Posts Tagged With: NSGP

Day 2819: More smiles

I’m writing yet another blog post about smiles because of this description of Kamala Harris from today’s news …

Gliding past President Donald Trump’s sexist depictions of her as “mean” and “nasty,” the senator from California shredded Trump’s White House record with the agility that comes from her years as a courtroom prosecutor. Yet she delivered those critiques with bright notes of hope and optimism — accentuated by the smiles that are expected from female politicians.

… and because of this mask:

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I’m also thinking of the smiles (and other facial expressions) I’ve been having about “We Have Her Back” , a memo sent by a coalition of powerful women to the news media calling for anti-sexist and anti-racist reporting, which includes this:

“Women have been subject to stereotypes and tropes about qualifications, leadership, looks, relationships and experience. Those stereotypes are often amplified and weaponized for Black and Brown women.”

I smile thinking how often the current President of my  group therapy organization  and I tell each other that we’ve got each others backs. I also smile thinking about this bag I gave her last year:

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Now, my smiles are related to all the pre-pandemic photos I went through in order to find that one.

Can we find more smiles in these recent photos?

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Which photos made more smiles for you?

Here‘s “More Smiles” by The Jump Ups:

There are more smiles in this video of these twin brothers hearing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” for the first time:

And more smiles as I watch the twins listen for the first time to Whitney Houston, singing another Dolly Parton-written song:

 

I’m looking forward to more smiles when I read the comments on this “More Smiles” post.

More smiles and thanks for all who help me smile as I create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2776: No longer

I am no longer President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, so I am no longer worrying about acting Presidential (although “acting Presidential” no longer has the same meaning it used to).

Carl Reiner is no longer on this earth.

This sentence, at the end of the Wikepedia entry about Carl Reiner, is no longer than 20 words:

Reiner died at his home on June 29, 2020, aged 98, in the company of his family.

This episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which Carl Reiner wrote, produced, and created, is no longer than 25 minutes:

This 2000-Year-Old Man Routine, co-created by the no-longer-with-us Carl Reiner and the-still-with-us-as-of-this-writing Mel Brooks, is no longer than four minutes:

I am no longer able to say that I never saw that before. It’s been no longer than 55 years that I’ve known Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks as comic geniuses.

Mel Brooks, who describes himself on Twitter as “Writer, Director, Actor, Producer and Failed Dairy Farmer” and who no longer can have dinner every night  with his old friend and co-writer Carl Reiner, posted this no-longer-than-280-character tribute yesterday:

Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment. He created comedy gems like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Jerk, and Where’s Poppa? I met him in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, and we’ve been best friends ever since. I loved him. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So whether he wrote or performed or was just your best friend — nobody could do it better.  He’ll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner’s case it’s absolutely true. He will be greatly missed.

It took me no longer than a few seconds to find this great photo of Carl Reiner, Annie Reiner, and Mel Brooks that was taken no longer than two days away from Mel Brooks’s 94th birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day:

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I hope it is no longer debatable in this country that black lives matter.

I am no longer worried about other people’s incorrect assumptions or my inadvertent miscommunications, like Mel Brooks’s birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day being the same day (which they aren’t — they are one day apart).

This post is no longer focusing on words as I share my images from yesterday:

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I am no longer expecting comments but I will welcome any you choose to make.

It takes no longer than one word to express heart-felt gratitude.

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

Day 2548: Fortunate

Last night, before we were fortunate enough to see “Parasite” — an incredible movie about the fortunes of families from very different classes  — Michael and I got bubble-gum fortunes at a restaurant nearby.

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While I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a comic and fortune that was cut properly, Michael was.

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If I had been fortunate enough to get that fortune about being anxious to achieve something very important and succeeding, I would have greatly appreciated that view of such a fortunate future.

Earlier that morning, I was fortunate enough to capture the images of birds flying around and around our home, casting shadows on the blinds.

Are birds flying around and around  your home considered fortunate?  I was fortunate enough to find this online article about bird superstitions and myths.

Later in the day, I was fortunate enough to attend a beautiful memorial ceremony for my beloved colleague Deb Carmichael.

