Did you know that some psychological tests ask people to make free associations with pictures?
What associations do you have with this photo, which I took early yesterday morning?
What thoughts and/or feelings do you have when you look at that image?
Here’s my first association, when I look at that:
Don’t drop the ball.
I wonder how a psychologist might interpret that first reaction from me?
Wait! I’m not a psychologist, but I am a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW), which means I’m a legit psychotherapist. Therefore, I could interpret my own interpretation — that is, explore what’s going on in my life to explain why
Don’t drop the ball
… immediately popped into my head when I saw that yesterday. However, I’d rather just riff on the meaning of “Don’t drop the ball.”
Don’t drop the ball
… means “take your responsibility for getting things done. ”
Here’s my free association with that thought: Why would dropping a ball be so terrible? If I do drop a ball, I could always just pick it up again.
Yesterday, I probably did drop a ball or two. We all do, because we’re imperfect human beings. However, I also did my best to pick those balls up again.
Here’s my current free association, as I’m writing this: I wonder if anybody is smiling at my use of the word “balls”?
Speaking of smiling, soon after I took my first photo of the day yesterday (see above), I took this one:
Here’s my free association with that photo: soon after I took it, I dropped the ball of my concentration as I was walking, tripped, and fell to the ground.
What’s your free association about tripping and falling in public?
Yesterday, I tried to fall as well as possible, and then I tried to let go of any sense of shame about falling. I sat there on the ground for a moment, realizing I most likely had not hurt myself (even though I take a blood thinner and recently had surgery).
A construction worker (not pictured in this post) walked by me and we had this exchange, while I was sitting on the ground:
Construction worker: Are you all right?
Me: I’m okay. That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it?
Construction worker: I actually didn’t see it. I thought you might just be sitting here. But I did hear the noise.
(As I’m telling you this story, I’m free associating about what noise he might have heard. I know it wasn’t my voice — I don’t cry out when I drop anything, including myself.)
Then, the nice construction worker helped me up, as I made some comment about falling.
Construction worker: It happens.
Me: I know.
Soon after that, I free associated as to why I might have tripped, fallen, and dropped to the ground for the very first time in all my walks to work — through rain, snow, sleet, and sun — for almost four years. I free associated the fall with my brand new shoes:
I also free associated by taking two photos of the one place on myself that had dropped most heavily on the ground, my right hand:
I wondered if that would bruise by the end of the day, because I’m taking Xarelto.
Then, I free-associated the rest of the day, regarding
Dropping and picking up the ball (and other things)
… and I freely picked up these photos, so I could drop them on you today:
Here are my current free associations with those photos:
- The sunglasses are something my friend Jan found and picked up on a street in Maine, this past weekend, and
- That last photo demonstrates that I did not bruise, at all, from my morning drop to the ground.
What music might I free associate with, about balls dropping or anything else I dropped in this post?
This tune just dropped into my head:
I just dropped “Cloudy” by Simon & Garfunkel on you, here and now.
Freely associate about anything you choose, in the comments below.
Free-association thanks to all those who helped me drop this post and thanks to you — of course! — for dropping by, today.