Posts Tagged With: needs

Day 2193: What do you require?

Here and now, what do you require?

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Wines? Vines? Whines? Madness?  Wisdom?  Being watched over? Lucidity? Poets? Lovers?  Helpful quotes?  Art?  Artists?  ACCURATE SPELLING?

 

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Tea?  Compassion? Advice?  Never being wrong?

 

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Celebrating?  Cats?  Being like a cat?

 

 

Cool socks?  Giving?  Receiving?

 

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A perfect world?

 

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Blessings?  An angel by your side?

 

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Encouragement? Compliments?  Niceness? Puns?

 

 

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100% reality?  Feeling special?

 

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Affirmations?  Magic? More quality time with people you love?

 

Do you require more sleep?  I do and this video shows up when I search YouTube for “What do you require”:

 

Do you require thanks for reading my blog?

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 1747: Supplies you need

In order for me to generate a daily supply of blog posts, I need inspiration from what I see around me.

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Apparently, nobody needs supplies there. However, I need supplies of

  • kindness,
  • consideration,
  • respect,
  • safety,
  • honesty,
  • love,
  • awareness,
  • humor,
  • nourishment,
  • friendship,
  • engagement,
  • rest,
  • acceptance,
  • choice,
  • connection,
  • self esteem,
  • confidence,
  • support,
  • sunshine,
  • nature,
  • music, and
  • macaroni & cheese on Fridays.

What supplies do you need?

Here’s a supply of more photos, which I need to share:

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I also need a yearly supply of “So You Think You Can Dance,” which I choose to attend in Boston this evening. Lex, the winner of this year’s competition, has an amazing supply of incredible moves (seen here and here on YouTube):

I also need a daily supply of comments from my readers.

Finally, I have an endless supply of gratitude for the supplies I’ve been given and — of course! — for you.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1357: All You Need

Do you need to read a post today titled “All You Need”?  Is that all you need?  If not,  what helps you get all you need? Are you in touch with your needs?  Do you have fears about being too needy?  Do you need to learn how to reach out to others when you have needs?

Was that all you needed about needs?

All I need, right now, is to get on a plane with my boyfriend (and cook extraordinaire) Michael. We need to fly to Minnesota so I can get  the mechanical heart valve I need and  a brand new vertical “zipper” scar.

All we need are photos from needy me:

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All I need are good friends who accept my needs and who give me lovely tokens for this trip I need to take.

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All I needed to find for my trip was a new, comfortable robe for the hospital. Sometimes, we get what we need.

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I found the robe I needed, last night, with a big beautiful heart.

All we need is a song about all I need by  The Hollies.

 

All you need, sometimes, is a good thank you.

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All you need to do, now, is leave a comment.  That’s just what I need.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Day 196: Why I’m Anxious Today (E-mail, anybody?)

Why am I anxious today?

Oh, so many reasons, and so little little time to list them, this morning.

1. Technology, for cripe’s sake.

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I am all for trying new things — with a brave, adventurous, and confident spirit, whenever I can muster it — but technology is proceeding at a rate that seems to be leaving me in a confused dust, too much of the time.

And I am a quick learner, people. Others remark on how quick I am. “Wow! What a quick learner you are, Ann!” they are likely to say, without undo prompting from me. And yet, I am in a constant state of dizziness regarding what I have to learn JUST TO KEEP UP these days.

An example might help here, I suppose. (Although I am imagining that you just might be filling in with your own examples, at this point.)

E-mail!

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Ah, e-mail! How do I fear thee … let me count the ways.

  1. There’s way too much of it.
  2. I have trouble keeping track of it.
  3. Just when I think I’ve grasped the rudimentary necessities for E-mail Survival, a new version of my e-mail service comes along — WITHOUT MY CHOICE OR CONSENT — which screws up my already tentative grip on it.
  4. It’s designed to destroy my life. That might sound dramatic, but here’s one example: In the handy-dandy, instant access clickable group of icons for each of my e-mails, THE FLAG ICON IS RIGHT NEXT TO THE GARBAGE ICON. So what’s the inevitable result, if your hand is slightly unsteady, because of too-much-e-mail-induced anxiety? Just this: When I see an e-mail I need to flag NOW, just to keep it bobbing above the sea of other important but less important e-mails, I am just as likely to erroneously stick it in the garbage can. And vice versa.
  5. Arrrrghhhhh!

