Posts Tagged With: letting go of perfectionism

Day 2264: Choices

Exactly three hundred and seven days/posts ago (but whose choice is it to count?), I published a post titled “Choices” in which I chose to share an exercise about the topic of “Choices” from a therapy group the day before.   Today, my repetitive choice is to mention yesterday’s therapy group, wherein people made choices to focus on the topic “Choices” from all the topics discussed and to share (1) important choices from the past, (2) choices coming up for them, and (3) what makes choices more difficult or easier.

My photographic choices yesterday included these choice images:

 

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Note that a patient made the choice of “anticipation” over “hopelessness” from the feeling chart on my office door:

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Also, I didn’t make the choice to photograph my list of important life choices, which included:

  • Going back to social work school to become a therapist in the 1990s,
  • Deciding to specialize in group therapy, and
  • Developing my Coping and Healing groups.

What important life choices have you made?

Earlier this week, I made the choice to ask Nat —  a social work intern and fellow musician —  to write a song with me, which we will choose to perform together, singing close and choice harmonies, at a future open mic..  Together Nat and I have already made some choices including this one:  I write the lyrics and Nat writes the music.

My choice is to share these lyrics with you:

Nobody’s Perfect

lyrics by Ann Koplow

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.

That’s perfectly true.

Nobody’s perfect,

Including your friends.

If you’re looking for perfection

Those friendships might end.

Your friends make mistakes,

In that, they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

That’s perfectly true.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

It makes thoughts and feelings uncomfortably sludgey

With harsh self-flagellation even if you’re just pudgy.

Nobody’s perfect,

Even a star.

Stars may need to look perfect

But they seldom are.

They all make mistakes,

In that they’re  like you.

Nobody’s perfect

And that’s perfectly true.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

Nat chose to tell me he’s glad we’re writing a song together with the choice words “self-flagellation.”

Nat made the choice yesterday to send me some choice music he’s already composed for “Nobody’s Perfect.” Soon, we’ll be making  more musical choices together, including featuring the choice fiddle stylings of our talented co-worker, Alice Malone.

Other people have made the choice to write songs titled “Nobody’s Perfect” including this one:

I wonder what choices my readers will make in the comments section, below.

As always, I make the choice to end my posts with gratitude for all those who helped me create this post and — of course! — YOU, for making the choice to visit this blog, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1800: GUILT — Why?

Why is this post titled “GUILT– Why?”

Is today’s post — on the 1800th day of consecutive blogging here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally — an examination of why we human beings experience guilt?

Why would I attempt a post of such sweeping scope on a morning when I have only 15 minutes to create it before I need to get ready for work?

Here’s why “GUILT — Why?” is today’s title:

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Yesterday, in my office, somebody was trying to figure out why they were experiencing increased feelings of guilt.  The conclusion was that this person was not getting enough sleep and was eating more sweets and carbs.

Why would lack of sleep and a less healthy diet cause more guilt?

I have no guilt about

  1. not answering my own questions in this post and
  2. sharing my other photos from yesterday.

 

 

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Just a reminder … I can find a helpful video on YouTube by searching on my post’s title.

Why should you feel any guilt about leaving (or not leaving) a comment?

GRATITUDE (for all who helped me create this post and for you) — Why?

Just because.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1146: My voice

I’m trying out for “The Voice” tomorrow, so I’d like to write about my voice today.

My voice is:

  • loving,
  • soothing,
  • delicate,
  • strong,
  • shaky,
  • powerful,
  • modulated,
  • emotional,
  • high,
  • low,
  • joyful,
  • mournful,
  • complicated,
  • simple,
  • focused,
  • all over the place,
  • affecting,
  • affected by what’s around me,
  • affectionate,
  • authentic,
  • intentional,
  • sincere,
  • haunting,
  • soulful,
  • mature,
  • hesitant,
  • certain,
  • pleasing,
  • imperfect, and
  • unique.

How would you describe your voice — singing or otherwise?

I hope my voice comes through in today’s photos:

If you could hear my voice now, you’d hear this:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, pride, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

Day 1087: Christmas Colors

Yesterday, I noticed these  Christmas colors at the hospital where I do group and individual therapy.

