Posts Tagged With: friendship

Day 1970: Unexpected Appearances

Yesterday, on my way to work, I encountered my first unexpected appearances.

I didn’t expect the appearance of geese on the sidewalk. Did you?

There were more unexpected appearances throughout my day.

The appearance of that duck in front of a local bakery was unexpected. Maybe that duck expects the appearance of bread crumbs.

Expect the unexpected and the appearance of two more photos today. Here’s the first of those now expected photos:

That cat made an unexpected appearance last night at a party where my old friend Lawry and his family made wonderful appearances. (I expect I’ll add links to Lawry’s appearances in previous posts after I publish this one.) (Like this one and this one.)

In two days, my son will be making an expected appearance back in Boston. I expect to appear very happy about that.

This video made an unexpected appearance when I searched YouTube for “unexpected appearances.”

I expect the appearances of unexpected comments about today’s post, below.

Finally, here’s the expected appearance of gratitude at the end of this blog post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1696: The key to happiness

One of my keys to happiness is learning about the experience of others. So I am happy to ask you, here and now, about your keys to happiness.

Another key to happiness, for me, is sharing my thoughts and photos in this daily blog.

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That’s the key to our hotel in Edinburgh, lying on a table at Petit Paris, a French restaurant we always visit here. Travel and great food are other keys to happiness, I think.

Do you see more keys to happiness in my other photos from yesterday?

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It’s not imaginary that another key to happiness is associating with good humans, like my ex-sister-in-law’s husband Joe …

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… and comedian Ron Lynch (who was playing in several unrecognizable keys on stage yesterday).

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Here’s another Key to Happiness in recognizable keys, on YouTube.

Thanks to all who gave me every key to happiness I needed to create today’s post and to my readers (including you!)  who are more keys to my happiness.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1424: Fantastic Thanks and Where to Find Them

On Thanksgiving Day 2016, you can find fantastic thanks here for …

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  • our inner rock stars,

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  • good radio stations,

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  • signs beyond my understanding,
  • Boston,

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  • great movies,

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  • the future,

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  • achieving the impossible,
  • Wonder Women,

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  • Batman,
  • the freedom to be myself,

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  • helpful directions,
  • popcorn,
  • butter,

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  • most people,
  • fortunes,
  • schools,
  • my son Aaron,

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  • my boyfriend Michael,

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  • my sister Ellen,
  • friends,
  • cats,

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  • trust,

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  • my late parents,

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  • time,
  • my very unusual heart,
  • my medical team,
  • delicious food,

  • YOU, my amazing readers!!!
Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1221: Hopes

When my one-week spring vacation began five days ago, I had hope

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that the weather would be seasonably sunny and warm.

Because the weather has been consistently rainy and cold, I translated that

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into hope that I would see wonderful, hopeful people, indoors.

Yesterday, that hope came true as I saw Joanne and Caitlin in a hopeful place where I used to work and also Rachel, who worked with me decades ago at two different high tech companies.

As I was driving  in the morning, I heard the 1st movement of the “Italian” symphony, composed by Felix Mendelssohn in response to the kind of sunny weather I’d been hoping to experience this week:

 

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you enjoy seeing Joanne, Caitlin, Rachel, and other hopeful sights I saw yesterday.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing Joanne, Caitlin, Rachel, Rachel’s dog Flash, her husband Tom, and her new granddaughter Rayla. Rachel and I talked, over lunch yesterday, about doctors who have given us different levels of hope about our health. She said to me,  “At one point I just decided I’m going to be fine, no matter what I read or what they said.” (I hope I quoted Rachel accurately.)  I told Rachel yesterday that I’ve reached a similar hopeful point, too.

I hope you like two more hopeful pictures from yesterday:

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I hope that new cat bed keeps Oscar off my laptop, because he posted again on Facebook yesterday:

()GGGikm8 <– Oscar just typed that. What does that mean?

I hope my Facebook friends don’t mind if I quote their responses:

Janet H. Feed me.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs
Linda S. Oh great G-d grandeur, kick my 8(0/0). He’s asking for humility. Sooo easy!!!Lol!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs
Deborah Faye #nevertrump
Unlike · Reply · 3 · 12 hrs
Peter C. Pissed off at your menu choices. “Golden Ginger Grahams isn’t kibble, mate !”
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs
Beth B. Hi Beth!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

I hope you also leave a comment, below.

Hope-filled thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for whatever hope you bring, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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.”

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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?

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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: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1155: Winnings

While I didn’t win a chance to advance in the tryouts for “The Voice” last weekend, I did win lots of other things during my winter vacation, including:

  • Precious time spent with my long-time and true-blue  friends Jeanette, Hillel, and Barbara.
  • An amazing necklace.

