Posts Tagged With: I Left the House Before I Felt Ready

Day 3053: Best strangers

While I was waiting for my driver yesterday morning to take me to Boston’s Logan Airport, I got these notifications about best strangers from Lyft:

The concept of “best strangers” is no stranger than anything else that is happening during these stranger times. Also, it felt stranger to me to be traveling to Nashville on my own, but so far I have met many best strangers here.

That’s my Lyft driver in Nashville, John, who was a best stranger in so many ways. He thought my song “Everybody’s Somebody’s Asshole,” was great, and he didn’t seem to think that it was stranger of me to sing it for him before my Open Mic last night. He also predicted that I wouldn’t want to leave Nashville on Thursday and, believe me, I’ve heard stranger predictions.

Here are two best strangers at the Graduate Hotel in Nashville — Alyssa and Luke.

Best stranger Luke showed me a photo of best dog Skippy.

At the Open Mic at the Tennessee Brew Works last night, I met best strangers Tio and Laura.

Tio and Laura also performed at the Open Mic and they were the best! Note that they both worked on creating Tio’s best jacket.

Tio and I were best strangers for each other when we recorded each other’s performances. Here’s mine, with lots of background noise from many best strangers.

Gracie, who was the best M.C. of the best Open Mic I’ve ever seen, told me she spent four years in Boston as a student at Berklee, which I didn’t find strange at all.

Do you see other best strangers in my other best photos from yesterday?

It’s crazy how many best strangers there are out here.

Don’t be a stranger; please leave best and/or stranger comments, below.

Gratitude makes any best stranger into a good friend, so thanks to all who read my best AND stranger blog posts, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3051: Comfort zones

In all the time zones of the USA, today is Mother’s Day, and I am comforted by good memories of my late mother. My mother tried her best to give comfort to others and created many comfort zones during her long life.

Here’s my mother creating a comfort zone for my late father when they were young…

and for my father and their two best friends many years later:

Memories of my mother are comfort zones for me. And as you can see, we both experienced zones near the ocean as comfort zones.

Trying to make Twitter more of a comfort zone, I posted this tweet a few minutes ago:

Today, I’m getting ready to travel for the first time since the pandemic created so many discomfort zones. I’m expecting some discomfort flying tomorrow to an unfamiliar place in a different time zone — Nashville.

Last night, I had discomforting dreams about singing my original songs in Nashville. One of them — “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” — is about comfort and discomfort zones. Strangely, I woke up comforted after that dream, thinking, “Well, I doubt things will go THAT badly.”

Tweeting used to be out of my comfort zone, but no longer.

Do you see comfort zones in my photos from yesterday?

Here’s where my thoughts are going — to my debut performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” when I FORGOT my own words, which always throws me out of my comfort zone:

Sharing vulnerabilities can create comfort zones for yourself and others.

I just increased my comfort zone by booking my 6:30 AM Lyft to the airport for tomorrow.

Also, the person who created Mother’s Day for me just contacted me from Scotland, which really expanded my comfort zone.

Please make this blog more of a comfort zone by expressing your thoughts and feelings in the comments zone below.

Gratitude always increases my comfort zones, so thanks to all who help me get into the blogging zone every day, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2679: What’s your biggest strength?

What’s your biggest strength?

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Holding a grudge is not one of my biggest strengths. Neither is cooking. Luckily, I’m married to somebody whose biggest strengths include making great meals, like chili and cornbread.

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My biggest strengths include

  • group therapy,
  • blogging, and
  • writing and performing original songs, like this one:

I felt stronger lat night because fellow blogger beth and my friend Barbara both attended that Zoom Open Mic, and when I finished my song, somebody yelled out “Bitchin‘!”

Do you see any biggest strengths in my other photos from yesterday?

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Until last night, I didn’t know that Michael’s sister Lydia’s biggest strengths included rock painting!