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That inspired me to notice more Christmas colors throughout the day.

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Sometimes I get distracted by colors.  For example, yesterday I picked up the wrong Christmas-colored cup at Starbucks when I thought I heard a barista call my name.

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In green-and-red Boston, “Ian” sounds a lot like “Ann.”  I returned that purloined Pumpkin Spiced Latte, and here’s my correctly colored cup of Chai Tea:

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Does anybody — in Boston or elsewhere — know the history of Christmas colors being green and red?

I suppose I could use Christmas-colored Google to find out, but I’d rather show you some other colors I saw yesterday:

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Which colors seem the most like Christmas, to you?  Right now, I’d choose those black-and-white hand-written thoughts, from my long-time friend Jerry.

Finally, here’s gratitude and a Christmas song with colors for Jerry, for  you, and for all my other readers.

 

 

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1042: Happiness

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

Fairness, clarity, completeness, and closure are elements of happiness for me, so let’s see if thesaurus.com 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 thesaurus.com 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.

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

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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 1003: Not a choice

After all these months of my blogging once a day, it’s not a choice whether I’m going to create a post. It IS a choice what I’m going to write about.

It’s not a choice that I sometimes have trouble realizing what my choices are and then deciding what to choose. It is a choice that I tolerate that discomfort and eventually choose.

“Not a choice” was a lyric I heard yesterday, as I made the choice to listen to “Loving You” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical PassionIt’s not a choice for me — at this point in my life — to love Stephen Sondheim’s musical choices. It was a choice, though, which version of that beautiful song to share with you all, today.

I just made the choice of showing you that version by Donna Murphy, from the original cast of Passion.

I’m also making the choice of including this quote, from the first comment on that video of “Loving You” on YouTube:

Today we celebrate Broadway from the 80’s and a few shows from the 90’s. “Passion” ran for 280 performances, making it the shortest-running musical ever to win the Tony award for Best Musical! There is a fine line between obsession and passion. Obsession connotes the feeling that the person is emotionally and mentally ill. Passion, conversely, is supposedly the healthy emotion which two people reciprocally feel for one another.

What might you choose to say about what David’s Broadway Station chose to write there?

This is what I choose to write, here and now. It’s not a choice for me to be:

  • a little obsessive about making my blog posts — and other things in my life — “good enough” to meet my own standards,
  • passionate about this blog, my work, and the people I love,
  • living in Boston, Massachusetts, despite my feelings about the weather here, because my son is a senior in high school and I get all my medical care in Boston for some complex health issues, and
  • going to see my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Laura Snydman, today, after a morning at work facilitating a therapy group.

Actually, most of those things ARE a choice. And I’m making the choice, right now, of making that choice point in this post.

It’s not a choice (or is it?)  that I’m going to include some photos here. It is a choice how I present them.

Hmmm.  My Apple devices have been making some unexpected choices, lately, regarding how they choose to share photos between them.  These kinds of unexpected choices  resulted in my blogging from my iPhone for several months earlier this year. I REALLY don’t want to make that choice of typing on that friggin’ phone keyboard any time soon, so let’s see if there’s another choice for me, now, to access yesterday’s photos quickly and easily.

It’s not a choice that I tried to prepare adequately for this last night — those choices are in the past.   Is it a choice how much anxiety, concern, worry, disappointment, or frustration I might feel about this unexpected blogging wrinkle, in the moment?

I’m making the choice to breathe, right now, and let go of any investment in how this post is going to turn out, photographically and otherwise.

I am now choosing to replicate the steps I took, last night, to make photos from yesterday accessible to this blog when I’m on my laptop. Therefore, I am making the choice to save this draft and restart my computer.

Drat! My photos from yesterday are NOT there when I choose “Add Media” and “Upload Files.” I don’t know why WordPress, my iPhone, and/or my laptop are choosing to limit my choices this morning. And I don’t have the choice to figure out that unexpected problem, if I choose to be at work on time this morning.

Actually, one photo from yesterday is available, for unknown reasons, so I shall choose that one:

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That’s a photo I took during a therapy group yesterday, when we were all making choices about what topics to discuss.

