Posts Tagged With: dealing with change

Day 1169: Grumpy

I have many reasons to be grumpy right now, including the following:

  1. I’m always grumpy immediately after a time change,
  2. I’m wearing a new dental device to treat my sleep apnea, which puts my jaw out of joint (temporarily) overnight,
  3. my only child– who’ll be graduating high school in June — will be leaving home very soon,
  4. our cat Oscar likes to bite me in the mornings,
  5. I ate way too much fat and sugar yesterday,
  6. I discovered that the whiteboard at my new office in Newton had fallen down,
  7. when we were moving the desk for my new office, one of the legs fell off,
  8. my son and I visited a make-your-own-Sundae place near where I grew up, which made me miss my late mother,
  9. I didn’t have any time alone yesterday to relax, and
  10. my empathy makes me join with any grumpy creatures around me.

What makes you grumpy?

Of course, I have many reasons not to be grumpy today, including the fact that I have lots of new pictures to show you.

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I am inspired by the cool fish in that last photo to let go of all remaining grumpiness with a song:

Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s grumpy post and to you — of course! — no matter how grumpy you’re feeling, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 67 Comments

Day 1051: Who loves ___?

Who loves the title of this post?

Who loves an explanation of what inspired “Who loves ___?”

This lovely morning, as I was thinking about writing a post about anger (and who loves anger?), my boyfriend Michael (who loves me) said, “Oscar loves you.”

Who loves Oscar?

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Who loves change?  Who loves unexpected change?  Who loves changes in WordPress, this morning?

Who loves these photos?

Who loves expressing love?

 

Who loves music?

 

Who loves this post?

Who loves the way I always express gratitude at the end of my daily posts?

Who loves Michael, Oscar, taking pictures, music, being a psychotherapist, today’s changes to WordPress, and you?  I do.

Categories: inspiration, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1035: Change

While I’ve written posts with “change” in the title before (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), I’ve never created a post simply called “Change.”

Today, that’s going to change.

It’s appropriate that change is happening today, because:

  • while I was asleep last night, there was a time change,
  • I’m hoping for a major change at work,
  • I’m taking a break this weekend from my job, where I help people make positive change,
  • my son Aaron submitted his first college application yesterday, which may change his life,
  • in my own therapy, I’m working on change,
  • as my boyfriend Michael wrote to me over five years ago (before the day we made the change to meet in person), “Things just change, regardless. No static spot to stand on this planet, that’s for sure.”
  • yesterday I saw a terrific play about change with my beloved friend, Barbara,
  • my sister recently changed where she lives and I’ll be seeing her new home for the first time today,
  • to visit my sister, I’ll need change for a toll bridge, and
  • I have pictures about “change” to share, for a change.

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Here are more quotes about change:

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
– George Bernard Shaw

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
– Victor Frankl

Change before you have to.
– Jack Welch

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
– Margaret Mead

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.
– Nathaniel Branden

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.
– Keri Russell

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.
– Hugh Prather

Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
– Steve Jobs

I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.
– Gillian Anderson

For a change, Michael and I were talking about Gillian Anderson and The X-Files last night. We couldn’t change each other’s mind about which X-Files episode was the creepiest.

It’s time to change the mood of this post with some music. Michael loves David Bowie and I love Stephen Stills, so here are changes from both of them:

Thanks to all who helped me create this post about change and to you — of course! — for the change you bring, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1026: Unfamiliar Territory

This title represents unfamiliar territory for this blog — I’ve never written about “Unfamiliar Territory” before.

However, this topic is familiar territory for me and for the people who see me for individual or group therapy.

People often choose to venture into the unfamiliar territory of psychotherapy when they  encounter:

  • the loss of somebody important,
  • a change in financial circumstances,
  • a new job situation,
  • an illness, and
  • other unfamiliar territory in their lives.

My job is to make the unfamiliar territory of psychotherapy as safe as possible, so people can explore and move through these unfamiliar and unexpected territories.

How else might we explore the unfamiliar territory of this post?

Here’s some unfamiliar territory I captured yesterday, on my iPhone.

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I  saw that unfamiliar license plate as I drove through familiar territory a week before Halloween. Sometimes, unfamiliar territory yields unexpected treats.

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Some people, when in unfamiliar territory, label themselves “selfish,”  entering the familiar territory of shame.  I often suggest that people leave that familiar territory and enter the unfamiliar territory of Self Care.

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This peanut butter substitute is very familiar to me — it lives in the familiar territory of my office. Healthy nourishment can sustain us through unfamiliar territory.

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I drew the familiar covers of some  books,  during a therapy group that focused on escaping from and into unfamiliar territory.

