Posts Tagged With: living with a cardiac pacemaker

Day 931: Dedication

Because of my dedication to my high school class of 1970 — and to planning a 45th reunion for September — I found this junior high school program from 1967:

And that got me thinking about dedication. For me,  “dedication” evokes

  • My 17-year-old son, Aaron
  • My boyfriend Michael
  • My sister Ellen
  • My work, as a psychotherapist
  • My friends
  • My daily blog
  • My doctors
  • Machines

Machines? Doesn’t that seem like a strange dedication, compared to the others in that list?

Perhaps not, because for most of my life, I’ve relied on dedicated machines (especially cardiac pacemakers) to keep me happy and healthy.

Also, my mind is more dedicated to machines, in the moment, because our dedicated central air conditioning on the top floor of our apartment stopped working yesterday, during 90+ degree weather.

As dedicated as I am to my readers who use the metric system, I think all my dedicated readers know that 90+ degree weather could really use a dedicated air conditioner, on every floor.

If this post seems more rambling than other ones you’ve dedicated your precious time to reading, remember that today I have an excellent, dedicated excuse.

As I promised my dedicated readers yesterday, here’s another machine that kept me happy on Saturday:

IMG_0261 IMG_0263

Those two pictures were taken by my dedicated boyfriend, Michael.

Speaking of dedication, my friend Deb — whom I met in Junior High School — spent dedicated time with me yesterday, in a part of Boston dedicating space during summer Sundays to a big outdoor market.

Here are some images  I showed dedication in capturing, yesterday, during my time with my dedicated friend Deb:


The last seven shots are dedicated to showing Deb’s backyard, including her dedicated garden, plus a beautiful glass piece she made in a dedicated kiln AND the metal holder she created during a “welding weekend.”

If that isn’t dedication, what is?

I have lots more I could write about dedication, but I need to update this dedication post, pronto. Why? Because this dedication post was prematurely published due to the dedication and the paws of this dedicated, omnipresent creature:

But first, here‘s a dedication song for you all:

Dedicated thanks to everyone who helped me publish this post (including Oscar) and dedicated thanks to you, for your dedication in reading it.

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 845: Running

It’s a running tradition, in this blog, for me to write about yesterday.

Yesterday, when I was walking — not running — to work, my iPhone camera ran on its own, and took this photo:

Running at the bottom of that inadvertent photo are my current running shoes.

Because of the way my mind runs, my thoughts are now running back to my first pair of running shoes.

In the 1980s, a Boston-based show — Spenser: for Hire (based on a running series of successful detective/mystery books by Robert Parker) — was running weekly on television. One day, word ran through the Boston running community that the show wanted runners for an episode featuring a running of the Boston Marathon. Because my then-boyfriend (and future husband and the father of my son Aaron) was running marathons then, he received this information and ran it by me. I then went running to a store to buy my first pair of running shoes, hoping  I’d be running my way into an appearance on TV.

The day they were shooting that running (and shooting) scene,  I walked over to the Spenser: for Hire running location, which was about a half-mile away from where  we lived, as the crow runs (or flies). The reason I did not run over — and the reason I had never owned a pair of running shoes before —  was this: I’d  had —  since the age of 10 — fixed-rate cardiac pacemakers, which never ran faster or slower than a single rate. With a heart that ran 72 beats a minute every minute (even if I were running as fast as I could), I wasn’t doing much running, in my life.

Is my 1980’s running story running okay, so far?

Running back to that day of the running scene for Spenser: for Hire, the aspiring runners — including non-runner me  — were all hired as extras for the running scene. My excitement was running high — maybe I’d soon be seen running in a running scene on TV!

To film the marathon running scene that day, we ran  up and down a hill many times, as the cameras were running. To the experienced runners, this was a walk in the park. To me and my heart running on only 72 beats a minute, it was like running straight up a mountain.

I’d like to run ahead, now, in my running storytelling, to several weeks after we were running up and down that Boston hill for Spenser: for Hire. When that running episode ran in TV, guess who was shown running on the screen, right near Spenser?