I am also making the choice to include the first few photos from my choice of available photos, this morning:

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You have a choice, as always,  to make whatever comment you choose about my post.

Choice thanks to all who helped me create this post this morning and to you — of course! — for making the choice of visiting here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 694: Oddly specific gratitude

Uh-oh.  Here I was, all ready to write a particularly judgmental post, during these Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, called “Pet Peeves,” and I got tagged by blogging master Chatter Master to participate in something called “Oddly Specific Gratitude,” which has a list of instructions of how to do something right, which is one of my pet peeves, because I’m often afraid that I’ll screw things up, especially when it’s something I have’t done before.

So here goes nothing.

ODDLY SPECIFIC GRATITUDE

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First, I need to share the instructions, then share oddly specific gratitudes listed by the 16 bloggers who preceded me, and then add my list of oddly specific things I’m grateful for.

I shall now share the instructions:

  1. Add to the list with your own oddly specific bits of gratitude. Add as few or as many things as you’d like. Include a picture or two if you’d like… but you certainly don’t have to. Put your name at the top of the list to see where yours started and the next blogger’s begins. (Pssst!  Already I’m confused and I’m thinking there’s a good chance I will not do this correctly.)
  2. Tag the post with the usual pepper tags and oddly specific gratitude. (Pssst! When I copied ChatterMaster’s post, I did get the pepper tag, but not having participated in any other pepper-y post before now, I’m thinking there’s a good chance I put that in the wrong place.)
  3. Tag another pepper to add to the list by linking to their About page, but there’s a catch! When you tag the next blogger, be sure to include a bit about why you’re grateful to be in the same blogging world with them.:) (Try not to tag anyone who has already been tagged that way more people get to join in the fun.) (Pssst!  It’s Ann again, adding her two cents to this list. You can tell it’s me, because I started this with “Pssst!” and it’s in italics. Isn’t that odd that I mentioned this at the END of the list of instructions?)

The List of Oddly Specific Gratitude

Nerd in the Brain:

1. the smell of wild onions when I mow the lawn
2. coffee makers (having the coffee already prepared in the mornings is magical)
3. the way my crazy dog barks likes a vicious beast at the horses across the road, but then cowers behind me like a needy wimp whenever a horse actually comes close
4. hearing my husband talk on the phone to the rest of his team at work… it reminds me that he’s not just my silly, sweet, awesome husband… he’s also my competent, responsible, highly skilled husband
5. opening a blank lesson plan book and imagining the possibilities to come
6. sausage balls
7. watching Grace’s enthusiasm for all things musical
8. the way I can hear a smile on Olivia’s face whenever we say hello or goodbye on the phone
9. knitting with really soft, squishy yarn

Not a Punk Rocker

10. Getting a random text when Matthew is in cell-signal range. (“Hi”)
11. Awesome stuff in the mail, including Legos and letters from friends, making me smile when I need it the most at the end of a long day.
12. Cherry chapstick.
13. Somebody found my blog by searching for “deadpool talks about political social issues” yesterday.
14. Skype and chat for keeping me in touch with friends in “real-time” when one or the other of us needs it the most.
15. Finding new blogs to read and follow through this challenge!

Jackie P (tobreathistowrite)

16. Having friends like I do here in the blogging world. You all make my days brighter.
17. My dog Sam. He loves me unconditionally, wish more people could love like that. Plus, he makes me laugh daily.
18.Coffee. Without it the world would be a much sadder and thirsty place. And I would be a much harder person to deal with.
19. All the bright and cheerful colors around. Something about bright colors makes me happy. The gold of the sun, the cerulean blue of the sky, the wonder of a rainbow, they never cease to make me glad I’m alive.
20. Books…… you all know what I mean.

Fish of Gold

21. Spell check. Even though it did just strangely try to correct my horribly botched spelling of “another” to “Antoine.” I don’t even know anyone named Antoine, spell check.
22. I’m grateful to myself for being the sucker who couldn’t walk away from my dog’s cage at the animal rescue. My failure to do so has converted 70 dog pounds into a metric ton of joy and unconditional love.
23. Male’s hilariously failed attempts at sexting.
24. My sense of humor. I wouldn’t have survived this long without it.
25. To the Peppers for continuing my harebrained Nano Poblano Blog Hop Story idea and turning it into something unexpectedly awesome. Go Team Pepper
26.I also second #18.

