like this:

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Yesterday, Vivian and I  made each other cry because it was her last day at work.  Soon, as a new graduate,  she’ll be off on her own road trip to Chicago.

In the final Friday therapy group she facilitated with me, we discussed goodbyes and helpful phrases like “The pain of a loss is a direct reflection of the importance of the connection” and “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Vivian, who is a very gifted student, shared many gifts yesterday.

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In honor of the many  things Vivian and I shared this year,  here‘s Jackie Chan singing “Believe in Yourself.”

I hope Vivian believes in herself,  as many of us in her community believe in her.

Vivian let me know she appreciates my gratitude. I am very grateful for Vivian, Jackie Chan, Nikita Gill, A. A. Milne, Rupi Kaur, healing groups and communities, and — of course! — YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 301: Bearing up

Yesterday, I met my old friend Lawry in Harvard Square, Cambridge, for brunch, with some members of his family.

It was great to see everybody.  I loved talking to Lawry, his wife, his daughter, his sister, his brother, and his brother’s wife.

It was particularly special for me to spend time with them, because I had been feeling some anxiety, over the weekend, about my health (and some about the Boston Red Sox, too).

And it was wonderful to be back in Harvard Square. (See “What’s the problem?” and “Random Images (paired)“, two earlier posts, for more adventures in Harvard Square.)

Here’s a little photo essay, about my time in Harvard Square yesterday.

A Little Photo Essay

by Ann

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On my way to meet Lawry and his family for brunch, I saw this amazing tree.  I had to stop and take a picture. Thank you, tree.

It was another beautiful autumn day. Those of us who live in the Greater Boston area have been remarking, this year, about how friggin’ great the fall weather has been.  Those of us who dread the onset of winter in the Greater Boston area have been wondering whether this is a good or bad omen about how painful it’s going to be, too soon. (Actually, I can only speak for my own thoughts about this.)

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Moments after  I took that first shot of the tree,  I had to stop and take the above photo. Why?  It’s a sign about a group, people!

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Here’s a closer shot of the sign (and some of the flags) that you can see in the background of the previous photo.

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As I said, it was a beautiful day. Look at those trees and that sky.

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Another sign in front of the church. I snapped this, as a is Note To Self:  “Ann, make sure you sing more (especially as the cold and dark descend)!”

After I took that photo, I stopped dilly-dallying, and focused on getting to brunch with Lawry and his family.

I didn’t have any photos of Lawry or his family members to show you today, because I was too focused on interacting with each of them, in the moment. Right now, I wish I had some visual proof of how great they all are, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.

After brunch, I went to Urban Outfitters because I needed a scarf and gloves — that is, gear for winter,  coming too soon to a location near me.

And …  I DID find a great scarf and some colorful gloves there, which definitely cheered me up. (My philosophy: If I’m going to be cold, I might as well look cool.)

While I was shopping  in the store, I couldn’t help but notice this:

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I had never seen anything quite like THAT.  I’ve noticed lots of children — and adults — wearing animal hats in these parts, but a full-bear winter coat?  I was very intrigued, but assumed it was most likely just for display. (I mean, it’s almost Halloween, for heaven’s sake.)

However, when I was in line to pay for my merchandise, I noticed that the people in front of me — a woman and her son —  had just bought one of those bear coats, which was being stuffed into a bag. I blurted out, “Wow!  You got one of those!  Can I see it?”

The woman paused, but then kindly took it out of the bag, to show me. She told me it was for her son, Asa, who was a student at Boston College. “Will you try it on for me?” I asked Asa, as I told them both about this blog.

This was Asa’s reply:

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How cool is THAT?

Now it’s a day later, and I’m still feeling better.

Many thanks to Asa and his mother, Lawry and his family, Christ Church Cambridge, Urban Outfitters, all things that make life bearable, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 289: Sometimes, it just helps to know you’re not alone

Two confessions, this morning:

  1. Sometimes, I confuse words for things. For example,  I’ll say “January” when I mean “July.”  I wonder if people think —  when I do that — that I am confused about what time of year it is.  THAT could be embarrassing.
  2. Sometimes, I procrastinate making changes. That can feel embarrassing, too.

So it helps when I realize that I’m not alone in these imperfections. Especially when I realize that I am joined by a person — or an establishment — that I respect.

Therefore, I was pleased to see this sign, this past October weekend, in front of one of my favorite local restaurants.

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Besides the headline, I want to point out some other things about that sign:

  1. It’s located in the eastern United States (not in Australia or any other place south of the equator).
  2. It uses one of my favorite words (“yummy”).
  3. It concludes with something I’ve considered using more of, lately (an emoticon).

If you don’t like emoticons, insert your own preferred smiling image, here, to conclude.

Wait!  Before I do end today’s blog post, I’d like to present some of MY preferred smiling images (from previous posts, this year):

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There’s more, but it’s time for me to end this post, people!

Thanks to Patou Thai Restaurant, people confused in any way by seasonal change, procrastinators (and anti-crastinators, if such people exist), smilers everywhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 273: The Show About Everything

I told some people I love, yesterday, when we were in the middle of the home stretch of a “Breaking Bad” marathon, that my punchline about the show was this:

While

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was The Show About Nothing,

“Breaking Bad” was the The Show About Everything.

Here’s one random thought, this Monday morning,  about The Show About Everything:

People are hungry for great stories, about interesting people who change.

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Here are just  a few of the themes I noticed, over the weekend, in The Show About Everything:

Secrets/Revelations

Lying/Telling the truth

Trauma/Healing

Everything we do affects others, in ways we often cannot predict.

