Posts Tagged With: high school reunions

Day 993: Equal Time

Some time ago, I made up a remedy for unhelpful thoughts, called the Equal Time Rule.

If you have time for the equal time rule today, here it is:

The Equal Time Rule. To be fair, why not balance out the time spent on negative thoughts with positive thoughts? For example, if you spend a certain amount of time worrying or catastrophizing about something that then turns out okay, consider spending that much time feeling good about the outcome. Or, if you are focusing on a negative, critical person and worrying about how they might affect you, try to give equal time and power to a positive, supportive person.

Last night, at my 45th high school reunion, I gave equal time to:

  • talking to supportive people,
  • going out on a boat in the harbor near the reunion site,
  • eating yummy food, and
  • singing and dancing to old familiar songs.

It took me equal amounts of time to snap each one of these equal photos —  before, during and after the reunion:

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According to my equal time rule, people should give equal time to feeling good, after a  concerning situation turns out well.  Because I like to give equal time to giving advice AND to listening to my own advice, I shall now use the equal time rule to:

  1. spend a full six months feeling good about how well the reunion turned out AND
  2. spend a full friggin’ TEN MONTHS feeling good about how healthy I am, because I danced as long as anybody else did at that reunion last night.

I shall now give equal time to a song I sang last night at the reunion (which I did not sing equal in quality as I did in this YouTube video, when I sang the same song six months ago):

However, somebody at the reunion last night gave me a LOT of equal and supportive time telling me how great I sounded, singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

I hope you give equal time today to taking good care of yourself and interacting with supportive people.

Equal-time thanks to everybody who helped me create this timely post and to you — of course! — for spending equal time reading and (I hope!) commenting.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 986: Reminiscing

Maybe it’s because I’m planning and attending a high school reunion next week.

Maybe it’s because of the time of the year.

Maybe it’s because my participation in different kinds of therapy often focuses on people’s pasts.

Whatever the reasons, I am reminiscing, big time.

Reminiscing can

  • help us move on,
  • keep us stuck in the past,
  • connect us with other people,
  • bring up memories we haven’t accessed for years,
  • cause all sorts of feelings (including joy, regret, anger, and contentment), and
  • be healing, at times.

Next week, there’ll be lots of reminiscing with my classmates from my hometown.  I’m thinking of questions to invite some reminiscing, such as:

  • What’s a favorite memory from school?
  • What’s an important lesson you’ve learned in life?
  • What’s something you’re grateful for?

I wonder how I’ll be reminiscing about that reunion when it’s over, on September 20th.

As you reminisce about that moment when you first read the title of today’s post, did you reminisce about this song?

I’m reminiscing, now,  about how I used to listen to that Little River Band song in the 1970s.

I’m also reminiscing about some photos I took yesterday.

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This photo …

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… might cause regular, reminiscing readers to reminisce about Day 978: Loopy.

One more moment of reminiscing.  Last month, in Edinburgh Scotland, I met Anthony Rapp from the musical Rent.

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Today, my son Aaron and my excellent relatives Deborah, Laura, and Victoria are accompanying me to see Anthony Rapp in a one-man show, where he’ll be reminiscing about his experiences in Rent.

What are you reminiscing about, now?

Reminiscing thanks to Oscar and other cats, to the Little River Band, to all those I love to reminisce with, to Anthony Rapp, to Play Time in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA (which is reminiscent of other great arts and crafts stores I’ve seen), to wonderful homes everywhere, and to you — of course! — for reminiscing with me here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 919: The News

Is it news to you that the news in these posts includes what’s news to you and also to me?

New paragraph: What are your associations with “The News”?

Here are some new and old associations of mine, with “The News”:

 

Here’s news to me: the Woody Herman Band did a cover version of “I Got the News”!

News flash! As I’m typing this post on my iPhone, Oscar


is chewing on my arm.

The latest news: Taking that photo seemed to stop him.

Before Oscar starts up again, here’s all the news from the photos I snapped yesterday:


                              
What news do you see, in those photos?

More news, before this post becomes old news:

  • This morning, I’m facilitating a therapy group in a new room, because there are too many people signed up to fit in my office.
  •  This afternoon, I am having an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy session, to have new, healthier reactions to old memories.
  • Tonight, I’m facilitating a planning meeting for my 45th high school reunion.

In case the word “facilitating” is news to anybody, it just means “making an action or process easy or easier.”

Final news of this post: Today, WordPress isn’t facilitating my use of quotes in text the way it usually does. I wonder if that’s headline news to anyone?

New thanks to my family, Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, the Woody Herman band, Oscar, everybody who attends my therapy groups, my high school classmates, the Fenway Park area of Boston, people who practice EMDR, Yarrow and other magicians, dogs, flowers, parkers,  WordPress, facilitators everywhere, and you — of course! — for whatever news you bring here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Day 199: I dared to tweet some tweets

I’ve been tweeting!

That’s something new for me, this year. And starting anything new means excitement and adventure, but also overcoming The Fear of Screwing Up, a/k/a The Fear of Making a Fool of Oneself, a/k/a The Fear of Not Being Good Enough At Whatever The New Thing Is.

I started This Tweet Process two months ago, when I wrote a blog post called “To Tweet Or Not To Tweet (is that the question?” (here). Then, on a day where I wrote about Twitter again, I did venture to tweet, and the tweet was about the very venturing. I chose a literary allusion, harkening back to my English Major days, at an Old Ivy League School:

“Do I dare to eat a peach? No. Tweet? Yes.”

