Posts Tagged With: making decisions

Day 1484: All sides

Whenever I need to make an important decision, I like to look at all sides of the issue.

In order to look at all sides before making a decision, it helps to make a list of pros and cons of taking an action and also a list of pros and cons of NOT taking that action.

Yesterday, I took action and looked at all sides of many things.

 

Do you trust me to look at all sides and find two sides of a great song for this post  (here and here)?

 

 

Every day, I look at all sides to find new ways to thank those who help me create this blog and you — of course! — for being on my side, every time you visit.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1327: Why did Ann share this picture?

Why did Ann choose today’s title?

I chose that title because of this picture I want to share from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe …

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… and because I sometimes  imagine my readers asking themselves …

Why did Ann share this picture?

I wonder if you’ll ask that question about any of my other photos from yesterday, which I shall now share (in chronological order and with no editing whatsoever).

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Why do you think I shared these pictures?

Many thanks to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema, Marc Mackinnon (last appearing in this blog during the 2015 Festival Fringe), Lucie Pohl, the amazing Neal Portenza (who has appeared previously in this blog here, here, here, here, here, and here), Josh Ladgrove,  Asexual Healing, our favorite Edinburgh-based comedian Dr. Tom Joyce (appearing in Asexual Healing and previous blog posts here, here,  and here), and everybody  who contributed an image to today’s post.  And special thanks to you — of course! — for whatever you choose to share, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1314: We decide

We decide so many different things, every day.  How do we decide?

Today, I decide what to include in this post.

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You decide how you react to it.

I decide to show you these other photos from yesterday.

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Yesterday, I decided to show my readers this amulet my friend Jeanette decided to send to me:

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Later that day, I decided to sing two songs — “Sleepy Man” and “Mad World” — at the first-Friday-of-the-month Open Mic at the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA.

Because the 11-minute video I recorded of my performance last night (1) has no visuals, (2) includes silence before and between the numbers, (3) demonstrates my lack of proficiency with the guitar during the first song, (4) includes extraneous noises from the Kickstand kitchen staff, and (5) is much less than perfect, you decide whether I should include it in this post. (I also decide to share, here and now, that some audience members decided to tell me “You were wonderful”  “You have a strong and beautiful voice.” and “I love your voice. It made me smile.”) In case you have trouble deciding what to do, I decide to tell you I have no investment in the outcome.

I decide who to thank in these posts. I hereby decide to thank all those who helped me create this and you — of course! — for deciding to read it.


We’ve decided!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1242: Decisions

Dear Readers,

Thank you for making the decision to read my blog post today.

Yesterday, I met with a very decisive cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  She has decided that I should get my  heart valve replaced, sooner than later.

While this was not the decision I wanted to hear, I am now weighing decisions in my mind and in my heart. I have almost decided to have the surgery done at the Mayo Clinic in September, after getting my son settled in Edinburgh Scotland for his first year at university there.

Here are some decisions I’ve made regarding what decisive images to share with you today.

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I used to be indecisive, now I’m not sure. However, I’m sure that some decisions are easier than others.

Here’s my decision about today’s song.

 

I hope that if I do make the decision to let the Adult Congenital Heart specialists at the Mayo Clinic replace the valve in my decisive heart in September, that they don’t go breaking my heart.

What are your decisions about this post?

Decisive love to all,

Ann

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 79 Comments

Day 1083: How to Choose a Post Title

Even though I’ve chosen a similar title before,  I think “How to Choose a Post Title” is a blogging topic useful enough to revisit.

Do you agree, dear readers? How do you choose a title for a post, or for anything else you create?

Obviously, there’s no single right way to do so.  One technique is to consider the images you want to include in a post for possible title candidates.  For example, today I’m considering the following post titles:

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  • “Unlikely Friendships”

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  • “The Best Bostonians of All Time”

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  • “Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures”

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  • “Wisdom/Mistakes”
  • “Fake It Until You Make It”

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  • “That’s Foolish!”

Now this may be foolish, but I have a lot of trouble making decisions, especially when there are so many good choices.

Actually, “Making Decisions” might be another good post title.

Aaaarrrgggghhh!

Whenever I struggle with decisions, it helps me to ask for assistance from others.  Therefore, which title would you choose for a post like this one, based on all the other photos I took yesterday?

 

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I hope you choose to let me know your choice, in a comment below.

Choice thanks to all who helped me create today’s post, including my son Aaron’s classmate Emma, shown holding the guinea pig (which my boyfriend Michael titled “Cheryl.”) And special thanks to you — of course! — for choosing to visit here, today.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 1081: The right way

Do you ever notice yourself (or others) getting stuck on the right way to …

  • reach a destination, by car or otherwise?
  • perform a particular task?
  • move towards a goal?
  • try something new?
  • express yourself?
  • interact with other people?
  • do every big and little thing?

