Today’s blog post is inspired by the Daily Bitch, who helps me get through this difficult time.
During this difficult time, I will post my latest images.
During this difficult time, I’ve been facilitating five remote Coping and Healing groups each week and I’ll be adding a sixth one next Friday. In yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, I asked people who were experiencing this difficult time to use their sense of touch for a mindfulness exercise, focusing on something soft and comforting. I chose Harley’s favorite cat toy, pictured above.
I also suggested that people get through this difficult time by being especially kind to themselves.
Music helps me get through this difficult time. When I search YouTube for “Pat Metheny this difficult time,” I find this:
During this difficult time, it helps to believe that there are “Better Days Ahead.”
What are your thoughts and feelings about this difficult time?
During this difficult time, I am especially grateful for people like YOU.
For some unknown reason, I’m having this difficult time uploading and publishing this difficult time post. During this difficult time, I’ll just keep trying, while being especially kind to myself.
That article recommends that we act like happy people — even when we’re not happy — to make ourselves happy and to spread happiness. Arthur C. Brooks suggests asking ourselves this question when we’re down: “What would a happy person do?” In other words, to fake it until we make it.
So, if I give you your first smile of the day even when I don’t feel like smiling, that’s good for both of us.
If what I’ve written so far hasn’t evoked the first smile of the day, perhaps one of these images will.
Perhaps this video of The Pat Metheny Group performing “First Circle” (with dancing parrots) will give you the first smile of the day.
Every morning, for me, includes searching for words for my daily blog post that are anti-stress. These searches help me face each new day, because it’s so difficult to find anti-stress words anywhere else.
Before I join my training group this morning on Developing Resilient Group Leadership (which will probably include some anti-stress word searches), let’s search for anti-stress words and images together.
Every day, I search for words, images, and also music that are anti-stress. If you search the words in this post, you’ll find this …
Now that I’m UP, it’s UP to me to decide how I want to start UP today’s blog post.
Cases of COVID-19 are going UP, UP, UP.
People still haven’t given UP gathering inside and going maskless. It’s UPsetting how stUPid this is.
The number of failed lawsuits in trUmP’s attempts to foul UP the Presidential election is now UP to 50, at least.
Yesterday, I was informed that my stats here were going UP.
I am always UP for a walk, no matter the time or the weather, and yesterday I noticed that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is now standing UP…
… after being hung UP like this a few days ago:
Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and Santa are now all UP for Christmas. Are you?
Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing group, people wanted to make UP a new name for themselves. I held UP this sign with a suggested name:
They were definitely UP for that reframe.
Now it’s time for me to put UP (or shut UP) my other pictures for today. What’s UP in these photos?
The Daily Bitch Calendar always gets me UP.
Today, I feel UP to calling the IRS about my long-delayed tax refund. I looked UP what might happen if identity thieves have stolen it. Cases of identity theft are going UP, and apparently the IRS is still UP to the task of fixing these UPsetting experiences. Also, it’s UP in the air exactly why my refund has been held UP for so long.
I will give you an UPdate about this tomorrow.
When I’m UP and out for a walk, I often listen to “The Way UP” by the Pat Metheny Group.
As always, I am UP for your comments, if you feel UP to leaving one.
I like to end UP every post with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me keep UP this daily blog, including YOU.
When I was in Social Work Graduate School in the 1990’s, I read an article that suggested that all mental health diagnoses be replaced with one: “Stuck.” That has stuck with me, over the years.
Today, I feel stuck in grief, because yesterday we euthanized our amazing cat Oscar, who was stuck in advanced and debilitating cancer.
This was yesterday’s Daily Bitch Calendar:
Now you’re stuck with that and with all these other recent photos:
When you’re stuck, sometimes it helps to say “f*ck this shit” and sometimes it helps to cry.
Yesterday, I stuck those tissues on the table near where we were saying goodbye to Oscar, who was stuck on his favorite blanket on the sofa.
The Lap of Love founder and vet, Dr. Sally, asked us yesterday if Oscar was spending a lot of time stuck in the bathroom. Oscar had been stuck on the bathroom mat for hours yesterday while we waited for Dr. Sally to arrive at 5 PM.
Dr. Sally said that cats often get stuck in the bathroom at the end, perhaps because they are dehydrated and want to hear the sound of running water.
I’ll always be stuck with Dr. Sally’s kind demeanor, which I could read through the mask stuck on her face because of the coronavirus pandemic (which we’re all stuck with for the time being).
Despite being so enamored with animals as a child, I was not able to get my first dog until I was 13 year old, but on that very special birthday, I was handed a tiny, black puppy…and I immediately burst into tears of joy! Rocko and I had many adventures together throughout my young adult life, and being his pet parent taught me more than I could have imagined about responsibility, friendship, and, above all, unconditional love. We spent many years walking our neighborhood together, and with every mile, he listened to me talk through my hopes and dreams, my concerns, and my fears. I know that everyone says this about their dog, but he was the best…a piece of my past, and a piece of my spirit…always.
I’m glad that Dr. Sally is stuck with Rocko as a piece of her spirit. Of course, Oscar will always be a piece of ours.
Here’s a video from six years ago of Oscar and I stuck in another bathroom for over eight minutes as I tried to sing along to a favorite Pat Metheny tune:
I didn’t successfully stick all the high notes there but I’m glad to be stuck with that memory of Oscar who, as usual, stuck by my side for the whole thing.
I’m looking forward to being stuck with whatever comments you choose to leave, below.
Thanks to all who have stuck it out to the end of this “Stuck” post. I’m very grateful to be stuck, here and now, with you.
1: a station set between principal stations on a line of travel (such as a railroad)
2: an intermediate stopping place
Examples of way station in a Sentence
a way station for truck drivers
Recent Examples on the Web
The house became a gathering place for an indelible cultural moment, a way station for Andy Warhol, Terry Southern, Ike and Tina Turner, and Black Panthers.
— Mark Rozzo, The New Yorker, “Dennis Hopper’s Quiet Vision of Nineteen-Sixties Hollywood,” 22 Dec. 2019
In my way, I tried to make that definition of “way station” a way station (an intermediate stopping place) within today’s post.
I think it’s helpful, here and now, to think of every thing we experience — alone and together — as way stations on our way to where we are going.
Do you see any way stations in my photographs from yesterday?
Yesterday, not knowing that Lyle had passed, I took pictures of hearts.
Music is one of the universal languages of love, and here is Lyle (about the age when I first saw him play) and Pat Metheny performing one of their many compositions which will live forever in my heart: “(Cross The) Heartland.”
Whatever Lyle wrote and played, it landed directly in my heart.
Here‘s “Mirror of the Heart” from Lyle’s first solo album:
‘Lyle was one of the greatest musicians I have ever known. Across more than 30 years, every moment we shared in music was special. From the first notes we played together, we had an immediate bond. His broad intelligence and musical wisdom informed every aspect of who he was in every way. I will miss him with all my heart.”
My heart goes out to all who loved Lyle and his music.