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I rapidly snapped my Carl Jung action figure — which was unfamiliar territory for some people in my office yesterday — because somebody said,  “There should be an Ann Koplow action figure!”  Compliments can be unfamiliar territory for people, but they are definitely worth exploring.

Here’s some probably unfamiliar musical territory, which is very familiar to me:

Stephen Stills and Eric Clapton newly explore the familiar territory of home in “Go Back Home.”

Here’s some familiar territory for me: I wonder if I’d be invited into the unfamiliar territory of “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress if I stopped including musical territories in my posts?

Please make the unfamiliar territory below this post more familiar, by sharing any thoughts you might have about “Unfamiliar Territory.”

Those of you familiar with this blog know I end each unfamiliar post with gratitude to those who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for reading, here and now.

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

Day 914: What the hell is happening?

Last night, at a therapy group, people expressed fear, confusion, and concern about things they experienced around them.

Somebody asked, “What the hell is happening?” and that became the topic of

  • the group exercise and
  • today’s post.

What the hell is happening, in these photos?



   

  
  
  
  


  


  
  
  

  

What the hell is happening, here,  in the song “For What It’s Worth” by the Buffalo Springfield?

What the hell is happening where you are?

What the hell? I’m very thankful to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 875: Identification

Now that I have a new medical device (implanted a few weeks ago), I need to identify myself to others that way, for my own safety. Here’s the temporary identification (ID) card I now carry with me, at all times:

That temporary identification card identifies me as having an Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD). The manual they gave me at my identified hospital identifies me as having a CRT-D (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillator):

For the past 52 years, since the age of 10, I’ve identified myself as having a pacemaker. Part of my identification as a writer at WordPress is reminding people that adjusting to change — including a new identification — takes time. I am reminding myself, now, that it may be a while before I easily use the identifications ICD or CRT-D, about myself.

Part of my identification as a blogger at WordPress is taking photos that focus on different types of identification, like yesterday:                                   

That last photo identifies the reality that identification can sometimes be … confusing. I shall now identify my main question about that: How can one product be unreal AND 100% real at the same time?

If you can identify an answer to that (or anything else), I hope you identify yourself in a comment.

You may have identified — from my previous posts — that my identity also includes sharing music which identifies well enough with the topic. I’ll identify, right now, that I’m having trouble ID-ing an appropriate musical identification today.

What identification song might you identify, for this post?

Well, part of my self-identification, as a human being, is loving the music from West Side Story. Last night, as I was falling asleep, the Boston classical radio station (identified by the call letters WCRB-FM) played Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from that musical:

How would you identify your reaction to that?

A little more identification before I identify the end of this post … I just snapped these identifying pictures of Harley:

  

Michael (whom I identify as my boyfriend) said, “Harley likes to look out the window and watch the world go by.”

Personally, I think Harley is trying to ID some birds.

I shall now identify and thank — for helping me create this Identification post — pacemakers, ICDs, CRT-Ds, Dr. Estes, Belmont Massachusetts, Captain Stephen Frost, pleasant streets everywhere, those who put smiles on others’ faces, unidentified establishments, dogs of any kind, people who see-saw, tennis players, Star Market, flowers,  the real and the unreal, West Side Story, WCRB, Leonard Bernstein,  Harley, birds, Michael, and you — of course! — for identifying with me today, in any way.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 757: Serenely blizzarding

Here’s an exchange I had with my boyfriend, a little while ago:

Me: Michael! Is the house still standing?  What’s it like out there?

Michael: Yes, Ann. It’s serenely blizzarding.

Soon after that, I checked things out for myself. As far as I can tell, Michael is right.

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Now, what to do with all my serenely blizzarding thoughts, to create a post for me and you?

I know. I’ll share a blizzard of images and experiences, from yesterday and this morning.

Yesterday, a lot of people cancelled their therapy appointments at work.  The first person who showed up in my office paused — in the midst of a blizzard of feelings and thoughts — and serenely said, “Look what your computer monitor is sitting on.”

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Somehow, I’ve been blinded, for three years, from really seeing that ream of white paper.

Later in the day, somebody else worked on seeing through and reducing a blizzard of regrets from a change not chosen.

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Most people in Boston left work early, in preparation for the coming storm.  I heard a not-so-serene blizzard of concerns about traffic, so I waited until almost everybody else was gone. Here’s what I saw on my way to my car:

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The ride home was serene, with no external blizzarding. Here’s what I found, once I reached home:

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I’m interested in what you might see here, among all this serene blizzarding.

