Posts Tagged With: Gratitude list

Day 2500: It’s My Least Favorite Time of the Year

It’s My Least Favorite Time of the Year

(to the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”)


It’s my least favorite time of the year.

The events I remember

in the month of November put a dent in my cheer.

It’s my least favorite time of the year.


It’s those dark, time-changey days of the fall

When my sleep is disrupted,

Politicians corrupted can make my skin crawl.

It’s my least favorite time of them all.


People’s moods will be changing

There’s the stress of arranging

Parties that need lots of work.

There’ll be cooking and baking

And the need to be faking

A smile when encountering a jerk.


It’s my least favorite time of the year.

I know I’ll get through it

I’ve been able to do it without drinking beer,

Through my least favorite time of the year.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Thanks to all who help me go new places with hope every day I’m given, including YOU!




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

Day 2282: Your favorites here!

When I was grocery shopping yesterday with one of my favorites (my boyfriend Michael from Boston), I saw this sign:


My favorites are here, there, and everywhere.   Where are your favorites?

Some favorite thoughts about favorites are here!

  • It’s helpful to write a list of favorites — also called “a gratitude list.”  It’s one of my favorite ways to improve somebody’s mood.
  • It’s NOT helpful for parents to play favorites among their children.
  • Favorites is spelled “Favourites” in the United Kingdom.
  • Yesterday, one of my favorite people, who has the same kind of unusual heart as one of your favorite bloggers, asked me to be on one of his favorite podcasts about congenital heart conditions.
  • Last week, I started writing another original song about a favorite subject  (“Comfort”)  which I hope will be one of your favorites.
  • This past weekend, my favorite Michael and I watched the latest film by our favorites the Coen brothers and now The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of my favorites.
  • April is one of my favorite months, even though  one of my favorite poets — T. S. Eliot — said it was the cruelest one.
  • I encourage people not to play favorites with their feelings, but to accept all of them.
  • I try to capture favorite images every day with my camera and my latest ones are here!






One of m favorites, these days, is dancing to favorite songs with my favorite Michael.  One of my favorite songs for dancing is here!

It’s not peculiar that I’m ending this post with thanks to all who helped me create it and (of course!) to you, because that’s one of my favorite things to do!



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1532: What are you grateful for?

What are you grateful for?

I’m grateful for bumper stickers that help me think and blog.



I’m grateful for people who question  assumptions and for the National Park Service.

I’m grateful for dishwashers, dogs, and funny pictures of animals.














I’m grateful for doctors, nurses, and other medical treaters who have kept me alive for sixty-four years of  happiness, kindness, love, and treats.






I’m grateful for cats and cucumbers, which appear together in several videos on YouTube including this one:



I’m grateful for not being afraid of cucumbers.

I’m grateful for all  who help me create this grateful blog  and I’m grateful to YOU!



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

Day 1493: Lists

Yesterday, I made several lists, including:

  1. a list of questions to ask my cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, at our appointment today,
  2. a list of the roles I occupy in my life, because we were discussing roles in my therapy group yesterday, and
  3. a list of the things that make me feel bad, because I was feeling bad last night.

Well, at least I wasn’t listless.

Do you make lists?  What kinds of lists do you make?

On my list of “How to Create a Daily Blog Post” is sharing my latest photos.









On my list of favorite classical composers is Franz Liszt.  Did you know his last name is pronounced “List”?  My son, who is always on my gratitude list, likes to play this Liszt composition on the piano:

When I was my son’s age, that was on my playlist, too.

On my gratitude list this morning are my son Aaron, my boyfriend Michael (for the delicious bluefish last night and so much more), Dr. Salem, Franz Liszt, Valentina Lisitsa, people who heal in groups, orchids, lists that help me move on, and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 1186: Violent Agreement

You’re probably in violent agreement with me that one rarely sees the words “violent” and “agreement” linked together, as they are in today’s post title. You might violently agree that the words “violent” and “disagreement” are MUCH more commonly paired.

People who have have read this blog before could be in violent agreement about all this:

  1. I usually blog about things that have happened the day before.
  2. If I see or hear something that agrees with me (violently or otherwise), it appears in this blog.
  3. Since I started this daily blog, cardiologists have been in violent disagreement about my very unusual heart, including how it affects my health and my prognosis.

Yesterday, I wrote a  despairing (if not violent) email to my chief cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, with the subject heading “descending into confusion and anxiety (again).”

Hi Deeb,

I know that’s a dramatic subject heading, but there it is.

One heart specialist tells me I’m in class 2 heart failure, a week ago Friday.

That affects how I feel.

Another one insists that I need to have a surgical consult when I visit with her at the Mayo Clinic.

She is not available for me to ask her why.

Her very kind and nice scheduling person tells me that she was concerned by the data she saw in my records about my valve and believes a surgical consult is necessary.


And I remember you and I deciding that the odds were not good for a valve operation.

Why would I want to talk to a surgeon in Minnesota ? There is no friggin’ way I would have the surgery out there, away from my friends and family.

So my question is this: does it make sense for me to shlepp all the way to Minneapolis, especially if the likelihood is that they are going to suggest valve surgery, which people here have  already convinced me would be very dangerous?

I know that you are used to dealing with smart people who ask a lot of questions. Please answer as best you can.