(pant, pant, pant)

Now where was I? Oh, yes, I started a list of things that were making me anxious today, and technology was #1. Okay! Time to move on.

2. Isn’t technology enough of a reason, people?

Thanks for reading today. (And if you have any hints about how to help me reduce my anxiety, I am all ears and eager to hear.)

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 142: The Heart is a Lonely Blogger (at 2 AM)

My writing a blog post in the middle of the night is not exactly novel (see here for my most recent early-morning musings).

Tonight, however, there are some new circumstances contributing to my being awake at 2 AM, including the very loud construction going on nightly in my town. Indeed, I just now recorded, on my iPhone, shocking evidence of the volume of these nocturnal improvements, but I can’t figure out how to drop that file into this post.

To help you join with me in this experience, here’s a canned version of construction noises, which I’ve used in a previous post:

That’s uncannily close to what I’m hearing, outside my window, right now.

As is my wont with these mid-night posts, I like to keep them short, because I have faith, or hope, that I might fall back asleep this night.

And actually, that reminds me of a subtitle I was considering for this post:  “Faith and Doubt”.

Because — in these wee hours of the morning, as I was having trouble sleeping — that’s where my thoughts have been going.  To faith and doubts about these blog posts: specifically, about how many people are reading.

I know I have written about these kinds of thoughts — How Many People Are Reading? — before (see here).

And while part of me believes that Readership Really Shouldn’t Matter …. nevertheless, these are the thoughts, that are occurring to me, on this topic, at 2:30 AM on Day 142.

On the one hand, I believe that plenty of people are reading.  I know that many people  — those I’ve met and those I haven’t — have subscribed to this blog.  And several people have told me they read this blog and enjoy it — which always warms my heart.  All this  — plus my experience, in groups, that, for every person who voices something, there are other, silent people who feel the same way —  gives me the faith that this blog is being seen and heard enough.

Also, I especially feel good when I put things out in the world just for the sake of expression, letting go completely of the result.

These kind of thoughts tell me that this blog is exactly where it is supposed to be — in terms of readership and everything else.

This reminds me of a sign we had in the large group room at the psychiatric day treatment program where I used to work:

You Are Exactly Where You are Supposed To Be.

A lot of people who saw that sign said they found  it very helpful, if difficult to believe at times.

I have found that sign — and concept — very helpful, too.

So helpful that I almost feel ready to end this post, just letting that concept in, again, tonight:

This blog is exactly where it is supposed to be.

Ahhhh.  That helps. And I do believe it.

My original plans for this Sleepless in Massachusetts post had included the other side of Faith: Doubt.  These doubts would have included the surprisingly low  numbers I see here on WordPress about daily readership.  I am puzzled by these numbers at times, because they don’t match other data, here at WordPress and elsewhere (data including readership maps, numbers of followers, etc.).

That Doubt-tinged Data — of Lower Than Expected Readership — usually doesn’t worry me. But — like everything else I see and perceive — those numbers stay in my mind, ready to surface (especially when I can’t sleep).

But for now, I am content to let go of those doubts and concerns.  I believe, right now, that

I (and everything I create, including this blog) is exactly where it’s supposed to be.

As a result — Poof!  All expectations, “shoulds,” and investments in outcomes — regarding this blog —  fade away.

Even while those construction noises don’t.

I am supremely grateful, in this moment, for your readership.  Goodnight and zzzzzzzzzzzz (snoring noises, for those of you who wonder).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 140: We cannot control other people

Duh.  Isn’t that obvious?  We can’t control what other people do — to themselves, to us, to the rest of the world.

However, we can be clear about how their actions affect us.

We can also let them know how we feel about it. And we can control what we do , in response to their actions.

This applies on a personal level.

Let’s say that an adult, whom I love, has a toothache. This person has had toothaches before and — for lots of reasons — has not gone to the dentist.

While I think it’s a great idea for that person to go to the dentist, it’s not my tooth. It’s not my pain.

The best I can do is this:  tell the person that it bothers me to see them in pain. Let them know I’m eager to talk about what might be getting in the way of them seeing the dentist.  Find out and offer information that might be helpful.

