Posts Tagged With: letting go of “shoulds”

Day 2510: It’s not unusual

It’s not unusual for me to

  • spend time worrying about something that doesn’t come to pass,
  • make assumptions about what somebody is thinking only to find that I was way off,
  • avoid checking the latest news,
  • wish better people were in power,
  • be shy about asking for help,
  • write on white boards at work,
  • talk to anybody who will listen about the healing power of groups,
  • pose a question and then find out the answer is more complicated than expected, and
  • appreciate being alive, every day.

In yesterday’s blog post — Day 2509: Transformation — I asked people to identify the guitarist on the 1965 Tom Jones hit, “It’s Not Unusual.”

While I was told the guitarist was Jimmy Page, it turns out that the guitarist was either Jimmy Page or Joe Moretti AND the keyboardist was definitely Reginald Dwight, more famously known as Elton John.

It’s not unusual for me to send an email like this to Michael:

Who was the keyboardist on “It’s Not Unusual”?

One of the most famous keyboardists in rock and roll history!

Don’t cheat! Answer provided tonight!

One of the least famous keyboardists in history

It’s not unusual for me to share my latest photos.





It’s not unusual for a cat to look at a king or a blogger.

It’s not unusual for me to share definitions, like this one:


A cat may look at a king is an English proverb that means even someone of low status has rights. A cat may look at a king implies that all people have certain minimal rights by virtue of being alive. Like many proverbs, the origin is unknown. The first printed version of the idiom a cat may look at a king was published in 1562, in The Proverbs And Epigrams Of John Heywood, “What, a cat may look on a king, ye know!” It is almost certain that the proverb existed in oral tradition long before it was written down. A cat may look at a king is a proverb that is not as popular as it was in the past, perhaps because inalienable human rights are more recognized in the present time, or perhaps because the power of kings is not what it once was.

It’s not unusual for me to appreciate any comments you might share, below.

It’s not unusual for me to express gratitude for all who help me create these daily blog post, including YOU!

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2481: Information for healthy living

Just now, when I searched my thousands of blogs for a previous post about “information for healthy living,” this is what WordPress told me:

Nothing Found

Sorry, but nothing matched your search criteria. Please try again with some different keywords.


And here I thought I’ve been giving you, my readers, information for healthy living for approximately two thousand, five hundred and seventeen days!

Well, as I like to tell people, there’s no time like the present, so let’s begin:


That photo helps explain and corroborate today’s title, but there’s no information for healthy living there!

Let’s see if there’s any information for healthy living in the rest of my photos from yesterday:














When I search YouTube for “information for heathy living,” lots of videos show up, including this one:


Yesterday, I told my wonderful Primary Care Physician —  Dr. Laura Snydman at Tufts Medical Center —  that I hoped  my dancing was as good for healthy living as medicine is.

Here‘s Bailey and Gino from So You Think You Can Dance (which I think is great medicine):


Feel free to add more information for healthy living in the comments section, below.

Here’s some healthy thanks from your grateful blogger:





Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 943: Shoulda Woulda Coulda

I shoulda explain the title of this post.

I woulda written this post earlier this week, but I had other thoughts about other things I wanted to share, first.

I coulda told you about a poem I wrote last weekend, but there’s no time like the present.

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Is not endorsed by Buddha.

Because I’m not Buddha, I shoulda woulda coulda every day about:

  • tasks,
  • thoughts,
  • feelings, and
  • every other aspect of life.

I shoulda ask if you do the same.

I woulda taken more relevant photos yesterday, if I’d been more focused and mindful.

I coulda taken a better picture of last night’s blue moon, for sure.

I shoulda think of some good-enough music for this post-blue-moon post. I woulda included tunes I heard yesterday by Pat Metheny and Stephen Sondheim. I coulda share this classic, which I heard last night on the radio in a new (to me) version:

I shoulda woulda coulda rest my sore typing thumbs this weekend. Let’s see if I do.

I shoulda say, now, I’m not sure how others woulda and coulda order the words shoulda, coulda, and woulda.

Coulda I care about the perfect order? Shoulda I say? Woulda it matter?

What matters to me is if there’s anything you shoulda woulda coulda comment.

I shoulda thank Buddha, Tom Morello, Tennessee Ernie Ford (who coulda sing a mean version of “Sixteen Tons” by Merle Travis I loved when I was young), the moon, my thumbs, all those who helped me create today’s post, and I woulda be a very ungrateful blogger if I didn’t thank you.