While it can be helpful to weigh options and choose a good-enough next step, focusing too much on “the right way” can lead to

  • over-thinking,
  • procrastination,
  • stagnation,
  • confusion,
  • time wasting,
  • frustration,,  and
  • self-criticism.

Am I creating this blog post the right way, this Thursday morning?   And, are you stuck in thoughts about doing something the “right way”  as you’re reading it?

Did I take these photos the right way?

 

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I think the right way to proceed, now,  is to tell you that the most righteous photo in that batch was taken by my boyfriend Michael (shown holding a Star Wars action figure the right way, above).

Which photo is it that Michael took the right way?  The right way to let me know is to comment below.

Before I end this post the right way (with gratitude), here’s something I wrote to friends last night:

I’ve decided today that I am not going to be making a fool of myself when I try out for The Voice in February. That’s a win already!

Right-way thanks to Michael, cats and other creatures, people with compassion, and you — of course! — no matter what next thing you choose to do.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

Day 997: Houses and homes

When I left house and home yesterday, I didn’t feel ready.  As I listened to this song …

…  I passed by a sign for Boston’s Beth Israel. “Beth” means “House” in Hebrew.

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I was born at that hospital over 60 years ago, when my family’s house and home was in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Then,  I reached my office, where I try to help people feel at home as they explore important life decisions.

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I wonder if that kind of conflicting advice hits home for anybody, today, besides me.

I didn’t get back to house and home, yesterday, until 6 PM. To help myself feel at home, I took these photos along the way:

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Which one of those images reminds you most of house and home?

Fenway Park, which is home to the Boston Red Sox, has been my home-away-from-home for many baseball games since I was born at Beth Israel. Tonight, I’m joining my sister Ellen, her spouse Linda, and our cousin Lani for one of the last home games of the 2015 baseball season. I’m sure we’ll all feel at home at Fenway Park (as opposed to how I’ve sometimes felt at the House that Ruth built).

I hope you feel at home with these pictures I took last night, after I left house and home with my boyfriend, Michael:

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Make yourself at home, please, and leave a comment about this house-and-home post, below.

Homey thanks to Kurt Elling (for his rendition of “A House is Not a Home”), to Beth Israel, to Michael (who helps me feel at home, wherever we go), to Ellen, Linda, and Lani, to Fenway Park, to all the houses and homes I’ve lived in over the years, and to you — of course! — no matter where your home is, today.

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

Day 543: Reflections

I take photos very intuitively, for this blog.  I usually don’t have a plan for how I’m going to use any particular picture. I just capture images that capture me,  without much reflection or thought.

At the same time, there are definitely themes in what I choose to snap with my iPhone, as I move through my day. One of those themes, I’ve noticed, is reflections. Reflections in water, windows, and elsewhere.

Here are two recent examples, from a walk away from work:

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As with any kind of communication, I never know whether I can really reflect to you what I saw, felt, and thought, when I took those pictures.  The reflections, as I walked by them, captivated me. But can I translate them, in a meaningful way, as I pass them on to you?

Do you see what I saw?  Probably not.  But do you see something that has any value, for you? And have I conveyed, in any way, the wonder of my original experience?

Here’s another way I could reflect, about any photo:  could I have done a better job, in  communicating what I wanted to?

For example, maybe this is a more effective framing, for that second shot:

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Perhaps that framing focuses better on the tree and its reflection. Or maybe not.

Maybe this framing is better:

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So many options for each presentation …. and so little expertise and experience in this photographer!   So how on earth should I decide how to present any image to you?

And yet, I do decide. Like anyone, I make countless decisions, every day, about what to do, reveal, or communicate — with a photo, with a word — from moment to moment.

Sometimes the reasons for the decisions are intuitive, and sometimes they’re more obvious to me. For example,  I, personally, would not choose that last framing of that tree-reflection photo. It’s too close.  For me, it’s lacking a sense of context.

I believe this: effective communication, of any experience, reflects a balance of closeness and context, of specific and general, of present and past.

How am I doing, communicating now?

No matter how that’s going, I can show you more, before I’m done here today.

For example, I could show you more photos of reflections, without verbally reflecting on them, letting you experience each one for yourself:

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Let’s end this post with a closer look at that last photo (which appeared in a recent post, here):

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Here’s one truth, for me, about reflections, photographic or otherwise: I see more, every time I look.  For example, while I had noticed, previously, the reflection of that big, beautiful bird in the water, I did not realize I had captured the bird itself, until just now.

Isn’t that amazing?

I’m glad I reflected back, again, today.

Thanks to all things that reflect; to Boston and Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA);  to blue herons; to people who do their best communicating experiences; to waffles and wafflers; to those who reflect back to children (and adults) their in-born and unique worth; and to you — of course! — for reflecting, here and now.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 539: Waffles

Here’s a post where I decided on the title — without waffling — hours before I started writing it. That’s unusual.

