Posts Tagged With: connection

Day 1134: There are two kinds of people in this world

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who agree with the following statement and those who don’t.

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Do you agree that there are two kinds of people in this world?  If so, how would you divide up the people in this world into two groups?

There are two kinds of people in this world:

  1. Those who can guess the inside of the  above greeting card and
  2. Those who can’t.

No matter what group you’re in,  here it is:

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There are two kinds of people in this world: those who’ve read my daily blog before  and those who haven’t.  If you’re in the first group, you’ve probably learned that I figure out some way to include the photos I’ve taken the day before.

I hope you’re in the group of people that like these photos:

There are two kinds of readers in this world: (1) those who comment and (2) those who don’t.

There are two kinds of bloggers in this world:

  1. Those who end a post with words and
  2. Those who end a post with an image.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 57 Comments

Day 1108: Human

I’m a

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who has written over a thousand blog posts about being

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Right now, I’m going to check how many times I’ve used the word

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over the last three years in a blog post title.

I am having some very

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reactions and feelings, because this is the first time “human” has made it to a post title. I would have sworn that I’d written a post titled “We’re Human Beings, Not Human Doings. ”

Well, there’s  no time like the present to write a human post.

 

I’m now wondering what the word

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means to you.  If  you had to choose three words to define

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what would they be?

The first three words that occur to me are

imperfect

complicated

mortal

Are those good enough synonyms for the word

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in your mind? Do those three words capture, at all,  what makes us human?

I’m guessing that my readers will do a much better job picking three “human” words. After all, I’m only human.

Do any of the other pictures I quickly snapped yesterday help us define “human”?

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It’s only human that I’m curious about what you think, feel, and choose to express.

Human thanks to all the humans who helped me create this all-too-human post and to you — of course! — for bringing your humanity here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Day 1044: At Last You’re Here

At last I’m here with today’s daily blog post.

At last you’re here to read it.

I heard “At Last You’re Here” by Pat Metheny last night and knew, at last, that today’s blog title was here.

“At Last You’re Here” is a perfect title and song for today, because:

  1. I know my parents said, “At Last You’re Here” when my older sister Ellen was born, 68 years ago today.
  2. At last it’s official that my esteemed friend and fellow social worker Megan will be here with me at the hospital, starting in December. At last we’re here, working together again.
  3. At last, these photos are here from my iPhone:

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At first and at last, Oscar is here while I create these posts.

At my last birthday party (almost three years ago), Megan was here (next to my ex-sister-in-law Deborah):

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At last, my sister and I are here:

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At last and at least, we’re all here together on this earth.

At least since January 1, 2013, I’m here on WordPress every day.

At last you’re here, at the end of this post.

Lasting thanks to Ellen, Megan, Deborah, Oscar, Pat Metheny, Marie Kondo, and all who are here today, including you!

Categories: Happy Birthday!, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 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 300: Metaphors of the heart

Dear readers,

I am a psychotherapist, and I learn new things, every time I meet with people.

Here’s something I’ve learned, many times:

Metaphors help people describe and understand what is going on with them.

On Friday, at work, somebody reported that her mood shifts had gotten less extreme.  As many people do, she made a gesture with her hand, to “draw” her experience of varying moods.

Usually, when people do that, they indicate this kind of graph:

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This woman, however, used the term “heartbeat strip,” and from her description and gestures, I knew she was describing the an electrocardiogram (abbreviated ECG or EKG):

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She said, “Before, my moods were like this …” and she indicated an EKG that was very dramatic. It looked something like this:

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Lately, she said, her mood shifts had been more even, and she indicated a “normal” EKG:

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(Her description was much shorter than that image, above, from ndsu.edu.)

I found this metaphor amazing , and not just because (1) I had never heard it before and (2) it related to other issues I’ve been thinking about, lately.

I thought it was truly wonderful.

I expressed my appreciation for that metaphor, to the person in my office. And then I added something.

I said, “People often think that any mood shifts are a problem.  However, without ups and downs, people would be  …. flat-lining.” And it was my turn to gesture, like this:

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And, we agreed, that would be very bad.

I told this person that I planned to use her metaphor in the future, saying, “I’ll give you credit, if you want.”

She said I didn’t need to, especially since I had added something of my own.  We  agreed we made a good team,  creating that metaphor together.

And then we moved on, to other matters of the heart.

Thanks to all the people who have taught me so much, in so many therapy sessions. And thanks to you, for visiting today.

