I can’t make up my mind about many things, including whether people across the United States really observe Make Up Your Mind Day. However, I am celebrating, on New Years Eve Day and No Interruptions Day, the fact that I have finally made up my mind (after many interruptions) about the tiles, the fixtures, etc. to repair our severely water-damaged shower.
I don’t know why it takes me so long to make up my mind about certain things — maybe it’s a fear of making a mistake and having to live with it.
I do know that I easily made up my mind to spend a few days in NYC with my only son, Aaron. I’m so grateful I made up my mind to try to have a child in my 40s, after doctors changed their minds about whether it was advisable for someone with an unusual heart like mine to have a baby.
Now I’m going to make up my mind about how to arrange the images I have to share with you today.
I made up my mind to ask that question on Twitter after Aaron and I discussed who we would like to be interviewed by (among many other topics) on the train to NYC and before I saw that Barbara Walters had died.
There were many images I didn’t capture yesterday — including the throngs of people in Times Square and a local TV personality reporting about it — but I’m making up my mind, here and now, to let go of regrets about what I haven’tor have done in the past. I’ve also made up my mind to focus on hope and joy, even when there is so much pain and suffering in the world.
I’m glad I made up my mind for us to see “A Strange Loop” last night before it closes next month on Broadway. I’ve made up my mind to share this with you today:
Now I have to make up my mind about how Aaron and I are going to spend this precious day, besides finally seeing the musical Merrily We Roll Along together.
I hope you make up your mind to leave a comment below.
Every day, I make up my mind to end this blog with gratitude for YOU.
The day the tickets went on sale, I had a list of tactics, including bringing my laptop into work and logging onto the ticket site ahead of time. As I saw the list of my preferred dates rapidly disappear, I somehow scored two seats for New Year’s weekend.
Being in NYC for New Year’s Eve was not on my wish list (I did that when I was in my 20s and I’ve been avoiding crowds in these COVID times). However, I’m looking forward to being there with my son Aaron and perhaps doing something else on my list: going back to the Museum of Modern Art and finding Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” (which Aaron and I somehow missed on our visit there in 2021).
Do you see lists in my images for today?
For some unknown reason, finding lists of National Days has become more difficult and time-consuming, but I’m doing my best to share a list every day.
Believe it or not, this came up on YouTube when I searched for “lists.”
Thanks to all who are on my list of people I appreciate, including YOU!
If you didn’t know Lucia Spina is a great interpreter of Sondheim tunes, now you know.
Now You Know
by Stephen Sondheim
All right, now you know:
Life is crummy.
Well, now you know.
I mean, big surprise:
People love you and tell you lies.
Bricks can tumble from clear blue skies.
Put your dimple down,
Now you know.
Okay, there you go —
Life is crummy,
Well, now you know.
It’s called flowers wilt,
It’s called apples rot,
It’s called thieves get rich and saints get shot,
It’s called God don’t answer prayers a lot,
Okay, now you know.
Okay, now you know,
Now forget it.
Don’t fall apart at the seams.
It’s called letting go your illusions,
And don’t confuse them with dreams.
If the going’s slow —
Don’t regret it,
And don’t let’s go to extremes.
It’s called what’s your choice?
It’s called count to ten.
It’s called burn your bridges, start again.
You should burn them every now and then
Or you’ll never grow!
Because now you grow.
That’s the killer, is
Now you grow.
You’re right, nothing’s fair,
And it’s all a plot,
And tomorrow doesn’t look too hot —
Right, you better look at what you’ve got:
Over here, hello?
Okay, now you know,
fear and its companion — the fight, flight or freeze response — can save us from danger,
however, the level of fear we experience today is based on the realities of the distant past — the danger-filled lives of our cave-dwelling ancestors who lived under constant threat of invading tribes and wild animals, and
that level of fear interferes with modern life.
Here’s a quote from that article:
“Change has occurred so rapidly for our species that now we are equipped with brains that are super sensitive to threat but also super capable of planning, thinking, forecasting and looking ahead,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. “So we essentially drive ourselves nuts worrying about things because we have too much time and don’t have many real threats on our survival, so fear gets expressed in these really strange, maladaptive ways.”
