Posts Tagged With: losing things

Day 2602: What’s the matter with me?

What’s the matter with me, that I’ve written three posts  (here, here, and here) with the title “What’s wrong with me?”  over the last seven years?

What’s the matter with me, that one day after I lost and found my wallet, I dropped a New Yorker tote bag with my marriage certificate while I was walking to work in the extreme cold, even though that marriage certificate matters so much to me?

What’s the matter with me, that I was considering titling this post “What would Freud say?”

What’s the matter with me, that I’m explaining losing track of important things by telling myself that I’m so concentrated on not losing my wedding ring (which is too big) that I’m dropping other things?

What’s the matter with me, that I have SO MANY things to keep track of every day?

What’s the matter with me, that I’m sharing only these photos from yesterday?







What’s the matter with me, that I’m losing track of so many things these days but can still hear this song in my head?

What’s the matter with me, that

  • I’m sad that Sam Cooke died so young,
  • I’m anxious about so many matters in today’s news,
  • I tell people in my therapy groups that anxiety about forgetting makes us forget even more, and
  • when people ask me “What’s wrong with me?” I answer “nothing.”

If you comment on what you think is the matter with anything, that will matter to me.

What’s the matter with me, that I always end every post with gratitude?



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1969: Disoriented

I get disoriented at times.  Sometimes, I get so disoriented by people and places that I lose my way or I lose track of things.

Do you ever get disoriented?

Yesterday morning, I got disoriented while driving to work.  Then I got oriented by this:


This absolutely reoriented me to where I was.  Can you tell where I was? What oriented you?

While I was at work, I got disoriented again by

  • several meetings right after lunch and
  • realizing, at the end of the day, that my purse was missing.

I tried to track my purse down by retracing my disoriented steps. I was then further disoriented when I heard that I needed to wait until 6 AM this morning to find out whether somebody had turned my purse in.

When I show up at 6 AM, if my purse is not there, I will be even more disoriented. However, I will need to orient myself to get to Physical Therapy for my disoriented shoulder.

Here and now, this helps me be less disoriented:

Who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike.

Will you be disoriented if I ask who wrote that?

Which of these photos seems the most disoriented?





Here‘s “Disoriented” by CloZee.

I’m never too disoriented to thank all who help me create these daily blog posts and — of course! — you.



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

Day 1756: Where is it?

Because I often misplace things (usually temporarily) and because we recently moved to a new home, I’m often asking

Where is it?

Here are recent examples of my asking today’s title question:

I just listened to my iPhone with my new pair of bluetooth earbuds.  Where is it?

I love wearing my mother’s long-sleeved denim shirt. Where is it?

I get so many compliments on my “Left the House before I Felt Ready” t-shirt.  Where is it?

I haven’t filled out that donation receipt from the MetroWest Humane Society.  Where is it?

There’s a control somewhere for the steam shower.  Where is it?

There’s got to be a market around here that has great produce.  Where is it?

I smell cat pee.  Where is it?

Where is it that I took these photos yesterday?













Where is it that I took all those photos? In and around Boston, Massachusetts.

There’s a performance on YouTube from the musical Fun Home, which I saw  yesterday in Boston with my fun friend Deb.  Where is it?

There’s a place to leave comments for this blog.  Where is it?  (It’s below the post.)

I always express gratitude at the end of my posts.  Where is it?


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

Day 1648: Personal Space

Yesterday,  several persons had the personal space in the group therapy space at work to discuss their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and needs regarding personal space.

Personally,  I’m glad I have the personal space to share  photos in this blogging space.




I’ll take some personal space to explain that the objects taking up personal space in the upper left corner of my personal Home for Missing Objects, above,  are socks I’m personally missing.

In the personal space of my office, persons often  discuss how fears can take up too much personal space unless we counter those old fears with helpful thoughts in the personal space of our minds.


Other people’s unsolicited advice can also take up too much personal space.


“I see how well that worked out for you!” — which is taking up personal space on my white board — is one way to assert your  personal space in response to unhelpful, judgmental advice.  I shall now take up personal space here with an example of that:

Advice giver:  I can’t believe you’re still single! You need to get married if you want to be happy.

Advice hearer: I see how well that worked out for you!

Here are some other photos taking up personal space on my iPhone:










That last photo shows a bumper sticker taking up personal space on a car in front of me in traffic.

I hope you have the personal space to express your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and needs regarding personal space in the comment space below.

My old friend Dave took up some personal space yesterday sharing new versions of two Jaco Pastorius tunes. (I’ve taken up personal space in this blog personally writing about Jaco Pastorius here and here.) The late, great Jaco and the late, great Toots Thielmans  are taking up personal space on YouTube with one of those tunes (here and here ).