Here’s everything you need to know about some music that blizzarded serenely through my headphones yesterday:

“Everybody’s Party,” performed live in serene-blizzard style by John Scofield and Pat Metheny, is found here on YouTube.

I shall now deal with my serene blizzard of thoughts about the permanency/effects of (1) the blizzard outside and (2) YouTube videos in these posts, by showing you one more photo …

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… and by including another serene-enough blizzard of a song.

The Bangles do that great live cover of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Hazy Shade of Winterhere on YouTube. Here are the originals:

It’s time, time, time for me to end this post.

What do you think about all this serene blizzarding?  Feel free to leave a blizzard of comments; that would be serenely cool.

A serene blizzard of thanks to Michael, the people I saw yesterday, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, the Bangles, Simon & Garfunkel, and you for making my blizzard more serene, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 731: Small change

I think a lot about change because

  1. I’m a psychotherapist (so change is my business),
  2. three years ago, I was hired at a large Primary Care Practice of a major Boston teaching hospital to be a “Change Agent” (introducing more group work and more in-the-moment responsiveness to patients in emotional distress),
  3.  changes we choose can feel a lot different from changes that are thrust upon us,
  4. change is a part of growth and healing,
  5. noticable change — even good change — often evokes resistance in others,
  6. change is scary for many human beings,
  7. small changes  can seem invisible, trivial, and unimportant, and
  8. I’ve witnessed enormous changes starting with one, small change.

I think about change SO much,  that the small change list above could be much, much larger. However, I’d like to change this post into a more visual one, now.

Today, on the first day of the new year, I’m considering this small change:

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Changing my profile picture, here at WordPress.

Now, you have to admit that’s a REALLY small, unimportant change — totally undeserving of a dramatic reveal like that, or of much time spent by you OR me.

Nevertheless, this is exactly how I choose to spend my first moments of 2015, here at WordPress.

Here are some candidates, for that particular change:

#1:

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That’s Jane Austen, still my favorite writer after all these years, who appeared in this recent post I wrote, which — I think — has already created observable changes in me.

#2:

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That’s one of my favorite T-shirts, from one of my favorite diners, which has appeared in several important (to me) “Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally” posts (including this, this, this, this, this, and that).

#3:

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It’s another t-shirt, which I created a few years ago because I (and many experts) honestly believed  I was the longest surviving person in the entire world with a cardiac pacemaker.  I don’t wear that t-shirt any more. Why?  Because, somebody — who found this blog and who got her first pacemaker before I got my first one in 1963 — contacted me. So,  I changed about that, too.

#4:

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That image appeared in this post, a year and a half ago. I found it, just now, by searching the word “chocolate” through all 730 of my previous, daily posts.  Would anybody like to guess what number of posts that was?  Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing about any of all that.

#5:

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That was my profile photo from my first year of blogging. Returning to that might seem like the opposite of progress, but as I’ve described here, here,  and elsewhere, we cycle through changes in our lives, often going over similar territory (but always moving up and onward).

#6:

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That’s a nice photo, but it’s not me. Also, it’s never appeared in this blog before. It’s just a picture I saved a while ago before I got my hair cut by the fabulous Mia (previously appearing in this blog — according to my search  for “Mia”– here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

#7:

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That IS me, and it continues (while also substantially changing) some personal visual mysteries I’ve created so far,  in this blog.  But that’s a little scary for a profile picture, isn’t it?  I hope I didn’t scare my then 15-year-old son Aaron — who was in the emergency room with a collapsed lung — by looking like that while I was with him there, back in June 2013. By the way, that black cat around my neck is a gift from my guy/boyfriend/partner/whatever-you-want-to-call-him, Michael.

#8:

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That’s similar to my current profile picture, with two obvious changes — the tiger is wearing a hat and NOT wearing glasses (which I do need, to see clearly). I should also confess this: I’m not wearing that hat these days.

#9:

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That photo continues the tiger theme, plus it shows two puppets very important to me, one I’ve had since I was a little girl. I inadvertently changed the larger puppet (named “Tiger”) when I placed his head on a lightbulb, so he could listen to me practice piano, many years ago.

#10:

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I think this photo probably appeared in this previous blog post and it was drawn by my longtime friend Ada (appearing in the comment section of this non-trivial blog post and this one, too, among other places), decades ago.  I wouldn’t change a thing about Ada or that drawing.

There are many more profile-picture possibilities I could write about, including

  • sticking with my current glasses-wearing tiger,
  • changing to any of the hundreds of photos appearing in this blog previously, or
  • changing to one of the images I captured since writing yesterday’s post:

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… but I’d like to end this post so I can be ready for today’s resumption of that trivial pursuit game pictured above, with Aaron and Michael.

