Posts Tagged With: gratitude

Day 2515: What I’m letting in

I’ve been letting in my readers on my process of writing a new original song with the title What’s Keeping Me Up Is What’s Going Down.”

I’m letting in additions to that song, like this:

What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.
I see no good reason to be wearing a grin.
Noises begin and reach a painful din.
What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

What I’m letting in, here and now, includes all these images from yesterday:

I’m letting in

  • the good news that my INR is a perfect 3.0,
  • the unusual structures of some hearts,
  • more love,
  • the challenges of being an adult,
  • hope,
  • pickleball paddles,
  • global warming,
  • my poor penmanship,
  • animals,
  • dirt cake, and
  • the reality that Michael mistakenly set the alarm for 8 PM, so I need to run to get to work on time.

I’m letting in “I’m Letting in the Sunshine” by Piney Gir:

What are you letting in?  I hope you have room to let in my gratitude to you and to  all who help me create these posts.

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

Day 2509: Rights

I have the right to start off this blog post by quoting Wikipedia’s definition of rights:

Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.

Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, for they are regarded as established pillars of society and culture, and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived”.

I have the right to admit that I don’t know what “deontology” means, and I have the right to free-associate that with dentistry, especially since I’m seeing my wonderful dentist today.

I have the right to practice or not practice any religion, as I choose.  Last night, I had the right to listen to this beautiful rendition of Kol Nidre, which reminds me of how my late father and our synagogue’s choir sang it every Yom Kippur Eve.

I have the right to share all my photos from yesterday in any order I please.

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I had the right to wonder this as I took that last photo: I wonder if I will see those I’ve lost later, after I die.

You have the right to comment or not comment on this post, however you choose.

I have the right to express my thanks and appreciation for all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 2508: Celebrating mistakes

Yesterday, rather than hiding and denying mistakes (like others seem to do), I celebrated my mistakes by owning them, sharing them with others, and learning from them. One of my co-workers — who feels some worry and shame about their mistakes because of inexperience — texted me “You are a gift that keeps giving!” when I shared another mistake I had made.

Unless I am mistaken, I believe you might find some mistakes in some of my photos from yesterday.

Personally, I think it is a mistake to play hide and seek alone.

Let’s celebrate the late Ginger Baker with this video on YouTube (which may include mistakes):

Because I’m creating this post on my iPhone it may include my mistakes fusion mom. Ooops! Let me try that again. Because I’m creating this post on my iPhone, it may include more mistakes than usual.

Ending with gratitude is never a mistake, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — thanks to you.

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

Day 2506: Things organized neatly

Yesterday, after doing neat things  at a Food Truck and Music Festival  organized neatly by Quincy, Massachusetts, my boyfriend Michael and I noticed this neat book at a nearby coffee shop:

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Here’s one of the neat photos in that book:

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When I organize my photographs as neatly as possible for this daily blog, I often have pictures of hearts (as well as other things that are meaningful to me).  Today’s neatly organized things include an homage to my late mother, who was well known for organizing things neatly and whom I  especially miss during this time of the year.

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What are people thinking about those things organized neatly?

Phillip Alexander & the Wild Things (which included a musician from my neatly organized hometown of Swampscott) played this neatly organized song:

That neatly organized building in the background is the Thomas Crane Public Library, by the amazingly neat architect H.H. Richardson.

Here are a few more things organized neatly:

  1. My boyfriend Michael is now my fiancé Michael (which I’ve been hinting at with some neatly organized clues in recent posts).
  2. I wish that my neatly organized mother and my neatly hilarious father could have met my neat and hilarious fiancé.
  3. Michael meets two of the criteria I neatly organized for a husband when I was ten years old: he loves cats and tuna noodle casserole.
  4. Actually, Michael might like rather than love tuna noodle casserole, but he makes a neatly organized tuna noodle casserole that’s at least as good  as the tuna noodle casserole made by my neatly organized mother.

