Posts Tagged With: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Day 2343: Growing pains

Sometimes, when I’m trying to make sense of what’s happening with my country, I attribute it to growing pains.

Here’s a definition of growing pains:

grow·ing pains
/ˈɡrōiNG ˌpānz/
neuralgic pains which occur in the limbs of some young children.
the difficulties experienced in the early stages of an enterprise.
“the growing pains of a young republic”

Earlier this week, Vivian (who continues to grow since co-facilitating Coping and Healing groups with me over a year ago), sent me this in a text message:


Vivian (who is never a pain) also sent me this:


Obviously, Frances Cannon has undergone some growing pains and we can all benefit from those.

Yesterday, after a day filled with some painful growth, I left a voicemail message for a lovely co-worker — who is experiencing some growing pains at work — suggesting that she take a break from her pain and anxiety about potentially doing the wrong thing,  by welcoming it.  While that may seem painfully counter-intuitive, that advice comes from my own experience.  In the 1990s, when I was experiencing growing pains and almost debilitating anxiety at my first social work internship, one morning I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Ann!  Today you are going to celebrate making mistakes and enjoy people getting angry at you.” That self-intervention helped me tolerate the growing pains of becoming a social worker, working within a hospital system, and learning to be a group therapist.

Let’s see if there’s any evidence of growing pains in today’s pictures, shall we?
















It’s sometimes a pain for me to decide what music to include in these posts,  because there are so many choices! This image …


… reminded me of the Pharrell Williams lyrics “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof” so let’s do this:

Also, in honor of the Who being named world’s loudest  rock band in 1976 …


… let’s do this, from an April 1, 1976 Who Concert in Boston (my hometown, where I’ve experienced lots of growing pains).


I’m looking forward to the comments section, below, growing with your comments.


Gratitude always helps with the pain of growing, so thanks to all who helped me create this “growing pains” post and — of course! — to YOU.



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

Day 1222: Be proud of who you are

Yesterday —  on another cold and rainy May stay-cation day — I saw my old friend Ada. We shared many memories, hopes,  and a cup of tea.


Be proud of who you are, even if

  • you forget to take a picture of your fabulous friend Ada,
  • you fall asleep before answering all the comments on your blog,
  • the universe conspires to give you miserable weather throughout your long-awaited May stay-cation,
  • you make mistakes every day,
  • your memory and your endurance fade as you age,
  • you go for walks when other people have the good sense to stay inside,
  • you dance and sing out loud in public,
  • you sometimes forget the words,
  • you let your childhood piano go untuned for over 15 years,
  • you’re living with a guy who collects snow globes,
  • you haven’t done any of the cooking, cleaning, or laundry since that snow-globe-collecting guy moved in,
  • you make messes,
  • you have trouble making some decisions,
  • you get impatient sometimes,
  • you show and express all your feelings, including fear, anger, sadness, and joy, and
  • you can’t always explain why you snap and share the photos you do.




I’m proud of who I was yesterday, dancing  and singing out loud to this:

Be proud of who you are, no matter how you respond to this post.

Proud thanks to all who help me blog every day and to you — of course! — for being proud of who you are (I hope).

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

Day 1159: Good enough

Yesterday, in therapy, somebody described feeling guilty about how good a friend they were to somebody else.  We discussed how we humans tend to think of ourselves as all good OR all bad — in friendship, at work, with families, etc. —  flipping back and forth between the two extreme judgments of ourselves.

I suggested that this person always think of themselves of a “good enough friend” no matter what, rather than getting caught in the trap of “all or nothing” thinking.

Is this post good enough?

It IS good enough, but I can make it better by adding all the photos I took yesterday.









It’s good enough, here and now, to let you know that last night’s therapy group chose to focus on the topic of “Happy/Happiness.”  During that group, I drew the two pictures shown directly above AND I also wrote down the lyrics of this good enough song by Pharrell Williams:


I hope you know that any thoughts or feelings you share here are good enough for me.

Good enough thanks to all!


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1042: Happiness

In yesterday’s blog post — which I was happy to present to you — we found out that believes that happiness is the opposite of intensity.

Fairness, clarity, completeness, and closure are elements of happiness for me, so let’s see if thinks “intensity” is an antonym of happiness.

It does not. Instead,  it lists these:

depression, despair, discouragement, displeasure, dissatisfaction, gloom, melancholy, misery, pain, sadness, trouble, unhappiness, upset, woe, worry

Does what does —  or does not do —  get in the way of my happiness today?

It does not.

What might get in the way of my happiness today?

  • When I was leaving the parking  garage of the movie theater where Michael, Aaron, and I saw Bridge of Spies last night, I scraped some happy yellow paint off the side mirror of my car, which has been providing me with lots of happiness.
  • That’s all I can think of, in the moment.

To me, that is  happiness — waking up in the morning thinking of only one minor, fixable barrier to happiness.

I’m sure if I spent more time, right now, thinking about past experiences of or future possibilities for

depression, despair, discouragement, displeasure, dissatisfaction, gloom, melancholy, misery, pain, sadness, trouble, unhappiness, upset, woe, worry

… I could come up with lots more.

Instead, I’m going to share the music I was singing out loud yesterday and images I captured, with happiness.

