Posts Tagged With: gratitude

Day 2332: You Call The Shots

Every day, in this blog, I call the shots.  That is, I decide

  • what shots to take with my iPhone,
  • what order to share them in,
  • what words to write,
  • what audio/video piece (usually involving music) fits the topic, and
  • how to express my gratitude.

People with my Myers Briggs type (ENFP) like calling the shots and being independent. However, we don’t like calling the shots for other people or other people calling the shots for us.  Therefore, I don’t like when people tell me what to do and I don’t like telling other people what to do.  Rather, I prefer suggestion, invitation, and possibility — leaving room for me and others to decide what’s best.

Here and now, I suggest that you call the shots you like best in my photos from yesterday.

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Sometimes I take shots of and take shots at things I just don’t understand.

Girls Aloud “Call the Shots” here:

 

Tonight I’ll be a girl aloud calling the shots at a new Open Mic, singing two of my original songs.

Now I invite you to call the shots in the comment section, below.

As usual, I’m calling the shots on how to express my gratitude to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2331: ASK FOR HELP!

Last week, somebody who was joining my Coping and Healing groups said to me, “I have trouble asking for help.” I hope it helped when I replied, “You’re not alone.  Many other people in the groups also struggle with asking for help.”

Yesterday morning, when I was writing my second Letter from the President for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy (NSGP) newsletter, my boyfriend Michael started talking in his sleep.  Michael sometimes talks in his sleep in the mornings, but I can never hear what he’s saying. It doesn’t help that he mumbles while sleep-talking.  Yesterday, he said

Don’t (…unintelligible mumbling…)    ASK FOR HELP!!

“ASK FOR HELP!” was so loud and clear that it startled me and the cats. Inspired by that message from the sleeping Michael, I immediately sent my latest version of my Letter from the President to a helpful friend and NSGP board member, and asked for her help in reviewing what I’d written.  It really helped that I asked for help that way, because (1) she was very positive and helpful in her feedback and (2) this morning I restarted my computer and would have completely lost all my latest work if I hadn’t sent her that draft.

As Michael said, ASK FOR HELP!

I heard “ASK FOR HELP!” in my head yesterday  as I looked for helpful images to capture and share. You don’t have to ask me to include them here and now.

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Right before I took that last photo, I heard many cat noises coming from inside our house, so I asked for Michael’s help in identifying them.  Since I asked for help, he showed me this video:

Those hungry cats were asking for help, and they got it.

After our long walk near the seashore yesterday, I received an email about Open Mic’s around Boston.  Because it helps to practice my original songs, I asked for help in signing up for a slot tomorrow night.

Last night, Michael and I had dinner with my friend and co-worker Alice and her husband  (not pictured).  I said, “I think Alice and I have the female equivalent of a bromance.  I wonder what that’s called?” Later, I asked for help in identifying that term.  Would you like to ask for help in discovering what that word is?

It’s “womance.”

If you have trouble sharing your thoughts and feelings in a comment below, ASK FOR HELP!

Every day, I ask for help in expressing my gratitude to all those who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2327: Why? Why?

Why oh why am I writing a fourth blog post about Why?  Why am I linking to the previous three posts (here, here, and here)?

Why did I write “Why?” on two different white boards at work yesterday?

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Why do white boards consistently get more difficult to erase?

Why were people in therapy yesterday asking so many WHY? questions, including:

Why is there so much traffic?

Why did it take me four times as long as usual to get here today?

Why do people back their cars into spaces in parking lots?

Why do people do what they do?

Why do I deliberately act like a mischievous child?

Why am I in so much pain?

Why am I in therapy?

Why aren’t other people in therapy?

Why did I take the rest of these pictures?

 

Why is it taking so much longer for me to access and transfer my photos? Why does that happen periodically?  Why does it bother me less each time it happens?

Why am I still having trouble writing that letter from the President for my professional organization’s newsletter?  Why did I start fresh yesterday with a new topic?  Why did Michael say he thought my first, abandoned topic  (the rejuvenation of Spring) was better? Why am I going to finish the second topic and then write another letter with the first topic if I have time? Why am I using the quote “If you want something to get done, give it to the busiest person” in my letter?