And then step back.

As they say, you can lead a horse to the dentist, but you can’t make it sit in the chair.

(Depending upon where you live, that previous sentence might make NO sense. If that applies to you, the original saying is “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.” See here for more about that English language proverb.) (I am not, at this writing, aware of any real proverbs involving dentists.)

That concludes today’s post, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you, so much, for bringing yourself here.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 126: Ridiculous things I’m feeling guilty about

  1. For over a month, I haven’t been reading issues of The New Yorker magazine that download on my Nook every Monday.
  2. I’m not reading enough, in general.
  3. I’m angry at a local organization, which hasn’t fulfilled its promised obligations to me.
  4. I’ve been “too nice”to this local organization, for about a month, and now I’m feeling taken advantage of.
  5. It’s a charitable organization, so I think I shouldn’t be angry at all.
  6. I wrote a very clear e-mail to the organization yesterday, stating my needs and expectations.
  7. My cat has been biting me lately, and I suspect it’s because I haven’t been paying enough attention to him.
  8. I don’t have enough cat toys around for the cat to play with.
  9. I’ve been doing too much at work and need to set better limits there.
  10. I haven’t been responding to patient needs at work quickly enough and (because of my long-time experiences as a patient) I know how bad THAT can feel.
  11. I’m on vacation, so I shouldn’t be thinking about work.
  12. I probably shouldn’t be writing in this blog at 2:42 AM, even though I think this might help me get back to sleep.

Boy, the title I chose for this post was pretty good, wasn’t it? These are pretty ridiculous, when you think about it.

Sometimes I wonder whether guilt has ever done me any good. I can’t think of any instances of that, right now. What’s been your experience?

Thanks for reading, people!

(Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 97: Setting Priorities (starring The Oxygen Mask Metaphor)

When you have too much to do, setting priorities can be REALLY helpful.

That’s been true for me, especially lately.

Work has been stressful, overwhelming, wonderful, scary, depleting, energizing, and close-to-all-encompassing lately, because (1)  I really, really care about it, (2) there are a lot of changes going on, and (3) a lot of feelings from my past have been present for me lately.

Yes, I have been feeling overwhelmed. Big time.  To the extent that sometimes I just sit and stare into space, paralyzed by what to do next.  Actually, that’s one of the main ways I’m getting down-time these days, because there’s so much for me to do.

There’s always too much to do.

Can I get an “Amen” about that?  (Apparently not. I just googled “Amen sound effects” and couldn’t find anything quick enough. And THAT is not a priority for me, right now, so moving on ….)

On Friday, at work, I was looking ahead to the weekend and feeling overwhelmed about today, because there were many things I wanted to do, including:

  1. Going to the  birthday party of a friend from high school,  who was also my first “boyfriend” (we’re talking age 6 or 7 here), whom I recently reconnected with through MY birthday party,
  2. Going to a reception for a photography show my sister is in. (My sister is not a professional photographer, but she takes amazing pictures, and she submitted photos for the first time, and made the show!)
  3. Preparing more for this presentation I’m giving on Tuesday to a Room Full of Medical Residents, about (a) the groups I’m doing, (b) group therapy, in general, (c) how the medical staff and the social work staff can work effectively together, (d) how to be more present for patients, (e) how to take care of ourselves so we can be more present for patients, and (f) anything else I can figure out how to fit in to an hour, in a coherent way, that addresses people’s needs and interests but also moves My Personal Mission (Improving the Patient Experience in a Medical Setting) forward.
  4. Go for walks, listen to music, and do other down-time activities for myself, which are more sustaining than sitting paralyzed and staring into space.

You may, perhaps, notice certain pervasive themes in what I’ve written so far, including this:

I’m trying to do too much. (#3 above seems to imply that, doesn’t it?)

So it’s very important for me, these days, to Walk the Walk — and not just Talk the Talk — of the topic of this post.

It’s important for me to set priorities.

On Friday, I did just that, by  writing this down:

My priorities for this Sunday are:

(1) Me

(2) The photography show

(3)  The party.

That helped. By putting myself first, I was able to start figuring out ways to make Sunday work.