Knocked Over by a Feather

27. My aunts Oreo truffles. They are addictive.
28. Finding my comfy spot in bed.
29. Receiving a spontaneous real hug from my daughter, which rarely happens.
30. Watching stupid TV with my husband.
31. Hearing my mom call me sweetie or something similarly saccharine sweet on the phone

Mental Mama ( Mental in the Midwest)

32. the world’s best tiny mommy
33. Evie and Sissy Cats
34. lithium, depakote, and gabapentin
35. the world’s most amazing support network
36. good dark chocolate, preferably with cherries
37. the jumbo margaritas at Romeo’s – lime, on the rocks, extra salt

Mark Bialczak

38. My dear wife Karen for buying me two season tickets for Syracuse University football six years ago, going to every game with me (but one when she went on a cruise) since and turning home game Saturdays into Happy Happy days win or lose.
39. That Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle usually looks like this on the end of the living room couch and her specially covered ottoman daily come 10 p.m. after a day of enthusiastically ruling our Syracuse city home we call Little Bitty

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40. That Karen talked me into going to the Paws for the Cause rescue dog event that March day four years ago when we saw Ellie marching around in her orange “Adopt Me” vest.
41.That my daughter Elisabeth was smart enough and confident enough and brave enough to go back to school this fall to get her associate’s degree and New York State certificate to become a physical therapist’s assistant, 2 1/2 years after getting her bachelor’s in biology.
42. That writing every day on markbialczak.com since Oct. 27, 2013 has turned out to be so much fun.
43.That Sheena Not a Punk Rocker talked me into hosting Nano Poblano this year, allowing me to meet so many interesting new bloggers! Wait. I want to add two more exclamation points to this one!!

Coulddoworse (Rachel or Lundygirl)

44. The park that I walk through four mornings a week

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2014-11-01 10.11.5546. Crochet and blogging; though never at the same time

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SAM_116749. Hot toasted sandwiches with my family on a very rainy bank holiday.

toast50. beauty that you see in the detail

SAM_081951. Great memories to mull over and enjoy.

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Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

52. I am grateful that I was able to copy this whole list with pictures and get it pasted on to my post without messing it up at all, I hope.
53. I am grateful for my kids xoxo, and my husband xoxo
54. I am grateful to read good books, and watch good films
55. Good food, good wine and good friends
56. That I live in the state of California, USA
57. Discussions with my blogger friends and getting their support for my writing

Linda G. Hill – Life in Progress

58. That moment when I’m not aware that I’m falling asleep.
59. The one Smartie (candy-coated chocolate) that tastes slightly different than every other one in the box.
60. #18 – on this list, not the number eighteen.
61. That my children are alive.
62. Whatever it is that compels me to write; specifically to tell stories.

Idiot Writer ~ Idiot Writing :

63. Poetry (obviously) – mostly my poetry – I need it – lots to say things I cannot say any other way.
64. The Sun – when it shines in the UK.
65. The cheap chocolate bars I found! (and so do not feel guilty buying)
66. The fire-place – though I hate the smoke it emits.
67. Figuring out how to pump the tyre on my car yesterday.
68. Internet – SPEcifiCALLY – finding WordPress.
69. Saturdays – Cos I do not drive on Saturdays. Usually.
70. The sound system in my car – and my teens choice of music…it COULD have been – so so – not good.
71. I nearly forgot about SALT. Salt has so many uses! I am eternally grateful that salt – AND potatoes exist.

Last but not least...or rather first

72. Last but not least…or rather first – EVER so, very grateful – that Linda has wine. 😛

Doobster418

I’m grateful for:

73. The 11 bloggers who came up with 72 oddly specific items for which they are grateful, leaving me to really stretch to come up with anything new or different.
74. That said, I wish to second, third, or fourth (I’ve lost count) #18. COFFEE!
75. God, the almighty creator of everything and everyone, for granting in me the wisdom to…oh damn, the devil made me write that. Never mind.
76. Those rare days when I’m able to sleep later than 6 a.m.
77. My wife, for being a wonderful mother who stayed home to raise two great kids while I was off doing my worky-thing.
78. San Francisco weather, because it never snows, never gets below freezing, and never gets really hot and muggy.
79. My health, except for my vertigo, tinnitus, and my current lameness due to plantar fisciitis. But otherwise, my health is pretty damn good.
80. My blog and the fellow bloggers I interact with on pretty much a daily basis.
81. iTunes
82. The Oxford comma and those who use it.

