Posts Tagged With: groundhog day

Day 2260: Cute

Happy groundhog day!  Isn’t this a cute photo of a groundhog?

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That’s my cute Facebook profile photo today, because Groundhog Day is my birthday!

Yesterday, I heard the word “cute” several times — when I listened to this recording of my latest open mic performance

 

… and when I showed my boyfriend Michael Malone the birthday card with original art created by my newest good friend Alice Malone (no relation between those two cute Malones).

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I think Alice Malone’s drawing of a tiger looking at ties is much more than cute.  Don’t you?

I don’t think it’s cute how there’s a delay between my taking photos on my iPhone and my ability to post them in my blog, especially when I deliberately take pictures of things  I think are cute.  However, I will share all my other new photos from yesterday and share those other cute photos when they turn up (probably tomorrow).

 

If you decide you want  a closer look at the cuteness in those photos, give a cute click on the photo of your choice.

While I am creating this blog post, a lot of cute people are distracting me (as I was distracted during my “cute” performance last night by a cute kid dancing in front of the audience)  by wishing me a happy birthday.

I’m going to make another cute try and see if I can access those other cute photos.

Here they are!

 

Here’s a cuter and closer look at Alice Malone’s website:

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Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good!  That’s a cute and helpful saying.

I look forward to many cute comments, below.

Thanks to those who helped me create this cute post and to all who helped me make it to age 66!

 

 

 

Categories: celebrating, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1859: That was then, this is now

January was then,  February is now.

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That was February 1st when I took those photos, this is now February 2nd, Groundhog Day, and my 65th birthday.

For those of us who are still recovering from the past, this is now the time to tell ourselves: “That was then, this is now.”  The then is still with us, but the now offers the gifts of opportunity, healing, and hope.

That was then when I watched and listened to The Monkees This is now “That Was Then, This is Now.”

 

That was my blog post for the day.  This is now my gratitude for all who have helped me get through the then and the now, including the Monkees, The New Yorker, Roz Chast,  and YOU.

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

Day 1013: Compliments

It’s a compliment to the power of compliments that I’ve already blogged about compliments twice before, in Day 191: Compliments and Day 795:  How to Accept Compliments.

It’s a compliment to the Smothers Brothers that I was inspired to create another post about compliments today.

If you pay me the compliment of watching a video I’ve chosen for you, you’ll find that Smothers Brothers performance of “Boil That Cabbage Down”  at Boston’s Symphony Hall contains much about compliments.

I shall now pay a compliment to Tommy Smothers, who has a lot to say about  family compliments: I am proud we both share the birthday of February 2 (a date that pays a compliment to groundhogs in the USA).

Speaking of family compliments, I know a  very effective exercise that helps families give compliments to each other. Here’s how it works:

  1. The family gathers in a room, with a writing implement and some nice paper.
  2. One member of the family leaves the room.
  3. The rest of the family members come up with compliments about the person who is not there. (These must be authentic, unqualified and non-left-handed compliments.)
  4. One of the family members writes down the compliments.
  5. When the person who left the room returns, that person is given the list of compliments from the rest of the family.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5, for each family member.

I am going to pay a compliment to my old friend, Joe: I really appreciate him for telling me about this family exercise, decades ago.

Here’s a photo of some of the compliments I got from my family (including my sister Ellen, my late mother, my late father, and my ex-husband) when we did that family exercise:

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It’s a compliment to my family members how I’ve saved and cherished that list for so many years.

Here are some more complimentary thoughts from me about compliments:

  • I’ve witnessed many people in group and individual therapy struggle to accept compliments that are sincerely given.
  • Receiving a compliment that does not fit your perception of yourself can feel painful at times.
  • I like to give people compliments, authentically and freely.
  • I believe that learning to accept compliments can be powerfully healing.

I wonder if I’ll get any compliments about these photos I took yesterday.

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All my photos are taking forever to load in WordPress today. Since I have paid WordPress the compliment of buying additional storage space and I have paid my readers the compliment of spending hours in the service of helping my photos load more quickly, I hope this is temporary.  Otherwise, I may have to pay some left-handed compliments to WordPress over this long weekend.

