Posts Tagged With: new

Day 123: Transitions

Some people find it more challenging than others to change, to transition from one state to another. I know that’s true. I’ve also observed, in my many years on this planet, that change is challenging for all of us.

Here’s some proof that I’ve been here for a while:

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(Photo taken on Groundhog Day, 2/2/13).

The above is also proof that (1) I’m too busy and (2) I haven’t gotten used to switching from Windows to the World of Apple, since it took me so friggin’ long to get the pictures of my birthday party (taken by the wonderful Carol)  onto my computer.

I’m looking at that picture now, and realizing that it’s also proof that (1) I like chocolate, (2) the word “like” doesn’t even come close to approximating my feelings about chocolate, and (3) I like using exclamation points (to express joy).  I’m also remembering that I was soooo tired during that party (because — surprise! — I had trouble sleeping the night before) and so worried that I would lose track of those two candles I’d bought (I mean, I didn’t want to destroy that beautiful frosting with 61 candles, people!), that I made sure to put them in a safe place, so that I could easily retrieve them when I needed them, and then — of course! — I couldn’t find them when it was Cake Time.

But since the candles ARE in the picture, the picture is also proof of this:  I may get anxious from fear of making mistakes (especially when I’m tired) and I may lose things temporarily, but I usually find them in time (even if people have to wait a few minutes, which they probably don’t mind doing).

Wow!  I’m learning a lot, even now, just looking at that picture.

Of course, when I first started writing this post, I had another point in mind. (I pretty much always have another point in mind when I start writing a post.) The picture — which I’ve now riffed about for several paragraphs — was just some data for a claim I was making:  that I’ve lived long enough on this planet to have some wisdom and experience. (Using the photograph is also an illustration that I respect my son’s opinion, since he told me, after I published this pictorial essay, that I had finally reached my stride as a blogger.)  (That post my son likes?  I like it, too.)

Question to self:  So, Ann, what WAS your point, when you first starting writing this post, on this fine morning?

Answer: I am about to go on vacation for a week. And even a “good” transition like that — which I certainly am welcoming right now — is causing me some anxiety.

It helped me to name that anxiety, right now, dear reader.

So now, I can gather my wits, my breakfast, my other morning necessities, my headphones, my lunch, and my son and leave for work,  knowing that:

  1. I will do the best I can today,
  2. I will not be perfect in doing all the things I am supposed to do to prepare for this transition, and
  3. I will be doing well for myself  (and for other people), if I can remember # 1 and #2.

I mean, I may lose track of those truths — just like I lost track of the candles for my birthday cake — but I know now that I’ll find them again.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 76: Random Thoughts about Sleep

I’ve written in this blog before about the Topic of Sleep  — like here, herehere, and here, and less directly in other posts, too.

Sleep does seem to be An Issue for me these days. As a matter of fact, I’m seeing a Sleep Specialist this week (for the first time ever).  So, of course, sleep is more on my mind.

Also, several people I work with in individual and group therapy have been talking more about sleep lately.

Sleep is in the air.

I think that’s enough of a reasonable introduction for this post.  So without further ado, it’s Random Thought Time!

Moving the clocks back (or forward) screws people up.

Man, people in general have seemed “off” this past week, in so many different ways. I ran a group on Tuesday where EVERYBODY was late, by a substantial amount.  That would have seemed quite weird, except “duh!” we turned the clocks forward last Saturday.  And people have been talking more about sleep problems this past week. People have been more forgetful.  I was definitely more emotional.

We seem to negotiate our ways through the world by taking in cues that help keep us on track and safer.  I imagine disrupting any of those cues — like an hour suddenly disappearing — poof! — like a magic trick  (where did it go?) — would put us off balance.

We never know how we are interacting with the world when we’re asleep, unless somebody tells us.

What kind of sleeper are you?  Are you restless?  Do you snore?  Do you talk in your sleep? Do you look like you’re making balloon animals or do people consider calling 911?

Unless you have a video camera set up in your room, you’ve heard information regarding “You, While Sleeping” from other people — either experts or people you know in a rather intimate fashion.

