Posts Tagged With: dreams

Day 1771: Approval

I keep reading about “historically low” approval in the news.

In my work as a therapist, I try to help people improve low self approval. Improving low self approval often includes  group therapy, where people realize they are not alone in their unfairly harsh approval of themselves.

Self approval is often improved by

  • self care,
  • connecting,
  • sharing,
  • letting go of shame,
  • acceptance,
  • forgiveness,
  • honoring dreams,
  • identifying an achievable next step, and
  • giving oneself credit for progress, no matter how small.

What helps you improve your self approval?

I suspect there will be some approval of today’s photos.

 

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Is there approval for “Approval” by Brett Max?

 

My dreams include improved self approval for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.  Thanks for your approval!

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1738: Sharing dreams

Yesterday, I was asked to facilitate a group for staff, in addition to my usual Tuesday “Coping and Healing” group.  As usual, I was honored to provide a safe-enough space for people to express themselves and to connect with others in a healing way.

In both of the groups, people discussed the tragic events in the news. In one of the groups, the members decided to share and comment on each other’s recent dreams.  Whenever I work with dreams in a group, I encourage people to respond to other people’s dreams  with “If it were my dream, it might mean ….”  People’s dreams included sacrifice, animals, losing a baby, wandering in an enormous house, being chased, and communicating with dead relatives.  I mentioned that I’d recently dreamed that I was friends with Stephen Colbert.

If it were your dream, what might those dreams mean to you? What dreams have you been having lately?

I snapped only four photos yesterday, two consciously and the other two unconsciously.

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During dark times, try sharing your dreams.

Somebody is sharing dreams on YouTube:

 

Many thanks to you for sharing these dreams with me, here and now.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1502: Opening the heart

I’m going to  open my heart to you, here and now, and tell you about a dream I had last night. In that dream, my open-hearted cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, told me that my new mechanical valve (which I got during open heart surgery in September) wasn’t working correctly and that they were going to have open up my heart again to fix it.

I wonder if that dream about reopening my heart was triggered by this image I saw yesterday morning, at the beginning of a blizzard here in Boston?

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When I saw that opening-the-heart image yesterday morning on my way to work,  it opened my heart in a good way. My heart opened up with appreciation for all those things that are key to opening my heart to love and to new possibilities. And when I  opened my heart (and my iPhone camera) to other images during the day, I continued to think about that first open-hearted image.

As you open your heart to my other photos, do you see any keys to opening the heart in them?

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Today, I’ll be opening my heart to patients on the first Friday I’ve worked since my Open Heart surgery in September. But first, I have to open my heart to cardiac rehab at 7:30 AM.

Do I have time to open our hearts to an Opening-the-Heart song?

As usual, I end every post by opening my heart with gratitude to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for opening your heart to me, today.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1373: Dreams

Yesterday, my  12th day after open heart surgery,  I fell asleep and had a dream of  being lifted suddenly by unseen hands and carried, very rapidly, as I lay flat on my back, through many rooms and hallways. In the dream, I thought, “Oh no!  Ghosts are taking me away!” I screamed in the dream, the dream faded, and I woke up in my  bed at home.

Somewhat of an expert on dreams (because I’m a psychotherapist), I asked myself, “What did that dream mean?” And I realized the dream captured the dreamlike experience  of being wheeled down hospital hallways into  operating rooms, which has happened to me more times than you could possibly dream between the ages of 10 and 63.

Then, I got ready for my dream of a friend, Carol, to pick me up and carry me to my appointment at the Coumadin/Warfarin clinic at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, to find out if I would be able to eat all the foods of my dreams on this new medication.  The nurse there, Kathleen, was a dream, as she allayed my fears and told me I would probably be able to eat whatever I wanted (including chocolate!), as long as I did so consistently.

Then, I told Carol I wanted to drop in on members of my Cardiology Dream Team at Tufts Medical Center, who hadn’t yet seen me since my surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on September 21. I assumed my appearance would exceed their wildest dreams. And while most patients wouldn’t dream of dropping in unexpectedly on their doctors, my cardiologist Dr. Mark Estes has demonstrated (see my previous dreamy blog post here), that he is fine with my doing that.

The next hour was like a dream.  Dr. Mark Estes showed up trailed by five students and told me I looked like a dream — better than he had ever seen me in our decades of working together.  I told Dr. Estes that I might have been dreaming, but I thought I had heard various people at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota state that my heart was in a normal/sinus rhythm after the operation, instead of its usual atrial fibrillation.