I’d like to take up a little more of your personal space expressing my personal thanks to all who helped me create yet another personal post and — of course! — to you, for taking up all the personal space you need.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1300: Title

Why have I titled my post “Title” today?

Is it because:

  • the title of today’s post has an impressive number?
  • yesterday I went looking for the title of a car I want to donate to a charity with the title “Make a Wish Foundation” and I couldn’t find that title anywhere, even though I KNOW I saw that title a month ago?
  • I used to title myself “stupid” or “loser” when I misplaced important things?
  • how we title ourselves has a huge effect on how we behave and feel about ourselves?
  • I choose the title “Ms.” when I fill out forms?
  • I prefer the title “healthy” to “sick”?
  • I saw a movie yesterday — “Ghostbusters” — with the same title of another movie I’ve watched many times?
  • I believe every human being is as worthy as the next, no matter what each person’s title?
  • many of the photos I took yesterday could be titled “Title”?
















If you were going to choose a different title for today’s post, what would it be?  If you were going to choose some music for today’s post, what would the title of that song be?

Thanks to all who helped me create this titled post and to you for visiting today, no matter what your title is!


Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 767: Obvious

Let’s start this Obvious Post by stating the obvious:

  • This post is in English.
  • The Northeast USA is experiencing a cold, snowy winter in 2015.
  • I like lists.
  • I publish a post here at WordPress every day.
  • Thank goodness it’s Friday!

Some things are more obvious than others. For example, I saw this on my way to work yesterday morning:


That is obviously an auto.

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I was obviously following that automobile. If you’ve read yesterday’s post, I was obviously on my way to my co-worker Jackie’s goodbye party at work.

If you saw yesterday’s post, it was obvious that I do NOT like saying goodbye to people I love.  I hope it was also obvious that I hope and wish all the best for Jackie.

Was it obvious to anyone I was going to take photos at Jackie’s goodbye party?


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In that first obvious photo, Jackie is obviously wearing a t-shirt (which she made herself) that obviously shows she realizes what’s obvious to everybody else (including my readers yesterday): Jackie has GREAT hair.  (If the words on that t-shirt aren’t obvious to you, they say “Don’t ask to touch my hair.”)

The other obvious t-shirt — “The Queen of Absolutely Everything” — was an obvious going-away gift for Jackie.

I’m obviously spontaneous, because at the last minute, I also gave Jackie this obvious gift:


If it’s not obvious to you what those are — they are, well, gee, I obviously don’t know the official name for those sticky things you attach to other things at work. Obviously, I need to call them something, so I’ll try this: sticky memos.

Whatever you call those things, I have a bunch of different ones I use at work. Obviously, I’ve exchanged these with Jackie before.


Is it obvious there that Jackie sent my own sticky memo back at me,  to welcome me when I returned to work after a vacation, quite a while ago?  I’ve obviously kept that sticky memo tacked up in my office since then, as an obvious reminder of how much fun Jackie is.

If you know me, it’s obvious I can lose things, temporarily and permanently.  Yesterday, after Jackie’s party, I dropped my pager, and couldn’t find it. It was obvious, to me, that the pager was somewhere in my office. As late and great comedian George Carlin said, in his routine about losing things:

I’ve looked EVERYWHERE!

Well, obviously not.

Yesterday, I thought of an obvious way to find my lost pager, after I had “looked everywhere” in my office: I paged myself.


Obviously, that worked.

At this point in time, it’s probably obvious to some and not obvious to others that I’ve lost track of Penny the Pen. Here’s a photo of Penny’s last appearance in this blog:


In case it’s not obvious where Penny and I are, in that photo from over a week ago, we were waiting to have a new cardiac test, called a CT scan, at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Here’s an exchange — from the comments section in this here recent post about my recovering from the flu — with obviously wonderful blogger Val Boyko:

Val: So glad your temp is being itself again. You are a sight for sore eyes Ann! How is Penny’s eye by the way?…

Me: Val! I hope this doesn’t make you or your eyes too sore. I actually have not seen hide nor hair of Penny, since I got sick. I fear the worst but hope for the best.

Val: She’s a survivor 🙂

Me: No matter where she is!

Val: Yep!

Obviously wonderful, Val.

What other obvious things should I include here, before I obviously publish this post? Obviously, I have to finish every post, some time (is it obvious that’s usually during the morning?). Today, I have to go into work early to make up the time I obviously missed being sick and also due to

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Are there any other obvious photos I’d obviously like to include here, obviously from yesterday?