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

Day 897: Facts you should know, no matter what your age

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, here are facts you should know, no matter what your age:

  1. That is a very unlikely and uncharacteristic post title here, considering this blog is about letting go of judgment (including shoulds).
  2. That is a very unlikely and uncharacteristic post title here, considering I rarely write about age.
  3. That is a very unlikely and uncharacteristic post title here, considering its focus on facts (without feelings).
  4. That uncharacteristic and unlikely title was inspired by two signs I saw yesterday:

No matter when you were born, is there a fact you think others should know? If there is, you should know this as a fact: I would love for you to include that (or anything else) in a comment.

Since I do believe there are facts that can be helpful (although you should know, if you read my blog, that I avoid the word “should”), here are some things I do know, here and now:

  • There was rain, yesterday, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



  • People (including me) often take photos near Fenway Park.

  •  Yesterday, there were only four candies and two colors in a candy bowl at work.

  • There is greenery (and pinkery) inside and outside in Boston, during this time of the year.

  • Stairs are still not easy for me, in June of 2015.

  • My discomfort with stairs may be a result of (1) my age, (2) my recovery from cardiac-related surgery last month,  and/or (3) the possibility that I should be exercising more.
  • My discomfort with stairs, last year, did not interfere with my enjoyment of the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This is a prediction (rather than a fact), but I believe that discomfort with stairs will NOT interfere with my enjoyment of the 2015 Festival Fringe, when my 17-year-old son Aaron and I return there, in two months.

Here’s another fact you should know (if you read this blog): I like to include music here.

Born from 1945 – 1965?    You might know this song.

Here are facts you should know: “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen is available for viewing at YouTube.

One more fact you might know: I end a post with thanks to whomever and whatever helped me write it and to you, especially, for reading it.

Thanks (no matter what your age)!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 568: How am I supposed to feel?

“How am I supposed to feel?”

I’m wondering if that’s a question you’re familiar with.

Personally, I hear questions like that a lot, at work and elsewhere. For example:

How am I supposed to feel

  • about what just happened.
  • in the morning/afternoon/evening/night.
  • when I’m treated that way.
  • about my family.
  • at this age.
  • about the future.
  • regarding that news.
  • when I’m dealing with all this.
  • after you said that.
  • when things seem so dangerous.
  • if I’m having a different reaction from other people.
  • when the weather is like this.
  • if I don’t feel like myself.
  • in response to what they did.
  • with this unexpected occurrence.
  • when I lose people.
  • about this feeling.
  • here.
  • now.

…. and other questions (expressed with different feelings).

What’s the answer?

I don’t know.

Or, put another way,  there is no “supposed” about feelings.  Feelings just …. are.

How are you supposed to feel about THAT?

Or, about these photos I took yesterday?

IMG_7251 IMG_7253 IMG_7254 IMG_7257 IMG_7258 IMG_7262 IMG_7263 IMG_7266 IMG_7269 IMG_7271 IMG_7273 IMG_7275 IMG_7277

How was I supposed to feel, when I was taking them?

What do you think?

Thanks to everybody who contributed to the words and images here, to people who have feelings (at work and elsewhere), and to you — of course! — no matter what you are supposed to do, today.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 534: True Colors

I just discovered something, which I could characterize as a real problem, causing me worry and anxiety.

All the photos I’ve taken and shown here for three weeks —  since Day 511: All-request Weekend — have the WRONG colors.

How did I find this out?  First,  I noticed that the “revert to original” button was turned on, for a recent photo, even though I didn’t think I had cropped or otherwise altered it in any way.  When I clicked on that button out of curiosity, I saw the photo transformed, for the better. When, I further explored, I discovered the full extent of the problem.

I surmise, at this point, the following:  while I was snapping photos during my adventures in Central Square, Cambridge, I — unaware and accidentally —  pressed something on my iPhone which altered the colors on every photo, from then on.

Realizing that — and I know this is a strong word — horrified me, to think that I could so easily screw things up, for all my photos, and not know.

And as I have restored — in the place where these photos are stored — each image to its true colors, I have seen the full extent of the screw-up. Each one looks so much better  — richer, fuller, livelier, much more beautiful — once I correct for my error.