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

Day 299: Why haven’t I published anything (outside of here)?

This morning, I am posing questions about where I am in my life, right now.

I have enough expertise and skill to be a published author. Why haven’t I made that happen, so far in my life?

What’s gotten in the way of that?

Here are some things I can think of:

  1. Doubts about my (previously mentioned) expertise and skill.
  2. My ability to think of a kashmillion things I would rather be doing other than writing something for publication.
  3. Concern (and perhaps some other feelings) that other people would  have the control to accept or reject something that was important to me (and what makes THEM such friggin’ experts, anyway?!??)
  4. My short attention span. (Look!  It’s a baby wolf!)

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Where was I?

Oh, yes. I was asking the question:

Why haven’t I published anything, so far in my life?

Oh, I wanted to state the obvious, at this point.  I’m not counting what I’ve published here, at WordPress. Because if I did, I’ve published almost 300 times.

I’m discounting that.

Hmmmm. I’m wondering if I’m discounting anything else?

Because, recent data suggests that I can forget things that I’ve done.  By “recent data,” I am referring to my blog post, two days ago, where I forgot that I had actually taken a photo of Carl Yastrzemski, when I was at the 1st game of the World Series, at Boston’s Friendly Fenway Park.

So, let’s see. have I published anything, outside of  these blog posts?

Hmmm. I guess you could say I have.

About 20 years ago, when I was in Social Work school, I wrote a paper about how people with disabilities were portrayed in the media. I interviewed people from a local chapter of (I believe) the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and they asked if they could publish a version of my paper in their national publication. Which they did.

And in years past, if you Googled my name, that article appeared. But I can’t find it now, to check my facts (and support my bragging).

So maybe I’ll see if I can find that article, later.

But in the meantime, it’s a beautiful day!

Which means, I would like to wrap this post up.

Before I do, here’s what feels left undone.

I want to ask  myself another question:

Do I WANT to publish (or do I just think I SHOULD publish)?  (Psssst!  The word “should” can indicate a cognitive distortion.)

Hold on, I’m thinking ….

Here’s the answer.

I do want to publish, if it’s something:

  1. I feel passionately about, and
  2. I think would be helpful to share with others.

So what might that topic be?

I’m interested in communication of all kinds, verbal and nonverbal. Maybe I should write a paper on something like this:

The people in the following image (from a national TV broadcast) are having an experience that most would consider joyful:

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That is, they are attending a World Series Game, where their home team is leading by a score of 8-1, one strike away from victory.  What emotions are they communicating, non-verbally? What are the factors influencing those non-verbal communications, from the stand-point of those sending AND receiving the communications?

That’s definitely an interesting topic.

However, I can think of another topic, that’s probably a better fit for the two criteria I listed above: The therapy groups that I have created and facilitate, where I work.

So I would like to take steps to publish, about those.

One last thing, before I end this post: I believe it helps, once you have identified a goal, to make a commitment for action, ideally witnessed by others.

Therefore, I hereby commit, to my group of WordPress readers, that I will take a measurable step, by the end of this year, to publish about those therapy groups.

Okay!

Thanks to  Dan Shaughnessy (the author of “One Strike Away: The Story of the 1986 Red Sox”), thatcutesite.com,  baby wolves (and other distractions), the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, verbal and non-verbal communicators everywhere, and to you — of course! — for witnessing today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 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 267: Other people’s experience

One of the first “complex” thoughts I can remember having, when I was small, was wondering about other people’s experience.

What would it be like to be her? Or him? Or that person, over there?

If I could magically be transported into another person’s experience, what would the differences be ?  Would it be startlingly different?  Similar?

And I realized, back then, I’ll never know, for sure.

But I’m still curious.

And I’m conscious of that inescapable limitation — of never really knowing another person’s experience — and how it naturally colors everything I perceive.

I’m grateful that I get to witness, every day, people doing the best they can — despite those limitations — to understand somebody else well enough, in order to connect in some way.

Each day, I witness that urge to connect with other people, with other creatures, with some experience of beauty, and with attempts to make meaning.

I experience that here, in the blogosphere, and there, in the non-blogosphere.

Connections.

They help, I think.

Whether it’s connecting because of a beloved local sports figure:

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Or, connecting because of a shared moment of whimsy:

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It helps.

I have no idea who placed that bird on that plant outside my office, but I’m so glad that person is out there (having his or her own experience).

Thanks to Carl Yastrzemski, to fans of all kinds, and to you, for experiencing this post today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 8 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

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