A manager I know at work sometimes refers to her job as “herding cats.”
Here’s what I find online about herding cats:
Managing people can be like herding cats. Managing thoughts, which can go everywhere — into the future, into the past, miles away from where we actually are, and often to the worst-case scenario — can be like herding cats. People and thoughts are entities which are inherently uncontrollable.
Speaking of entities which are inherently uncontrollable, there’s cats. Yesterday, I didn’t close the front door correctly after we got home after food shopping amongst many unherded people. When the door came open later, our cat Joan (who used to live unherded on the streets of Tennessee with her sisters and lots of kittens) got out. My husband Michael, who was on the phone, noticed the door was open and his unherded thoughts went to disaster (a cat has escaped and is GONE!) but Joan, unherded, walked back in. When Joan jumped up on the sofa next to me, my unherded thoughts tried to figure out why she felt so cold.
We’re all very relieved that Joan didn’t take off — unherded and unheard from again — for warm Tennessee.
Now I’m going to herd my images for today into some sort of order.
I assume that someone on Twitter is going to herd those days into a single celebration, like “I’m going to go to the dentist wearing a dress after getting cavities from eating frozen food, oreo cookies, and white chocolate cheesecake, and getting a medal for finishing all those.”
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “herding cats.”
Now I’ve got to go herd my blood-testing equipment into line and check my INR. Feel free to herd any thoughts and feelings you have about this post into a comment, below.
Thanks to all those who help me herd so many things into this daily blog, including YOU.
Some therapists focus on the past; others focus on the present. In group therapy, it can be especially healing to focus on the present — how the authentic interactions among the group members can help transcend and heal old patterns of relating to others that we have learned in the past.
I am thinking about the past in the present for many reasons, including a Facebook post I saw yesterday from a second cousin:
That my maternal grandmother, Etta, was from the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, which is being bombed and besieged by Russian forces in the present, brings this pain even closer to me.
In the present, my heart breaks for the people of Ukraine and for all who love them.
Do you see the past and/or the present in my other images for today?
On National I Want You to be Happy Day, I want you to know that I want you to have all your feelings, no matter what they are. In the past, many of us have squelched, disowned, and judged some of our feelings, which is unhealthy for the present. In the present, I try to notice and acknowledge all my feelings, letting them naturally run through me (like joy does), leaving room for what’s happening in the present.
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “The Past.”
I’ve loved Pat Metheny in the past and I love him in the present.
I’m grateful for the past and grateful for you, here and now.
How do you prepare yourself for the challenges of a new day?
I prepare myself by gathering all my photos and captured screenshots from the day before and somehow creating a new blog post out of them.
How do you prepare yourself for today’s images?
How do you prepare yourself for National Donut Day, National Love Your Red Hair Day, and National Jersey Friday?
I need to prepare myself for a day when I am facilitating a telehealth therapy group from home, talking to contractors who will be assessing the structural damage from our leaky shower, and taking our kitty Joan to the vet to see if her ear infection has cleared up.
Often, in therapy sessions, I encourage people to give themselves credit. Many people aren’t accustomed to giving themselves credit, which can definitely take practice.
Last night, I encouraged people to give themselves credit on Twitter (and I’m giving myself credit for this tweet, here and now):
I can also give myself credit for all the photos in today’s blog.
I want to give my son Aaron credit for making those cookie ice cream sandwiches while we were watching the new “biscuits” episode of the latest season of the Great British Baking Show, in honor of National Homemade Cookie Day in the USA.
I can take credit for this other tweet …
… but I don’t think I can really take credit for the other images in today’s blog.
I definitely can’t give myself credit for coming up with the National Days, but I can give myself credit for naming this car …
… The Canary.
When I search YouTube for “giving yourself credit,” there are many things to choose from, so I’m giving myself credit for making a decision and sharing this:
Thanks to all who might give themselves credit (perhaps in the comments section, below?), including YOU.
Today is National Ampersand Day & the second day of Rosh Hashana & the day I go back to see the Ear Nose & Throat people at the hospital about my nosebleed caused by my anticoagulant medications & our new & adorable cat Joan trying to wake me up by scratching my nose & so much more.
Yesterday I started working again after my 2-week vacation & people were very glad to reconnect in an online therapy group & had a lot to say.
Today, as always, I want to welcome all thoughts & feelings including happiness & sadness & fear & anger & despair & hope & so on.
Here are photos & screen captures for today’s post.
How are you going to celebrate & otherwise mark this precious & unique day?
Last night, when we were eating this delicious & nutritious vegetarian chili …
… my husband & cook Michael & my son Aaron & I were talking about the many ways you can get chili in Cincinnati, including with cheese & beans & spaghetti.
Despite the title of today’s post, I have no retirement plans, even though I’m well past the traditional age for retirement. I love my work as a group therapist in a large Boston teaching hospital, so when people ask me about my retirement plans, I say “no plans to retire” and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly non-retiring, I say, “No retirement plans and when I die, I’d like to have my body stuffed and put in the group room, so I can be THAT kind of therapist.” To illustrate those plans, I get into a typical silent-therapist-listening pose, kind of like this:
Some people think that’s funny, others find it disturbing, and I have no plans to retire that line.
So why is today’s post titled “retirement plans”? I planned that title because of today’s Daily Bitch …
… and because my ex-brother-in-law Joe …
— shown there in an unplanned portrait with my ex-sister-in-law Deborah and their adorable English Setter, Lake — told me yesterday he would like to retire to their lovely home in Connecticut.
I also have no retirement plans regarding this daily blog, so I hope you enjoy today’s typically unplanned post, containing all the photos I snapped yesterday while connecting in Connecticut at Deborah and Joe’s home, at the nearby Harkness Memorial State Park, and at a local restaurant.
I hope the New London restaurant On the Waterfront has no plans to retire their delicious avocado salad, which was a special on the menu last night. My plan last night was to treat Deborah and Joe to to their first meal in a restaurant since the global pandemic changed all our plans a year and a half ago, and those plans worked out very well indeed.
What is wrong with people asking the question, “What is wrong with people?”
What is wrong with hundreds of people answering that question, including me?
Yet when people ask “What is wrong with me?” in therapy, I answer very differently, with “Is that a helpful question?”
What is wrong with people answering the question “What is wrong with me?” with “Nothing!”
What is wrong with people making a distinction between people as a species and individuals? What is wrong with people letting go of shame (the belief that something is wrong with them) in order to heal?
What is wrong with people sharing their images with other people?