(By the way, I didn’t put the presentation on the list, because I have prepared enough, already.  I know I will do more, but it’s good enough already — and I can make it better, if I choose).

I find it difficult to even write or say “putting myself first” (much less do it!) because that sounds “selfish.” I may promote selfishness in my clients and my friends, but I have trouble doing that for myself. (See “The Double Standard Method”, here,  for a possible remedy for that.)

However, by making that list on Friday, I came up with a plan that is enabling me, today, to do everything I want to do, and still feel like I’m taking care of myself. (That plan involved setting limits and expectations, which you can read more about here and here.)

Ironically, if I hadn’t put myself first, I might have ended up doing less for the other people involved.  I would probably have stayed feeling overwhelmed. I may have felt some resentment about my wishes to “please” others.  I might have cancelled some of the activities.

I can find it challenging to balance my needs with other people’s needs.

And I get an “Amen!” from lots of other people about that.

Here’s a metaphor I like to use, in my work:

The Oxygen Mask Metaphor

When you’re on an airplane, about to take off, and the flight attendants are doing their little gig about What You Need To Know In Case of Emergency, and they come to the part about the mask dropping down ….

What do they say (besides “breathe normally” — hah!)?

They say, “Put your own mask first, even if you are sitting with a child.”

I think they say that, every time, not just because of liability, but because it’s so friggin’ counter-intuitive.  The urge, OF COURSE, would be to put the mask on the child first.

But, to be more effective for the child, in that urgent situation, the adult has to get oxygen first, in order to help the child.

The Moral of the Oxygen Mask Metaphor

We need to take care of our own needs, first, before we can be of use to anybody else.

Can I get an Amen about that, readers?

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Day 83: Managing Expectations

Here are some random thoughts about managing expectations — a RHP (Really Happening Lesson)* for me these days.

Managing expectations helps reduce anxiety. 

I’m starting with this thought, because it’s the one that’s most relevant to me, in the moment.

That is, I would like to manage your expectations, dear reader, about this blog post.  That would help reduce my anxiety about writing it.

(I would also like to add, right here, that Managing Expectations does MORE than help reduce anxiety. It helps out in many interpersonal interactions — at work, with family, socially, etc.)

 

This morning, for me,  managing expectations does not involve making excuses or apologies for the limits of the post.

Yay!  I’m so glad to be able to write that today, since I know there have been previous posts where I HAVE had the urge to apologize, in advance, for what I was about to write. (And I hear people doing that — apologizing up front for what they are about to say.)

So that’s tres cool, I think, that I’m in a secure enough place, this morning, to NOT feel the need to do that.

However, I would like to manage your expectations about how long I am going to take to write this post, as follows:

I will be taking approximately 20 minutes to write this post. After that, I will be meeting an old friend for brunch and for a walk. I would like to publish before I leave, and then edit afterwards only to correct mistakes and clarify possible miscommunications.

Whoa!  Just one second.  I just realized something.

I am not just managing YOUR expectations by explaining the limit of how long I have to write this blog post.

I’m managing mine, too!

Managing expectations involves setting limits.

What I did, above in the italics, was set limits,  which helps me.  That is, by saying that I will take 20 minutes to write this, and then go out, into the Life-o-sphere* — to connect with somebody and then take a walk (two types of Personal Medicine, for me) — I am setting a frame for what kind of post this will be.  

Because I have limited time, I am now telling myself  that l will NOT do the following:

  • anything too fancy or time-consuming (like looking up outside references or taking time to define terms).
  • connect to too many links, unless it’s really easy (e.g., past blog posts).
  • start a list that I then need to fill out, unless it feels manageable.
  • try to be perfect or even close to perfect in what I write.

(Of course, I just told YOU what I would NOT be doing, and that helps, too.)

Here are some things that I CAN do, however:

  • write a good enough post
  • maybe even introduce a short-cut, time-saving solution to my urge to define terms or give more info (like using asterisks within the text).

And that is THE key to managing expectations, dear reader.

Manage expectations by stating clearly what you can do AND what you cannot do.

Tell yourself what you can and cannot do, and also communicate it to others, as clearly as you can.

