Posts Tagged With: decision making

Day 1814: Recalculating

Since I’ve gotten up this morning, I’ve been recalculating

  • what to name this post,
  • what to write about,
  • how often to check the news today,
  • how many photos to include,
  • ways to facilitate a Yankee Swap at work,
  • what to wear to the work holiday party, and
  • how to introduce this picture:


Sometimes, when I assume there’s a right thing to do (even when I’m not sure what it is) and especially when I hear other people adamantly disagreeing about what that right thing is, I look like Santa and his reindeer on that greeting card. Then, I pick myself up and try again.

Now I’m recalculating how to order the rest of my photos from yesterday.

















As usual, I recalculated the order of those photos several times.

Now I’ll recalculate what YouTube video to include.


It don’t mater if you’ve  lost your way.

It don’t matter, just recalculate.

In a little while you’ll find your way.

It may take a while, you’ll find your way.

Paul Colman


What are you recalculating, here and now?

At the end, I’m recalculating how to express thanks to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — to you.



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

Day 1505: The Year of the ______

It’s very early in this ____ year to know what 2017 is going to be the year of.  Nevertheless, this _____ post is going to give it the old _____ try.

2017, according to the Chinese horoscope, is The Year of the Rooster, also know as The Year of the Cock, Chicken, or Bird.



Because we’re looking for a new place to live in 2017, it’s also The Year of the Real Estate Agent.


That’s the hard-working Jane C. Hoffmann, standing in front of a house in Winthrop.  Jane knows I want 2017 to be The Year of the Water View.



I’m not sure if 2017 is going to be The Year of the Condo or The Year of the House or if it’s going to be The Year of The Winthrop, Quincy, Waltham, Watertown, Wakefield, Belmont, Medford, or Arlington.

I do know that 2017 is going to be The Year of the Heart.


I assume it’s going to be The Year of The Home-Cooked Meal.




It’s probably going to be The Year of the Teabag.


It might be The Year of the Mermaid.


If this year is like recent ones, it’s going to be The Year of The Music That Fits In My Blog.



Because we have two cats, 2017 will be The Year of The Cat.

What do you think 2017 will be the year of?

Every year, for me, is The Year of The Thanks, so thanks to all who helped me create this post and thanks to you — of course! — on this new day of The Year of the ______.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1395: The Choice is Clear

Yesterday, the choice was clear that I needed to take this picture:


It’s clear that nobody should choose to try to clear that  barbed wire fence.  Also,  the choice is clear in the upcoming vote of the next U.S. president.  But is the choice ALWAYS clear?

As I chose to write yesterday, when the choice is NOT clear, that can be painful. This morning, I choose to believe that unclear choices, over time, will become clear enough for me to choose well enough.

The choice is clear! I clearly need to trust my ability to choose, even if it takes me some time to clear my way to the better choice.

If I asked you to choose a favorite from the 30-something other photos I chose to take yesterday, would the choice be clear? And if the choice isn’t clear, what will  you do?









































Yesterday, the choice was clear for me to post that last photo on Facebook with this caption:  “Scarred for life and happy about it.”

Because I’m going to see An American in Paris  in a Boston theater tonight with my friend Barbara, my musical choice is clear today:


If you’ve chosen to read my blog before, it’s clear that I choose to end each post with thanks to all  who help me create it  and to you — of course! — for choosing to join me, here and now.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1394: What drives us

Yesterday morning, I was driven to write a post about my first day of driving after my open heart surgery.

Soon after I drove that post into publication, I noticed my friend Eleanor was wearing a drivingly appropriate t-shirt while she and I were both driving our heart rates up at a cardiac rehab program:


For the rest of the day, I was a woman driven in many directions as I tried to make the drivingly best decision about whether to place a bid on a new home. It drove me crazy as I veered back and forth between “place the bid!” and “wait for another place!”

I don’t know about you, but when I am driven to make a drivingly important decision, I can be driven into paralysis, self-doubt, catastrophizing, polarizing ambivalence, fear, and other things that drive my self-confidence downward.

Why is it that one moment I am drivingly sure that a change is correct and the next moment I am as sure that it is NOT?

