Posts Tagged With: hospital gift shop

Day 2382: The Pest Reliever

Sometimes, the first photo I take affects how I see things for the rest of the day, as well as the contents of my next blog.

Here’s the first photo I took yesterday:

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It’s a relief to share that I can see myself as a kind of pest reliever — relieving  what pesters my patients and also myself. Those pests include:

  • shame,
  • worry,
  • stress,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • perfectionism,
  • traumatic memories, and
  • harsh judgments (like the inner critic).

Pest relievers can include:

  • acceptance,
  • appreciation,
  • forgiveness,
  • humor,
  • welcoming all feelings,
  • self-expression,
  • self-care,
  • care for others,
  • compassion,
  • celebrating,
  • being in the moment,
  • nature, and
  • community.

Let’s see if there are any pest relievers in my other photos from yesterday (presented as taken chronologically, so I don’t pester myself about any “right or wrong” order):

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Michael’s cooking is definitely a pest reliever.   I sometimes pester Michael for his cooking secrets to share here: there’s no pesto on that salmon, but rather a delicious lime, mint, and fresh peach sauce.

Music can be another pest reliever, so here’s “Voodoo Mambo” from The Pest, starring John Leguizamo.

 

Now I’m going to be a pest and ask for comments, below.

As always, a great pest reliever is gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this pest-reliever post and thanks to you — of course! — for visiting.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2379: 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/
noun
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:

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

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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?

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

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… 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 …

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… 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.

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

Day 2372: Better Speech and Hearing Month

If this is Better Speech and Hearing Month,

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why aren’t we hearing better speeches this month? Instead, we’re hearing speeches, again, about our U.S. President being a “stable genius.”  

Considering the speeches we’re hearing this month, I would prefer stillness. 

Therefore, I am not going to make any speeches this month.  I’m just going to share all the photos I’ve been taking, looking for better stable geniuses around me. I hope these pictures help  you feel better, hear and now.

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I will share this: I’ve been hearing better speeches about my Coping and Healing groups during Better Speech and Hearing Month, which makes it easier to share groups I love.

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How might you celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month?

Personally, I’m looking forward to hearing better speeches (and maybe new comedy monologues) from my son, Aaron, who arrives from Edinburgh today!

Now, let’s hear  “A Very Stable Genius” by Randy Rainbow:

I’m going to be celebrating Lasagna Awareness Month by hearing Randy Rainbow live in Boston.

I look forward to hearing my readers’ speeches in the comments section, below.

It’s better, during any month, to share gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create all of my blog posts during Better Speech and Hearing Month, and — of course! — thanks to YOU,  as always, for hearing me out.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2368: The little things

Five hundred and seventy-eight little days ago (but who’s counting these little things?), little ol’ me wrote a little blog post,  Day 1790: Thankful for the little things.  Yesterday, I was a little perturbed by many little things when I was writing yesterday’s little post, so  I sent Michael this little email:

Hello my darling,
I would say we have an infestation of ants .  This is based on many of them crawling on me this morning while I was blogging, which is a new experience for me here at Squanticello.  Let us research kind ways to invite them to leave.
Much love,
Ann

When I got home from work, Michael was more than a little freaked out at the not-so-little size of the invaders, which turned out to be carpenter ants. He said, “Usually I don’t think of insects as animals, but these enormous winged things are definitely animals.” Michael spent many little moments yesterday identifying the big ants’ little points of entry and applying spray that is kind to little things like children and pets.

I didn’t take any pictures of those little things, but I invite you to spot the little things in today’s little photos.

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I don’t see any little or large ants as I’m creating this little post, so I’d say that Michael’s efforts paid off, in a big way.

Here‘s “The Little Things You Do Together” from a little musical called Company:

Here are the great lyrics to “The Little Things You Do Together”  by that musical giant, Stephen Sondheim:

It’s the little things you do together
Do together
Do together
That make perfect relationships.
The hobbies you pursue together
Savings you accrue together
Looks you misconstrue together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s the little things you share together
Swear together
Wear together
That make perfect relationships.
The concerts you enjoy together
Neighbors you annoy together
Children you destroy together
That keep marriage intact.

It’s not so hard to be married
When two maneuver as one
It’s not so hard to be married
And Jesus Christ, is it fun.

It’s sharing little winks together
Drinks together
Kinks together
That make marriage a joy.
The bargains that you shop together
Cigarettes you stop together
Clothing that you swap together
That make perfect relationships.

It’s not talk of God and the decade ahead that
Allows you to get through the worst.
It’s “I do,” and, “You don’t,” and, “Nobody said that,”
And, “Who brought the subject up first?”

It’s the little things…
The little things, the little things, the little things

The little ways you try together
Cry together
Lie together
That make perfect relationships.
Becoming a cliche together
Growing old and gray together
Withering away together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s not so hard to be married,
It’s much the simplest of crimes.
It’s not so hard to be married,
I’ve done it three or four times.

It’s people that you hate together
Bait together
Date together
That make marriage a joy.
It’s things like using force together
Shouting till you’re hoarse together
Getting a divorce together
That make perfect relationships.
Uh uh
Kiss kiss
Mmmm mmmmm.

I’m greatly looking forward to all your little comments, below.

Gratitude for the little things helps me deal with all the little and big things every day, so big thanks to those who help me create this little blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Soon after publishing this post, I made up some new little lyrics for that song, more relevant for tall Michael and little me:

It’s battling ants together
Making sure you dance together
Keeping the romance together
That make perfect relationships.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2351: Long story, short

Because I’m hosting a retreat for group therapists at our home today, I need to make a long story, short.