Lucy at the Excessive Gardener 

I am grateful for :

83. I am so grateful for Evernote. Those of us who use and cherish it know why life is so much better. I am really grateful that I spend the few dollars each month for the premium version.
84. Golden Retrievers. My Golden, Roger, died years ago and I still miss him. I live with a Golden, my roommate’s, and he is a joy and a pain to live with but he is proof that if you know one Golden Retriever, you know them all.
85. My new knee. How wonderful it is to walk without pain. I can hardly wait to have the other knee replaced.
86. The drug Avastin. The FDA withdrew approval of the chemo drug for breast cancer, which means insurance companies won’t cover it, and it is not cheap.  I was lucky and got in on clinical trials for Avastin. It saved my life.
87. That I live in Florida, right where I want to be: minutes from white, sandy beaches and warm Gulf waters and only 2 hours to Disney World.
88.  Better World Books.  If you know it, you know what I mean.
89. Quad Core.
90. Defensive gardening. There’s nothing more satisfying than out-smarting a bug or an animal.

Now my list:

91. I’ll start by saying what goes without saying but should be said anyway:  I’m grateful for my husband Mark, my family, and my friends.

92. I’m grateful that I live in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) of Minnesota. We have an amazing combination of abundant cultural opportunities, a highly educated and literate population, PLUS endless amounts of parks, lakes, bike trails, you name it.  We need the horrific winters to keep out the riffraff.

93. I’m grateful for having a job that provides me opportunity for (partially) subsidized travel experiences.

94. As everyone else said, #18 (coffee!)

95. I’m grateful for books! So many books!  So many writers with so many words!  As long as I have the capacity to read, I’ll never be bored.

96. I’m grateful that my husband has the best hobby ever: in his spare time, he makes furniture out of wood in our garage.  He loves doing it and I love the furniture he makes for me.  Talk about win-win!

Mark made this for me!

97.  I am grateful for the internet, which provides me with the opportunity to blog and to meet all of you amazing bloggers. I’m particularly grateful for the Nano Poblano Peppers for the sense of community y’all have been providing this month.

98. Cats! I’m grateful for my kitties Tennessee and Zelda for being such cute and cuddly pains in the butt.

Tennessee and Zelda

Me – Who Am I

I’m grateful for:

99. Warmth! When it’s -10 outside, I’m grateful for a heater that works.
100. We made it to 100! I feel privileged to be the one who fills this one out.
101. My son. He shows me the world in a way that no one else can.
102. Fellow bloggers and the wonderful community we have here.
103. Today I’m grateful for today; a day that I may not have had.
104. Fruit. Fruit does a body good.
105. Sleep, finally! Insomnia is terrible.

Me Next – Chatter Master

106.  Not having a body temperature of 94 degrees.

107.  Fat baby cheeks that split in to super wide grins and smiles with various numbers of teeth-when they see me.

108.  That moment at the end of the day when I know I’m done “doing” all that I am going to do for the day and there are those peaceful few minutes of quiet and relaxing with my husband.

109.  Saying “I love you” at the end of phone calls and visits and not feeling awkward about it.  And knowing my kids don’t either because I raised them with it being easy to say “I love you”.

110.  Remembering a song from childhood and thinking no one else in the world knows it, only to Youtube it and there it is!

111.  People.   Good people.  I’m so very thankful for good people.

Pssst!  It’s me, Ann Koplow, from The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, trying to let go of judgment and add my list of oddly specific gratitudes, starting with #112, which is a number I have no particular associations with:

112.  Numbers and other things I have no particular associations with, since I love seeing things in a new light, letting go of baggage from the past.

113. Numbers and other things that I do have particular associations with, since I love things that have been in my life, up to this point.

114. Even though #112 and #113 cover everything in the universe (at least the way I think), I am also oddly specifically grateful for the way I think.