And when you find out information that surprises you, that’s a little disconcerting, isn’t it?  When somebody you love (or are paying for their expertise) (which could cover several circumstances) starts a sentence like this:

“Did you know that when you’re sleeping, you …..”

Don’t we cringe a little?  Whatever the hell follows that opening, like …

  • … say rude things about the President
  • … look so peaceful
  • … snore like a lumberjack
  • … seem smarter
  • … look disturbingly like my cousin Flo
  • … poke me repeatedly in the abdomen
  • … perplex the cat
  • … wake up, every six minutes, screaming
  •  … are adorable
  • … try to eat the pillow, or
  • … do something that none of us in the Sleep Research Foundation have ever seen, so can we have your autograph?

… it’s going to re-cast our self-image, in some way.

Which can take some work, right?  Also, this might be a Prime Time for self-judgmental thoughts.  Let’s watch out for those, shall we?

Sleep is one of those “natural things we all do” that nobody seems to know how to do these days.

I guess I have nothing else to add to THAT.

I mean, I could list lots of other things we are all supposed to be born knowing how to do, that still seem difficult, to the extent that lots of people are making lots of money helping us do them, but …. nah.

It’s time to wrap this post up.

Chances are that the topic of sleep will be creeping back into this blog, pretty soon. Especially since I’ll be meeting with an expert, this week.

Thanks for being here, dear reader. And may you sleep the sleep of the innocent and the satisfied, all your nights. (Even if you look and sound really weird while doing that.)

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

Day 48: Local Connections

When I was in South Carolina a week ago, I had a lot of fun connecting with interesting people whose kindness and helpfulness I truly appreciated, and I put some of those people in my blog posts.   (See  here and here for two posts that had a lot of that goin’ on.)

Now, I’m glad to be back in Boston, but I’ve been kind of grumpy about the weather since my return.  This might be The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, but it’s really difficult for me to be non-judgmental about the winter weather in New England.  I’ve lived here all my life, and I just might be approaching done-ness about  the winters here, due to:

  1.  The cold,
  2. The PAIN caused by said cold,
  3. The snow — which is wondrous while falling but which hangs around for weeks, gets dirty-ugly, and is an incredible pain in the ass, and
  4. The lack of color, everywhere I look.

Arrrghhh!

Hmmmmm. I actually thought this was going to be a joyful, accepting post about being back in Boston, but I guess I’ve got some pent-up resentment going on here.

So let me take a breath, to get back into acceptance of the moment (and the current moment DOES include friggin’ New England weather, after all).

Okay.

The  topic of today’s blog post is “Local Connections,” because after I got back home, I asked myself this question:

Why not approach  the people where I live with that same eagerness and openness to connect  I had when I was away on vacation?

Because I don’t know about you, but I tend to get locked into a routine when I’m home, and I’m not as likely to engage with new people as I am when I’m on vacation.

And I think there are lots of people around Boston who would be kind and helpful —  just like the people in SC —  if I approached them openly and kindly, too.

So I decided to do a pictorial essay on that today, including some people I’ve met before and others I just met, today.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

A pictorial essay by Ann

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This is one of several great guys who work at the parking lot where I leave my car every morning, before I take my 20-minute walk to work.   This man  actually inspired me to write this essay, because of an interaction I had with him the day I got back.

After I drove into the lot that day and got out of my car, he gave me my parking ticket. In  a burst of self-confidence (which I’ve been working on this year), I said to him,  “Hi!  Did you notice I was away?” I enjoyed saying that, but  I honestly didn’t think he would have noticed my being away. (I mean, there are LOTS of cars and parkers, and it’s crazy-busy each morning.) But  he immediately replied, with sincerity and enthusiasm, “Yes!  I did!  Where were you?”  which made me feel great. So I asked him if I could put his picture in this blog, which he seemed really happy about. (He looks it, doesn’t he?) Now I’m regretting that I don’t know his name. But I’ll find out his name when I see him again Tuesday morning. (I did ask him when I saw him next, on Wednesday morning, and his name is Jimmy.)