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It’s obvious to me that it’s not immediately obvious what’s going on in all of those photos I took yesterday. The last two obvious photos are from therapy groups I facilitated. The final obvious one shows some results of a group exercise about replacing obviously automatic and painful negative labels (like “fool,” “lazy,” “unworthy,” “stupid,” “weird,” “unlovable,”) with positive ones. If it’s not obvious what I’m describing, here‘s a link to a more obvious description of that group exercise.

I hope it’s obvious to those who obviously read this blog that I like to include obvious and also HELPFUL things here. Is it obvious I’m going to do that, today?

How about this obvious thought:

Since each of us only truly knows our own personal experience, what’s obvious to us might not be obvious to others.

Obviously, I need to include some obvious music in this obvious post.

The obviously great Paul Simon is obviously singing “The Obvious Child” here on YouTube.

Here’s one final obvious thought, from Captain Obvious, your humble blogger:

Does Paul Simon mean “Why deny the obvious child” and/or “Why deny the obvious, child”?

What’s obvious to you, here and now?

Many obviously grateful thanks to everybody who appeared in this blog today and — OBVIOUSLY! — to you, for obviously being kind enough to visit here today.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 588: How to reduce anxiety

#1: Tell yourself  “It doesn’t matter.”

“It doesn’t matter” is something my 16-year-old son, Aaron, has said to me, when I:

  • had brightly colored food stuck in my front teeth,
  • was running a few minutes late,
  • couldn’t decide what to wear,
  • forgot to tell somebody something,
  • thought I looked terrible,
  • didn’t get enough sleep,
  • said “the wrong thing,”
  • couldn’t find something,
  • made a mistake, or
  • otherwise thought I had screwed something up.

As with anything, “it doesn’t matter” can be overdone.  That is, “it doesn’t matter” — said too much and too often — could be a sign of

  • depression,
  • anger, or
  • adolescence

… but I personally find that phrase an effective anxiety-reducer. This works especially well if I imagine my son’s voice saying it, in my head.

#2:  Freak yourself out by misplacing or losing something, so you can feel relief when the situation is resolved.

In four days, Aaron and I are flying to Edinburgh, Scotland. Regular readers of this blog might remember that I tend to experience some anxiety before traveling.

Yesterday, minutes before Aaron’s final appearance in a local production of “Assassins,” I realized that

something I absolutely needed for the trip

was gone.  My only credit card with an international chip was missing from my wallet.

My first thoughts were

Arrrgh!  You put that friggin’ credit card in your pocket last evening, when you were taking that nice walk with Michael, after Aaron’s show yesterday.

My second thoughts were

What is the matter with you?  You KNOW that when you do that, you lose track of the card and then you catastrophize and think the worst when you can’t find it.  WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF? Isn’t your life INTERESTING ENOUGH, without adding drama like this, especially during stressful times?

My third thought was

It doesn’t matter.  I will find the credit card at home. Or, if I can’t, there is time to order a new one, before we leave for Scotland.

As a result, I was able to let go of enough anxiety to focus on my son on stage, acting and singing as John Wilkes Booth, in a musical written by one of my heroes, Stephen Sondheim.




Then, after the show was over, I went home and found my credit card, within moments.

#3: Set a priority or two, and stick to it.

When many things seem simultaneously important, I can get overwhelmed and anxious.  To cope with this, it helps to have a short list of non-negotiable priorities.

For example, when I write a blog post, it’s very important to me to

  1. give credit to others and
  2. be respectful of personal boundaries, regarding somebody else being included in a post.


  1. I want to tell you that all three photographs shown in this post, so far, were taken by Kathy Tarantola, professional photographer, on the 8/8/14 opening night performance of the Arlington Children’s Theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins,” and
  2. my son (with the dyed-brown hair and moustache) approved all three of those photos for use in my blog.

I’m realizing, now, that I haven’t cleared the use of these photos with the other excellent actors appearing in them. It helps me to remember, right now, that if they object, I can always fix that later.

#4:  Do something,  just because you like to.

While it’s not one of my top two priorities, I also like to include photos I have personally taken, in my blog posts.

And I did take some photos of Aaron this weekend, in his triumphant “Assassins” appearances.   But I haven’t cleared using them here, with Aaron.

However, I could show you these photos I took, this weekend:


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And, finally, because I would like a photo of Aaron in “Assassins” to show up as the featured image of this post,  I’m going to end with the fourth photo taken by Kathy Tarantola that Aaron approved:

IMG_4572 (2)

Thanks to my son, to Kathy Tarantola, to the town of Arlington (and its surrounding environs),  to people who do their best dealing with anxiety, to those who dare boldly, to wild childs and butterflies, to any other people or organizations who made this post possible, and to you — of course! — for all that you bring here, today.