Here’s what helped drive me back into peace, yesterday.  Good friends let me know that I didn’t have to drive anywhere that I didn’t feel ready to go.  One of them drove a very helpful point home, with this text message:

I agree with Michael that there is no wrong answer!!! Also there are lots of wonderful houses that come on market every day so if you don’t put in an offer it’s not your only chance to move into a great place. These are things I tell myself when I’m worried about decisions/opportunities!

Here’s something that drives me: wanting the best for myself AND for other people , too.  Balancing my needs with other people’s needs is a driving goal for me, but sometimes it makes driving ahead complicated and challenging. As I drive myself to focus more on MY needs as the driving force behind my decision about placing a bid on the new home, here’s what’s driving my decision to pass on the house — its location is such that I would need to drive to get to stores, scenic areas, and other points of interest. Walking would be difficult because of the house’s location up in some hills. And in case I haven’t driven this point home throughout my blogging years — I am driven by my love of walking to interesting places.

Now that I’ve driven this point and this decision home, this woman driver now feels driven to include the other photos she was driven to capture yesterday:
























I love that statue of U.S. Justice  Louis Brandeis, where he looks like he is driving forward against the wind.

Here‘s another driving song for you all:


I hope this post drives you to leave a comment.

Every day, I am driven to express gratitude to all those who help me drive along this highway of life, which — of course! — includes you.




Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1321: I strongly recommend

In my life, I have encountered many strong recommendations.

These strong recommendations have included the following:

I strongly recommend you get a third litter box for your two cats.

I strongly recommend you bring Oscar to a cat eye specialist because when I look in his eyes, I can’t see the back of his eyes.

I strongly recommend you make an appointment with our cat ophthamologist before you go away on vacation, because she books up way in advance.

I strongly recommend you do not send in financial statements when applying for a student visa.

I strongly recommend you make an appointment for the one-day super priority visa service as soon as possible.

I strongly recommend you use a professional visa service company to help Aaron get his visa.

I strongly recommend  you don’t worry about Aaron getting a student visa in time to start his studies at University of Edinburgh in September.

I strongly recommend you bring your Lasix pills with you to Scotland, in case you eat food that has too much salt.

I strongly recommend that you wear a mask on the plane, since you recently had pneumonia.

I strongly recommend that you choose a more comfortable mask.

I strongly recommend you forget about work when you’re away on vacation.

I strongly recommend that you have heart valve replacement surgery as soon as possible, despite all the conflicting recommendations you’ve gotten from other doctors.

I strongly recommend that you notice that some of those recent strong recommendations contradict other strong recommendations.

I strongly recommend that when people make strong recommendations conflicting with other recommendations or with your own intuition and experience, that you get other recommendations until you feel comfortable.

I strongly recommend that you look at my photos from yesterday:



















I strongly recommend that if you want explanations for any of those photos, that you ask.

I strongly recommend that people listen to the musical Hamilton, because it is awesome.


I  also strongly recommend that everybody balance your needs with other people’s needs, putting your needs somewhat higher.

I strongly recommend that you leave a comment, but only if you feel comfortable.

I strongly recommend gratitude as a great way to end anything, including this post.  So thanks to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for reading  it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1065: Your choice

Yesterday, at the end of a day when I had previously chosen not to take photos, I saw this:


It was my choice to turn my car around and choose that image for today’s post.

“Your choice” triggered lots of associations, including the following (which I choose to share).

I believe it is my choice, every day, to choose:

  • kindness towards others,
  • kindness towards myself,
  • the people in my life,
  • what words I use,
  • the music I hear,
  • the ways I heal,
  • the support I give,
  • the food I eat,
  • appreciation for the present moment,
  • life,
  • hope,
  • reality,
  • acceptance,
  • forgiveness,
  • joy whenever possible,
  • my  post titles, and
  • blogging every day.

After choosing “Your Choice” for today’s image, I also choose these photos:

Now, it’s your choice what choice to choose next.

It’s my choice to thank those who give us room to choose, lights in the darkness, and you — of course! — for your choice to visit here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 228: Self soothing (decisions, decisions)

As I’ve blogged about previously, I tend to look at the Friday of a vacation before I return to work as … The Last Real Vacation Day.

As I’ve blogged about previously, I have trouble making decisions, some times.

So how to spend this day?

I know this: I want to focus on self-care and self-soothing.

Okay!  So now I know what question to ask.