One of my biggest strengths is expressing gratitude for everything and everyone, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2677: Lectures

There will be no lectures, here and now  — just a sharing of information and images, like this one:

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Please, no lectures about that button I made for a woman who has to  deal with a man who lectures her.  Instead, let’s look at this definition of lecture:

to criticize (someone) severely or angrily especially for personal failings

“the frustrated manager lectured the waitstaff about its poor level of service”

Synonyms for lecture

baste, bawl out, berate, call down, castigate, chastise, chew out, dress down, flay, hammer, jaw, keelhaul, lambaste (or lambast), rag, rail (at or against), rant (at), rate, ream (out), rebuke, reprimand, reproach, scold, score, tongue-lash, upbraid
Words Related to lecture

admonish, chide, remonstrate (with), reprove
abuse, assail, attack, bad-mouth, blame, blast, censure, condemn, criticize, crucify, denounce, dis (also diss) [slang], excoriate, fault, harangue, knock, lace (into), lash, pan, reprehend, revile, scourge, slam, vituperate
belittle, disparage, mock, put down
ridicule, scoff, scorn

Phrases synonymous with lecture

lay into, read the riot act (to), take to task

Near antonyms for lecture

approve, endorse (also indorse), sanction
extol (also extoll), laud, praise

Please, no lectures about my sharing the definition, synonyms, and antonyms for the verb form of the word “lecture” there.

Instead of lectures, I prefer

  • action,
  • help,
  • thoughtfulness,
  • kindness,
  • empathy,
  • awareness,
  • understanding,
  • listening,
  • approval,
  • endorsement,
  • praise,
  • openness,
  • flexibility, and
  • acceptance.

Who lectures you, these days?   Authority figures?  Family members? Acquaintances? YOURSELF?

How do those lectures affect you?  How do you deal with them?

If you wear a button like this about lectures …

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… at least you’re being direct and polite.

No lectures about signing up for my socially distanced performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” tomorrow night between 7 – 9 PM, USA Eastern Time, but you do need to do that TODAY by using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn2

Are there any lectures in my other photos from yesterday, when I left the house before I felt ready?

 

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I didn’t hear any lectures in Buena Vista Social Club last night, but I did hear great music including this:

 

I look forward to your thoughts and feelings about lectures, below.

No lectures, just thanks to all who helped me create this “Lectures” post, including YOU.

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Categories: definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2675: What to think about in the morning

What to think about in the morning, for me, includes

  • blogging,
  • those I love,
  • work,
  • what’s not working,
  • possible disasters related to what’s not working,
  • reasonable reframes of my fears,
  • group therapy,
  • my obligations,
  • the birds singing outside,
  • Oscar,

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  • the health of others and myself,
  • how much sleep I got and need,
  • staying safe during the pandemic,
  • achievable next steps,
  • who is in pain,
  • what might help,
  • the news,
  • the immediate future,
  • the past,
  • the present moment, and
  • how to improve the present moment.

I’m improving the present moment by sharing  “What to Think About in the Morning Before You Remember the Sad State of the World” by Eugenia Viti, from the New Yorker.

What to think about this morning includes the virtual Jam’n Java Open Mic this Friday, May 1, 7PM- 9PM USA Eastern Time, which will feature me, my ukulele, and my song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready.”  If you think you might want to attend, sign up using this link by Thursday, April 30.

What to think about these images I captured yesterday?

 

What to think about this morning, for me, includes my first performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” at the Jam’n Java Open Mic, when I forgot the words and somehow recovered:

What to think, here and now?

What to think about, any time, is expressing thanks to others, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2672: Incredibly profound

My incredibly profound friend Deb, who is social distancing in Florida, sent me this text yesterday:

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I found it incredibly profound that Deb sent me that photo of her wearing her “Left the house before I felt ready” tee, which I created after publishing Day 166: The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally Merchandise: T-Shirts.

Is it incredibly profound that I texted back “That’s going in the blog tomorrow. If I had any energy I would market it”?

It’s incredibly profound that

  • we’re all experiencing this coronavirus pandemic together,
  • there are so many unknowns about the virus,
  • the news is frightening, and
  • nobody knows what the future will be.

Are any of these other images incredibly profound?

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Is it incredibly profound that I wrote this song based on the t-shirt Deb is wearing?

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I LEFT THE HOUSE BEFORE I FELT READY

I left the house before I felt ready.

I’m wrinkled, distracted, a little bed-heady.

Don’t know where my phone is, one glove, or umbrella.

My water bottle’s probably somewhere in the cellah.

Here on the outside I’m sort of unsteady

When I’ve left the house before I felt ready.

 

I left the house before I felt certain

What clothes to wear, should I tuck my shirt in?

Should I eat a banana, a cookie, a peach?

Do something productive or go to the beach?

With indecision I’m strugglin’ and hurtin’

Because I left the house before I felt certain.

 

I left the house before I was sure

Of what I could tolerate, face, or endure.

Should I stick to what’s safe or try something new?

Taking risks — tsk tsk tsk — not the right thing to do?