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This is Amanda (I remembered to ask her name, thank goodness).  She was incredibly helpful and sunny this morning when I made a stumbling entrance into Cafe Gustazo, a great little Cuban Restaurant in Belmont, right when it opened at 10 AM.  And why was I stumbling?  Because IT WAS SNOWING AGAIN, that’s why. (Breathe!)  I was meeting an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, and Amanda was welcoming and considerate as she helped make me comfortable while I waited for my friend’s arrival. And she was great throughout the yummy brunch we had there. (I forgot to take pictures of the food, so I’m letting go of judgment about THAT.)  (I’ll just have to go back there and get pictures next time. Oh well.)

And,  I’ll tell you something I especially noticed and wanted to celebrate about Amanda. When I asked her if I could take her picture and put her in this blog, she was remarkably enthusiastic that (1) I was writing a blog and (2)  I wanted to put her picture in it.  That was so great to see.

After brunch, I decided to go over to my local Starbucks and take some pictures of two people  who work there, and who are always great whenever we go there on the weekend.  I always look forward to seeing them, and feel genuinely welcomed by both of them. However, when I got there, neither of them was there.

One is a guy we’ve been seeing there for a long time, every weekend, who makes the most delicious, kick-ass chai tea latte’s, evah. So I was concerned, and I talked to Matt about that — who was perfectly friendly and helpful, even though we had never met before:

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I told Matt  I was looking for the guy who worked at that Starbucks every weekend, was really friendly, made great latte’s, and whose name (I thought) was Steve. Matt said, “Oh, yes!  He’s great. But he doesn’t work here any more. And a lot of the customers have been asking about him.”  And Matt listened sympathetically when I talked about my disappointment that my Favorite Latte Guy was gone, and he maintained a great connection with me while still serving the other people who came in to Starbucks.  And Irina, whom I had also never met before, helped me choose a different kind of latte today. (I wanted a tea without caffeine, so I could — perhaps — take a nap later today.)

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Irina was also great.

Then — and here comes the dramatic section of today’s post — after I was coming to terms with never seeing my Favorite Latte Guy again, he walked in. And it turned out that his name is Mark. (Did I mention that I’m terrible with names?)  And soon after he walked in, the other person from Starbucks I had wanted to feature in today’s blog, a  fabulous woman named Carol, walked in, too. So — duh! — I was just at Starbucks earlier than I usually am. And I got to tell Mark and Carol how I wanted to put them in the today’s Blog of Appreciation.  And they both seemed pretty pleased about that, too.

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So, now that I’m back in Boston,  I get to be around Mark, Carol, Matt, Irina, Amanda, and the sweet guy from the parking lot.  And, if I keep staying open to connection, I’m sure I’ll meet more people whose pictures I’ll want to share with you here.

Even though I’ll have to negotiate THIS to get anywhere:

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Yeah.  Well, I guess it can be kind of difficult, getting around here during the winter. But there ARE people around to help you get where you’re going.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 9: I’m doing something that scares me today

So this morning, I’m starting a new group.  (I’m a group therapist, by the way.)

“New.”  When that’s a component, I’m usually (always?) gonna be feeling some fear about it. And I am,  feeling some fear,  this morning.

Here are some ways in which this group is new:  (1) There are some people who have never done a group before, (2) I’ve never done this particular format of group before in this particular location, and (3) these people are all new to each other.

That helps, actually, to write out that above list, because then I realize there are lots of ways in which the group is not new, which is letting me let go of the fear and get more in touch with a sense of safety (and confidence) about it.  Here are some ways in which doing this new thing might feel familiar (and therefore safer) to me: (1) I’ve met everybody before, (2) I’ve done this format of group before,  (3) I’ve done different types of group formats in this location, and (4) the location is MY OFFICE, for cripe’s sake, which feels very familiar to me, after working there for over a year.

Now I can get in touch with what I like about The New, which is a sense of excitement and hope.  And EVERY group meeting is new, no matter who is there, or where it is, or where each of them and I are, on our personal journeys, as we all come together.  I find that kind of New-ness exciting, hopeful, and moving, and I feel incredibly privileged to have that opportunity.

Thanks for coming here, dear reader.  The experience of writing to you, also, is becoming more familiar. So I can be more in touch — here, too — with the excitement and privilege of the new.

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

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