Let me explain why my heart going out of atrial fibrillation and into normal/sinus rhythm, even for a limited amount of time, would be a very unlikely dream come true.

  1. My heart went out of normal rhythm and into atrial fibrillation almost exactly three years ago today (described in this here dreamy blog post).
  2. At that time, my doctors agreed it did not make sense for them to try any non-surgical means to return my heart to a normal rhythm, because the atria were so stretched out from my leaky valve that my heart would almost definitely return to a-fib.
  3. When I had my last cardiac procedure in May of 2015, Dr.  Estes told me that my fibrillating atria were even bigger — “the size of a grapefruit, instead of the normal size of a walnut.”
  4.  My other cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem,  had a dream: he hoped that the surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, when performing the open heart surgery twelve days ago to replace my leaky valve, might also use a surgical technique (called the Maze technique) to try to get my heart back into a normal rhythm.
  5. When I discussed that possibility with the Mayo doctors, they all agreed that the added surgical time of two hours was NOT worth the risk, since the chances of any technique returning me to normal rhythm was highly unlikely.
  6. At that point, I let go of the dream of my heart getting out of atrial fibrillation, and instead focused on preparing myself for the heart valve replacement surgery.

So when I told Dr. Estes yesterday that I thought I had heard people at the Mayo Clinic say that I  was out of a-fib after my surgery, he looked like he thought I was dreaming. He said, “Ann, if your heart DID get back  into sinus rhythm post surgery, that would have lasted for a very short time. I am skeptical it happened at all.”

And then everybody  — Dr. Estes, the students, Carol, me, and others — watched yesterday, as if in a dream, as we accessed the data stored in my pacemaker/defibrillator to see what kind of rhythms my dreamy heart had been generating recently, when I’ve been awake and dreaming.

As if in a dream, my dream team cardiologist, Dr. Mark Estes, announced to all of us: “You’re in sinus rhythm.  And you’ve been out of a fib and in normal rhythm consistently since your surgery on September 21.”

I responded, “My boyfriend Michael would call this a Christmas miracle.”  I heard Carol say, dreamily and sweetly, “Today is the Jewish New Year.”  Everybody looked happy, like in a dream or in a special on the Hallmark Movie Channel where the heroine does better than anybody dreamed possible.

How did this better-than-anybody-could-possibly-have-dreamed result occur?  I have a dreamy memory of a discussion, last week, with a Mayo Clinic EKG technician, who told me I was in normal/sinus rhythm when he visited me in the Intensive Care Unit.  Perhaps, we speculated, when they stopped my heart and then restarted it after the open heart surgery, that helped my heart’s rhythm — just how we often fix our phones, computers, and other devices  by turning them off and turning them back on again. Sometimes, the simplest solution works better than our wildest dreams.

After this dream of a visit with Dr. Estes, Carol carried me away in her car and drove me home to my dreamy boyfriend Michael. I told him the good news, as if in a dream. Later, when I shared the good news with my dreamy 18-year-old son, Aaron — far far away in the dreamy land of Scotland — Aaron texted me: “It sounds like a magical fairy wonderland situation over there.”

Magical and MUCH better than the scary dream that started out my dream of a day, yesterday.

I also want to say, at this point in this dreamy post, that it’s very possible that my dream of a heart with its shiny new valve might go back into atrial fibrillation — tomorrow, next week, or some other point in the future.  However, I wouldn’t dream of lowering my heart’s expectations right now — that heart of mine has exceeded everybody’s dreams for sooooooo long.

When I was dreaming under general anesthesia last week at the Mayo Clinic, my surgeon played dreamy music by our favorite saxophonist, the late Michael Brecker. On this dreamy day, 13 days later, here is one of my favorite tunes by Dreams, the 1970s dream team of Michael Brecker, his brother and trumpet-player Randy Brecker, the dreamily fabulous drummer Billy Cobham, dreamy bassist Will Lee, and other dreamily amazing jazz musicians.

 

 

Because my readers appreciate photos I take beyond my wildest dreams, here are all the dreamy images I captured yesterday:

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You know what?  Yesterday still feels like a dream to me ….  too good to be true. And I don’t have any photos showing Dr. Estes, the medical students, Carol, Kathleen the nurse, or any of other people I dreamily wrote about in this post.

So …. maybe it was all a dream?

What do you think, my dreamy readers?

Dreamy thanks to all those who helped me create this dream of a post and to you  — of course! — for whatever dreams you bring, here and now.