I shall run by you, now, my running theory about why the people running the cameras and that show ran a close-up of me, rather than dozens of other runners. Unlike the real runners,  I looked as tired as if I’d been running, running, running a real marathon.

Because that episode is running on YouTube,* I’ll run that scene by you here, so you can make some running commentary about my TV running, if you choose.

If you run to the 2:17 mark in that running opening scene, you’ll see me running in  a red t-shirt and my first pair of running shoes.

Running back to the present, here’s what I just found, running all over the kitchen:

Those are the baggies of cat food my boyfriend Michael left out overnight for our neighbor, Karen, who will be running upstairs, later today, after I leave for a weekend get-away in New Hampshire with my friend Barbara. Why did Michael leave out those baggies of cat food? Because he left last night to help out his brother, who runs a catering business and who is running a wedding today.

To continue a running cat gag I first started in a previous mysterious post, I shall now ask you which cat you think perpetrated the crime.  In other words, who was running on top of the kitchen table in the middle of the night and running his teeth through the baggies until the cat food was running all over the floor?

Was it this cat?

Or was it this cat?

Or perhaps it was both cats, running amok.

I just ran over to add an update to Michael’s instructions to Karen:

In case you want a running song running here in this post, here’s “It Keeps You Runnin'” by the Doobie Brothers:

The “it” that keeps somebody running in that song is … what?

My running belief is that “it” is:

  • Worry,
  • Fear, and
  • Anxiety about connection.

No matter what keeps us running, I’ve got to run, now, to my get-away weekend in New Hampshire!

Running thanks to Spenser: for Hire; to The Doobie Brothers; to running shoes, boyfriends, cats, and neighbors; and to you — of course! — for running by here, today.

* As I’m checking this post today, that Spenser: for Hire episode, “Original Sin,” is not running on YouTube.  Maybe it’s available elsewhere on the web?

Categories: mystery, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 748: A Salt and Battery

I love puns.  My boyfriend Michael says he strongly dislikes puns, but here’s the truth about Michael:

When Michael makes a pun,  he insists it’s not a pun.

When the rest of the world makes a pun, Michael acts like that’s assault and battery.

Yesterday, Michael and I probably made some puns, but I can’t remember any of them right now, no matter how much I assault and batter my brain trying to remember.

BTBW, here are some random thoughts battering around in my mind about what I’ve written so far:

  • When I was a little kid having surgeries in the hospital, those felt like assault and battery.
  • I am anticipating having heart surgery in the future, but everybody assures me that will NOT feel like assault and battery.
  • Since I’ve been 10 years old, I’ve relied on the batteries in pacemakers to stay alive.
  • I can get nervous/anxious/jumpy/whatever-we-want-to-call-it when regular batteries run down (as they always do), because of the way my mind makes associations.
  • The way my mind makes associations probably helps me make puns AND helps me write the kind of posts I’ve been writing here, every day for the last 747 days.
  • 747 is also a kind of airplane.

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(Image of 747 found here)

  • I plan to fly out on an airplane to California, with my 16-year-old son, next month.
  • The plane reservations aren’t made yet, which can make me nervous/anxious/jumpy/whatever-we-want-to-call-it, but I have faith that my travel agent/niece Laura will take care of this beautifully, because she always does (including the trips I wrote about here, here, here, and here).
  • When I had to replace some batteries yesterday, my mind/brain/whatever-we-want-to-call-it came up with the title for today’s post.


  • I hope it won’t be photographic assault and battery, now, if I share all the other shots I took yesterday:

IMG_4645 IMG_4646 IMG_4648 IMG_4649 IMG_4650 IMG_4651 IMG_4652 IMG_4653 IMG_4654 IMG_4655

I don’t want to batter you into leaving me a comment about this post, but it would feel like the opposite of assault-and-battery to me, if you commented in any way.

Now, I have to salt-and-batter my brain to come up with a good-enough song to end this post.

I don’t mean to procrastinate, but what would YOU choose as a song for this Salt-and-Battery post?

Okay, here are my associations, leading to the Song Du Jour:

  • “Batter, batter, batter” is something Cameron and Ferris say in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, skipping school for a Cubs baseball game.