There is bad and good in all of us.

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The moment that is lingering for me, right now, after watching every episode, except for one*?

Walt, finally, saying something like this:

What I did, I did for myself.  I liked it. I was good at it.

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After the show was over, I said, to anybody who might have been listening at that point, “See?  Do what you love. Do what you’re good at.”

I assumed that I didn’t need to add something like this, “Of course, you need to make better choices than Walt did.”

I’m sure they know that, by now.

Okay!  I’ve got to go to work. (Not to cook, but to listen to stories.)

Thanks to those who do what they love, to people who have both good and bad in them, and to everybody making choices today. And many thanks to you, for being here.

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* I skipped watching “Rabid Dog,” on the advice of practically everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 260: DOA (Dread of Anger)

This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately:

Why do I have so much dread about the possibility of other people getting angry at me?

It really doesn’t make sense.

How can I figure this out?

Let’s start with a definition of the word “dread”:

dread (drd)
v. dread·ed, dread·ing, dreads
v.tr.
1. To be in terror of.
2. To anticipate with alarm, distaste, or reluctance: dreaded the long drive home.
3. Archaic To hold in awe or reverence.
v.intr.
To be very afraid.
n.
1. Profound fear; terror.
2. Fearful or distasteful anticipation. See Synonyms at fear.
3. An object of fear, awe, or reverence.
4. Archaic Awe; reverence.
adj.
1. Causing terror or fear: a dread disease.
2. Inspiring awe: the dread presence of the headmaster.
[Middle English dreden, short for adreden, from Old English adrdan, from ondrdan, to advise against, fear : ond-, and-, against; see un-2 + rdan, to advise; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

When I use the word “dread,” I’m usually thinking of definition #2 (“to anticipate with alarm, distaste, or reluctance”) rather than definition #1 (“to be in terror of”).

But maybe all definitions apply, because sometimes I CAN feel terror about other people’s anger.

And that doesn’t really make sense, because — unlike a lot of other people I know — I’ve never (in person) witnessed the traumatic results of violent anger against another human being.

I’m very lucky, that way.

So why so much dread about other people’s anger?

Here’s a piece of data: I don’t feel that Dread Of Anger all the time.

As a matter of fact, I like telling people in therapy that all of their feelings — including anger — are welcome. And, when people have gotten angry in therapy, I have authentically experienced those times as helpful for all involved.

Hmmmmm.

I don’t know if I’m going to figure this out today. And I’m going to have to leave for work, very soon.

I’m still baffled by my Dread of Anger.

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(If you’re baffled by that photo, see here.)

However, at least I took a first step, this morning, by posing the puzzle in public.

Thanks to Andy Rooney, to other people who have posed (or are otherwise dealing with) puzzles, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 240: “I” Statements

At this point in This Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, I am making some assumptions.

Of course, I make assumptions — and unhelpful judgments —  all the time*. That’s a habit I doubt I will completely break (even if I’m reducing that habit this year).

Here’s an assumption I’ve been making about this blog:

By now, I would have defined all my VIC’s — Very Important Concepts.

Au contraire, mon frere**.

When I was writing yesterday’s post, I assumed that I had already defined the concept of “I-Statements.” However, my blog-post-search indicated that the best I had done, all year, was this reference, on Day 26 (“What we can and cannot change”),  when I was making the point that we cannot change other people:

 It also really helps to clearly state the effect that other people’s behavior has on you, and to express your needs and wishes, and even name consequences, at times.  (I’ll write about “I-statements” in a future post, I’m sure, which is a handy-dandy prescription for more effective interpersonal communication.)

That was it. Nada. No discussion or definition of “I-Statements” since then, for 218 days.

But who cares?

I can define it, now:

I statement
Web definitions
An I-statement is a statement that begins with the word “I”. It is frequently used in an attempt to be assertive without putting the listener on the defensive. It can be used to take ownership for one’s feelings rather than saying they are caused by the other person.***

And here are some I-Statements I want to make, today:

  1. I want to let go of self-labels which don’t help.
  2. I’ve gotten feedback, from other people, that I am NOT some things I fear to be, including:   Too sensitive. Too self-centered. Too indecisive. Not responsive enough.
  3. I AM sensitive, focused on myself, and indecisive at times, and
  4. I AM imperfect in my responsiveness, and
  5. I have shame, sometimes, about how many times I use the word “I”, when I’m communicating, but…
  6. I  still rock!!****

At this point, I’m remembering Garry Shandling, the comedian, talking about “I-Statements” in a monologue on Saturday Night Live:

 I met a new girl at a barbecue, actually, a very pretty girl. Blonde, I think. I’m not sure.  Her hair was on fire. And all she talked about was herself. You know those kind of girls – “I’m hot. I’m on fire!” You know,”Me, me me!” “Help me! Put me out!” Jesus. Some sort of Hollywood chick.

I wish I could find that bit, so you could see and hear Garry Shandling do that, hear his delivery, his intonation.

But I can’t.

What I CAN do is end with another I-Statement (in honor of a 50th anniversary):

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Thanks to Martin Luther King, Garry Shandling, dreamers everywhere, and to you, too,  dear readers.


*”All the time” is an example of All-or-Nothing thinking, but who cares?  I’m using it for emphasis.

** Another comedic quote:  Mel Brooks, in The 2000 Year Old Man.

*** This is, according to Google, from the Wikipedia definition of “I-Statements.”

**** I considered using other “bragging” statements here, like “I’m awesome!” (quoting a member of one of my therapy groups), but this is what I feel most comfortable saying, today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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