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I believe all of us at the memorial service felt fortunate to have the opportunity to write down on those index cards our thoughts about our good fortune in knowing Deb, so we could share those with Deb’s family.

I felt fortunate when one of the speakers at the memorial service quoted something I often say:

The pain of the loss is directly proportional to the importance of the connection.

We were all fortunate to hear a song that Deb had personally chosen to be sung at her memorial service by a member of our shared professional organization and home: The Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.  While you won’t be fortunate enough to hear that rendition today, here is the song:

 

I feel fortunate that I can share my other photos from yesterday with you, here and now:

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Please be grateful for every fortunate moment we get to share together.

Love,

Your fortunate blogger

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2489: Good as hell

I’m feeling  good as hell today, because I’m facing a day that is full as hell of

  • group therapy,
  • individual therapy,
  • people I love, and
  • the first event of my 45th college reunion.

Yesterday, in a therapy group that was good as hell, our new good-as-hell social work intern revealed that she loves the music of Lizzo.

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I see that Lizzo is in the new movie Hustlers, which is  popular as hell.

Here‘s “Good as Hell” by Lizzo:

I love this good-as-hell comment about that video:

Chazz
1 week ago
I gotta start loving myself, I don’t wanna let Lizzo down

 
We gotta start loving ourselves; we don’t wanna let Lizzo down.

Here are other good-as-hell photos from yesterday:

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Oscar was good as hell last night at the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy board meeting.

Here are some good-as-hell revelations I’ve had this week:

  1. When you’re good as hell, some people (who probably feel bad as hell about themselves) might resent you for that, and
  2. You can reduce the power of people who make you feel bad as hell by imagining them as small and far-away-as-hell from you.

I’m looking forward to some good as hell comments and here’s some good as hell gratitude from me to YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2426: Say YES to …

Yesterday morning, after saying YES to sharing another daily blog post, I looked at a previously published post, also titled “Messes,’ and found this:

I will tell you that I messily shared at the end of the group session my inspiration to make a new t-shirt that says, “Say YES to the mess.”

Over two years later, I am belatedly saying YES to that intention by designing and ordering this t-shirt:

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I said YES to that typestyle of “Say YES to the Mess” because it’s called “Unkempt.” YES!

Here on this blog, and also in my therapy groups, we often discuss how and when to say NO, but it’s equally important to know how and when to say YES.

Say YES to …

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… listening to music you love.

Say YES to …

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… being mindful and non-judgmental of your moods.

Say YES to …

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… observing what’s around you.

Say YES to …

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… long life by practicing good habits.

Say YES to …

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… the most valuable people in your life.

Say YES to …

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… creating your dreams, even if it’s just one.

Say YES to …

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… welcoming all.

Say YES to …

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… whimsey.

Say YES to …

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… the dress (I THINK that’s what that is).

Say YES to …

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… beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Say YES to …

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… staying in touch.

Say YES to …

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… curiosity, partnership, empathy, apology (when appropriate), reflection, legitimization, support, and wellness.

Say YES to …

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… sharing what’s important to you with other people.

Say YES to …

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… feelings.

Say YES to …

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… flowers.

Say YES to …

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… safety.

Say YES to …

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… love.

Say YES to …

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… healthy hearts, fewer worries, and good sleep!

Say YES to …

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… group support.

Say YES to …

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… taking the stairs.

Say YES to …

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… Yoko, a valued member of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy executive board, who says YES to fresh fruit in her drinks and who also says YES to sitting with Oscar.

What do YOU say YES to?

Here‘s “Ascent” by Lyle Mays (featured, yes, in this post).

I always say YES to gratitude at the end of these posts, so thanks to all who helped me create this one and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2394: A little bit different

Yesterday, when I was being a little bit different than anybody else I know, I noticed this:

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and I knew that “a little bit different” was a little bit different from any other blog title I’d used before in the past six-and-a-half years.

When I looked at all my other photos from yesterday …

 

 

 

…they were all a little bit different, so I knew I would use that title for today’s blog post.

This morning, I realized that this post might be a little bit different from most published today by not mentioning Father’s Day up front. And then, when I looked at my photos again with a little bit different perspective, I realized they all related to my father. I guess I see them that way because I’m related to my father and we are both a little bit different.