I shall now pay myself the compliment of sharing my first ever tweet with hashtags, which I created on Twitter while I was waiting for my photos to load here:

I love being in the moment, especially when that moment is a Friday night of a long weekend.

I shall now pay a compliment to my cat Oscar and my boyfriend Michael by including this photo from August, two years ago (which I hope pays us all the compliment of loading easily).

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Feel free to include any right-handed or left-handed compliments in a comment, below.

Complimentary thanks to my family, to Michael/Mike the boyfriend, to Joe the friend, to Oscar the cat, to the Brothers Smothers, to WordPress, to Twitter, to people who do their best to give and receive compliments, and  to you — of course! — for paying me the compliment of visiting here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 398: Year-old, Random Birthday Images

Last year, around this time,  I posted (including here and here) about my 60th birthday party.

Because I was new to WordPress and to blogging —  feeling less secure than I do now — I was more careful about self-disclosure then. So I wasn’t always clear, detailed, or precise, as I described the pre- and post-party process.

One post I’ve considered writing, since then, is “How to Plan a Meaningful Birthday Party for Somebody of A Certain Age, Even if It’s For Yourself.”  But that task remains on my To Do List (perhaps because I really need to tighten up that title).

Well, today is exactly a year after that birthday party, which means:

#1.  It’s Groundhog Day!

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#2.  It’s my birthday!

#3.  I get to do whatever I want, in this post!

Technically, #3 is true any time I blog, but somehow — when it’s my birthday — I really FEEL that freedom. (Maybe that’s one reason I love my birthday.)

Anyway, what do I want to do today?  I want to show you images from last year’s party, never before seen in this blog.

So without further ado …..

No, wait!  There needs to be a bit more ado, before I start. Actually, the images in this post are photos I took today — 2/2/14 — of stuff from last year’s party — on 2/2/13 — which I’ve saved. Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, you’ll just have to figure things out, as best you can.  I’m moving ahead to show you these cool images.  Why?  Because it’s my birthday!

Without further ado ….

Random Stuff From

Ann’s 60th Birthday Party

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Look familiar?  I have a similar sign in my office (which showed up in this post).  The above was hanging on the front door to our place, welcoming guests to the party.

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These were the instructions for the magic wands that were ready and waiting, if people wanted to use them.  If you want to see one of these wands (which can be glitchy and flukey at times, but which work well enough)2, check out this post.

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I had several of these big sticky posters up on the walls, with headings, which people could write on. One thing I’m noticing, right now, about the list on the right: Iceland showed up! (Many months before I celebrated Iceland showing up in this blog).

Here are some more lists, from that Groundhog Day, last year:

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Other lists included Favorite Movie, Favorite Song, and this one:

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I am amazed to see Stop Signs appearing, above, since those octagonal beauties have made it to several blog posts, also  (including this and this one).

One more list from last year, in response to the question “What’s a really helpful lesson you’ve learned in your life?”

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While I always like to end with kindness, I’ll show you a couple more images, including this one:

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My friends Janet and Ray (who have showed up here) were at the party, with their son Carter. Carter asked me a very good question regarding a button on one of the walls: “What’s that for?” I told Carter I had no idea, and then I told him the Steven Wright line, which he then kindly wrote on a post-it note, for all to see.

The last image I want to show, in today’s birthday post, also relates to Janet AND to what’s missing from this post, for me.

Let me explain. Last week, when I decided I wanted to show images from my 60th party in my birthday post today, I knew I wanted to show a wonderful haiku somebody had written for me.  I found that haiku last week, and put it aside, for safe keeping.

So, of course, I can’t find it now. Typical. However, when I was looking for that haiku, I found something else.

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That, dear readers, is the last page of something I couldn’t locate last month, when writing a post called What Other People Say, Part 2 (which was in honor of Janet’s birthday). Here’s a quote from that post:

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.

I said more about that, in that December blog post, but I am going to end that quote there. Actually, I’m not going to do anything else, from now on today, except relax and have fun.

Guess why?