115.  Everybody who has ever read my blog or anybody else’s blog, which may seem oddly general instead of oddly specific, at this point.  (I’ve been in a very feisty mood lately, so I would like to see ANYBODY give me a difficult time about how I’m choosing to participate here.)

116. My cats, including Oscar, shown here moments after he accidentally accessed Siri — the alleged “personal helper” on my iPhone —  having about as much luck getting help from her as I usually do:

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117. My keyboard (pictured) and my fingers (not pictured):

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118. Photos I take accidentally with my iPhone, like that one directly above.

119. People I meet during the day who are willing to engage in an authentic, open way, even if only for a moment, like Kenny

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who stands guardian at the parking lot where I get my medical care, where I’ve been needing to go to several appointments lately because nobody knows what the hell is going on with my health.

120.  My memory, which allows me to quote, accurately enough, dialogs I have with people like Kenny, such as:

Kenny (obviously using the memorized script he has to say to every driver who enters the parking lot since, apparently, people are parking there who shouldn’t be): Do you have an appointment here?  Are you a patient?

Me (making an exaggerated sad face, because I REALLY DON’T WANT TO BE GOING TO A MEDICAL APPOINTMENT and then nodding “yes” slowly, saying nothing).

Kenny: (after a brief pause) Oh.

Me:  Do you believe me?

Kenny: No.

… which cheered me up considerably and resulted in my Literally Laughing Out Loud.

121. My memory, which allows me to recall another thing Kenny said to me, after I Laughed Out Loud: “You have a good day, sweetie.” (Yes, I know this is supposed to be a list of Oddly Specific Gratitude, not Oddly Repetitive Gratitude, but please see #115, above.)

122. The room to have all my feelings, including sadness, humor, fear,  disappointment, annoyance, gratitude, etc. etc. etc.

123.  The opportunity to end lists (at least my portion of them)

Okay!  Let’s see what I else I have to do in this post today. Ah, yes!  I shall now express gratitude to all previous bloggers preceding me:

The List of Oddly Specific Bloggers

Nerd in the Brain
Not a Punk Rocker
To Breath is to Write
Fish of Gold
Knocked Over by a Feather
Mental in the Midwest
Markbialczak.com
Coulddoworse
Deborah at Notes Tied on the Sagebrush
Linda at Life In Progress
Idiot Writer
Mindful Digressions
The Excessive Gardener
Booking It

Me – Who Am I.

The Chatter Blog

The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Now, I have to do one more thing, I think, to make this right (or “good enough” as I prefer to think about such things). I need to tag another blogger, which means I have to find the list of other people willing to participate in this.  Arrrghhh!  I am having a lot of trouble finding those kinds of things these days, simply because I’m dealing with too much friggin’ information lately.

Hold on …

I’m choosing (drum roll, if you’ve got a drum):

drunkonlifeblog.com

… because I’m oddly specifically grateful for that name.

Yippee!

Thanks to all for whom I’m oddly specifically grateful, which includes you, y’know.

_____________________________________

After I published this post, I realized I forgot to include something, for which I am NOT oddly specifically grateful:

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Michael’s cooking. On what planet would it be odd to be grateful for that?

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 689: Different styles

When I have trouble communicating with or understanding another human being, I often say (or think)

We have different styles.

That’s a more helpful way for me to deal with different personality styles than thinking (or saying):

One of us is crazy.

One of us is wrong.

Lately, I’ve also been trying to leave room for myself to show different styles, in my behaviors and in how I think.

For example, I had an overly scheduled day yesterday, when I needed to

  • meet with somebody for individual therapy where I work (at a Boston teaching hospital) at 9 AM,
  • conduct group therapy, at the same location, at 10 AM,
  • drive to parent-teacher conferences held at my son’s high school scheduled at 12:10:00 PM, 12:25:00 PM, 12:40:00 PM,  12:55:00 PM,  1:15:00 PM  and 1:25:00 PM (give or take a couple of seconds),
  • go home and write the notes I didn’t get to write at work, and
  • attend a board meeting of a group psychotherapy professional organization, last night.