My late father was humble and kind.

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He cared much more about other people than he did about money …

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… but he worked very, very hard to be a good provider for his family.

He had a beautiful singing voice and was very musical. He bought us a piano when my sister and I were young.

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My father paid for piano lessons for his little-bit-different daughters but never learned to play himself. That calendar photo of the dog playing piano (which is a little bit different)  arrived yesterday in the mail from my wonderful cousin, Lani. Lani, like the rest of us, is a little bit different and she also loved my father.

Lani, and everybody else who knew my father, would say that my father was incredibly funny, although they might tell that story in a little bit different ways. My dad  told me he wrote little-bit-different rhymes for his high school year book, including this memorable one (which is a little bit different from totally kind):

Jerry is a drummer rare.

If he didn’t play, we wouldn’t care.

Perhaps you can see his influence in this little-bit-different certificate I’ll be presenting later this week to an exiting board member of my group therapy professional organization:

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When I was very young, my father moved us to a little-bit-different home which was a block away from the ocean, on the North Shore of Boston. I’m now living on the little-bit-different South Shore of Boston.

I think my father would have noticed the irony in that little-bit-different last photo in that sea-side montage.

My father was a life-long Democrat and so am I, although we were a little bit different in our politics.

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That very different photo reminds me of my father in several little bit different ways.  He brought home all the different magazines from the pharmacy he owned but never  ridiculous rags like The Globe or the National Enquirer. Also, he would sometimes ask my different friends this little question, “Are your parents still together?”  Leave it to my father to throw in little-bit-different conversation starters when talking to my friends.

My father really enjoyed our little-bit-different cat, Tuffy, who my parents got me when I was recovering from major heart surgery at age 10.

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Harley, pictured there,  reminds me a lot of Tuffy, in looks and in temperament although, of course, they’re a little bit different. My dad and I used to play a little-bit-different game with Tuffy, where we would sit on the floor in the kitchen and roll back and forth little-bit-different balls made of Challah bread,  with Tuffy trying to catch them. Tuffy, who was a little bit different in her taste in treats, would catch the bread balls and eat them.

My father was a married to a clean freak …

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… who was a little bit different from most clean freaks by letting us sit on the floor and toss bread balls back and forth with our cat. My father had this little-bit-different joke he used to tell about my mother:

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and when I got back Weezie had made the bed.

Leave it my father to tell a joke that was a little-bit-different from the truth, even though he was impeccable with his word.

I took driver’s education in high school, but my memories of learning to drive are all of my father.

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My father was one of Boston’s safest drivers (which believe me, is not saying much) and because of him, I am a safe driver, too.

After my father retired, he and my mother travelled abroad …

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… but I don’t think they made it to Barcelona. My traveling has been a little bit different but I haven’t been to Barcelona, although I did travel to Spain with my beloved friend Jeanette.  I have memories of Jeanette and my father getting along really well, although they were a little bit different  from each other (but who isn’t?). Maybe someday I’ll make it to Barcelona, which I understand is a little bit different from the rest of Spain.

My father grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and so did I, although our upbringings were a little bit different.  Whenever we ate out, we only had fish or meatless dishes.

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My father was sensitive to other people’s feelings and was pretty sensitive himself.  We hurt each other a few times in our lives, but we always forgave each other, keeping the connection alive as long as he was.

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I only heard my father swear once, and that was when he was very angry about a young man who had hurt me when I was in my early 20’s.

My father took care of much of what grew on our property when I was growing up, as my little-bit-different boyfriend Michael does today.

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My father had a wonderful smile, which he did not keep to himself.

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Actually, neither of those animals really evoke my father, but this one does:

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I think my father and I were a little bit nuts, in a little bit different ways, but who isn’t?

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Also, I have vivid memories of my father on Saturdays eating pistachio nuts, which he was nuuuuuuuttssss about.

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My father had a wonderful zest for life, which I believe I’ve inherited.  Yay!

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I’ve tried to color in some details about my father in this little-bit-different post, which is not by the numbers and which attempts to capture the magic of  my Dad.  I hope it’s no mystery why I miss my father, every little-bit-different day.