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  • Lots of new images captured on my iPhone, including these from yesterday:

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That last winning photo shows my winning cat Oscar watching people winning  Oscars, last night.

What else did I win, during my winter vacation?  At the American Group Psychotherapy Association yearly conference,  I heard a new and winning definition of forgiveness. And while my winning memory can’t remember that new definition of forgiveness right now, I’m going to write the winning person who quoted it, so I can pass that winning definition on to you in a future winning post.

In the meantime, my online winnings today included these other winning definitions of forgiveness:

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”  — Robert Brault

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” — Paul Boese

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive.  Forgive everybody.” — Maya Angelou

“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior.  Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” —  Hemant Smarty

“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.”  — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Relationships don’t thrive because the guilty are punished, but because the wounded are merciful.”  — Max Lucado

“There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love.”  — Bryant M. McGill

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” — Norman Cousins

What other winnings are mine, today?

  1. Returning to a job I love and
  2. your presence, here and now.

Winning thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and special thanks to you  — of course! — for visiting.

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

Day 343: What Other People Say, Part 2

Today’s post is dedicated to my friend, Janet, whom I met in film school along with her soon-to-be-husband, Ray.  Janet and Ray appeared in this post, earlier this year, when we were all recovering from the trauma of the Boston Marathon bombings. As much as I would like you to link to that earlier post, I’ll make it easier on everybody and include that photo, again, here:

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Today is Janet’s birthday. Happy birthday, Janet!  Earlier this year, Janet and Ray, along with one of their fabulous sons, attended my 60th birthday party.  This was a very memorable occasion for me, but there are several Janet-related memories that stand out for me, from that day.

Some of those memories have to do with Janet’s amazing creativity and humor. For example, she has a long history of putting together perfect combinations of words and images, to celebrate things.  While I may try to create similar magic in this blog, she’s The Master, and has been, for decades.

Thank you, Janet, for those hilarious words-and-pictures celebrations of my wedding, my birthday, and all those Christmas masterpieces you put together for your friends, every year.

I just took a break, for a few seconds, to look for the incredible piece that Janet put together for my 60th birthday. This piece not only celebrated me, hilariously, but also included smart commentary on all the decades I’ve lived through.  During the party, I placed it in a location of honor, so that all my other guests could see it. And they loved it.

But I can’t find it, in the moment. Which doesn’t surprise me, because I tend to lose track of things. Especially in the mornings. Especially when I have limited time (which I do, today, since  I blog before I go to work).

And, I also tend to lost track of positive things that people say about me.  At least, I have easily lost track of those things, in the past. This year, I’m working on getting better at holding on to What Other People Say (Positively) (as difficult as those things might be to believe, at times).

Part of this process has involved letting go of unhelpful things that people have said. (The first blog post entitled “What Other People Say” focused on that.) The other part of this process is learning how to make the positive “stick.”

In Janet’s genius creation for my 60th birthday, she said something positive, which has stuck with me, all year.  It’s been indescribably helpful, every time I sit down to write a blog post.  On the last page, which focused on my present and my future, she wrote:

“Ann starts a blog. A good blog. A damn good blog.”

When I locate Janet’s Birthday Masterpiece (which I will, later today), I will double-check my memory, to see if I’m quoting her correctly.

However, it doesn’t matter whether my memory is perfect.  Here’s my punchline, for this post:

What Janet said, one month into my first blog, has helped keep me going, all year. It’s been there, for me, helping me write every day, no matter how much I doubted myself and my abilities.

As I’ve been encouraged by all your feedback, too, dear readers, no matter where or in what form that’s occurred.

Thanks to Janet, to all who encourage their friends in any way, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 329: Doing it differently

When I woke up this morning, this is what I found:

  • It’s cold, outside.
  • It’s dark, outside.
  • The heat, inside, isn’t working the way I would expect.

This is the way I have reacted to that same scenario, many times before:

With fear. With a sense of powerlessness. Feeling alone.

This is what I’m telling myself, this morning:

It’s okay.  It’s warm enough inside. If there is a problem, you and other people will figure it out and fix it.

And I believed it, almost immediately.

That seemed different.

In this post, I want to include one more example of “doing it differently.”

On Friday, I observed the 50th anniversary of (1) President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and (2) my first heart surgery and cardiac pacemaker implantation, at age 10.