Why did I ask all the questions I did in this podcast (starting at 19 minutes and again at 28:34)?

 

Why did Michael not want to listen to that podcast last night? Probably for the same reason he doesn’t usually read this blog.   Why did I think I could find the post that explains that by searching on “Why Michael doesn’t read this blog”?

Why would you leave a comment today?

Why would I thank all those who help me write these posts and also YOU?  Why do you think?

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Categories: health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2325: Could this be?

Could this be another daily post from me? Could today’s blog post be inspired by The Curse of Oak Island, a TV show I first heard about yesterday at a birthday celebration for my niece, Laura?

Could this be Joe — Laura’s step-father and brother-in-law —  telling me about the treasure hunting on The Curse of Oak Island and how the show’s dramatic narration constantly notices clue and repeats exposition, asking questions like “Could  this be the triangular rock that will finally lead us to the treasure’s destination after searching for all these years?”

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Could this be my introduction to the rest of my photos from yesterday, many of which include ducks? (Could “duck” be my answer to the question, “If you could be any animal, what would you be?“)

Could this be the latest vegetarian culinary masterpiece from Michael? Could this be the point that I remind you that you can click on any of the above photos to enlarge them?

Could this be where I include the opening from The Curse of Oak Island?

Could this be Stephen Colbert interviewing the brothers from The Curse of Oak Island?

Could this be my request for comments?

Could this be my thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to (dramatic music) YOU?

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Categories: celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2321: Responsibilities

My responsibilities today include

  • letting you know I’ve never written a “Responsibilities” post before,
  • facilitating two Coping and Healing groups at work, and
  • sharing my photos from yesterday (which has recently become more difficult, for some unknown reason, and I don’t know if WordPress or my laptop are responsible).

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My responsibilities, here and now, include telling you that “Responsibilities” was the topic chosen by yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, and that this is what I wrote in response to the question “What is your personal experience of responsibilities?”

I can be over responsible, which can get in the way of enjoying the present moment. “What do I have to do right now?”  “Nothing except be here, now, as best I can.” I am going to ask myself that question, with that answer, more often.

What is your personal experience of responsibilities?

I have a few more blogging responsibilities right now:  inviting you to be kind,

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sharing this photo of Michael’s delicious chicken parmesan from last night,

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… posting a song about responsibilities,

asking for comments, and expressing my thanks to all who helped me meet my responsibilities with today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2319: People who love are forgiving.

Please forgive me, my loving readers, for starting this post with this image:

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I love blogging every day, so I forgive WordPress or my computer or my phone or technology in general for making it SO difficult, just now, to upload that ONE photo out of all my new pictures.

Forgiving is lovely. I recommend it.

Let me know if you love and/or forgive any of my other photos from yesterday.

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I love people who vote. I’m not sure I forgive people who don’t vote, but I’m working on it.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “people who love are forgiving.”

I look forward to your loving, forgiving comments.

I love ending posts with thanks to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2317: Signs of spring

I’m often looking for signs, including signs of the advent of spring (my favorite season).

The “sign” post I  just linked to in that signature opening paragraph — Day 1319: Subtle signs — has subtle signs that I wrote that blog post shortly before two major life signposts: my open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Since the 2016 election, I’ve noticed signs that I — and the United States — have somehow changed.  I see signs of that in every blog post I’ve written since then.  Of course, everything changes and everything changes us, although this saying

The more things change, the more they stay the same

is a sign that perhaps I should change my mind about that, also.

Here are some other signs on my mind:

  • The tears in my eyes, as I write this, are signs of some unresolved grief about past events.
  • Older people often look for the signs of dementia in themselves and others.
  • When I procrastinate doing something — like writing a Letter from the President for a newsletter — that’s a sign that I need more information or need to resolve some fear about the outcome.
  • We tend to look for signs, in the present, that replicate our experiences as children, sometimes ignoring richer, more diverse signs of a wider range of possibilities.
  • I am making a concerted effort to be open to signs that conflict with my expectations.
  • I’ve dealt with signs that I’m catastrophizing more than most people by writing a song about that (included in yesterday’s blog post, here).
  • I went looking for actual signs of spring, yesterday.

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Signs of spring remind me that I’ll be seeing Pat Metheny in concert this spring. Here‘s “Spring Ain’t Here” by the Pat Metheny Group.