Here‘s a song my father sang to my mother on a special anniversary (and he sounded a little bit different from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra):

I look forward to all your little-bit-different comments.

A little-bit-different thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU!

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Categories: love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2388: The black hole

Several times over the course of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy’s annual conference this past weekend, I heard people, in groups, refer to “the black hole” inside of them, which they were hesitant to reveal or explore.

That invoked, in me, memories of experiencing my own internal black hole, which I am trying to name, here and now.

My best guess is that the black hole is shame — the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

The black hole can feel huge.

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It can cause us to lose our balance, our tolerance, and our sense of cohesion.

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It can turn us into stress balls.

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It can isolate us even when we’re in a supportive group.

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It can interfere with our leadership.

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It can prevent us from diving in to new experiences and staying afloat.

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It can make us feel unwelcome even when all the signs are that we ARE welcomed.

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It can make us avoid parties and other social events.

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It can make us feel lost.

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It can make us want to duck and hide.

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The black hole of shame can blind us to our own self worth …

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… and blind us to the beauty all around us.

 

Here‘s “That Old Black Hole” by Dr. Dog.

 

The best we can do with our black holes is share them with each other and know that we are not alone.

Thanks to all who have helped me confront my own black holes over the years (especially the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy) and thanks to you, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2386: Have pride in who you are

Yesterday, I published the post Day 2385: What is the title of this post? in which I encouraged readers to propose a title for the day’s collection of photos.

I have pride in who my readers are, and those readers include wonderful WordPresser Mark Bialczak,who posted this comment:

Have Pride in Who You Are
… would be one alternative title, but you may also have used that one in your years of post wisdom, Ann!

I have pride in my answer to Mark:

I have not used that title before, Mark. Therefore, I shall use it for my next blog post! What would I do without you, my friend?

I have pride in using that title, here and now, because

 

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I have pride that Jocelyn Schur, LCSW, is attending the NSGP conference and also reads this blog!

Here‘s U2 with Pride (in the Name of Love):

Here‘s information about today’s Pride Parade in Boston:

 

Do you have pride in who you are? Please express your thoughts and feelings with pride in a comment, below.

I have pride that gratitude is a big part of who I am, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2348: Struck

I’m struck by how I’ve never used the word “struck” in a blog post title before.

I’m struck by how I’ve used the word “struck” in 13 previous blog posts, including Day 1966: Memorable linesDay 1875: Tipping Point, Day 1292: Seeing patients, Day 981: Righteous Numbers, Day 956: Never Give Up, Day 717: Interrupting, Day 463: Surprises, Day 367: Screen Shots, Day 364: What day is it?, Day 284: We never know how we affect people (The Ta-Da Pose),  Day 100: I Confess, Day 75: Things that make me go _____, and Day 58: Accelerated learning.

I’m struck by how …

  • long it takes me to do one of these “linking to old posts” openings,
  •  much my blog has changed over the years,
  • relevant some of those old post titles seem to me today,
  • many challenges I’ve been struck by (but not struck down by) over the years, and
  • many of my photos from yesterday connect with today’s title.

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I’m struck by how

  • long it takes me to make photo montages look right,
  • much I love being a group therapist,
  • many gates there are around Fenway Park, and
  • wonderful it is to live near the water.

Here’s the award-winning short film Struck:

 

What are you struck by, here and now?

As usual, I’m struck by gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 2345: What would I do without you?

What would I do without you, my readers, who have supported and sustained me through 2,345 consecutive days of blogging?

What would I do without my iPhone and my eye for interesting images and connections all around me?

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What would I do without wonderful people like Ryan Gee, sales manager extraordinaire  for Boston Roofing and Gutters, who helped us quickly fix our leaky roof and also told us about the best local Thai Restaurant EVER (Thai Noodle Bar in Quincy, Massachusetts)?

What would I do without sustaining organizations like the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy  (see conference brochure pictured above) especially during challenging times like these?

What would I do without YouTube and music like Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors“What Would I Do Without You”?

What would I do without your comments?

What would I do without my daily chance to express gratitude here to all those who help me create these posts and — OF COURSE! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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