 

Earlier this morning, my friend — whom I’m meeting for brunch — called me to tell me that she was running late.  She explained how she had woken later than she expected and had to talk to somebody on the phone, unexpectedly.  She called to manage my expectations. She estimated that she would be 15 minutes later than we had originally planned.

But I suspected something, based on my own experience.

I said to her, “Would you like to make it a half-hour later?”

I heard an intake of breath.  She said, “Actually, that would be helpful.”

And I thought, of course.  Which leads me to my final thought for managing expectations, today:

Try not to over-promise.

I see this a lot (in myself and others).  People over-promise for lots of reasons  (including guilt, fear, the wish to please, assuming you know what the other person wants, and so on).

So watch out for this, please. And consider readjusting your promises, by checking out assumptions (e.g., my friend may have thought about me, “she wants to meet me as early as possible!”)

It’s time for me to go.  Thanks for reading, as always.

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*  New terms, I just made up, perhaps to be explored in future blog posts.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 50: Sleep — Needs, History, Distortions, and a Wish

I’ve been struggling to get enough sleep lately.  I seem to be a person who can function pretty well without enough sleep.

(Sometimes I think the world is divided into two types of people: (1)  People who can function “well enough” without taking care of their sleeping needs and (2)  People who can function well enough without taking care of their eating needs.)

(Sometimes I think the world is divided into two types of people: (1) People who think that the world is divided into two types of people and (2) People who don’t.)

So even though I am used to functioning without enough sleep (by the way, I CANNOT function without enough food), I still feel pretty lousy when I get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. And getting 6 hours or more has been a problem for me lately.

I know a lot of people who struggle with sleep issues.  It seems to me that this might be an epidemic —  although I’m not an expert about sleep, by any means.

Speaking of being an “expert”,  I plan on writing a future post about Experts — and the punchline for that post will probably be something like this: We Are All Experts, But Only of Our Own Experience.

So while I’m not a Sleep Expert, I am trying to access, right now, my expertise about Sleep and Me.

And expertise starts with looking at data and history.

So that means  that, in order to improve my sleep, I might start by looking at my history of sleep issues.

But I’m resisting doing that right now.

That resistance probably has to do with my preference — or tendency —  to focus on the present moment rather than focusing on the past.

That preference — for the present over the past —  might have to do with several things, including my perception that I don’t have a good memory.

Pardon me while I indulge in a rather long digression about that thought: I Don’t Have A Good Memory.  However, you might find this digression useful — since it will reference several Cognitive Distortions, all listed and defined here.

Digression about the thought that  I Don’t Have a Good Memory.

This thought is probably  an unhelpful piece of self-judgment, which seems to involve several cognitive distortions, including Labelling. Because what does “not having a great memory” mean?  Does that mean I think that my memory is not as good as most other people’s? If so,  that thought involves the cognitive distortions of Comparisons AND Mind Reading.   Also, now that I think about it, I do have some data — from cognitive tests I’ve taken — that indicate that I have a Very Good Memory, although I seem to have trouble holding on to that data. (More proof that I have a bad memory?) (Kidding!) . Also, maybe I’m comparing my memory now to how my memory used to be when I was younger, another form of the distortion of Comparisons.

Shorter digression about the thought (expressed 4 paragraphs before)  that I Tend to Focus on The Present Moment Rather Than On The Past.

It’s not all or nothing. (Wouldn’t you know it? This is related to yet another Cognitive Distortion.) That is, I don’t have to look at the past OR the present. I can  look at both the past AND the present when I’m working  on growth and healing (in myself and others). 

Hmmm. I got pretty caught up in those digressions, where I noticed and challenged some cognitive distortions. Is it possible I can find my way back to The Topic of  Sleep, and finish this post before I leave for work?

I think I can. Here are some things I know, this morning:

Most nights, I am not getting enough sleep.

I have had some resistance to looking at this issue.

I deserve to get enough sleep.

I would like to get enough sleep.

I can access my own experience and expertise about this issue.

I can also seek help — from people who have expertise about sleep — to work on this issue.

Wow.  As often happens when I write a post, the post goes places I don’t expect.

However, where the post is ending up, this morning,  relates to a wish I made as I was writing it.

I wish that I could get more sleep.

I think I’ve taken some steps — and identified others — in this post, which may help me move towards that wish.

Thanks for reading.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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