Categories: adult congenital heart, celebrating, heart condition, heart surgery, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Day 1179: Mind blowing

Why am I writing a post titled “Mind blowing” today?

Is it because I saw this mind-blowing image yesterday?

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Is it because my mind is easily blown by what I encounter in the here and now, every day of this precious life?

Is it because some readers seemed to find  yesterday’s heart-centered post mind blowing? Sometimes, my mind is blown by other people’s positive and caring reactions.

What are your associations with the words “mind blowing”?

While thoughts are blowing through your mind about all these questions, here are some other mind-blowing sights from yesterday:

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Aren’t all the amazing connections we encounter every day mind blowing?

Mind-blown thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for blowing my mind by visiting this blog, here & now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1050: So So

Yesterday was so great for so, so many reasons.

I had food that was so delicious at a restaurant that was so, so excellent.

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One of those comments is so me and one of them is so Deborah.

So, who is Deborah?  Deborah is my ex-sister-in-law, whom I love soooooo much. (If you so want to see Deborah in some photos from our so recent and so fabulous trip to Edinburgh, it would be so easy to click here).

Deborah is so funny, clever, and lovely in so many ways, that any attempt to capture her so wonderful essence in one so-imperfect blog post is going to fall so short, no matter how long it is.

Here’s a so-fun exchange we had yesterday morning, when Oscar the cat was being so intrusive on my keyboard:

How does 9:30 sound?
It sounds like music to my ears.
You can park in back of our p
ooops!
Oscar sent that message too soon
You can park in back
if you choose

Ahh over eager kitty messaging
Yes. This is a constant issue.
Oscar also writes his own text messages.
Of course, when I wrote that, he stopped.

32S

See you shortly!

Maybe Oscar has others to text with
Oscar’s messages are very mysterious.

See you soon! And I’ll ask Oscar what “32S” means.

Perhaps an exit on 128?

I just looked it up and Oscar is suggesting that we go to the Burlington Mall.

Yes, Oscar is so so present, so so often.

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Deborah is so so talented, she is transforming a small so-so house in nearby Bedford, Massachusetts, into a home that is going to be SO spectacular.

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I find it so amazing that houses can be changed so radically.  That’s because my brain is so adept at imagining change for people, and so bad at visualizing change for inanimate objects. Yesterday, Deborah — who thinks she has a so-so memory — remembered this from so, so long ago:  Soon after we first met, during the 1980’s, Deborah showed me her home and said, “I’m thinking of knocking down this wall.” I was so, so surprised, I said, “You can do that?!?”

Why was this so memorable, for Deborah?  Probably because I’m so different from her, in that way.

So what else do I want to say about “So So,” now?

  • I am so, so happy about somebody I’ve know for so long becoming my co-worker so soon (three weeks from today).
  • I am so familiar with how focus on the future can take me out of being so present in the here and now.
  • I had some dreams last night that were so weird, including one where there were SO many canaries roosting in my home.  I guess if you look at this photo I took so recently, that dream isn’t so surprising:

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Here are two songs I like so so much that I’m hearing  as I write this So So post.

So, my so dear readers, which do you like better? “Moving in Stereo” by the Cars or Miles Davis‘s “So What?” 

Don’t worry about any comment of yours being so-so; I’m so so eager to read what you have to share.

So what’s stopping you?

I am so, so grateful to Deborah,  Cook.,  the cats, the Cars, canaries,  Miles Davis, and so, so many others who help me appreciate every day so so much (which includes you, I so hope you know).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 861: Wildest Dreams

I saw this yesterday, while fulfilling my wildest dreams of spending all of Mother’s  Day with my 17-year-old son, Aaron:

Actually, at the time when I took that Wildest Dreams photo, Aaron was at his weekly keyboard lesson. Nevertheless,  I was still in Wildest Dreams territory:


                

 



         

Which of those photos seems the most Wildest Dreams-like, to you?

Wildest Dreams have been featuring prominently in three TV series I’ve been watching  — Louie, Shark Tank, and Mad Men —  during my recovery from surgery (which might fulfill mine and others’ wildest dreams concerning my wildest and unusual-est heart).

As I’ve been discussing with Aaron and my boyfriend Michael (both of whom often exceed my wildest dreams), the wildest dreams we have while asleep can seem wildly similar to our waking experiences.

For example, while I was sleeping without general anesthesia  during my entire 7- hour operation exactly a week ago, I had a wildest dream that the surgery was not successful. I woke up from that wildest dream to hear my not-so-wild cardiologist Dr. Estes say to me, “Ann, that went about as well as it could have,” which was Dr. Estes’s way of saying

That surgery met my wildest dreams.