My typical style — when I’m rushed and I’m realizing that I cannot get somewhere on time — is to

  • get stressed,
  • catastrophize the consequences, and
  • blame myself for not doing something differently to prevent the current situation, even if it’s too late to change all that.

And, lo and behold, despite much advanced planning, I found myself stuck in traffic on my way to the parent-teacher conferences, realizing that I was going to miss the first conference at 10 minutes and 00 seconds after the noon hour (but who was counting?).

As I realized there was NO WAY I was going to make that first meeting, I started down my familiar mental pathways to

  1. stress,
  2. imagining terrible consequences, and
  3. self-blame.

However, I realized I could adjust that style in the moment, and I tried some different “I’m Late” stylings. That is, I let go of unhelpful thoughts and called my son’s father (whom I was meeting at the parent-teacher conferences) and told him

  • I would miss the first conference with our son Aaron’s English teacher,
  • I would join him for the second conference with Aaron’s Economics teacher, and
  • Could he please tell the English teacher the only thing that Aaron wanted me to tell any of his teachers — that I am writing this daily blog?

That definitely helped me let go of stress, of catastrophizing the consequences of my being late, and of self-blame for not doing a better job juggling these parent-teacher conferences with my work schedule.

Then, on the drive to the parent-teacher conferences, I tried yet another new style. That is, I allowed myself to get REALLY ANGRY at the other drivers who were in my way, on my trip to my son’s high school.

Now, believe me, that is NOT an unusual style of driving, here in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  As I mentioned in this recent post, Boston drivers are well-known for being impatient jerks, a-holes, and c-suckers.

Wow!  I just used a totally different style of writing, in this post. I have NEVER before, in all previous 688 posts in these year(s) of living non-judgmentally, EVER used such language.

And I hope I have not offended any of my loyal readers or new ones, either (say, perhaps, my son’s English teacher!).

Why did I change my style of writing today?

Because, yesterday, on my drive to my son’s high school, in the safety of my own car, out of earshot of any other human being, I used language like that, as I got mad at the drivers who, through no fault of their own, were also stuck in traffic, and trying their best to get somewhere.

Why would I do something so judgmental and so unfair?

Because it was fun, people!  And it caused absolutely no harm, to anybody else.

Also, it helped remind me of some things I often tell people in therapy:

  • Anger is the human reaction to (1) not getting your needs met and (2) feeling disrespected and
  • It is healthier to feel anger and express it in a non-damaging way than to squelch it or direct it towards yourself.

And, believe it or not, I arrived at my son’s high school feeling great, and earlier than I thought I would. However, I was still five minutes late, for a parent-teacher conference scheduled to last only five minutes.

Much to my delighted surprise, when I got to the English teacher’s class room, my ex-husband was still in there, meeting with our son’s teacher. So, I got to join them and tell her about this blog, in person! As we were wrapping up our discussion of how wonderful Aaron is (which would be my personal style of describing that conversation), there was a knock on the door and a frazzled parent suddenly entered the room, saying to the English teacher:

I’m sorry to interrupt, but aren’t you all done yet?  There is some place I HAVE TO BE very soon and another parent is here before me, waiting to see you!

As I was thinking “that person has a very different style than me,” the English teacher showed her different style, too: calmly and politely asking the other parent to wait outside for a few more moments and then saying to us, “This is why I do not teach adults.”

It’s important for us all to know and respect our personal styles, don’t you think?

My personal style, in these posts, is to show you photos I’ve taken recently.  But honestly, people, do you really think I had any friggin’ time yesterday to take pictures ??!!??!!?

Actually, I did:

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My style of blogging also includes posting a YouTube video of some music I like — often something I heard the day before I write my daily post. I didn’t have much time for music, yesterday, but I heard this in my car while stuck in traffic (and, coincidentally, I might see this live, on stage, with my ex’s sister, this weekend!)

(“Everything’s All Right” from Jesus Christ Superstar found here on YouTube)

If your different style includes leaving comments of any kind, my style is to welcome them.

Thanks to everybody reading, no matter what your styles are!

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

Day 653: To the 9’s.

“To the nines” is an English idiom meaning “to perfection” or “to the highest degree”. In modern English usage, the phrase most commonly appears as “dressed to the nines” or “dressed up to the nines”.

