Posts Tagged With: dealing with cognitive distortions

Day 534: True Colors

I just discovered something, which I could characterize as a real problem, causing me worry and anxiety.

All the photos I’ve taken and shown here for three weeks —  since Day 511: All-request Weekend — have the WRONG colors.

How did I find this out?  First,  I noticed that the “revert to original” button was turned on, for a recent photo, even though I didn’t think I had cropped or otherwise altered it in any way.  When I clicked on that button out of curiosity, I saw the photo transformed, for the better. When, I further explored, I discovered the full extent of the problem.

I surmise, at this point, the following:  while I was snapping photos during my adventures in Central Square, Cambridge, I — unaware and accidentally —  pressed something on my iPhone which altered the colors on every photo, from then on.

Realizing that — and I know this is a strong word — horrified me, to think that I could so easily screw things up, for all my photos, and not know.

And as I have restored — in the place where these photos are stored — each image to its true colors, I have seen the full extent of the screw-up. Each one looks so much better  — richer, fuller, livelier, much more beautiful — once I correct for my error.

I shall now state this simply: every friggin’ photo I’ve posted, in the last 23 days, has been notably wrong. And each “wrong” photo is still there, in all those posts.

And here’s the funny thing: When I posted those photos, I was happy with them. And readers have expressed happiness with them, too.

So, what should I do, now that I know the truth about these flawed photos?  How should I react to the knowledge that dozens of photos that I presented to you here  — innocently and with good intent, believing that each was as perfect as possible — actually could be better?

When I discovered the problem, this was my first impulse: I should replace each and every photo with the “correct” version.

Then, I thought … no.  The photos were good enough for me — and, apparently, for my readers — when I posted them.   Why not leave them, as they are?

Perhaps that decision is easier for me for this reason: I’m not a professional photographer, so my sense of self is NOT tied up with photographs.

In any case, here’s the course of action I am choosing:

  1. try to figure out why the heck this started happening
  2.  fix the problem, if I can, and
  3.  make sure the photos I post from now on have their original, full colors.

I confess: I also had a moment where I wondered … should I even tell my readers about this?  Speaking for myself, now that I look back at those photos (which originally seemed good enough to me), they  look … dingy.  Disappointing. Lacking.  Should I keep that to myself, lest others look back and be disappointed, too?

But as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my natural interpersonal style is “transparent.” I feel better, when I tell the truth.

And to keep being transparent, I’ll show you an example of the color difference, with this photo that appeared in a recent blog post. Here’s the “wrong” version, is it appears in that post:


Here’s the photo with the color corrected (by my pressing “revert to original” where the photos are stored):


Again,  photo posted in previous post:


Same photo with true colors:


Another one, posted here:


And with colors restored, correctly:


Arrghh!  For some reason, all the photos with true colors are disoriented like that, when I try to re-post them here. And I can’t seem to fix that, either, no matter how I try.

Time out, for a typical worst fear: Am I losing credibility with you?  Am I seeming less than competent, with all my admitted screw-ups?

I am letting go of those fears, now.

Sometimes,  you know, EVERYTHING seems to go wrong. Last night, while I was driving home from dinner with my son, I got a flat tire.  We got home safe and sound, but I’m still figuring out how to solve that issue, and get to work on time today.

With all these things that are “going wrong,” I now have a calmness and faith that I will figure out ways to resolve each of them, effectively enough.

And what’s the worse that could happen?  Will any harm come to those I love? Will any permanent damage happen to me — with imperfect photos and a spare on my car, that needs changing soon?   I don’t think so.

Who cares, if things aren’t perfect?  Who cares, if I can’t fix these things right now?

Not I.  I hope you don’t care, either.

How should I end this post, about true colors and calmness in the face of problems?

I want to focus on Susan, who also works with me:


I am so pleased to introduce you to Susan (and pleased to announce that I figured out how to fix the color AND the orientation of that Very Important Photo).

Susan, in that perfect-as-can-be picture, is pointing at her final surviving cat, the beautiful black and white one, named “Sweetie.”

Until a few years ago, Sweetie was one of a trio of cats, much beloved by Susan.  Tigger, shown above Sweetie in that photo, died on 12/9/11. Nine months later, Susan lost Lucky (below Sweetie), on 9/12/12.

Here’s another view of Lucky, who was a cantaloupe junkie:


Sweetie is terminally ill now, too. When I’ve been speaking to Susan during this challenging time, she has been telling me incredible stories about how she is being, as much as possible, in the moment with Sweetie, enjoying her good days with her, and observing Sweetie’s quality of life every day, ready to make the difficult decision, when the time comes.

When Susan speaks of the cats she loves and has loved — whether she’s talking about their wonderful vet, or revealing their unusual food loves (Sweetie, in her final days, is still devouring potato salad) — she always shows her true colors, as you can see in that beautiful picture.

Here’s something Susan said to me, yesterday:

Every day with Sweetie is a blessing. I savor every moment.

Many thanks to Susan,  to creatures everywhere who display their true colors no matter what, to those who tolerate unexpected and challenging realities as best they can, to people who solve problems and let go of judgment about their choices,* and to you — of course! — for bringing all your gorgeous colors here, today.

* In calmness, I  have discovered that I accidentally reset the filtering on my iPhone. Correcting this was far easier than I expected.  There will be true colors here, from now on.

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

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