Which self-care option should I choose, on this fine summer day?

  1. Try out my new meditation chair.Image
  2. Go for a walk, somewhere nearby.Image
  3. Take a bath, with something I brought back with me from Edinburgh:Image
  4. Go back to sleep.

So what’s the correct answer?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 1 and 2
  6. 1 and 3
  7. 1 and 4
  8. 2 and 3
  9. 2 and 4
  10. 3 and 4
  11. 1, 2, and 3
  12. 1, 3 and 4
  13. 2, 3, and 4
  14. All of the above
  15. None of the above
  16. Some of the above and others not listed
  17. There is no right or wrong answer

I just realized something. 17 is my lucky number.


Thanks to self-soothers, decision-makers, mathematicians, jet-laggers, and test-takers everywhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

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

Day 122: Progress Report

Here’s a list of some areas where I’ve been making some real progress:

1. Setting priorities.

I’ve been including taking care of myself as an important consideration, when I’m deciding on my next choice, next step,  or next decision (especially when I’m overwhelmed).

Also, I am letting go of some anxiety and fear of consequences when I’m making choices (for example, “If I make this decision, what if it’s the WRONG one?).  That  helps me think more clearly and make more balanced decisions.

2. Being present in the moment.

Letting go of anxiety regarding fear of consequences (see directly above) is helping with that, too. What’s also helping?  The fact that it is so friggin’ beautiful outside right now …


… as Spring has sprung in  Boston.

3. Realizing I have “all the time I need.”  

This really helps me, when I’m overwhelmed. I’ve been having some trouble sleeping lately, so it  is especially helping  me to take my time, be careful, and think. I notice that when I take my time, I get as much done as when I’m rushing (and I make fewer mistakes).

4. Sleeping.

Yes, I see progress there, too. For example, I’ve been falling asleep more easily.  My sleep challenge, lately, has been waking up in the middle of the night, and having trouble getting back to sleep. Last night, though, I did some things differently.  When I woke up (probably around 4 AM), I:

  1. did NOT look at the clock,
  2. noticed my thoughts about what I might blog about today,  but let them go, and
  3. noticed my fears about possible disconnects with people, but let them go, and
  4.  noticed my guilt about things I haven’t gotten done, but let them go.

5. Writing.

Doing this daily blog has helped improve my writing.  Also, it’s helped me tell my story in a “better” (more healing, more clearly, more nuanced, more balanced) way.

6. Self-consciousness.

I’m not as concerned, lately, about what other people think, especially when I’m doing “weird” things, like walking down the street, listening to music and singing. What does “weird” mean to me?  Well, I don’t see too many other people walking and singing out loud.  However — here’s a thought — when I do see other people doing that — I like it!

What’s help me reduce self-consciousness?  Thoughts like that one I just had, above, plus:

  1. Letting go of mind-reading (I don’t know what other people are really thinking)
  2. Realizing that I am neither as important nor as unimportant as I fear (most people aren’t noticing)
  3. Realizing if my worst fear is true (that other people think I’m weird) … SO WHAT?

6. Mistakes.

When I realize that I’ve made a mistake, especially one  that might

  1.  cause a disconnect with somebody else or
  2.  “get me into trouble” (especially at work) ….

… I STILL get a sinking feeling and panic a little. But that panic has been passing more quickly.

Also, I’ve been able to say helpful things to myself quickly, such as

  1. “it’s probably not as bad as you fear,”
  2. “you can probably repair this”, or
  3.  (once a week or so) “SO WHAT?”

Okay, that’s the end of my progress report, for today.

In the therapy groups I do — if it’s appropriate, comfortable, and the group wants to do it — we applaud when somebody reports progress (or doing something new).

applause, please

Are there areas for improvement?  Oh my goodness, yes.  And, originally, when I first start writing this post, I wanted to highlight those.  However, since that list would include

  1. giving myself more credit for what I am doing (rather than focusing on what I’m NOT doing) and
  2. feeling good about my accomplishments (without thinking I’m being too self-absorbed or conceited),

I’m going to bring this post to an end.

If  you want to read more about cognitive distortions, like mind-reading, check this out.

If you want more information about ways to challenge these distortions (including the “So what?” method), see here.

And, as always, thanks for reading, everybody.

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

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