Wikipedia entry for “To the nines”

Now, to the nine explanations for why I am writing a post about 9 today:

  • I like the idea of using the number “9” instead of the number “10” for perfection (as described in the saying “to the nines”). That gives the 99% of us imperfect humans some space to make mistakes and learn, doesn’t it?
  • I want to finish this post approximately 9 minutes earlier than usual, because I have to be at the hospital for work before 9 AM, because I’m on call for emergencies this morning from 9 to 10.
  • I’m hoping that writing this post reminds me about being on call for 9 o’clock, since 99% of the time I am NOT on call on Wednesdays (I’m usually on call on Monday afternoons).
  • At 10, I have 9 people signed up for a therapy group, and I rate that as a 9 out of a possible perfect 10.
  • On my walk home from work yesterday, I heard a song that has a “9” in the title. Would you like to take 9 seconds and/or 9 guesses for what song that might have been?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • After hitting the “return” key 9 times (and giving you enough friggin’ space, I hope), I shall now show you the song that was playing, yesterday, when I left the hospital after a 9-hour workday starting at 9 AM:

  •  99″ (found here on YouTube) is a tune by Toto which I’ve loved — and have loved to sing along to —  for between 9 and 99 years. My boyfriend Michael and I have had approximately 99 discussions about our disagreements about that band and that song. (Michael 99.9%* dislikes both of them.)
  • About 9 minutes after I heard “99” yesterday, I heard a magnificent piece by a famous composer.  Feel free to take 9 seconds and/or 9 guesses to come up with an answer for what that second 9-related musical piece was. ((Hint: this composer said a word that sounds like the topic of this post when setting limits with people and turning things down).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I leave, I need a photo with some 9’s in it. I took this, yesterday, as I was listening to Beethoven’s 9th:

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I wonder how many comments I’ll get on this post today?  (Does it matter to me how many comments I get?  What do you think?)

99,999 thanks to Aaron,Michael,  Ludwig Van, David Paitch, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro, Bobby Kimball,  David Hungate** AND — of course! — to you, for bringing all your perfect and imperfect numbers here, today.


* I originally estimated the percentage of Michael’s dislike of “99” and Toto at 99%. Because truthfulness is more than 99% important to me, I checked out the 99% with him before publishing this post at 7:19, and Michael actually suggested I add the additional .9!  99 additional thanks to Michael for adding more 9’s to this post.

** The last 6  (an upside-down 9) in that list of 9 names are original members of the band Toto, which means, in Latin, “all-encompassing.”

*** You didn’t really expect me to have 9 footnotes here, did you? (Although I did go through the trouble to put in 9 links, people!)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 551: A round of forgiveness

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I did two therapy groups before attending Boston’s unprecedented fireworks show for Independence Day, 2014.

In this post, I want to tell you a little more about one of those groups.

A theme that emerged in that group — as people thought, spoke, listened, and shared — was forgiveness. About mid-way through the group, I suggested a new exercise, which people agreed to try. People took turns, naming and describing things they wished to forgive themselves for.

I found this exercise healing and moving. Today, I would like to continue it, here.

I’ll go first!

When I was in my early 20’s, I became very depressed, for many reasons. Today, I would like to forgive myself for becoming that depressed. Most importantly, I wish to forgive myself for getting  very angry at my parents, during that difficult period.

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I choose to forgive myself for expressing that anger in uncharacteristic ways, which have lingered in my mind until this day.

Now, would you like to take a turn?  It’s up to you, of course.

Before I end this post, I could continue forgiving myself, for things like:

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  •  repeating myself in several ways here (including linking to the same post twice), or
  • startling Oscar, with an unexpected noise

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… when I was scanning that photo of my parents.

However, I think I’ve done the major forgiveness work, for today.

Thanks to my dear departed parents, to people who forgive as best they can, to parading (and/or sensitive) creatures everywhere, and to you — of course!*– for participating here, today.


* I was going to write, in this footnote: “Forgive me for using ‘of course!’ so often in my thank you’s, for perhaps overusing exclamation points, and for any other writing trespasses against you.”  Then I realized, again, it was in me … to forgive myself.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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