IMG_6642 IMG_6643 IMG_6645 IMG_6647IMG_6648 IMG_6650 IMG_6651 IMG_6652 IMG_6653 IMG_6655  IMG_6656IMG_6658  IMG_6666 IMG_6667 IMG_6669IMG_6670 IMG_6674 IMG_6682 IMG_6683IMG_6684 IMG_6685 IMG_6687IMG_6688IMG_6689 IMG_6690 IMG_6691IMG_6692 IMG_6700 IMG_6695 IMG_6701 IMG_6703 IMG_6704 IMG_6705 IMG_6707 IMG_6708IMG_6709IMG_6716

In my previous blog post quoting Pharrell William’s “Happy,” I wondered what he meant by a “room without a roof.”


Now I know.

What might contribute to your happiness today?

As always, it gives me happiness to express my thanks to all who help me create my posts and to all who read them (including you!).

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

Day 473: Depressed/Happy

Today’s title refers to another human dichotomy/continuum we all encounter. Examples of these:



Trusting/Not Trusting.


To battle our human tendency for all-or-nothing (or black-and-white) thinking, I find it helpful to identify dialectical experiences like these, recognizing they are much more than opposites —  they are also ranges of experiences. We are rarely just one OR the other. Instead, we are on a scale,  shifting up and down, as circumstances and our internal experiences change.

Yesterday’s dichotomy/range of experience (although it wasn’t in the title of the post, “M” words)  was Messy/Neat. Today’s is Depressed/Happy.

Since I often second-guess my writing (among other things), I’ve considered replacing the first word in today’s title with “Sad.”  I think the title is good enough, though.

So what did I want to tell you about “Depressed/Happy” today?

Well, we are in the middle of April, a month I SHOULD be happy, joyful, and ecstatic to encounter. Don’t you think so … considering how much I complain about winter?

However, I am not alone in encountering complicated reactions to April. As I’ve mentioned before, April has been called the “cruellest month  (by the poet T. S. Eliot in The Wasteland).


(I found this image here)

What makes April — the rebirth of nature after the extended “death” of winter in these here parts* — so friggin’ cruel?

Well, when we are dealing with painful situations AND bad weather, at least we can hope that the advent of spring will bring some measure of relief, making things more bearable. However, once spring begins and beautiful days start to occur, what if we DON’T feel better?  Then, we no longer have the weather to blame;  and that can feel much, much worse.

Sure enough, statistics on suicide indicate that most suicides take place in spring.

springtime is usually referred to as “suicide season” because psychologists believe that spring “signifies rebirth or a change in circumstance for the better and when they find that nothing is getting better in their own lives.”[3]

— Wikipedia entry on “Seasonal effects on suicide.”

My beloved springtime: the cruellest season.

I’ve been dealing with my own depressed/happy range of feelings, since the advent of April.  Granted, many of my visits to the lower part of that continuum have to do with my personal encounters with illness and some losses/uncertainties at work.

Indeed, I have been experiencing something quite unusual for me: some actual moments of dread of the warmer weather.

Arrrghh!   Not THAT, Ann!  Not after this AWFUL winter.

I repeat, Arrghhh!!

I think I know what the remedies for my malady are, right now:

  • Getting outside, once I recover more from pneumonia.
  • Getting some required and appropriate springtime personal protective equipment. In other words, I need a few important pieces of seasonally appropriate clothes.   While I won’t need all the paraphernalia of winter protection, I still have to FIND ONE PAIR OF JEANS THAT FRIGGIN’ FIT ME (and a few other necessary items**).
  • Accepting what I am feeling, rather than focusing on what I SHOULD be feeling.

Here’s something I want to say about the other side of today’s continuum: Happy.

You may know that “Happy” is the title of a song that is EVERYWHERE right now, by Pharrell Williams.


(I found this image here)

The song is a phenomenon.  It seems to be striking some sort of primal chord.  I have great respect for such explosions in popular culture — I think they’re important. I think they have something to show us, to teach us.

Perhaps you assume that I may now speculate a bit about the social relevance, importance, and learning opportunities inherent in Pharrell Williams’s mega-hit.


However, I will tell you this: Earlier today, I discovered the site for his 24-hour video of this song, where you can find  a continual display of people singing and dancing “Happy”  throughout L.A. (as far as I can tell), synched to the time where you’re watching.

Since I’m not explaining this very well, you can check this out for yourself at I mean, why should I be alone in my visits there, people?

Just so you know, the song at that site has been playing the entire time I’ve been writing this post.

It makes me happy, to

  • hear that song and
  • see lots of people singing and dancing in public, since that has been (more and more, as I have travelled up the continuum of self-consciousness/confidence) my exercise of choice (before I got ill).

Now,***I can authentically write  that I am looking forward to getting out there, in the warming April weather, no matter how I’m feeling (or how capable I am of singing or dancing).

I just have one question:  What DOES it mean to feel like a room without a roof?

Well, I know this: It’s SOMEWHERE on the continuum of Depressed/Happy, that’s for sure.

Thanks to T. S. Eliot, to Pharrell Williams, to people who feel like a room without a roof, to those who feel like happiness is the truth, to my readers who know what happiness is to you, to everyone clapping along because that’s what they want to do, and to you — of course! — for dancing by here today.

* These here parts = The Northern Hemisphere

** Most importantly, I need things I can wear on my legs that are (1) professional and (2) comfortable. WHY IS THIS ALWAYS SO DIFFICULT? Granted, I have found the solution for the fall and winter months: all-cotton tights. What IS the solution for springtime?

*** Friday, 4/18/14, 4:13 AM Eastern

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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