I shall now state this simply: every friggin’ photo I’ve posted, in the last 23 days, has been notably wrong. And each “wrong” photo is still there, in all those posts.

And here’s the funny thing: When I posted those photos, I was happy with them. And readers have expressed happiness with them, too.

So, what should I do, now that I know the truth about these flawed photos?  How should I react to the knowledge that dozens of photos that I presented to you here  — innocently and with good intent, believing that each was as perfect as possible — actually could be better?

When I discovered the problem, this was my first impulse: I should replace each and every photo with the “correct” version.

Then, I thought … no.  The photos were good enough for me — and, apparently, for my readers — when I posted them.   Why not leave them, as they are?

Perhaps that decision is easier for me for this reason: I’m not a professional photographer, so my sense of self is NOT tied up with photographs.

In any case, here’s the course of action I am choosing:

  1. try to figure out why the heck this started happening
  2.  fix the problem, if I can, and
  3.  make sure the photos I post from now on have their original, full colors.

I confess: I also had a moment where I wondered … should I even tell my readers about this?  Speaking for myself, now that I look back at those photos (which originally seemed good enough to me), they  look … dingy.  Disappointing. Lacking.  Should I keep that to myself, lest others look back and be disappointed, too?

But as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my natural interpersonal style is “transparent.” I feel better, when I tell the truth.

And to keep being transparent, I’ll show you an example of the color difference, with this photo that appeared in a recent blog post. Here’s the “wrong” version, is it appears in that post:


Here’s the photo with the color corrected (by my pressing “revert to original” where the photos are stored):


Again,  photo posted in previous post:


Same photo with true colors:


Another one, posted here:


And with colors restored, correctly:


Arrghh!  For some reason, all the photos with true colors are disoriented like that, when I try to re-post them here. And I can’t seem to fix that, either, no matter how I try.

Time out, for a typical worst fear: Am I losing credibility with you?  Am I seeming less than competent, with all my admitted screw-ups?

I am letting go of those fears, now.

Sometimes,  you know, EVERYTHING seems to go wrong. Last night, while I was driving home from dinner with my son, I got a flat tire.  We got home safe and sound, but I’m still figuring out how to solve that issue, and get to work on time today.

With all these things that are “going wrong,” I now have a calmness and faith that I will figure out ways to resolve each of them, effectively enough.

And what’s the worse that could happen?  Will any harm come to those I love? Will any permanent damage happen to me — with imperfect photos and a spare on my car, that needs changing soon?   I don’t think so.

Who cares, if things aren’t perfect?  Who cares, if I can’t fix these things right now?

Not I.  I hope you don’t care, either.

How should I end this post, about true colors and calmness in the face of problems?

I want to focus on Susan, who also works with me:


I am so pleased to introduce you to Susan (and pleased to announce that I figured out how to fix the color AND the orientation of that Very Important Photo).

Susan, in that perfect-as-can-be picture, is pointing at her final surviving cat, the beautiful black and white one, named “Sweetie.”

Until a few years ago, Sweetie was one of a trio of cats, much beloved by Susan.  Tigger, shown above Sweetie in that photo, died on 12/9/11. Nine months later, Susan lost Lucky (below Sweetie), on 9/12/12.

Here’s another view of Lucky, who was a cantaloupe junkie:


Sweetie is terminally ill now, too. When I’ve been speaking to Susan during this challenging time, she has been telling me incredible stories about how she is being, as much as possible, in the moment with Sweetie, enjoying her good days with her, and observing Sweetie’s quality of life every day, ready to make the difficult decision, when the time comes.

When Susan speaks of the cats she loves and has loved — whether she’s talking about their wonderful vet, or revealing their unusual food loves (Sweetie, in her final days, is still devouring potato salad) — she always shows her true colors, as you can see in that beautiful picture.

Here’s something Susan said to me, yesterday:

Every day with Sweetie is a blessing. I savor every moment.

Many thanks to Susan,  to creatures everywhere who display their true colors no matter what, to those who tolerate unexpected and challenging realities as best they can, to people who solve problems and let go of judgment about their choices,* and to you — of course! — for bringing all your gorgeous colors here, today.

* In calmness, I  have discovered that I accidentally reset the filtering on my iPhone. Correcting this was far easier than I expected.  There will be true colors here, from now on.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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