That day, I received an e-mail from a very dear, long-time friend. Here’s an excerpt from that e-mail:

You are on my mind today, and I wanted to tell you about a dream I had a few nights ago. It was the day of your surgery, fifty years ago, and you were a kid again, and I was a kid too, right there with you. We were waiting together in the hospital for Ann, who seemed to be your twin sister, to come out of surgery. The doctor came out and told us that everything had gone well, and that Ann would live a long, long and wonderful life. We were really glad! It was a great dream.

I am very moved by that dream, that my friend dreamed for me,  of doing it differently. It reminds me of this: There are many, many ways to do things differently.

Starting today.

What are some visuals, for “doing it differently”?  Let’s check “Google Images.”

Lots to choose from!

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There were so many images, I had trouble deciding.

Sometimes, though, words are worth a thousand pictures.  A few more, from my friend’s e-mail:

You are the girl who lived. Something really big and scary and powerful was after you, but you prevailed.

As we all prevail, with help from others.

Many thanks to my friend, to dreamers everywhere, to all who do it differently,  and to you — of course! — for reading today.

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* From Kylie Legge and “In Public Space We Trust.”

** From Living with RA.

*** From “good morning” creativity.

**** From Practical Pages.

***** From Theridion.

****** From birdwings.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 247: No one is alone

For your reading (and perhaps listening) pleasure, here are some random thoughts, on a morning when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Three things that tend to overwhelm me:

  1. The possibility that I may have broken some rule  (including unwritten, mysterious, or ambiguous ones).
  2. People giving me new responsibilities without checking with me first.
  3. People not getting back to me when I ask for something.

Three things to help reduce my feelings of being overwhelmed:

  1. Belief in “good” magic, like a Cloak of Safety that my friend Jeanette gave me on Monday which “includes a ‘can do no wrong’ clause for the next 30 days.”
  2. Letting people know I’m overwhelmed. (Extra credit: setting some limits.)
  3. A really great song, with lyrics that are meaningful to me. There are a lot of great songs to choose from, but I’ll go with the one that came to me when I woke up this morning. I’ll start with the lyrics:

Mother cannot guide you,
Now you’re on your own.
Only me beside you,
Still, you’re not alone.
No one is alone, truly.
No one is alone.

Sometimes people leave you
halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what’s good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone.

Mother isn’t here now.
Who knows what she’d say?
Nothing’s quite so clear now,
Feel you’ve lost your way?
You are not alone. No one is alone.

You move just a finger,
Say the slightest word,
Something’s bound to linger,
Be heard.
No one acts alone.
Careful, no one is alone

People make mistakes.
Fathers, Mothers,
People make mistakes,
Holding to their own,
Thinking they’re alone.

Honor their mistakes,
Everybody makes.
Terrible mistakes.
Witches can be right,
Giants can be good.
You decide what’s right,
You decide what’s good.

Just remember:
Someone is on your side.
Someone else is not.
While we’re seeing our side
Maybe we forgot,
They are not alone.
No one is alone.

Hard to see the light now,
Just don’t let it go.
Things will come out right now,
We can make it so.
Someone is on your side,
No one is alone.

Here’s a wonderful rendition of this song:

Thanks so much to Stephen Sondheim, “Into The Woods,” Bernadette Peters,  good magic, good friends, and to you, for reading and listening today.

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

Day 246: Good news

Yesterday, I saw my Best Friend Forever, Jeanette, who lives far away, but who was in town this weekend. (That’s another reason I was so lucky yesterday.)

Jeanette and I exchanged a lot of good news and swapped some recent lessons we’ve been learning, including the following:

  1. If you catch yourself  having an old, outmoded thought that no longer helps you, you can “put a period on it” (which reminds me of Beyoncé telling somebody to “put a ring on it,” although it’s actually the opposite.)
  2. Technology can suddenly decide that it knows what you need better than you do, resulting in some temporarily confusing results (e.g., sorting certain e-mails into certain folders, so that you stop seeing them).
  3. If  somebody warns you about danger (or otherwise gives you advice about what you should or shouldn’t do), that doesn’t mean they think you’re stupid, incompetent, childish, or otherwise incapable of taking care of yourself.  They’re letting you know, in their own way, that they care about you.
  4. If somebody you love lives far away from you, you can still connect with them through many different technologies and services, ranging from Facetime to Amtrak.
  5. Ghosts don’t exist, but even if they did exist, they’re probably not evil ghosts, but even if there are evil ghosts, they’re too busy with other things to bother with you, and even if they did bother with you, enough friendly ghosts have passed on, too, who will protect you.
  6. If you make a mistake — such as accidentally parking in a handicapped parking spot in an unfamiliar location — this does not mean that you are evil, even if you have this sitting on your dashboard:Image

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Thanks to Jeanette,  Beyoncé, ghosts, ducks, and technology, and to you, also, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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