© Kathy Tarantola Photography, 2014

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 379: I’m a loser

Yes, I confess. I’m a loser.

You may think I am guilty, right now, of the cognitive distortion of labeling, as follows:

Labeling or Name-calling.

We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” Labels are not only self-defeating, they are irrational, simplistic, and untrue. Human beings are complex and fallible, and in truth cannot be reduced to a label. Consider this: we all breathe, but would it make sense to refer to ourselves as “Breathers”? *

And perhaps I have used that distortion, about myself. But I want to be clear about what kind of loser I mean, today.

A glove loser.

It seems like there is always something I am losing (or fear I’m losing). These days, it’s those things that protect me from the cold, namely scarves, gloves, and hats.

So far, this season, I have (apparently) lost the wonderful scarf I bought a few months ago — to prepare myself physically and emotionally for the coming winter season — at Urban Outfitters in Cambridge (which I wrote about here).**

Yesterday, after I finished the morning’s blog post, I was scrambling, more than usual, to get ready for work. The reasons for the increased scramble level?  The temperature was allegedly going to turn warm, despite a chilly start. So, deciding on the appropriate outer attire was more of a challenge than usual.  I chose a lighter coat, and checked the pockets for gloves. To my dismay, there was only one. Here is that lone glove:


This was particularly distressing because of my feelings about those gloves. I like them, very much. Also, I was wearing those gloves when I first met my boyfriend, and in the email he sent me after our first meeting, he singled them out, in his expressed appreciation of our encounter.

Yes, I felt sad, upon seeing that lone, solitary glove.  Based on past experiences being a loser, I knew there was a good chance its partner would never be found.

I had mixed feelings — worried that I had finally lost one of these precious gloves, but with some hope the glove would be found.

What did I base that hope on? A lot of data, actually. Not only have I had several false alarms — over the years —  about losing one of those cool gloves, but I’ve had many experiences of fearing I’d lost something, only to find it again.

Yesterday, after locating another pair of favorite gloves — bright red ones! — I set off to work, letting go of fear and sadness. And those red gloves kept me nicely warm, during the (surprisingly) cold walk to the hospital.

And I had a good day, doing work I love.

At the end of the day, as I prepared to venture out — into much warmer weather than I had encountered that morning — I looked for my gloves in their usual residing place — my coat pockets.

And there was only one red glove, to be found.  WHAT? I thought.  How can that be?

That is my usual response, when I  first find that I’ve lost something.

WHAT?  How can that be?

And, more so than with the first lost glove, this latest loss seemed  …. inconceivable.

I thought, “How could I have possibly lost ANOTHER FAVORITE glove, in one day?” I retraced my steps, mentally, as advised when you lose something.  I knew I had worn them until I entered the hospital. I knew I had entered the hospital through the main entrance, which is a five-minute walk away from where I work.***

My conclusion was this: the glove HAD to be in the hospital. Before I left the hospital to return home, I checked with a couple of lost-and-found locations. Nada. Other lost gloves had been turned in****, but not a red one, like this:


Ah, well.

Now, I must prepare to leave the house to return to work.

Maybe I’ll find that glove today. And who knows?  Maybe I’ll find the other, more beloved, glove, too.  They’re both out there, somewhere.  I know that.

For now, it’s warm enough to venture out gloveless, today.

And if***** it turns cold again?


Thank goodness, those two are still together.

Thanks to losers everywhere and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

  1. See here for more definitions of cognitive distortions.

  2.  Alas, I did not capture this beauteous scarf in a photo, nor is it available to view online. However, I still recommend visiting that post where I got it, especially since it includes a guy wearing a bear coat!

  3.  Sometimes I deliberately walk through the interior of the hospital, so I can repeat a helpful mantra to myself: ” You are not a patient at this hospital. You work here.” This is helpful because of my extensive experiences, as a child, spending time in a different hospital, because of my congenital heart condition. At other times, I deliberately walk through the interior of the hospital for another reason: just to warm up before my first appointment with patients.

  4. I guess I’m not alone, in being a loser.

  5.  More precisely: “when”, not “if.”

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 182: So What?

“So What?” means many things to me.

“So What?” Take One.

“So What?” is an amazing tune by Miles Davis, which I’ve loved (and played on the piano) since I was 16 years old.

Your ears and eyes might tell you how “simple” that tune is. Yet, I’ve listened to it countless times. And I expect to keep listening, as long as my ears hold out.

“So What?” Take Two.