That YouTube video of that scene doesn’t have great sound (even though it has over 272,000 views).

Gotta go Twist and Shout on my brand new, pink elliptical!

Thanks to Michael the Boyfriend (who, like Ferris, could be a Fry Cook on Venus), Laura the Niece/Travel Agent, Harley the Cat, Penny the Pen, Ferris and Cameron,  John Hughes the Late Screenwriter and Director,  The Beatles the Group, and You the Reader — of course! — for visiting me, today.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 358: Pressure

Today’s post is about pressure. And honoring my almost-year-long tradition of confusing my readers as soon as possible, I shall start with a poem:

’twas the day before Christmas, and all through the flat,

Several creatures were stirring, including a cat.


Now, if I do say so myself, I’ve done a nice job confusing people almost immediately, including using the word “flat” which implies that I live in the UK, which I don’t.

And here’s how I bring things back to the Topic du Jour  almost immediately. I’ve relieved some pressure on myself, by including the above photo — thus fulfilling another Year-of-Living-Non-Judgmentally tradition (grand or otherwise).

That’s a relief! Now I can breathe easier.

Here’s another tradition around these parts: Ann asking questions, that she then answers. (Okay, there seems to be another sub-topic here. Traditions.  Should I make that part of the title?) (Easy decision:  Nope.)

Where was I?  Oh, yes, asking myself a question, as follows: Why did I start with that poem, when the topic is Pressure?

I will answer that question with a list (something else that’s a tradition around here). I started this post with that poem because:

  1. It’s December 24th.
  2. I wanted the centerpiece of this post to be a list of things I felt pressure about, yesterday.
  3. As a result, I thought of the line “Making a list and checking it twice.”
  4. My next (erroneous) thought was that the above line came from “’twas the Night Before Christmas.”
  5. Voila!  I thought of the beginning lines of this post.

Is anybody out there concerned about me, at this point?

No worries. It’s just another edition of  “Ann’s Mind and Welcome To It ” (which could be the title of my blog next year) (if I change it).

And I want to confess something else about Ann’s Mind, right now. I’m a little anxious. Why? Because after I got up, I realized that I forgot to plug in and charge my phone/camera/life support system last night … and the power on that device is verrrry low* . I would take a picture to show you how low the power is, but I can’t. (If you don’t know why I can’t take a picture, at this point, I empathize with your state of mind. Truly.)

Anyway, I would really like to get to that aforementioned list, right now. So here it is!

List of Things I Felt Pressure About, Yesterday

  1. Responding back to phone calls.
  2. Responding back to emails.
  3. Responding back to comments here at WordPress.
  4. Making decisions about a trip to Boquete, Panama.
  5. Making decisions about Christmas gifts.
  6. Making decisions about what to do about WordPress awards.
  7. Deciding about unimportant friggin’ details, including how to coordinate my packed and often unpredictable schedule at work today, so that I can connect, for two seconds, with somebody I would really like to see, so that I can get ahold of some gifts I really want that I can then give to people I love, tonight.

If you had trouble following that last item on the list, again, I empathize.

Here’s my point (and I do have one)***.

I felt a lot of pressure at points during the day, yesterday.  And who put that pressure on me?

Me.  Just me.

Nobody else did.  Everybody else was just:

  1. Doing their job,
  2. Trying to connect, and/or
  3. Being kind.

I am not going to say, “Shame on me,” about all that.  Nope.  That doesn’t help.

Here’s something that does help:


It’s a reminder, on a post-it note.  I could say more about that, but, Jiminy Cricket!  Look at the time.

There are other posts, here at WordPress, where I HAVE said more, but …..

No pressure!

Thanks to everyone who has ever nominated me for an award, list-makers, poets, holiday celebrators everywhere, those who put (and relieve) pressure on anybody, and to you — especially — for reading today.

* As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve relied on cardiac pacemakers since I was a kid, so devices running out of power can seem scary to me.**

** Although, honestly, I think I’m not alone in my cell-phone-running-out-of-power fears.

*** I always hear Ellen DeGeneris’s voice in my head, when I use that line.  Thanks, Ellen!

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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