Posts Tagged With: Living with a pacemaker

Day 3355: National Get Over It Day

As a therapist, I try to help people get over it, where “it” is

  • loss,
  • old patterns of behaviors or thoughts that interfere with their moving forward,
  • past traumas, and/or
  • a belief in their own worthlessness.

However, I have never, ever said to anybody, “Get over it” because that never, ever helps.

So I wasn’t sure how to observe National Get Over It Day, especially in a world where people aren’t getting the opportunity to get over it, where “it” is

  • injustice,
  • war,
  • terrible people in power, and
  • COVID.

On National Get Over It Day, it also occurs to me that people in my nation (the USA) need to get over our unhealthy and self-centered nationalism.

Personally, I’ve been making progress on getting over it, where “it” is

  • a fear of machines breaking (because I’ve been dependent on cardiac pacemakers to stay alive since I was 10),
  • fears about doing or saying the wrong thing,
  • worries about putting myself out there on social media, and
  • an inaccurate sense of my own importance.

It’s time to get over myself and to move on to my images for National Get Over It Day.


Do you see anything about getting over it in my other images for today?

I can’t get over the fact that in all the hundreds of Daily Bitch Calendar entries I’ve seen over the years, this is the first one where she isn’t bitchy.

Here’s “Get Over It” by OK Go …

and “Get Over It” by the Eagles.

If you want to leave a comment, get over to the comments section, below.

I never, ever get over my gratitude for all those who help me blog every day, including you.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 1245: What we choose to see

Yesterday, I chose to see two performances of student-directed one-act plays at my son Aaron’s high school.

I chose to see both those performances because they included Aaron’s latest play (co-written with his  friend Cameron, whom he chooses to see a lot).

Before the performances, I chose to see this:


What do you choose to see in that photo?

I choose to see

  • the new notebook my son had just chosen to write down any comic idea or inspiration he chooses,
  • the  choice yellow Honda Fit I chose last year around this time, and
  • the beauty of those two yellows together.

Soon after I chose to see the beauty there, I chose to see the humor here:


That’s the toy that my downstairs neighbor’s dog chooses to leave around our property.  The first few times I saw that toy I chose to see it as a dead animal. Now that I’m familiar with it, I choose to see it for what it is.

After I chose to see the humor there, I chose to walk to my son’s high school to see the 4 PM and 7 PM performances of the student-directed one-acts.   On the path I chose to walk to the high school,  I chose to see this:




I choose to see things I like.

Here’s more I chose to see yesterday:




I choose, here and now,  to see my amazing son Aaron (with the tie), his creative friend Cameron (in the green), the other talented student directors who chose one-acts by George  Bernard Shaw and other published playwrights, and the wonderful cast of Aaron and Cameron’s original play, “The Great Spa Fire.”

If Aaron chooses to allow it, I’ll post a video of Aaron and Cameron’s play soon.  Then, you can choose whether to see it.

Here’s the last photo I chose to take yesterday, which helped me choose today’s topic.


Somebody  who chose to sit in front of me last night chose to wear a shirt from Cape Ann, a location near where I grew up on the North Shore of Boston.

Soon after I chose to see my name in that guy’s t-shirt,  I heard my name called as the winner in a raffle for two tickets to a play at the Huntington Theater in Boston, which I’ll probably choose to see with my friend Barbara, if she chooses to accompany me.

What we choose to see affects us in so may ways.  For the next few months, I choose to focus in on me …


… as I prepare myself for major new challenges ahead, including

  1. Aaron starting college far from home and
  2. my  having heart surgery —  also  far from home — very soon after I say goodbye to him.

Even though I might not have chosen the timing of those two things, I choose to see hope and opportunity in both of them.

Now, I choose to present this beautiful music, which you can choose to see and hear here on YouTube.


What do you choose to see in today’s post?

I choose to see gratitude towards all those who helped me create this and to you — of course! — no matter what you’re choosing to see today.


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

Day 1062: Get your daily dose of goodness

Yesterday — “Black Friday” in the United States — I saw this in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts:


How do you get your daily dose of goodness?  Do you look for it without or within?

Yesterday, I found doses of goodness not only in Harvard Square, but also at a PetSmart (where we witnessed somebody finally adopting a big black cat named “Magic”),  a Whole Foods Market, and other local environs.

Lately, I’ve been allowing WordPress to negotiate how it hands out and arranges doses of my photography.  I see, as a result, some goodness might be difficult to read.

I believe you can increase the size of any photographic dose by clicking on a photo, but just in case, I’m going to re-dose these, here and now:



My good pacemaker doctor, Dr. Mark Estes (previously appearing in good doses herehere, and here), made the “Top Doctors” list in Boston Magazine, again. That’s a dose of goodness, for me.

Did anything in this post give you a daily dose of goodness?  If not, how might you get that goodness elsewhere, today?

Here’s another dose worth repeating:


Hugs and kisses of gratitude from me, to you.

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

Day 684: Down time

Earlier this week, I wrote about a down day (here, although I called it something different).

I was very happy to get through and over that down day, very quickly.

This morning, I woke up thinking, “THANK GOODNESS I have some down time this weekend.”

That’s a very different use of the word “down,” isn’t it?