I might meet someone sweet or step into manure

If I’ve left the house before I felt sure.

 

I have left the house, I can recall,

To work, to sing, to shop at the mall.

If I waited until I was sure not to fall

I’d never leave the house at all!

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

I’m vulnerable, present, and reasonably steady.

I’m glad to be here even if it’s not home.

Even if my hair needs a brush or a comb.

I’m not totally sure or secure, this it true.

But I’m certain I’m ready enough to meet you.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

 

I look forward to your incredibly profound comments about this blog post. Even if you don’t think your thoughts and feelings are incredibly profound, I do.

Incredibly profound thanks to all who help me create these daily blog posts, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 2351: What would you like the power to do?

Yesterday, after a day of owning my  power at the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy annual conference (Diving In: From the Shallows to the Deep) and on my way to a wonderful party at the home of one of the NSGP members, I saw this sign:

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What would you like the power to do? I would like the power to

  • speak up,
  • grow,
  • be confident,
  • play,
  • influence,
  • encourage people to heal in group therapy,
  • reach people through this blog, and
  • share my other photos from yesterday.

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I wish our current national leaders had the power to be nice and I’m wondering about the power of the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary.

I would like the power to share my one video from yesterday, but I will have to power up my phone to do that after I share this post via my laptop.

Here, here, here, and here are the original songs I played at the party last night that one powerful  person had the power to call “Brilliant.”

The brilliant person at the party had the power to convince me to try to do a workshop at next year’s conference based on my original songs.

Would you like the power to comment?

I have the power to do gratitude at this daily blog, so thanks to all who gave me the power to create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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I have the power to share this video of my singing my conference committee gratitude song at the NSGP business meeting yesterday. I also have the power to sing it today at the end of the conference, when it may be more powerful.

 

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

Day 2315: 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: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2168: What the hell happened?

What the hell!  Did anybody else have a week where you asked yourself,

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“What the hell happened?”

When you’re talking to somebody on the phone and they’re suddenly not there, do you ask yourself, “What the hell happened?  Did they hang up on me?  Was it something I said? Are they angry? Did their phone lose power? Is the signal week?  Should I call back? Are they calling me back?”

What the hell happened  in these photos?

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What the hell happened in the first photo above and the last one?  First photo: We did a mindfulness exercise in a therapy group last week where we focused on a piece of paper we crumpled  and then unfolded. Last photo: a group calling themselves “Gym Class” performed Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” at an open mic last night.

What the hell happened last night when I debuted my latest original song, “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” at that same open mic?   See for yourself:

What the hell do you think will happen if you leave a comment?

What the hell happens at the end of my blog posts?

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2161: Before I Felt Ready

Have you ever done anything before you felt ready?

I may be performing my latest original song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” before I feel ready,  six days from today.

Are you ready to feel the lyrics to that new song?

Ready or not, here they come!

 

I Left the House Before I Felt Ready

by Ann Koplow

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

I’m wrinkled, distracted, a little bed-heady.

Don’t know where my phone is, one glove, or umbrella,

My water bottle’s prob’ly somewhere in the cella.

Here on the outside I’m sort of unsteady

When I’ve left the house before I felt ready.

 

I left the house before I felt certain

What clothes to wear?  Should I tuck my shirt in?

Should I eat a banana, a cookie, a peach?

Do something productive or go to the beach?

With indecision I’m strugglin’ and hurtin’

When I’ve left the house before I felt certain.

 

I left the the house before I felt sure

About what I can tolerate, face, or endure.

Should I stick to what’s safe or try something new?

Taking risks — tsk, tsk tsk — not the right thing to do?

I might meet someone nice or step into manure

When I’ve left the house before I feel sure.

 

I did leave the house, I can recall,

To work, to sing, to shop at the mall,

If  I waited until I was sure not to fall

I’d never leave the house at all.

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

I’m vulnerable, present, and reasonably steady.

I’m glad to be here even if it’s not home,

Even if my hair needs a brush and a comb,

I’m not totally sure or secure, this is true,

But I’m certain I’m ready enough to meet you.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

 

Do you feel ready for my latest photos?

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I’ll be ready with that t-shirt (tucked or untucked) when I debut that song at an Open Mic on Friday, December 7th.

There are no songs on YouTube with my title, but here‘s the Fugees‘ “Ready or Not” performed by Southern University Marching Band in 2016:

I feel ready for your comments if you feel ready to share one below.

I’m always ready to express gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — YOU.

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

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