Yesterday, I had a long day in which I

  • visited the hospital’s gift shop,
  • facilitated a Coping and Healing therapy group,
  • did individual therapy,
  • responded on short notice to people in crisis,
  • said “au revoir” — feeling sad AND happy — to graduating social work intern (and my co-writer and co-performer of the song “Nobody’s Perfect”), wonderful Nat Shirley,
  • exchanged short horn-honks with another yellow Honda Fit like mine,
  • had a short conversation with the two lovely people riding in that Honda Fit, and
  • sang one short original song near the end of a long Open Mic night, all the while being my short self wearing a long skirt and long earrings.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, sharing photos might be the best way to make a long story short.

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Amelia and Percy, my new Honda-Fit friends, told me a short story about how she thinks our cars are yellow and he thinks they’re lime green.

Here‘s me telling the long story, short, about how I left the house before I felt ready:

 

Please leave your long or short comments, below.

Long gratitude, short:

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2323: Actions speak louder than words

My first loud action in today’s blog is to share this photo of five words:

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I’m just now noticing that “louder” is the quietest word in that sign.

My second loud action is to share many words about when to shut up!?

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Are the actions in my remaining photos louder than the words?

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This might take several minutes to listen to the words and music in “Nobody’s Perfect” co-written by almost perfect social work intern Nat Shirley and me. Last night, Nat and I took the action of loudly performing our act at an Open Mic.

I look forward to your words and actions about today’s post.

Now, it’s time to take the action of loudly expressing words of gratitude to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2319: People who love are forgiving.

Please forgive me, my loving readers, for starting this post with this image:

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I love blogging every day, so I forgive WordPress or my computer or my phone or technology in general for making it SO difficult, just now, to upload that ONE photo out of all my new pictures.

Forgiving is lovely. I recommend it.

Let me know if you love and/or forgive any of my other photos from yesterday.

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I love people who vote. I’m not sure I forgive people who don’t vote, but I’m working on it.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “people who love are forgiving.”

I look forward to your loving, forgiving comments.

I love ending posts with thanks to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2307 Why I Love You

Why, I love this card that I saw yesterday in a hospital gift shop!

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I love those reasons for why somebody loves somebody else.  Here’s why I love that pie chart: it gives the most pie to “You Make Me Laugh.”

I also love the idea of making a pie chart of why you love yourself, because as RuPaul says at the end of every episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race,

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

I love that video of the lovely and loving RuPaul advocating self-love over and over again, because it bears repeating. I also love that Denes Fernando‘s compilation video has unanimous love — NO thumbs down on YouTube, at this lovely moment.

Here are more reasons why I love taking pictures for this blog:

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I love blogging and I love inviting you, here and now, to share why you love anything, anyone, and especially YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2305: Denial

No denial here that I’ve already written one post titled “Denial.”

No denial here that I’m surprised I haven’t written more posts about denial, because there’s so much denial around, including understandable human denial about the devastating effects of climate change. It’s been difficult for me to remain in denial since I followed that link in my previous sentence to read that interview with David Wallace-Wells, the author of The Uninhabitable Earth. 

There’s definitely denial in my photos from yesterday.

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Maybe I’m in denial, but I can’t find the Bee Gees “Nigt Fever” on YouTube, so here‘s “Stayin’ Alive” instead.

All your thoughts and emotions about denial are welcome, below.

Undeniable thanks to all who helped me create today’s denial post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2300: Up for anything

Now that I’m up for the day, I can tell you that lately I’ve been up for anything, including

  • doing my taxes,
  • getting tasks off my plate more quickly,
  • writing lyrics and music,
  • figuring out harmonies for “Nobody’s Perfect”, which I co-wrote and will be co-singing with Social Work intern Nat Shirley,
  • performing music in front of people,
  • doing presentations at work,
  • facilitating five therapy groups a week,
  • serving as President of a group therapy professional organization,
  • reaching out to new people,
  • blogging daily,
  • saying “yes” to things I want to say “yes” to,
  • saying “no” to things I want to say “no” to,
  • quieting my harsh inner critic,
  • taking classes,
  • binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race,
  • dancing,
  • accepting and giving compliments,
  • asking for what I want, and
  • Michael’s home-cooked meals,

I’m up for sharing the lyrics of “Nobody’s Perfect” if you’re up for reading them.

Nobody’s Perfect

Nobody’s perfect, even us two.

We try to be perfect,

But that doesn’t do.

We both make mistakes.

In that, we’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

Nothing is more true.

Nobody’s perfect, even your friends.

If you’re expecting perfection

Those friendships may end.

Friends make mistakes.

In that they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

Nothing is more true.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

It makes your thoughts and feelings uncomfortably sludgy,

With mean self-flagellation even if you’re slightly pudgy.

(if an instrumentalist joins us)

Nobody’s perfect.

Even us three.

Letting go of perfection

Helps us to be free.

Ann: She and he aren’t perfect,

In that, they’re like me.

Together: Nobody’s perfect,

You, them, or we.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

Expectations turn unrealistic and sludgy,

It’s a crime and a sin even if you’re just pudgy.

Nobody’s perfect.

Even a star.

Stars need to look perfect,

But they never are.

Stars make mistakes,

In that they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect

And that’s perfectly true.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Are you up for my photos from yesterday?

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I’m up for anything, including sharing this first attempt by Nat and me to create harmonies for “Nobody’s Perfect.”

 

 

I’m up for telling you that Nat wrote the melody for “Nobody’s Perfect.” I may not be up for singing that high when we perform it, so we may have to lower it.

Now I’m up for your comments, which you can make below.

I’m definitely up for thanking those who helped me create this up-for-anything post (especially Nat), and — of course! — YOU, for being up for anything in this blog.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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