Posts Tagged With: new years resolutions

Day 1096: Trying hard to keep things real

If you try hard to keep things real by trying hard to read some lyrics I wrote down during 2015 (as I was trying hard to memorize them) …


… you might see  the title of today’s post — “Trying hard to keep things real.”

Trying hard to keep things real when I try out for the TV show “The Voice” in February, I’ll be singing those lyrics, written by trying-hard-to-keep-things-real Todd Rundgren.

After trying hard to keep things real throughout 2015, I’ll be trying hard to keep things real in this new year of 2016.  Yes, I’m trying hard to keep things real  with that sole new year’s resolution.

How will you be trying hard to keep things real in 2016?

Last night, my son Aaron and I tried hard to keep things real by seeing a comedy show starring Mike Donovan, my favorite local Boston stand-up comic during the 1980s. I’m trying hard to keep things real now when I tell you that

  1. I haven’t seen Mike Donovan for about 30 years,
  2. Aaron — who tries hard to keep things real in his own stand-up comedy  —  and I resolved that we would see Mike Donovan perform live in 2015,
  3. Aaron and I made that resolution real at the very last minute, on New Year’s Eve,
  4. Mike Donovan was trying hard to keep things real last night in his stand-up routine and succeeded brilliantly, as always, and
  5. Mike told us, after his performance, that he was eager to talk to Aaron about stand-up comedy any time and that HE READS MY BLOG.

I am trying hard to believe, here and now, that Mike Donovan was keeping things real when he said that about my blog. In the meantime, here are all the other photos I took yesterday at work and afterwards, trying hard to keep things real:













After seeing Mike Donovan, Aaron and I were trying hard to keep things real as we drove from Dedham, Massachusetts, USA, to nearby Roslindale, where my boyfriend Michael was helping  his brother trying hard to keep things real by catering  a wedding party of over 300 people. On our way there, I was trying hard to keep things real by taking two more pictures:



Who do you think, in all those photos, is trying hardest to keep things real?

I don’t have to try hard to keep things real with gratitude, right now, for Aaron, Michael, Mike Donovan, Todd Rundgren, the Community Theater in Dedham, the Dedham Square Artist Guild, and every other person, place, and thing that helped me keep things real in today’s post. I am keeping things real when I especially thank you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

Keeping things real, here’s a YouTube video of Mike Donovan:

After trying hard to keep things real by searching YouTube clips of Mike Donovan, I found this one of Mike trying hard to keep it real (with Marc Maron) with a story about him, Tom Hanks, and the TV show “Bosom Buddies.”


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

Day 363: Areas to work on

Yes, dear readers, it’s that time of year where people think about, create, avoid, debate about, embrace, get pissed off about, and otherwise engage in …..

New Year’s Resolutions.

I usually say, “I refuse to do New Year’s Resolutions!” That’s my usual stance.

It’s time to take a break in this post, already, for a confession. I don’t know the correct way to punctuate that phrase. I usually write it the way I did, above, but — in my mind — it might also be:

  1. New Years Resolutions
  2. New Years’ Resolutions
  3. New Years’s Resolutions

Let me check Google, now, to see if anybody else gets confused, like that.

Apparently not.

Has anybody, besides me, noticed that I’m stalling, at this point?

I guess that speaks to my point:  I really don’t like New Year’s Resolutions.  Why? Maybe it’s the friggin’ title.   I can really get stuck on titles, that’s for sure.

So why don’t I like the title “New Year’s Resolutions”?  (I DO like the fact that I can spell that with confidence, now.)

Actually, I don’t like New Year’s, period.  (Eeeeek!  I’m not sure how to punctuate “New Year’s” either. Hold on, while I check Google ….. Aha!  Apparently there IS some confusion about THAT.)

I’m still stalling, aren’t I?

So, yes, in the past, I have been known to say, “I hate New Years Eve.” I don’t like new year’s day.” “New Year’s Eve and Day are my least favorite time of the year.” And,  “I love my birthday. I save my fears and dread about the passage of time and my own mortality for the new year.”

Yes, I have been known to say all those things. And, I’m pretty sure I wrote something similar, at some point, in my blog this year.*

But I want to tell you this, right now: This year, I have NOT been dreading the approach of New Years.  I’m not knowing exactly why that’s true,  but  — as always — I can guess. This year:

  1. I’m letting go of assumptions about what New Year’s should be (including how to punctuate it).
  2. I’m expressing my thoughts and feelings, every day, to people I feel connected to.

And those two things help, a lot.

In the past, I have resisted New Year’s Resolutions, because they have spoken to me of this:  The Potential for Failure.

It’s difficult for me to let go of that connection with New Year’s Resolutions — The Potential for Failure —  especially since I first heard about them when I was a little kid. If we attach meaning — or decide about something — when we’re children, that belief can feel quite stuck, even if it’s not helping us now. Letting go of it, changing that belief, is really hard to do.

Therefore, I ‘d like to create a new name, in place of  New Year’s Resolutions. I believe that would help.

Here would be my wishes for that new name:

  1. It would focus on making my life better, while also letting go of judgment about how I’ve done, so far.
  2. It would be a phrase that’s new(er); that is, something I did not hear as a child.
  3. It would not evoke the Possibility of Failure, but would rather promote hope.
  4. It would be easy to punctuate (and spell, too).

Hence, the title of this blog post: “Areas to work on.”

That phrase is definitely better, but I can’t say that I love it, yet.  It reminds me, a little too much, of reviews I’ve gotten at work.  And, like many people, I have had performance-review-related anxieties.

However, my work-related reviews, for the most part,  have turned out well, even if the few negative parts of any review have stuck — felt “bigger” than the positive ones.

Hmmmm. You know what I’m realizing now?  Those “negative parts” of which I speak?  They  usually are in THAT place in the review: “Areas to work on.”

And — of course —  that IS where they’d be, right?  Because “Areas to work on” is the place, in every review of past performance, where the focus is on What I Could Do Better (which, to a person with perfectionist tendencies, might sound like “You’re not doing enough.”)

Well, although I could have done better with this post (I suppose), at least I’ve made my way back to the title.  And you know what? That title IS good enough, for my requirements.**

Okay, here we go!

Areas to Work On

in 2014 (and beyond)

by Ann

  1. My mind’s a blank.
  2. Remember that my mind will blank out and wander, but it will come back.
  3. Remember to eat and drink what I need, in the moment.
  4. Sleep when I am able to, letting go of fears about whether I’m doing that right.
  5. Forgive myself, as best I can, for actions (or non-actions) from my past.
  6. Remember that warnings and alerts — both external and internal — are usually not a matter of life and death.
  7. Allow for the possibility that you don’t have to keep proving your credibility to people, over and over again.
  8. Geesh!  Isn’t that enough?

Well, it’s my blog post, so I say it IS enough. Except, as usual, I’d like to include some imagery here, too.

Here are some Google Images for “New Year’s Resolutions” (which, at least, speak to my previous points about punctuation possibilities):

images (24)***




And one final Google Image, for “Areas to work on,”  that I really like:

voahi4b_gray (1)*******


Thanks to  everybody who helped make this post possible, to New Year’s Resolutioneers everywhere, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

* I assume so, but I can’t seem to find anything right now. You’re just going to have to take my word for it.

** Although it DOES have a dangling participle, if you care about such things.

*** I couldn’t find the home, for that image.

**** I found that image here, but if you click on that link, you might have some trouble getting back to this post.

***** I found that image here.

****** I found that image here.

******* I found that image here.

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

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