Yesterday, I met my friends Janet and Ray for brunch at the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown. While sometimes I have trouble making decisions about what to order at a restaurant, I didn’t waffle yesterday. I knew I wanted to order waffles, only available on weekends. I did waffle, a little, about what kind of waffle to get, but — with Janet and Ray’s help — I soon settled on the sweet potato special:

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Don’t those deluxe waffles look delicious?  In case you’re waffling on how to respond, my answer is: they were!

Janet and Ray both tried them, and agreed the waffles were wonderful.

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Ray and Janet are looking at houses to buy, now that they’ve moved back to Massachusetts, and they told me about a place they definitely want to own. There was no waffling, for either of them, as they shared details about this home:

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I don’t know why, in particular, I chose to take a photo of the house’s doorknobs, except (1) I was waffling about other pictures to take and (2) those doorknobs are quite adorable.

We also talked about my blog, and I told them I had been waffling, a little, about quoting Ray yesterday without checking with him first.  I do have concerns about (1) misquoting people  and (2) hurting their feelings. Ray replied, without a hint of waffling in his voice, that I could write whatever I wanted to about him, without any fear whatsoever. Indeed, Ray strongly requested that I misquote him, deliberately.

Here’s a shot of Ray pledging, on his corned beef hash, that he wants me to misquote him in a blog post:

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For all you know, I may have done this, already.

After sharing waffles with my fine friends Janet and Ray, I returned home and asked my boyfriend Michael if he would like to accompany me on a walk.

Michael waffled at first, as we discussed the details, but then we came up with a mutual plan.

Our first stop was the cat shelter in Cambridge, where we had gotten our cat Harley, last October. We saw this cat:

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… who had a most excellent name:

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Waffles’s nervousness reminded me of Harley’s, who — when he was in the shelter — did not budge from his side cubby, kind of like Simba, here:

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Michael, yesterday, was non-waffling in his preference for Simba over all the other cats in the shelter, although he liked them all,  including this one:

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who had a most excellent name, too:

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After we visited with all the shelter cats, we headed out toward some very scenic paths. On our way, we passed by some buildings that appeared in yesterday’s post:

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Those kind of look like waffles, don’t they?  I usually waffle about which of those three buildings are shorter — or taller — than the others. It’s really difficult to tell, from most perspectives.

Once Michael and I reached the walking/bicycling paths, we waffled on which path to take first, because there were so many to choose from. It didn’t really matter, because they all were interesting and beautiful:

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As I was was taking that last shot, a magnificent blue bird, previously unseen by either of us, took off and flew away. I didn’t waffle for a second, and said, “It’s a blue heron!”   Michael was astonished, and told me he had recently seen a nature show about how elusive these birds are.   I replied I had seen quite a few, recently, in my walks near Boston, although I often waffle about my bird-identification expertise.

I hoped I might have caught that beautiful bird in my shot, but I was truly grateful just to see it.

What about you? If you see something special in that last photo, would you waffle about letting me know?

Besides the heron, Michael and I did see other creatures yesterday, who may have waffled about staying close to humans, but were still pretty easy to capture:

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Wait! That’s not a real turtle.  We didn’t see any turtles yesterday,  but we saw this big fish:

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… which we think was probably an alewife.  We also saw a large family of ducks. Here’s my best shot of them:

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Beyond a shadow of doubt, with or without waffles, I saw some marvelous things yesterday.

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Well, it’s time to stop waffling about how to end this post.

Thanks to waffles (and wafflers) everywhere, to Janet and Ray, to homes (no matter what the details), to Michael, to Hope (and all other shelter cats), to Broken Tail Rescue, to the Alewife Brook Reservation, to beautiful birds and other creatures, to people who keep the peace (in any dimension), and a special thanks to you, no matter how much waffling you do.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Day 484: The near future

Yesterday, my managers and I decided this: I won’t be returning to work for at least two more weeks. That is, I am committing completely to my not-so-secret identity of Super Recovery Woman,* as I continue to heal from pneumonia.

Looking ahead to that two weeks, I’m not sure what to expect.

But, that’s always true as we look into the near (and far) future, isn’t it?

As always, I will do my best to redirect my thoughts back to the present moment, as those thoughts go into the future and into the past.

In the here and now, I want to show you this:

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I saw that yesterday. That felt like a first to me: to be offered such a beautiful and large range of choices, to take what I need.

As I took that all in, I also noticed the older, incomplete set of choices, sticking out below and behind.

Do you see that, now?

For whatever reasons, I chose from that smaller set, as follows:

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Sometimes, even when we have limited options, we can still get what we need.

Thanks to kirstindudish.com; to all who offer hope, kindness, faith, strength, understanding, joy, peace, patience, healing, inspiration, courage, love, and other necessities; to those who accept those as best they can; and to you — of course! — for visiting with me today.


* I hereby offer a choice of  past posts about “Super Recovery Woman” — here, here, here, here, and here — to partake of, as you please.

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

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