 

I’ll be looking for signs of your reactions to this post in the comments section, below.

No matter what the season, you’ll always find signs of my gratitude — for those who help me write this daily blog and for readers like YOU — at the end of every post.

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

Day 2315: Loud and extra loud

Tonight, I’ll be using a loud and extra loud “egg shaker” for accompaniment when I’m singing three songs at a party of social workers.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we wondered aloud together about why internal critical voices and anxious thoughts seem extra loud. My loud speculation was that critical voices and anxious thoughts are extra loud to help us survive.  If sounds of danger are more loud to us, we might be able to avoid them better. However, the loudness of negativity can drown out the positive voices within and around us.  That kind of loudness creates extra anxiety, worry, shame, and stress. For a lot of people, coping and healing includes allowing the positive messages to be as loud as the negative ones.

Do you see anything loud and/or extra loud in today’s photos?

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Sorry about the soft focus in that last photo.  Allow me to pump up the volume for the bumpa sticka on the left:

BAD POLITICIANS ARE ELECTED BY GOOD PEOPLE WHO DON’T VOTE

Here‘s “loud Indian music” with over one million views on YouTube:

Two comments about that video seemed extra loud to me:

¡ʞɔɐq sı dǝǝW
1 month ago
Play this at my funeral

Dee Are
8 months ago
HOW DO YOU SET THIS AS YOUR RING TONE

I look forward to the volume of all the comments, below.

I try to make my gratitude extra loud, so thanks to all who helped me create this loud-and-extra-loud post and — of course! –to YOU.

 

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

Day 2313: Finding the joy

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we talked about finding the joy amid

  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • illness,
  • loss,
  • avoidance,
  • confusion,
  • feeling worse,
  • guilt,
  • the government,
  • being fooled,
  • bad news,
  • tears,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • difficult people,
  • distraction,
  • depression,
  • dizzyness,
  • disconnection, and
  • dentists.

Speaking of dentists, I’m finding joy in the fact that  I might see my wonderful dentist — who reads this blog and who is recovering from a major surgical procedure — today.

Can you find the joy in all my photos from yesterday?

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I find joy in Michael’s meals and also in knowing that we can all be change agents.

Millions of people have found joy in this flash mob “Ode to Joy” video on YouTube.

Every day, I am finding the joy in expressing my gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2310: It’s never what you expect

“Ir’s never what you expect” is what I expect my boyfriend Michael to say, along with these other expected sayings from Michael:

“It’s all coming together.”

“Everybody loves you.”

“But do you love …… OSCAR?” (whenever I tell Michael I love him).

“Has he shaved off his filthy beard?” (when I tell Michael that I’ve FaceTimed with my son, Aaron).

It’s never what I expect whenever I do my taxes, including yesterday, when I discovered that all that time and effort I had spent keeping track of  the usual job-related education expenses was for nought, because of changes to the U.S. tax laws.  After my tax software had prompted me to calculate and enter these expenses (like conferences, air travel, hotels,  meals) yesterday morning, it unexpectedly flashed a screen that said,

Because of tax reform, job-related expenses are no longer deductible, unless you are

  • A qualified performing artist .
  • A fee-basis state or local government official
  • A member of the National Guard or Military Reserve who had unreimbursed travel expenses for guard or reserve duties more than 100 miles from home
  • Disabled and claiming expenses related to the impairment
  • Provided with a minister housing allowance

I would have expected my tax software to tell me that BEFORE it prompted me, for about two hours, to enter all those expenses, but it’s never what you expect, is it?

I wonder if I’m a qualified performing artist because of the songs I’ve been writing, like this one:

I expect not.

My son Aaron told me yesterday not to expect to perform at the Edinburgh  Festival Fringe this August, because neither of us have received notice of an assigned show venue yet. Aaron expects that if you lower your expectations, you won’t be disappointed. I still expect to perform, somehow.

You probably expect me to post photos from yesterday, but these photos might not be what you expect.

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You might expect to see photos of other cats here (namely Oscar and Harley), but it’s never what you expect.

You might expect me to express gratitude at the end of my daily blog posts. but did you expect all this?

 

 

 

 

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

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