My targeted audience? I guess people who (1) have read T.S. Eliot, (2) have heard that quote, and/or (3) have some opinion about peaches.

The next tweet, three days later, was inspired when a Group Therapy Professional Organization started following me on Twitter. The tweet:

“I used to think that life was always High School, but now I think it’s always Group Therapy. Progress?”

That was also a Tweet Out/Shout Out to my loyal friend, Lawry (who not only attended Junior High School with me, but also the same Old Ivy League School). One day when we were in our 20’s, Lawry, who was having a reaction to some people’s immaturity, said, with disbelief, that it was like we were still in high school! I replied (with the full gravitas of age), “Lawry. Life is always high school.” Lawry loved that quote, which made me feel proud and witty.

So I figured, for that second tweet, I would use something that had worked well in the past (although I wondered whether it had aged as well as both me and Lawry).

My next tweet came three weeks later (the gap due to self-doubt about the merit of the previous tweets and/or my being overwhelmed by other matters.). This tweet was inspired by that day’s blog post, which had referred to having patience while sitting in traffic.

“Sitting in traffic is just like sitting on your living room couch, but with a better view. (Especially if you have cars in your living room.)

That day, I had some visions of becoming some sort of Multi-Social-Media Renaissance Gal, interweaving daily blogs posts and tweets in an intricate tapestry of Internet Interconnectedness.

I guess that vision didn’t stick, because a week went by, and the next tweet was this:

“I’m working too hard, at the hospital where I was born. If it kills me, at least that would be a nice narrative arc.”

As I analyze this today, this tweet seems to combine a kind of Cry For Help with detached irony and that English Major in me. I wrote it on July 4th, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by work (as I wrote about here and here.)

I’ve been working on reducing stress and increasing self care. Working on it, right now.

The next tweet came two weeks later, on a Saturday, where I was taking a breather and eating lunch at a new restaurant, on my own. (I like going to restaurants on my own, which comes in handy in lots of situations.)

When I was in my late 20’s, I had a conversation with a friend about eating in restaurants alone. He said, “Wow! I could never do that. I’d be afraid that people would look at me and think, ‘What a loser!’ I said to him, “What would you think if you saw somebody else in a restaurant eating alone?” He said, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe, that they were a food critic, or somebody who had a really interesting life, who has to travel a lot for business …..” He stopped, startled. I said, “See?” (This may be the first instance of my using The Double Standard Method to help change somebody’s self-judgment.) (See here for that antidote, among others, for Cognitive Distortions.)

Anyway, where was I, before the digression in italics? Oh, yes, my tweet, last weekend, as I was sitting in a restaurant, by myself, hungry, blowing on the too-hot food, waiting for it to cool down:

“Something I never see on “Chopped” or “MasterChef”: tasters needing the food to cool down first. Do food judges have asbestos mouths?”

What I notice about that tweet, right now (besides the possibly misplaced “:”): I was wondering, at the time, whether other people blow on their food to cool it down or whether that was something “weird” or “uncouth” of me. (Arrghh! All those self-judgmental, doubting thoughts!)

Also, I watch a lot of cooking shows with my bf, who was a professional cook for many years.

OMG! Here’s something else I’m noticing about that tweet, RIGHT NOW. MasterChef re-tweeted that tweet! I had no idea. My first re-tweet, and a celebrity one, no less!

Where was I, after that exciting discovery/digression? Oh, yes, my chronological list of Ann’s Tweets. (It’s coming to an end, dear reader. I promise.)

After a 3-day Twitter Break, I had a burst of three tweets in one day! That was yesterday. I must have been feeling more confident/not caring about Tweet Perfection.

Tweet # 1, in the morning:

What happens when you put the earphone labelled “L” in your right ear and vice versa? Does your brain get scrambled?”

I tweeted that because I was preparing for my daily dose of Personal Medicine — my walk-to-work-while-listening-to-music, making sure that I was putting my headphones on the “right way,” and then asking, “Why?”

Another note about that last tweet: Beth, a wonderful woman from my high school, answered it, on Facebook, like so: “Maybe it comes out as Hebrew!” I thought that was hilarious.*

Tweet #2, on my way home from a long-overdue therapy appointment:

Everything we do is a rehearsal for something else we’ll be doing in the future. And there’s only one closing performance.

More background about that one: I’m in the middle of helping to plan a 43rd year high school reunion (which is coming up this Saturday). It’s not going perfectly, of course, and it sometimes helps me to think of this (as well as many other things) as a rehearsal for the next one.

One more thought about that tweet: as my dear friend Maria pointed out to me, when we were in our 20’s, I think about death a lot (which is becoming more age appropriate, all the time).

Tweet #3 (and the final tweet of this post, ladies and gentlemen) was inspired, last night, by this beautiful conure, at a local pet store, whose eyes were twitching as it was sleeping:

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“Since humans dream of flying, maybe birds dream of driving a car.”

One last thing: My also beautiful (in many ways) ex-sister-in-law, Deborah, answered back to that one on Facebook: “maybe riding a bike.” I wrote back, “The ecologically aware ones, yes.”

Okay, that wraps up this post for today. May we all dare to tweet some tweets, speak our minds, make some jokes, and eat at a restaurant by ourselves!

Thanks, everybody.

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* English is written left to right; Hebrew, right to left.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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