“So what?” is something I say to myself when I’m feeling discouraged, down, depressed, disenchanted, and other words that begin with the letter “d”.

As in, “So what if I do (or think, say, write, or feel) this, or anything else? What does it matter, ultimately? What can it really change? Who cares?”

“So What?” Take Three.

“So what?” is something I can say to myself in a freeing, liberating way, to get myself unstuck.

It’s actually one of my favorite ways to challenge cognitive distortions (which are unhelpful and automatic thoughts):

The So What? Technique. Consider that an anxiety-producing possibility (even the worst case scenario) might not be as bad as you fear. For example, “So what if this one person doesn’t like me? Not everybody is going to like me.” or “So what if I lose my cell phone? It’ll be an incredible hassle, but I’ll be able to deal with it.”

See here for a complete list of handy-dandy antidotes to cognitive distortions.

When I wrote that description above, I used the example of losing my cell phone, because I was feeling anxious about losing things. (See here for a post about THAT.) Since then, I’ve lost many things, including my credit card and checkbook (some temporarily, some not), but I haven’t lost my cell phone. Yet.

If I do, I’ll just use that antidote.

It’s a very simple remedy. It’s one that I’ve used many times before. And I expect to keep using it, as long as unhelpful thoughts hold out.

“So What?” Final Take

Here’s something my mother used to say:

“So what? Sew buttons.”

Thanks for reading today. (So what if you did?) (Sew buttons.)

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 157: Decisions, Decisions

I can’t believe that I haven’t written a post with this title yet.

Decisions, Decisions.


Decisions do not come easily to me.  I have an excuse, too.  According to my Myers-Briggs inventory results, I have a high amount of Perceiving (vs. Judging), and, quoting that Wikipedia article I just linked to:

According to Myers, perceptive types prefer to “keep decisions open”.

I’ll say. That strong preference of mine tends to make things a bit dodgy — for me and other people involved, I assume — when there’s a need for me to make a decision.

For example, here are some decisions I should be making, ASAP:

  1. Details about a big (in my mind) workshop I’m presenting, to esteemed peers, about the new therapy groups I’m doing at work … IN 10 DAYS!!!!!
  2. Details about a trip I want to take this August, with my son, to London and Edinburgh.
  3. Whether or not to cancel my credit card, which I managed to lose track of THE VERY SAME DAY I published this post about losing things (a decision which will have some effect on my ability to act quickly, once I decide about #2, above).

I hesitate to tell you the machinations and agonies my mind can go through, when I’m trying to make a decision like those above, because I don’t want to bore, horrify, or distress you (or myself), this morning.

Hey, that was a decision I  made! (Although I have to tell you, because I’m so friggin’ transparent about everything, that I just wrote a paragraph where I DID give an example of how ridiculous a decision process can be for me.) (But I erased it.) (And, hey! That was a decision I made!)

You and I might be getting this idea, right now.  Even though I have trouble making decisions, I still have to make them, all the time. And I do.

But with any decision, I can really get caught up in my own mind in an unpleasant and unproductive way.  Usually what trips me up are these thoughts:

There is a right or wrong decision.  If I choose unwisely, there will be major consequences.

Fueled by those kinds of anxiety-provoking thoughts, I go  back and forth, with pros and cons.

I’m “blessed” in the ability to see many different sides to any question or situation. But that blessing can REALLY elongate and confuse the whole Weighing Pros And Cons Thing.

What helps? To remember the following:

  •  There is usually no right or wrong decision. (In other words, it helps to let go of the cognitive distortion of All-or-Nothing Thinking.)
  • Even if a decision isn’t an advantageous one, I can usually adjust and learn from it.
  • My decisions probably won’t affect other people as adversely as I fear.

No matter what, though, I still DON’T LIKE making important decision. I woke up this morning — aware of those three Needs for Decision-Making I listed above —  feeling quite cranky.

I’ll tell you something else. When I’m in a certain state of mind, every decision can feel important. Then, I’m REALLY cranky.

Take this blog post I just wrote, for example. I’m wondering about decisions I’ve made so far, and whether I should I undo them:

Should I have used all those capitalizations in this post?  Did I give enough examples?  Is the writing colorful enough? Is the tone too breezy? Should I have included an anecdote about how I got so tripped up by a ridiculously trivial decision regarding my workshop presentation?  Should I have included the story about my wedding to my ex and how it took us 8 years to decide to get married (because he’s a Myers-Briggs Perceiver, too) but once we decided, I scheduled and planned the whole friggin’ thing, making decisions left and right, in two months?

Ahhhhhh, who cares. The post is what it is.

Whatever THAT is.

You decide.

And thanks for reading!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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