What’s in store for this blog post? The usual new photos stored on my iPhone, some thoughts and feelings being stored in the here and now, and music that’s stored on YouTube.
What in store for the next four years? What’s in store for this moment? What’s in store for the moment after that? Only everything.
People in my therapy group yesterday did not know what topic was in store for them, until we decided to write and draw about the concept of “home.”
This present was in store for me at work:
All these things were in store for me during the rest of the day:
I didn’t know tears were in store for me, but here I am, crying, as I create this post. Those tears were probably stored up from my recent open heart surgery, the additional surgery I had to undergo soon after that because of a recalled pacemaker battery, and the U.S. election.
The message that was stored on the teabag that was in store for me last night stores the truth:
By listening you comfort me.
Here‘s the music in store today (which I listened to twice, yesterday, for comfort):
I wonder what comments are in store for me?
Stored up thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — whose appreciated presence was a present in store for me today.
What kind of tea bag would tell you to practice kind listening and kind speaking?
A kind and practical one.
I try to practice kind listening and kind speaking in my job as a group and individual therapist. I think kind speaking is the finest kind and so is kind listening, although I wonder if people can tell I’m listening kindly.
Yesterday, I announced at a team meeting at work that this is my last week before my six-week medical leave, and people there listened and spoke kindly, which made me cry. That reminds me of a post I wrote my first year of blogging, very soon after the Boston Marathon bombing, called Kindness can make me cry, even harder.If you like reading that kind of post, please be kind enough to click on the link in the previous sentence.
During a day of kind listening and kind speaking, I took these kinds of photos:
Because my friend Deb was kind enough to give me a ticket, we both listened to and performed all kinds of amazing tunes at a Hamilton sing-along last night. Here and here are two kind versions of my favorite kind of song to sing from Hamilton.
Gotta run for more kind listening and kind speaking at work today. If you are kind enough to speak your mind in a comment, I shall practice kind listening.
For all the kind people who helped me create today’s post and for you and your kindness in visiting my blog today, here’s another kind of photo:
With reckless abandon, I here and now decide what the title of today’s post will be, based on this sign I saw yesterday:
With reckless abandon, I shall now reveal that:
I hope to embrace the stressful events of the next few weeks with reckless abandon.
These stressful events include waiting for the delivery of a student visa (which I hope hasn’t been recklessly abandoned in some government building in NYC), my son starting a five-year program at the University of Edinburgh, and my having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Yesterday I recklessly abandoned all attempts to prepare myself for the upcoming events and instead spent the day with my fabulous Philadelphia-based friend Jeanette (who abandoned Boston to move to Washington D.C. sixteen years ago, but I I still miss her every day).
Jeanette, who courageously abandons any fear of speaking her mind, recklessly told my boyfriend Michael yesterday that he has to teach my son Aaron how to cook two easy meals this week.
Michael recklessly promised Jeanette that he would.
I am recklessly going to include photos of Jeanette and other people I’ve recklessly mentioned in this post, so don’t abandon me yet!
Are you ready for the reckless abandon of my other photos from yesterday, as I recklessly abandon any intention of further explaining them?
Which of those photos say “reckless abandon” to you?
When people say, “How are you?” to me, my usual response is to answer authentically, in some way, without taking too much time or space (which is not exactly easy, since people are often asking that question on the move).
I’m not sure why I go against the cultural norms, regarding “How are you?” Here are my best guesses, in the moment:
Because I was born with an unusual heart and followed by doctors since before I could speak, that question has been really important for me to answer honestly and authentically.
I want to engage in real and valuable communications with other human beings, even if they only last a moment.
I’m a rebel.
That last bullet point reminds me of a song, from my past.
Before I share that song, I’m going to ask you to guess what song that might be.
Why am I asking you to guess? Because if you were to ask me “How are you?” today, I would answer:
“I’m sad, mad, glad, and scared. How are you?”
and when I’m having lots of mixed emotions, I like to cheer myself up. And this is how I am: I love guessing games AND music.
I am now going to look for the song that just popped into my head — for the first time in years — when I wrote the words “I’m a rebel.”
Oh no! When I searched for the song I remembered, I found that the title was NOT “He’s a rebel,” but something else instead:
Well, I’m glad to be listening to that song, for the first time in decades. With its interesting chords, voices, instruments, moods, and other musical stylings, it’s making me happy.
How else am I?
I’m also happy with the idea of being a runner, right now. When I was a kid in the hospital, having heart surgeries, I really wanted to run away. But, back then, if people asked me “How are you?” I didn’t tell them.
How else am I?
I’m glad to be writing this, on the anniversary of my first heart surgery/pacemaker implant, on November 22, 1963. Last year, on this same date, I asked myself “How are you?” and wrote this blog post.
The purpose of this study is to assess perceived health status and quality of life in adults with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries who have not undergone anatomic repair.
Quality of life as measured by the satisfaction with life scale and linear analog scales and perceived health status as measured by the Short Form 36 Health Survey (version 1) were evaluated in 25 adults with congenitally corrected transposition and compared with a control group of 25 adults with mild, hemodynamically insignificant defects.
Instruments were returned by 83% of patients (25/30; 11 male; mean age, 44.6 ± 16 years). Health status by the linear analog scale was significantly lower (P = .03) in subjects (median, 80; range, 15-100) than in controls (median, 85; range, 65-100). Quality of life by the satisfaction with life scale was also lower (P = .009) in subjects (mean, 24 ± 8) compared with controls. Age was negatively correlated with the Short Form 36 Health Survey physical functioning (r = -0.41, P = .04), bodily pain (r = -0.5, P = .01), and physical component (r = -0.56, P = .004) summary scores in adults with congenitally corrected transposition but not in controls.
Adults with congenitally corrected transposition have lower reported health status and satisfaction with life than a control population, with perceived health status declining with advancing age.
This is how I am: I like to interpret data, using my own language. To me, that abstract means that several doctors and researchers got together and asked a bunch of people with my very unusual heart “How are you?” and then compiled the answers to conclude that people like me feel worse, in many ways, than “normal” people, and that difference continues to get more significant, with advancing age.
How am I, about that?
How am I now?
Here’s another way I am: I like to post photos I’ve taken recently. Let’s see if I have any images, on my iPhone, for “How are you”?