I look forward to some neatly organized comments, below.

As always, I end with some neatly organized gratitude to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2502: How to feel less anxious

Yesterday morning,  I asked my readers “What are you feeling?”  Later in the day, I learned that everybody in my Coping and Healing group was feeling anxious.

Just in case you’re feeling anxious, here’s the list the group created together about how to feel less anxious.

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I got a little anxious, just now, when I momentarily couldn’t read the last entry in the middle column, above.  I feel less anxious remembering that it says “balloons” —  somebody in the group shared their anxiety-reducing technique of imagining fears attached to balloons that float away.

What would you add to that brainstormed list of “How to Feel Less Anxious”?

Might any of my other photos from yesterday help you feel less anxious?

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Personally, I feel less anxious when I

  • am  all that I can be,
  • own my leadership qualities,
  • imagine new leaders for our country,
  • find the safety in the moment,
  • recognize that everybody has mood swings,
  • show up,
  • am gentle with myself and others,
  • tell the truth,
  • avoid the cognitive distortion of black-and-white (all-or-nothing) thinking by seeing shades of gray,
  • enjoy Michael’s nourishing food,
  • sit outside,
  • wear cool socks,
  • accept that sometimes I’ll be running late,
  • hang around with nice kitties, and
  • share my anxieties (like,now, in this daily blog).

Here‘s a video titled “How to be Less Anxious.”

As I mentioned in group yesterday, one person’s anxiety reducer might be another person’s anxiety increaser, as you can see in these comments about that video:

Maria ER
3 years ago
This video stressed me out

Ian P
3 years ago
I’m not sure ‘the indifference of nature’ is making me feel less anxious, lol.
Laura Thomas
4 years ago
I feel like this isn’t so much about being less anxious as it is about being more mindful. Still good, though.
Survive the Jive
5 years ago
The sea is so primal, even the mountains are younger. It evokes visceral feelings of man in context to the earth. Strange that meditating on the comparative insignificance of our lives to the span of nature should actually be so life affirming.

Ashley Valentin
2 years ago
Reading the comments made me more anxious than the video…

Experiencing and expressing gratitude make me feel less anxious, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2500: What are the words that you live by?

Yesterday, at a Boston performance of the wonderful musical Choir Boy, I saw this:

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Audience members (including me) responded to that invitation to share the words that we live by, by posting  sticky notes:

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Can you spot the words I live by among all those words?

 

Do you see any words to live by in my other photos from yesterday?

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What are the words that YOU live by?

 

Here  is a Rosh Hashana song ….

… and here’s “Rockin’ Jerusalem” from  Choir Boys.

 

Two of the words I live by, every day, are “Thank You,.” Thank you for helping me create two thousand and five hundred daily blog posts with (I hope) some words to live by.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2498: On the verge of tears

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a blog post with almost exactly the same title as today’s. 

I wonder if I’m on the verge of tears, here and now, because

  • summer is gone,
  • I’ve lost three close and beloved friends in the last fifteen months (including two within the last four weeks),
  • I’ve been sharing important thoughts and feelings (including tears) with new people (like classmates at my 45th college reunion exactly a week ago),
  • I’m more than half-way through my Presidency of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy,
  • I’ve been providing my Coping and Healing groups for more and more people,
  • everywhere I look I see emotional pain and physical pain in others,
  • even though I invite people to throw away harsh self judgment and other old habits that do not serve them well, that’s much easier said than done,
  • global warming and the world’s political situations scare me to the depths of my soul,
  • I wonder about the future for my son, and
  • I’m so friggin’ grateful to be alive.

I’m on the verge of revealing all my recent photos.

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Yesterday, Oscar was on the verge of having an infected paw because of ingrown nails.  Now he’s on the verge of being back to his usual self.

I’m on the verge of revealing some news about me and my boyfriend, Michael. Can you guess what that news is?

Here‘s “On the Verge of Tears” sung by Patty Loveless:

What puts you on the verge of tears?