Thanks to all my friends, here, there, and everywhere and …. that’s it!3


1. I don’t know the credits for the photo of this cute groundhog, since I found it and used it a year ago.  So … sue me!

2. Sort of like WordPress, sometimes.

3. I’m not quite done, actually. I want to thank you, for being my guest here, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 70 Comments

Day 396: Too much, too little

I know it’s too late for Christmas lights, Christmas songs, and other things Christmas, but a Christmas tune popped into my head, not too long ago (specifically, three minutes before this).  Yes, these lyrics ran through my brain, accompanied by the tune of a popular Christmas song:

On the eighth day of blogging, my true post said to me …

That’s because I just re-read a post I wrote way back on Day 8, called “Too___, too ____, or just right? (Thanks a lot, Goldilocks.)”  That title and post have stuck with me, for over a year.

I just re-read that post, and I recommend it. It’s not too short or too long, too goofy or too serious, too simple or too complicated, too up or too down, too revealing or too coy, too confusing or too plain, too hot or too cold, too hard or too soft, too high or too low, too bad or too good. It offers a different perspective, for sure — that of a new, inexperienced blogger (although, honestly, I can still feel like a newbie, three hundred and eighty-eight days later).

I realize that if you do read that post, it might seem too …. something, to you.   And perhaps we can all agree on this: That title might be a little too long.

But, honestly, dear readers, I’m surprised that old post didn’t seem too anything to me, today,  because … I’m feeling pretty judgmental right now.

I tend to get more judgmental — with “too” thoughts rushing in —  when I’m feeling overwhelmed and depleted. When I’m doing too much, with too little.

Too much with too little. What does that even mean?  Maybe that’s too general. Okay, I’ll provide some details.

Right now, I feel like I’m doing too much …

  • work
  • writing
  • reading
  • thinking
  • activity
  • exertion

… with too little …

  • sleep
  • nourishment
  • down time
  • quiet time

I’m looking at what I’ve written so far and wondering: Is this post — already —  too negative, too confusing, too revealing, too … something?

Well, it might be too something, to somebody. There’s nothing I can do about that, for sure.  But, as usual, it helps me to express my thoughts here.

Here’s some context of why I feel depleted right now: I often feel that way on Thursday nights, into Friday mornings (which is when I’m writing this post). My Thursday work day is very long (10 hours), including two therapy groups, lots of individual therapy sessions, and an important meeting, with too many notes to write, and too many phone calls to return. Also, I work half a day on Wednesdays — so there’s always a back-log of things to do, from my afternoon off.

However, at this point, I’ve written over a year of Friday blog posts, and most of them — I believe — aren’t too down, dreary, or depressing.  I think most of those posts are just right, with a  balance of concerns and hope, good and bad, up and down.

In case you were wondering, people, I am NOT checking those old Friday posts, right now.  There are way too many of them. And, I’ve got too little time and energy, right now.

But my point is this:  I DO feel more depleted than usual, this Friday morning. Why? Well, I’ve got some extra things “on my plate” right now, including:

  • Preparing for my trip, a week-and-a-half away.
  • Groundhog Day, in two days.

Now, why would I need to prepare, in any way, for Groundhog Day?  It’s not like it’s Christmas, for heaven’s sake, with expectations, or traditions like gift-giving or socializing.

You know what? I’m probably being too provincial right now. That is, I’m assuming that everybody knows what Groundhog Day is. In case you don’t,  here’s a definition:

Ground·hog Day
noun
February 2, when the groundhog is said to come out of its hole at the end of hibernation. If the animal sees its shadow—i.e., if the weather is sunny—it is said to portend six weeks more of winter weather.
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Thanks to Google for that definition, above. Let’s see if Google has some good images, for Groundhog Day, too:
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Perhaps this post is too rambling, mysterious, or indirect, right now.   Maybe you’re thinking, “Why the heck is Ann focusing on Groundhog Day?  What does that have to do with too much, too little, or anything else she’s written about, so far?  This is too (insert your own adjective here)!!!” Well, I’ll stop being too cagey, and confess: Groundhog Day is my birthday. And, perhaps, I’m not alone in “too” thoughts appearing, around this time, including the ever-popular ….
Am I too old?
And
Have I done too little, at this point in my life?
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I’ve learned to answer both of those questions with a resounding “NO!” because both of those questions are too
  • painful
  • conventional, and
  • useless.