What changes are important to you, here and now?

I suppose I should make one final change to this post, by adding some music about change.

(“A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke found here, on YouTube.)

Thanks to all who go through changes every day, including you, y’know.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 528: Transported (random thoughts and shots)

I became aware of a theme of “transported” as I moved through yesterday.

On the way to work, I noticed …

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When I got to work, I did a group, where we talked about many things, including modes of transportation.

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Then, I was transported, by car, to yet another dental appointment. I was scheduled for my 3-month teeth-cleaning, but I had lost track of that as the reason for the appointment. And, I could not get my teeth cleaned, yesterday, because I hadn’t been pre-medicated with antibiotics. However, I was very glad to be there, because I’ve had a toothache for about a week.

Michel, the dental hygienist there, was glad to see me, too.  She transported me with her kindness and great stories  — including how an adolescent Michel, who did not want braces or glasses but got them both at the same time, proceeded to (1)  lose her glasses and (2) remove her braces with a pair of pliers.

Here’s the not-quite-as-rebellious Michel:

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Note that:

  • there are many photos of dogs on the wall, which reminds me of my doctor’s office (although all the photos there are of one dog).
  • Michel (and my dentist, Dr. Luis Del Castillo) carefully explored the cause of my toothache, which turned out to be a chip in a filling.
  • Michel is still assertive, these days. For example, she does not like having her picture taken.

After the dental appointment (and rescheduling the cleaning*) I was transported back to my car, through the Public Gardens:

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I went home, to boyfriend Michael and son Aaron.  Soon, I discovered that Aaron had received a lead role in a local production. That was transporting, in a different way.

Later, I saw this being transported:

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I remarked to Michael — on our last evening before he leaves, today, for a work-week away from us — that I was surprised anybody needed THAT much of that particular product.

Which reminds me of something else written on my work whiteboard, earlier yesterday:

“There’s never enough.”

Thanks to Michel (and others on my medical/dental team),  to Michael and Aaron, to all those who are transported (or transporting) in any way, to rebels everywhere, to people who are coping and healing as best they can, and to you — of course! — for transporting yourself here, today.


* From now on, I won’t be getting antibiotics intravenously before a teeth cleaning AND the cleanings will be once every four months (instead of three months).  My medical/dental team believes oral antibiotics and this frequency will be enough to prevent any re-occurrence of endocarditis. I find all that transporting, too.

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

Day 501: Small change

Readers may think the title of this post –“Small change” — relates to a fear I blogged about last week:

Quarterlessness-o-phobia, the fear of not having the correct change.

It doesn’t.

Two days ago, in Random Numbers, I speculated I might be returning to work today.

I’m not.

There has been a small change in that plan.  The revised Estimated Time of (Work) Arrival is Monday.

Regular readers might assume THAT change is related to a change in my recovery rate, from illness.

It’s not.

It has to do with red tape.

Readers unfamiliar with the term “red tape” might now be picturing something like this:

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(I found that image here)

I’d like to make a small change in that image, like so:

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(image found here)

 

Red tape is an idiom that refers to excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making. It is usually applied to governmentscorporations, and other large organizations.

Wikipedia entry for “red tape”

I need to have a meeting with Employee Health, at work, before I can return.

The language of that Wikipedia definition is somewhat judgmental, especially

excessive

rigid conformity

redundant

hinders or prevents

With that language, plus the image I chose above, you might well assume that my facial expression — and feeling — is down, right now.

Actually, I’m neither down nor up.  To the best of my ability, I am letting go of anxiety, expectations, and my own assumptions about changes ahead.

Here’s a wish, for myself:

I wish, when I return to work, that all changes — both within and beyond my control — will appear small and manageable.

I like that wish. However, let’s make a small change in that, too:

I wish, from now on, that all changes — both within and beyond my control — will appear small and manageable. 

I love that wish. I wish I had my magic wand with me, to give that wish more power.

I don’t.  The wand is at work.  I’ll have to wait until Monday to see it again.

Hold on!  I’d like to make a small change in my wish assumptions, here.  Maybe the image of that wand …

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… is enough.

Before I end this post, I’d like to show you recent photos of change, nearby. Nine days ago, I showed you this:

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Yesterday, I took a photo at the same spot:

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We could judge those changes.  We could miss what’s no longer there.

We could see what’s there, with new eyes.

Yesterday, with a  small change in location …

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… I saw new things.

Thanks to those who change their perspectives in any way,  to tape of any color, to magic wands, to people at work, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

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

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