For anybody who needs a definition at this point, “down time” means:

time during which a machine, especially a computer, is out of action or unavailable for use.
a time of reduced activity or inactivity.
“everyone needs downtime to unwind”

Here’s what I’m noticing now about that definition:

  1. machines get first billing and
  2. the way I’m using “down time” in this post  is regional, which means this usage might be new to some of my readers.

You know, I might be particularly sensitive to machines getting attention  because of this: I’ve depended on cardiac pacemakers since I was ten years old. And let me tell you, I’ve spent some of the last 51 years worrying about pacemakers having “down time “(because pacemakers did break, wear out, and prematurely lose power early on in their — and my — life).

Thank goodness, modern pacemakers don’t have as much down time as the old ones did.

I want to tell you about my day yesterday, when I did NOT have a lot of down time, as I went to one Boston hospital to get medical care and then to another Boston hospital to do my work (I’m a psychotherapist for a hospital-based primary care practice) and then to a comedy show, with my 16-year-old son, Aaron.

Since I do have lots of down time today, I’m glad  I can relax as I write this post about yesterday.

As Wordsworth said,

That will be 50 dollars, please.

No, wait. That’s not Wordsworth the poet. That’s Wordsworth the plumber.

If you don’t think what I just did in this post is funny, feel free to use — instead of plumber  — an occupation of somebody else who has charged you money. Or perhaps, you could make this funnier by changing the dollar amount, like so:

As Wordsworth said,

That will be 5 dollars, please.

No, wait. That’s not Wordsworth the poet; that’s Wordsworth the Starbucks barista.*

Where was I, before that particular tangent (which was down or up, according to your perspective)?

Oh, yes. Wordsworth the poet. As I remember — from my years as an English major in college — Wordsworth said poetry was

emotion recollected in tranquility

… and while I can’t guarantee that this post will be poetic in any way, I am happy to have the tranquility of today’s down time, to recollect the emotions, thoughts, and images I experienced yesterday.

I don’t know about you, but I smell a photo essay coming on.

How I Spent My Day Yesterday

by Ann

Since I start every day writing a blog post, yesterday’s post — “Safety First” — was on my mind, as I arrived at the hospital for my medical appointment.


IMG_2176 IMG_2178

After my appointment yesterday, I stopped by — in the same hospital — the place I go for my periodic pacemaker checks, and I saw two familiar people:


Valerie, who told me she is looking forward to the winter weather here (!!!!) and Melanie


who has appeared in posts before (here, here, and here).

Even though I didn’t have a scheduled appointment with her yesterday — and I’m sure Melanie does NOT have a lot of down time — Melanie took some time to talk to me about how I’ve been feeling lately. When I told her about some of my worries regarding recent shortness of breath and my wondering if I was okay, Melanie said, reassuringly:

You ARE okay, Ann, and you WILL BE okay.

I believed her and I cried — a little — from relief.

Melanie then asked me when my next appointment was — for a pacemaker check and to see Dr. Estes (one of my cardiologists who has appeared or been mentioned here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). I said, “I’m not sure, but I THINK it’s soon.” (That might sound like I’m too busy and I need more down time, but I do have lots of medical appointments these days and I know I’m seeing my other cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, in December.) Later, when I had some down time, I discovered that my appointment with Pacemaker Clinic and Dr. Estes is next week. I’m glad to know I’ll be seeing Valerie and — perhaps — Melanie, even sooner than I thought.

Here are more things I saw yesterday, soon after my up time with Melanie:

IMG_2181 IMG_2182 IMG_2185

I was very perplexed by that last image, in a Fenway Park lot. Because I had a little bit of down time before my first appointment at work, I investigated further, by walking around to get a better view:


I was still confused by what I was seeing, and so were other people there, too.


That’s Omar, calling over to Joe


and asking Joe our shared question: “What is going on here?”

Joe told us they were setting up a “Spartan Race”  — an obstacle course taking place inside and outside Fenway Park — for thousands of people.

“Spartan Race,” Omar, and Joe were all initially unfamiliar to me, but I greatly appreciated the introductions. I also appreciated meeting Al


shown, there, with Joe. Al told me he was part of program called “Project Place” which was helping him get “back on my feet.” I told Al I was glad to hear that. And, I showed Omar how he could find this blog.

Here are some more photos I took, yesterday:

IMG_2191 IMG_2192 IMG_2193


I took that photo, last night, at Johnny D’s in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA. That’s Tony V — a comedian I’ve seen many times since the 1980’s — telling a pacemaker joke. I’m not kidding.

My son, Aaron, wondered last night whether it was okay for me to snap that picture of Tony V. I told him it probably was, since we were outside the performance area, at that point.  Soon, though, we got some great down time — that is, we were sitting down in great seats, watching Emo Philips (who has appeared in previous posts here, here, here, and here) do an amazingly funny show. And here are my last two images, from yesterday:

IMG_2196 IMG_2197

Boy, wouldn’t it be great to have enough down time for THAT MUCH popcorn?

Thanks to Aaron, Valerie, Melanie, Omar, Joe, Al, Tony, Emo, the nice staff at Johnny D’s, and everybody else who has ever had any down time or up time, ever.

Well, I think I thanked everybody there (including you, I hope!), but I forgot one thing: a video for this post.

How about this?

(Emo Philips, in a 1987performance at Harvard University, found here on YouTube)

* I’m assuming, here, that you are living in a region where you can go to a Starbucks, like me, to get a few minutes of down time.

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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