So why is there any pressure, at all, related to my birthday this year?  I mean, it’s not like last year, when we planned a 60th birthday party for me.  Man, there was a LOT of pressure associated with that. (But also, a lot of fun.)

So that pressure is absent this year. Why am I even writing about this, now?

Here’s why: As much as I love and look forward to my birthday, I’ve been disappointed, during some birthdays past. I’ve expected too much, and gotten too little. So, perhaps, I’m afraid of a repeat of those disappointments, this year.

That’s just too ….

… what?

Human?

Here’s my ending (and I hope it’s not too anything):

Whatever Groundhog Day 2014 brings, my guess is this: It’s going to be just right.

Thanks to Goldilocks, Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell,  anybody who has feelings and reactions about birthdays, people who are doing too much with too little, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

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1. I found this image here.  I recommend checking out that link, since it has lots of interesting and fun facts about Groundhog Day, including how to say it in Spanish, Hebrew, Korean, Arabic, and German (and other things that were surprising and new, even to somebody who knew too much about that day already).
2.  I found that image here.
3.  I found that image here. Also, that poster is on my wall, upstairs, a gift from my friend Deb, from last year. Thanks, Deb!
4. I found that image here. I’m going to get a cracker now.
Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 33: Groundhog Day

It’s Groundhog Day!

I love Groundhog Day.

The groundhog saw his shadow today.  Which means, according to Punxsutawney Phil, that there will be an early spring.  Spring in four weeks, says the furry prognosticator!

Wait a minute.  That would mean spring will be here on March 2.  The groundhog is telling us that on March 2, it will be warm,  the flowers will be blooming, the birds will be singing like crazy, and all those things I LOVE to feel, see, smell, and hear after a cold, grey winter will be here.

Naw.

Just won’t happen.  I don’t mean to be cynical and doubt my beloved groundhog.  But that’s impossible. At least where I live.

I’ve now seen 60 Groundhog Days and not ONCE has spring arrived on March 2.

That’s one of the interesting aspects of my lifelong experience with Groundhog Day.  It’s based on something that is completely and utterly incorrect. We might even get dramatic here, and say that Groundhog Day is based on a pack of lies!!!

That is shocking, isn’t it?  That the

King of the Groundhogs,
Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators,
Weather Prophet without Peer,

actually doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

Of course, I suppose we could crankily say the same about our experiences with professional weathermen and weatherwomen.  (I still  usually call them weathermen and weatherwomen, although I understand that they prefer the term “meteorologist,” which does sound quite scientific and reassuring, although more like  people we’d call when a meteor is about to hit the earth.)

Where was I before the parentheses? Oh, yes. Meteorologists are often wrong, too. And I’ll tell you what drives me nuts about THEM.  (It’s Groundhog Day, so I’m allowed to rant.)  Not once, in my sixty Groundhog Days on this earth have I EVER seen ANY meteorologist acknowledge IN THE SLIGHTEST when the forecast has been completely and utterly wrong.

I’ve listened to these weather-people warn us, with concerned faces and dire voices, for HOURS (or DAYS!) about catastrophes looming on the horizon. And then when the terrible weather event just … doesn’t … happen ….  Nada!  They say nothing.  It’s as if those forecasts, which sounded so absolute and definite, never happened. The day after one of these Forecasting Faux Pas, these weather people betray not  a tinge of embarrassment and regret. Believe me, I’ve looked.

And I’m somebody who — so far in her life — has been SO different from these blithely bumbling meteorologists, when it comes to mistakes.  I’m hyper-aware of mistakes  — often painfully so — and  I am quick to name them to anybody I think might notice.

Well, mistakes are something that I am definitely working on for this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally.  I am working on accepting and letting go of mistakes, and assuming less about other people’s reactions to mistakes.

And as a result, this may be the best Groundhog Day I’ve ever had.

Here’s to you, Punxsutawney Phil.

And to you, too, dear reader.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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