… I thought about a recent therapy session when I had suggested that someone — who was dealing with many slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in their lives — visualize and design some imaginary body armor to protect themselves. This person loved that assignment and looked forward to sketching some cool body armor they could then imagine putting on when they were feeling vulnerable.
This morning, as I get ready to go out into the world, I feel like I could use some body armor, too. My body armor would be colorful, strong, comfortable, and allow myself to move and react nimbly. My body armor would repel bad news, aggression, and toxicity from the outside and let my own self-defeating thoughts escape easily.
Do you see any examples of body armor in today’s images?
Do you think imagining and wearing body armor might help you live your best life during these scary times?
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “body armor.”
When I spent hours looking at tiles for our shower remodel yesterday, little did I know that I was looking at body armor.
Thanks to all who — like imaginary body armor — help me feel safer, including YOU.
going to meet up with blogger Mark Bialczak, his dear wife Karen, and his sweet dog Ellie B. on Cape Cod today,
looking forward to the weekend,
keeping this blog going for the 3078th day in a row,
wanting you to understand that my impressive blogging streak does include making sure that my then-boyfriend, now-husband Michael wrote three entries after my open heart/valve replacement surgery in 2016, and
terrible at lying.
It’s no lie that it helps to know that you are not alone — that’s why I love being a group therapist (and that’s no lie either).
It’s no lie that my coping strategies, as we all deal with the pandemic and politics, include blogging, singing, dancing, walking, talking, eating, and tweeting.
It’s no lie that I’m no expert on lots of things, including Brazilians.
It’s no lie that Mark Bialczak and I both love Steely Dan and it’s no lie that I was singing and dancing to this in my neighborhood yesterday:
It’s no lie that I end each blog post with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me blog every day, including YOU!
And I thought, how do we send the right message? And what makes a message right? And even if we do figure out how to send the right message, who’s to say how different people will receive and understand our message?
I don’t know if this is the right message, but I wonder what messages our governments and the media are sending these days. I also wonder if anybody is listening to other people’s messages. It seems like most people have decided what messages they are going to hear and they are not open to hearing any new messages, no matter how right they are.
Lately, I’ve been choosing to send the right message mostly through photos, like these:
Let’s look at the meaning of today’s title: “Looks can be deceiving.”
looks can be deceiving/deceptive
—used to say that something can be very different from how it seems or appears to be
The restaurant doesn’t look very appealing, but looks can be deceiving/deceptive.
I think many things and people can be deceiving, especially these days. I wish that those who are commenting on the deceiving people would focus less on their looks and more on their deeds. For example, I’m tired of hearing how
Rudy Giuliani looks like a ghoul or a vampire (even if these observations are appropriate to the season) and
Donald Trump looks like a cheeto or something else orange.
After all, looks can be deceiving. I’m sure there are people out there looking like ghouls, vampires, cheetos, or other odd-looking things who are honest, kind, and effective leaders. Likewise, there are people out there who look great and are deceiving, manipulative, and scary.
… many social scientists and others who study the science of stereotyping say there are reasons we quickly size people up based on how they look. Snap judgments about people are crucial to the way we function, they say — even when those judgments are very wrong.
On a very basic level, judging people by appearance means putting them quickly into impersonal categories, much like deciding whether an animal is a dog or a cat. “Stereotypes are seen as a necessary mechanism for making sense of information,” said David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University. “If we look at a chair, we can categorize it quickly even though there are many different kinds of chairs out there.”
Eons ago, this capability was of life-and-death importance, and humans developed the ability to gauge other people within seconds.
Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton, said that traditionally, most stereotypes break down into two broad dimensions: whether a person appears to have malignant or benign intent and whether a person appears dangerous. “In ancestral times, it was important to stay away from people who looked angry and dominant,” she said.
Women are also subdivided into “traditionally attractive” women, who “don’t look dominant, have baby-faced features,” Professor Fiske said. “They’re not threatening.”
Indeed, attractiveness is one thing that can make stereotypes self-fulfilling and reinforcing. Attractive people are “credited with being socially skilled,” Professor Fiske said, and maybe they are, because “if you’re beautiful or handsome, people laugh at your jokes and interact with you in such a way that it’s easy to be socially skilled.”
“If you’re unattractive, it’s harder to get all that stuff because people don’t seek you out,” she said.
AGE plays a role in forging stereotypes, too, with older people traditionally seen as “harmless and useless,” Professor Fiske said. In fact, she said, research has shown that racial and ethnic stereotypes are easier to change over time than gender and age stereotypes, which are “particularly sticky.”
Since I’m an older woman, I have to work extra hard to prove that I am neither useless nor any other “particularly sticky” stereotype. I’m sure I’m not alone in needing to show that looks can be deceiving.
Let’s see if looks can be deceiving in any of my photos from yesterday.
Yesterday, when I was at Home Depot with Michael, we had a conversation about worry. Don’t worry, I’m going to share it.
Michael:You know, I’m always happy when I’m at Home Depot. So I’ve decided to not worry about anything for a year. I’m not going to worry about the repair to the plumbing I’ll be doing with these supplies and all the other home projects I’m planning. And no matter what’s going on in the news, I’m just not going to worry. I’ll worry about everything a year from now.
Me: That’s great! I’m going to join you in that pledge. So no more worrying until a year from today. That will be easy to remember, too, because it’s National Sibling Day.
When we were at the cash register buying the plumbing supplies, I told a a helpful employee about our year of no worry and invited her to join us. She said, “Gee. I don’t know. It’s my job to worry.” I invited her to realize that there’s a difference between worry and planning ( as well as a difference between worry and helping). She said, “You’ve given me a lot to think about.”
I’m not going to worry about that interaction or any other personal interaction for a year. Yay!
Does anybody reading this want to join Michael and me in A Year of No Worry? I unworriedly recommend it. For example, I have no worries about the photos I have to share with you today.
I’m not going to worry about anything in those photos including that black hole, especially since worry can be a black hole.
Yesterday, in a welcoming room in Newton Massachusetts, I was finding this, among other stuff:
I love finding things, knowing that there’s always room for you, me and the stuff here.
Whatever stuff there is, it’s smart not to stuff it. There’s room for you and me to express our stuff, no matter how smelly and improper that stuff might be. Don’t forget: we can always choose to let our stuff go.
I’m now finding room for all the other stuff in yesterday’s photos.
I’m finding welcome room for my stuff here, even when I don’t know what it is (like the stuff in that last photo).