Posts Tagged With: expressing all feelings

Day 2604: Be your own hero.

No matter what is going on in your life right now, be your own hero.

Even when your blogging platform (a metaphor for LIFE) throws changes at you that you cannot control* which make things more confusing and difficult, be your own hero.

Even if your eye turns red frequently because you’re on anticoagulants

… be your own hero.

Even when you have trouble remembering things, be your own hero.

Even when you have a strangely-shaped heart (or anything else that’s unique, different, or weird), be your own hero.

Even when you have to rush, be your own hero.

Even when you have all sorts of feelings …

… like when $&@^!!?&%£!! WordPress makes it MUCH harder and time consuming to add photos and is probably totally screwing up the formatting of this post, be your own hero.

Even when you can’t always be first class …

… be your own hero.

Even when you have trouble making decisions …

… be your own hero.

Even when you are planning a 50th high school reunion in an ageist culture, be your own hero.

Even when you have to rely on other heroes to get things done, be your own hero.

Even when you have no idea how people are going to receive what you send out into the world (like this blog post), be your own hero.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1956: This Way and That Way

These days, some people tell you it’s right to think and act this way


while other people  tell you it’s right to think and act that way.


In our way, there are so many ways that divide us.

My way is to celebrate life’s moments,


invite hope,


express myself,


work on stress,



promote self-forgiveness,


be smart,


help people reach their potential,


appreciate the arts,


accept the child and the adult,


walk past the news,


stay away from death,


deal with people leaving,


focus on our chances,


let go of worry about the future,


eat healthy meals,


look this way and that way on YouTube,

and express my gratitude, every day.


I’m thankful, here and now, that I can ask this community:  What’s your way?

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

Day 1445: What’s in store?

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.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1353: Practice kind listening and kind speaking.

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:



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

Day 1344: Reckless Abandon

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:

  1. I hope to embrace the stressful events of the next few weeks with reckless abandon.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Michael recklessly promised Jeanette that he would.
  6. 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?

With reckless abandon, this Frightsome Fleshlumpeater will now share the reckless abandon of Roald Dahl, Gene Wilder, and pure imagination:


I hope you show some reckless abandon by leaving a comment, below.

Before I recklessly abandon you all until tomorrow morning’s blog post, I’d like to express gratitude to those who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — with reckless abandon.


Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 691: How are you?

Where I live, when people say

How are you?

they often mean


and don’t expect a real answer.

A typical exchange is:

How are you?

Fine. How are you?


How are you?

(nod and silence)

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:

(“He’s a Runner” by Laura Nyro, performed by Blood Sweat & Tears found here on YouTube.)

How are you, now that I’ve made that mistake?

How am I? I wonder.

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.

How are you about statistical data and research? I wanted to share with you this study I found online, yesterday, when I was searching information about “Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries” (which is one medical name for my very unusual heart).

Here’s the complete abstract:

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Apr;143(4):885-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2011.08.031. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Quality of life and perceived health status in adults with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries.



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.

Copyright © 2012 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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?

Fuck them.

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”?

IMG_2302 IMG_2303 IMG_2304 IMG_2306

How are you?

No matter how you are, thanks for the visit.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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