I’m always on the verge of expressing my gratitude for all who help me create these blog posts, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2497: Who’s crazy?

As a pysychotherapist, I’m supposed to be an expert on crazy.  There are times when my patients seem a lot less crazy to me than other people I’m seeing around me.   Now is one of those times.

Who’s crazy in my photos from yesterday?

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Here‘s Patsy Cline singing “Crazy.”

My boyfriend Michael tells me that the original title of that song was “Stupid.” Is he crazy?  He’s been singing that other version like crazy, lately.

Whether things are stupid or crazy right now, I’m still grateful for everybody who helped me create today’s blog post, including YOU.

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

Day 2494: Sometimes life sucks

Sometimes life sucks, like when you lose an old friend to a terrible brain cancer that has killed another friend of yours.

Sometimes you see a card that perfectly captures your experience.

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Sometimes you listen to the same damn song over and over again to comfort yourself, like when you’re driving to say goodbye to an old friend.

 

Hajanga

by Jacob Collier

Everybody, near and far
Come together as you are
To the ocean, to the sky
Sing that cosmic lullaby
Sing the hajanga

Sing your pleasure sing your pain
Like you’ll never sing again
Let it echo, loud and clear
Across the ancient stratosphere
Even when the sun refuse to shine
There’s a song of love that never dies

Even when the good days pass you by
Lift your voices to the sky singin’
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

As the words go round and round
Let the tears roll down and down
Sing the way you wish to be
Let that singing set you free

Even when those dark clouds bring you down
There’s a spark of joy that can be found
Even when things break and fall apart
Lift your hands up from your heart, singing
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

Said every morning
Every night
Through the darkness
To the light
Like a beacon
Shining bright
Sing the hajanga you’ll be alright

From the winter
Comes the spring
It don’t matter
What life will bring
You can do most anything
So give your hajanga
A song to sing

So tell your mama
Tell your pa
Sing it near and sing it far
Be exactly the way you are
See the hajanga
It’s your guiding star

To every woman
To every man
In every nation
In every land
I said please you’ve gotta understand
Now sing the hajanga
And take my hand, sing it!

Then one day your life is through
Nothing more that you can do
So give away the things you know
And tell your friends you love them so
Tell them hajanga

I let the tears roll down and down, yesterday, as I told Tony‘s friends and family that I loved him so.

Sometimes life sucks and we CAN do a damn thing about it, like telling people we love them so.

Here are all my other damn photos from yesterday:

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Sometimes life sucks and we can feel and express gratitude for what we still have, like this blog and YOU.

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Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2491: What helps?

What helps you?

What helps me is blogging every morning.  What helps me is sharing my experience.

Today, I’ll be sharing my experience at my college reunion in a five-minute speech about living with my very unusual heart. It’ll help if I can record it, so I’ll do my best. If I can’t record it, I’ll help you experience the speech by sharing the full text here, tomorrow.

Yesterday, it helped for me to facilitate a Coping and Healing group at work and then to spend the day at my reunion with my long-time friend Lawry.

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It helps to have friends. Here’s part of today’s speech:

So as I tell my story to you today, I wonder, perhaps along with you, what has allowed me to survive, so intact, through all this? What has helped me pick up the pieces, over and over again? As when I was a child — the love of my family and friends sustain me. Also, seven years ago I expanded my network of friends by starting a daily blog. Every morning, including today, I’ve written about my heart, my son, my passion for the healing power of groups, my song-writing, my cats, my hopes, my fears, this speech — whatever helps gird me and prepare me for the day ahead. The day after my heart valve surgery was the only day I needed a substitute blogger — my boyfriend Michael let my thousands of followers know I had survived the complicated procedure. Their comments included “Fantastic news! I’m in public but I’m dancing all the same,” and “’She’s going to be alright guys’ is the best line ever!”

In other words, I get by with a little help from my friends, including YOU!

 

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

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