Now, we’re all hoping that last week’s surgery grants our wildest dreams of no major heart surgery in my future.  Dr. Estes says there’s at least  a 50-50 chance that those wildest dreams will come true.

I’ll probably find out more about that today, when

  • The surgical staples are removed.
  • We program my new pacemaker/defibrillator for wildest-dream longevity AND quality of life.
  • I return to work, faster than many people’s wildest dreams.

Yesterday evening — on our way to our weekly  routine of dreamy food-shopping —  Michael and I were discussing our wildest dream that Massachusetts would return to wildest-dream spring temperatures,  after a day of near 90 degree heat. Suddenly,  Michael remembered  a wildest dream of his own:

I had a dream I bought tuna at Shaw’s, and it was bad.

How might  you interpret THAT or any of these dream-like photos, which I captured  right after Michael told me that wildest dream?

          

    
  

That last wildest dream image shows Al reenacting  — for my camera — his saying to Michael:

You better take good care of this lady. DON’T LET HER PUSH THAT SHOPPING CART!

Al — who is the cashier of our wildest dreams  — is fulfilling  one of his wildest dreams next weekend, when he attends a Civil War reenactment in Richmond, Virginia.

One more short list of wildest dreams, before I end this Wildest Dreams post. During my week of recovery, I’ve had wildest dreams including:

  1. The voice of my friend Jeanette (who spoke to me on the phone from Philadelphia the night after my surgery) coming out of a microphone that was hanging from a high ceiling and
  2. Encountering my son’s keyboard teacher in a large wood-panelled room that looked like a cross between a library and a college dining hall, where we both wondered whether Aaron would remember to go to his next lesson.

What meaning do you make of any of the wildest dreams in this post? Or, if you include one of YOUR wildest dreams in a comment here, that would meet my wildest dreams.

What wildest dream music might you include, now?

The Moody Blues are are singing about “Your Wildest Dreams” here on YouTube.

Wild and dreamy thanks to all those who contributed to my creating this Wildest Dreams post today and to you — of course! — for fulfilling my wildest dreams by reading it.

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

Day 199: I dared to tweet some tweets

I’ve been tweeting!

That’s something new for me, this year. And starting anything new means excitement and adventure, but also overcoming The Fear of Screwing Up, a/k/a The Fear of Making a Fool of Oneself, a/k/a The Fear of Not Being Good Enough At Whatever The New Thing Is.

I started This Tweet Process two months ago, when I wrote a blog post called “To Tweet Or Not To Tweet (is that the question?” (here). Then, on a day where I wrote about Twitter again, I did venture to tweet, and the tweet was about the very venturing. I chose a literary allusion, harkening back to my English Major days, at an Old Ivy League School:

“Do I dare to eat a peach? No. Tweet? Yes.”

My targeted audience? I guess people who (1) have read T.S. Eliot, (2) have heard that quote, and/or (3) have some opinion about peaches.

The next tweet, three days later, was inspired when a Group Therapy Professional Organization started following me on Twitter. The tweet:

“I used to think that life was always High School, but now I think it’s always Group Therapy. Progress?”

That was also a Tweet Out/Shout Out to my loyal friend, Lawry (who not only attended Junior High School with me, but also the same Old Ivy League School). One day when we were in our 20’s, Lawry, who was having a reaction to some people’s immaturity, said, with disbelief, that it was like we were still in high school! I replied (with the full gravitas of age), “Lawry. Life is always high school.” Lawry loved that quote, which made me feel proud and witty.

So I figured, for that second tweet, I would use something that had worked well in the past (although I wondered whether it had aged as well as both me and Lawry).

My next tweet came three weeks later (the gap due to self-doubt about the merit of the previous tweets and/or my being overwhelmed by other matters.). This tweet was inspired by that day’s blog post, which had referred to having patience while sitting in traffic.

“Sitting in traffic is just like sitting on your living room couch, but with a better view. (Especially if you have cars in your living room.)

That day, I had some visions of becoming some sort of Multi-Social-Media Renaissance Gal, interweaving daily blogs posts and tweets in an intricate tapestry of Internet Interconnectedness.

I guess that vision didn’t stick, because a week went by, and the next tweet was this:

“I’m working too hard, at the hospital where I was born. If it kills me, at least that would be a nice narrative arc.”