I am seeing Dr. Laura Snydman today and I’m sure we will be discussing this also.


After I saw Dr. Laura Snydman yesterday  (whom people would agree, violently or otherwise, is AWESOME), I checked my email and saw this:


Give me a call.


When I called Dr. Deeb Salem and told him where I was, he invited me up to his office.

Then, Dr. Salem listened patiently as I expressed all the thoughts and feelings in my heart, about my heart.

When I was finished, he said:

I’m in violent agreement with you.

Which immediately made me feel less violent and much more agreeable.

Isn’t it amazing how validation and agreement can do that?

As I write this “Violent Agreement” post today, Dr. Salem and I are in violent agreement about the following:

  1. I will consult with adult congenital heart specialists at the Mayo Clinic in May.
  2. My sister will accompany me there.
  3. No matter what happens, that will be a valuable trip.
  4. Brown University and the University of Edinburgh would both be non-violently agreeable places for my son to attend college next year (if he gets into both of those, which we should find out today).

Here are some pictures I took yesterday, in the midst of much violent agreement:











Are you in violent or non-violent agreement  or disagreement about any of the above?

I hope you are in violent agreement with me that Dr. Salem deserves to be on my


and so do my readers, including you!

Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1148: Prizes

While I didn’t get a  call-back “red card” at yesterday’s try-outs for “The Voice” in Philadelphia, there are many prizes in my life.  These prizes include:

  • My son,  Aaron, turning 18 tomorrow!
  • My other family members.
  • My boyfriend Michael, turning humor and caring into gold, wherever he goes.
  • My friend Jeanette, who lives in Philadelphia.


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  • Every moment of precious life.
  • These photos I took recently:













It’s a mighty prize and a mighty privilege writing for you all.  Many thanks to all the prizes in my life, including you!

Categories: gratitude, group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 52 Comments

Day 1140: What I Love

On Valentine’s Day, 2016, I love the idea of starting a list of what I love:

  • My son, Aaron.
  • My sister, Ellen.
  • My boyfriend, Michael.
  • My memories of my parents.
  • Others I love who are no longer with me.
  • My extended family, including my cousins, nieces, and nephews.
  • Myself, with all my imperfections.
  • Our two cats, Harley and Oscar.
  • My friends, including Ada, Barbara, Carol,  Debbie, Deborah, Eleanor, Hillel, Jan, Janet, Jeanette, Jonathan, Kathy, Karen, Laura, Lawry, Leon, Linda, Marcia, Mark, Maria, Maureen, Megan, and other wonderful people whose first names begin with letters in the second half of the alphabet.
  • Letting go of fears, like forgetting to include people in the list directly above.
  • My doctors, who’ve helped keep me alive and thriving.
  • My readers.
  • Blogging.
  • My other talents, including facilitating group therapy and singing.
  • People.
  • Animals.
  • Being out in nature (but not today, because it’s -9 Fahrenheit, which I definitely do not love).
  • Music.
  • The fact that I’m not worrying about how I’m ordering this list.
  • Letting go of judgment.
  • The present moment.
  • Love.
  • Performing in front of other people, even though it makes me nervous.
  • Taking pictures of what’s around me.


What do you love?

I love that you read this blog.  Many thanks.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 526: They can’t take these away from me

In many blog posts over the last 525 days (but who’s counting?),  I’ve figured out ways to link together recent photos I’ve taken, intuitively and seemingly haphazardly.

Today, I’d like to use a song to connect heretofore unseen images I’ve captured within the last few weeks.

But what song shall I use, when there are so many great ones to choose from?

I know!  Last night, my son asked me what my favorite song was, assuming I would have trouble naming one.  It’s true that I DO often have trouble making decisions, but I was able to answer immediately:

They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

Here’s a classic rendition, from YouTube, of that favorite Gershwin tune:

So, today I’ll use those lyrics — written by Ira Gershwin (for his brother George’s music) — as best I can (with some changes here and there), to connect.


The way you wear your hat,


The way you sip your tea,


The way you are a cat,


No, no, they can’t take that away from me.

The way your smile just beams,


The way you sing on-key,


The way you seem like dreams,










No, no, they can’t take that away from me.


I don’t have time, this morning, to complete that song with photos, rewrites, and/or explanations. I have to go to work, and I think I may have sprained my ankle (so I may need to see ANOTHER doctor, today).

Although, I do have time for this: I can present these remaining lyrics, evoking my inspiration for this song … my amazing 16-year-old son, Aaron.

The way you hold your knife,

The way you danced, when three,

The way you changed my life,

No, no, they can’t take that away from me.

No, they can’t take that away from me.

Changing the subject AND the song at the last minute, this was my son’s favorite song to dance to, when he was three years old:


Thanks to my son, to the Gershwin brothers, to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, to the B-52’s (for their danceable tune), to Oscar and Harley (the cats), to my friend Deb, to my niece Laura, to all those people pictured on the entrance to the House of Blues in Boston, to those who connect images and words with creativity,* to those who dream (including Bethany Sabbag) and to you — of course! — for what you bring AND take away.

* Including Jeff Schwaner, brilliantly, here. Nobody can take THAT away from me now, thanks to Jeff.

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

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