Posts Tagged With: dealing with disappointment

Day 1219: Tone

Try to imagine my tone of voice as I say any of the following statements:

Every year, I wait for the arrival of spring.

Spring is my favorite time of year.

I LOVE walking outside in sunny weather, feasting my eyes on the flowering trees and all the other brilliant colors of spring.

For years, I’ve done all I can do to take a week off from work in spring to enjoy the blossoming colors after the long Boston winter.

Last year, the local weather in May was predictably beautiful, but I had heart-related surgery during my week off, so I couldn’t really enjoy it.

Two years ago, I had pneumonia during April and May.

This year, I need to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the end of May to consult with a cardiologist.

I was afraid that trip to the Mayo Clinic might prevent my taking off a week earlier in May to enjoy Boston’s spring weather.

However,  I was able to take two weeks off from work in May this year.

It was gloriously sunny on the first day of my May-stay-cation

Since then, it has been rainy and cold.

I just looked at the forecast for the rest of the week AND THERE IS NO SUN OR WARMTH IN THE FORECAST.

What is the tone of this post, so far?

Yesterday, while it was rainy and cold, I met up with my friend Tony, whom I often  affectionally call “Tone.”


Tony and have known each other for forty years!!!!!!! We’ve experienced many tones of life, along the way.

I say this with no tone of irony, sarcasm, or fear of being contradicted by him: Tone and I are BFFs (Best Friends Forever, Tony, in case you don’t know what that means).

I remember writing something to Tony, years ago, that began like so:

Tony! Toni! Tone!

Here‘s the band Tony! Toni! Toné! performing a relevant song:

It never rains in Southern California, but I’m here in rainy Boston, now, which gives me the opportunity to practice all the beautiful tones of forgiveness, patience, acceptance, and appreciation of what is, in every moment.

What tones do you see in the other photos I took yesterday?



Here’s the tone of my current thinking: What will be the tone of the comments I receive for today’s blog?

Many thanks to all the Tones that contributed to this post and to you — of course! — no matter what tones surround you.

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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.








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 549: Things that make me go “grrrrr”

Hundreds of posts ago, I wrote Day 75:  Things that make me go _____.” That post included things that make me go


(image found here)

and things that make me go



(image found here)

Absent from that emotionally oriented post were things that make me go “grrrrr.”

Let’s remedy that now, shall we?


Things That Make Me Go “Grrrrrr”

1.  Unexpected, seemingly arbitrary changes.

I like to think of myself as somebody who can welcome and embrace change. However, if a change is

  • unexpected,
  • forced upon me and
  • worsens my experience,

my response is


(Image found here)

Recent examples of this?  New, unexpected versions of Spotify (my choice for playing music on my iPhone) and WordPress (my choice for blogging), which have disoriented me and worsened my experience.  As a result, I’ve needed to take extra time and care, constructing work-arounds to get my musical and blogging needs met.



2. Broken promises (especially unsolicited ones).

Promises made + promises unfulfilled = disappointment

Personally, I especially go


(image found here)

…. if the promise was something I did not ask for. My growls get fiercer and louder if somebody elicits a need in me, then leaves me hanging.

I’ll give you an example.  Last year, somebody at work volunteered to make me a CD of Kurt Elling tunes,  because we both like that singer.  This person, who was just an acquaintance,  insisted they wanted to do it.  And they never did.  And that made me go


to a rather puzzling degree.

I don’t know why I had that reaction. I could have framed the situation in a more helpful way, like

  1. appreciating the person’s wish to connect,
  2. recognizing that other things got in the way, and
  3. letting it go.

But, for a long time, I didn’t. Instead, I kept growling (instead of growing).

Recently, I had the same experience — unsolicited disappointment — on a grander scale. And this morning, I’m still growling.

I’m not sure why I get so upset when the unfulfilled promise is something initiated by somebody else.

It might be related to my having trouble asking for what I need. I mean, it’s bad enough asking for something and then not getting it. The last thing I want, apparently, is somebody creating a need I didn’t even know I had, and then dashing THAT, too.

3.  Carelessness.

Yesterday, I had a jam-packed, pinpoint-timing day, where I

  • did a full morning of work (individual and group therapy),
  • went to a hospital to get an IV of antibiotics,
  • got a filling fixed and a teeth cleaning at the dentist, and
  • drove my son to a play rehearsal

and all before 5 PM!

I got all these things done, in reasonable time, despite

  • pre-July 4th preparations in Boston, affecting traffic and
  • no parking spaces, due to the filming of a movie starring


(image found here).

Instead of focusing on all the successes of that day, I kept thinking about one thing: While I was eating the food they gave me at the IV infusion center


… I spilled some salad dressing on my skirt.




I realize this, now. Instead of being angry at my own carelessness, and picturing that stain for the rest of the day, I could have focused on a more helpful image, from around the same time:


That’s Angela, who was my IV nurse yesterday.  When I admired her very cool snake earrings, she told me that snakes

  • have been her totem animal, since she was 10 years old,
  • connect her with all the mother goddesses of the world (since they all carry snakes),
  • indicate change,
  • suddenly showed up, in a group of 7, when her husband was very ill, and
  •  have nested in every house she’s lived in.

Angela, if you’re reading this, thanks for the snakes (and for the IV, too).    They all helped, yesterday.

Okay!  One more thing that makes me go “grrrrrrr” (and hiss) ….

4.  Not getting enough sleep or food.

Last night, I woke up at 3:30 AM. My thoughts and feelings went many places, including here:


As a result, I had trouble falling back asleep.

Lack of sleep and food can definitely increase anger, don’t you think? I can’t do anything about the sleep, right now, but I can help myself to some leftovers from Tuesday’s dinner (courtesy of bf Michael):


Somehow, I’m feeling much better than I did when I started this post.

Before I end, I’d like to continue the feel-good trend, by asking you two fun questions: Which photo in this post is your favorite?  Which one do you think is mine?

Thanks to Felix the cat, Johnny Depp the actor, Angela the IV nurse,  and Michael the boyfriend; to tigers, snakes, and other fierce creatures; to those who cry, laugh, and have all their feelings; and to you — of course! — for whatever sounds you’re making today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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