As I analyze this today, this tweet seems to combine a kind of Cry For Help with detached irony and that English Major in me. I wrote it on July 4th, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by work (as I wrote about here and here.)

I’ve been working on reducing stress and increasing self care. Working on it, right now.

The next tweet came two weeks later, on a Saturday, where I was taking a breather and eating lunch at a new restaurant, on my own. (I like going to restaurants on my own, which comes in handy in lots of situations.)

When I was in my late 20’s, I had a conversation with a friend about eating in restaurants alone. He said, “Wow! I could never do that. I’d be afraid that people would look at me and think, ‘What a loser!’ I said to him, “What would you think if you saw somebody else in a restaurant eating alone?” He said, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe, that they were a food critic, or somebody who had a really interesting life, who has to travel a lot for business …..” He stopped, startled. I said, “See?” (This may be the first instance of my using The Double Standard Method to help change somebody’s self-judgment.) (See here for that antidote, among others, for Cognitive Distortions.)

Anyway, where was I, before the digression in italics? Oh, yes, my tweet, last weekend, as I was sitting in a restaurant, by myself, hungry, blowing on the too-hot food, waiting for it to cool down:

“Something I never see on “Chopped” or “MasterChef”: tasters needing the food to cool down first. Do food judges have asbestos mouths?”

What I notice about that tweet, right now (besides the possibly misplaced “:”): I was wondering, at the time, whether other people blow on their food to cool it down or whether that was something “weird” or “uncouth” of me. (Arrghh! All those self-judgmental, doubting thoughts!)

Also, I watch a lot of cooking shows with my bf, who was a professional cook for many years.

OMG! Here’s something else I’m noticing about that tweet, RIGHT NOW. MasterChef re-tweeted that tweet! I had no idea. My first re-tweet, and a celebrity one, no less!

Where was I, after that exciting discovery/digression? Oh, yes, my chronological list of Ann’s Tweets. (It’s coming to an end, dear reader. I promise.)

After a 3-day Twitter Break, I had a burst of three tweets in one day! That was yesterday. I must have been feeling more confident/not caring about Tweet Perfection.

Tweet # 1, in the morning:

What happens when you put the earphone labelled “L” in your right ear and vice versa? Does your brain get scrambled?”

I tweeted that because I was preparing for my daily dose of Personal Medicine — my walk-to-work-while-listening-to-music, making sure that I was putting my headphones on the “right way,” and then asking, “Why?”

Another note about that last tweet: Beth, a wonderful woman from my high school, answered it, on Facebook, like so: “Maybe it comes out as Hebrew!” I thought that was hilarious.*

Tweet #2, on my way home from a long-overdue therapy appointment:

Everything we do is a rehearsal for something else we’ll be doing in the future. And there’s only one closing performance.

More background about that one: I’m in the middle of helping to plan a 43rd year high school reunion (which is coming up this Saturday). It’s not going perfectly, of course, and it sometimes helps me to think of this (as well as many other things) as a rehearsal for the next one.

One more thought about that tweet: as my dear friend Maria pointed out to me, when we were in our 20’s, I think about death a lot (which is becoming more age appropriate, all the time).

Tweet #3 (and the final tweet of this post, ladies and gentlemen) was inspired, last night, by this beautiful conure, at a local pet store, whose eyes were twitching as it was sleeping:

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“Since humans dream of flying, maybe birds dream of driving a car.”

One last thing: My also beautiful (in many ways) ex-sister-in-law, Deborah, answered back to that one on Facebook: “maybe riding a bike.” I wrote back, “The ecologically aware ones, yes.”

Okay, that wraps up this post for today. May we all dare to tweet some tweets, speak our minds, make some jokes, and eat at a restaurant by ourselves!

Thanks, everybody.

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* English is written left to right; Hebrew, right to left.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 186: Watch out

I have a large collection of unusual and inexpensive watches. I started this collection over 35 years ago.

The collection got much larger when eBay came along — when it became much easier to find watches that fit my Collecting Criteria.

The number of watches I collected got a little scary. Actually, the number didn’t scare me, but I noticed that people had a reaction to that number — which looked a little like fear but might have just been surprise — when I would ask them to guess:

How many watches do you think I have?

People would always guess much lower than the actual number, even though I would explain — just as I did above — that I liked to collect these and that they were very accessible through eBay.

Collecting these watches definitely met some sort of need. I guess any kind of collecting behavior can seem like a compulsion. It didn’t feel like a compulsion; but I did spend a fair amount of time looking for watches, deciding about them, and adding new ones to my collection. It was fun.