I don’t want to drive ourselves nuts by spending too much time on that article here, but I recommend you read the whole thing. And I do want to include a few more quotes from the article before another flight into photography.
Consciously activating the more measured, analytical part of your brain is the key to controlling runaway fear and anxiety.
Arresting an overactive amygdala requires first realizing and then admitting you’re feeling uneasy and scared.
“The more you try to suppress fear, either by ignoring it or doing something else to displace it, the more you will actually experience it.”
One thousand, two hundred and forty-five days ago, I wrote another blog post titled “Facial Expressions.” My facial expression would be happy if you read that blog post. Heck, my facial expression would be happy if you read any of my blog posts.
Yesterday, I drew this facial expression:
Pointing to the bottom face, I asked my boyfriend Michael if he knew who that was. His first tentative guess was “Me?” My facial expression, in response to that, was probably disbelief, because I have never seen that expression on Michael’s face. His second guess, which was correct, was somebody we both know.
How would you describe that facial expression? It’s the expression I most dread seeing on other people’s faces.
I wonder what expressions were on my face, just now, when I realized that most of my other photos from yesterday show facial expressions.
To improve my facial expressions recently, I’ve been listening to the score of “Merrily We Roll Along” by Stephen Sondheim (whose facial expression can be found here). Here‘s a “Merrily We Roll Along” YouTube video that shows many facial expressions.
Those were the facial expressions I saw TWICE on the stage of the Huntington Theater in Boston. Now you know.
I hope you know that all expressions are welcomed, below.
My facial expression, here and now, is gratitude for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.
How do we work together? That seems to be an important question these days.
How do people at Mount Auburn Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab work together? Based on all the hours I’ve spent there over the last few years, I’d say they work together beautifully. Kathy — the head of that department who has worked there for many years — is retiring and her last day was yesterday. I was invited to a surprise party to say thanks for all her years of working together so well with so many people.
Here are some photos I took at Cardiac Rehab yesterday:
I loved working together with Kathy, Danise, and Carla all those hours I spent in cardiac rehab. I worked out what I wanted to write to Kathy beforehand.
If you can’t work out what I wrote there, it says
Thank you for your beautifully kind and caring heart, which has helped heal and strengthen so many hearts, including mine.
Is there any evidence of how we work together in my other photos from yesterday?
There were donuts at the party celebrating Kathy’s working together with others at Cardiac Rehab, but I couldn’t get it together to take a photo of them.
“How do we work together?” is also the question that inspires this incredible number from Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along:
How do we work together without gratitude? I don’t know. So, thanks to all who inspired this post and to you — of course! — for working together with me.
Got a second? I’d like to tell you about yesterday’s appointment with my cardiologist, Dr. Salem (who is second to none). While I was waiting several seconds in the exam room for Dr. Salem, I took a second to snap this:
Got a second to hear about my conversation with Dr. Salem? Dr. Salem said he couldn’t be more pleased about how my heart is beating every second, as I begin my second year after my heart valve replacement surgery last September. I seconded that opinion.
Got a second to look at some more split-second photos?
This exchange — about his having the same kind of brain cancer a dear friend of mind is currently battling — will not be leaving me any time soon:
Lesley Stahl: Do you think that this diagnosis has changed you?
John McCain: No.
Lesley Stahl: Not at all. Same person?
John McCain: No, I think you gotta– you know, you just have to understand that it’s not that you’re leaving. It’s that you– that you stayed.
Yesterday, I was talking to another dear friend, Megan, who works with me and will be leaving the job soon because of a long commute and family obligations. Megan and I have been focusing on her leaving with tears and sadness. When I said to her, yesterday, “It’s not that you’re leaving. It’s that you stayed,” we both felt better.
It’s not that you’re leaving this post at the end, it’s that you stayed to read my words and look at my photographs.
That’s Megan’s office door, and I’m already imagining what it’s going to be like when she closes that door for the last time, in three weeks, when she leaves. It helps me to remember that it’s not that she’s leaving; it’s that she stayed.