Was it a habit? An addiction?

I’m reminded of a joke:

I may be addicted to drinking brake fluid, but I can stop at any time.

I kept collecting watches, for many years, growing my collection. And I did have Too Many watches to keep track of, to wear, and — especially — to keep supplied with fresh batteries.

But it was an enjoyable and harmless distraction, and I had some very cool watches. So I kept collecting.

Except one day, I stopped.

I stopped after I had a dream. In that dream, I was wearing a watch and the watch turned into a cardiac pacemaker.

And I woke up from that dream and said, “Duh.”

“Duh,” as in, “Wow. That makes a lot of sense.”

Here’s why:

I got my first cardiac pacemaker implanted when I was 10 years old. I had no choice over the matter. I will be dependent upon a pacemaker until I die. I have no control over all that.

I can tell the story of Ann and Her Pacemaker in lots of different ways.

Triumphant: I am the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker!*

Painful: I wasn’t prepared very well, before I got my first pacemaker at age 10. I spent a lot of time — some of it alone and scared — in the hospital.

The stories we tell can be a way of getting control over things.

Collecting watches was another way, for me.

Pacemakers and watches have a lot in common. They both are man-made devices that people wear. They are devices designed to measure and mark time, in an important way. As a matter of fact, all the pacemakers I got, until I was well into my 30’s, had a fixed rate. That is, they would produce the same number of beats per minute, every minute, until they ran down. The main difference between those pacemakers and a watch: my pacemakers were set for 70 beats for minute, instead of 60.

Anyway, once I realized WHY I was collecting watches — in a new and deeper way — I stopped needing to collect them. I’ve bought a watch or two since then, but very rarely.

I mean, I have enough watches, people.

Before I end this post, I wanted to share one of my favorite watches with you:

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I got this watch on eBay, many years ago, when it came up in my saved search “unusual watches.”

This watch was developed by a woman who worked with kids who had cancer. In the eBay listing, she told the story of how she was working with a little boy who was having trouble expressing his fear of dealing with the diagnosis and the necessary procedures. On an impulse, she drew the picture of the character, whom she dubbed, “Scared Guy.” Scared Guy helped the little boy talk about his fear.

She later turned “Scared Guy” into a charitable enterprise, and she created and offered merchandise — including watches — using that character she drew for the little boy. The proceeds either went to supporting cancer research or other aspects of work with children who had cancer — I can’t remember, exactly.

I would give you more details about “Scared Guy ™” but I can’t find anything listed on the internet this morning. I do have the original watch box somewhere, which would tell me more, but I’m not looking for that right now.

I don’t have the time.

I have to get ready to go into the hospital, where I work.

And, I confess, I’m kind of a Scared Guy, today.

Why? There will be very few people around today, at the hospital where I work, because it’s the day after the July 4th holiday. I’m the only one there who has certain responsibilities. I may need to do some difficult and new things.

It’s a little too close, for comfort, to the old story I tell about my childhood, where I’m in a hospital, feeling alone, lost, and confused.

However, there are lots of differences today.

For one, I’ll be wearing that watch.

Thanks for being here, and reading, today.


* In 2014, I found out that I am NOT the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker.  See this post for more about that.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 168: A dream of dancing

In Day 148: Dreams I Have Known, I wrote about a dream where I knew I was asleep and dreaming, didn’t like the feeling, and tried to wake up, fighting the typical “dream paralysis.”

Last night, I had a dream that started that same way: that is, I had just fallen asleep and I knew I was dreaming. Usually I don’t like those early-sleep dreams, because I often have a sense of discomfort or foreboding … like there is some danger present. Last night, I didn’t fight the dream or try to wake up, and it quickly shifted into something else. I was in a room that was like a big studio, with mirrors on the walls. I could see myself, and I decided to try some dance moves. Specifically, I wanted to kick my legs way up, to a full extension. Something like this:

kimeneslatteryching

Or this:

Micah kick

And I could see myself, and that reflected image looked like me and dressed like me, and — lo and behold — I could do those kicks.

It was great.

I woke up and I thought, “I want to remember that dream. And I want to blog about it tomorrow.”

I did and I am.

I’m enjoying the memory of that dream, right now. It was fun, freeing, and effortless. I felt graceful and centered. I was surprised by my skill and knew that it was the Dream Me, but the movement and expression seemed to come out of the Real Me.

While I might not be able to kick exactly the way I did in that dream, I know I can kick — in other ways — in real life.

Thanks for kicking back with me, here and now.

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

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