Yesterday, when I was doing it right with Physical Therapy for my torn rotator cuff, I right away noticed this ….
…. which was right on the top of this.
Do it right and prevent fractures, injuries, and other problems in your everyday activities.
Is that too much pressure, to be told to do it right? Is telling somebody to do it right the right way to promote acceptance and peace, especially if different people have different opinions about what’s right and how to do it right?
My opinion is that these high school students were doing it right yesterday when they were taking it to the streets, chanting “Gun Control!” and “NRA is not okay!”
The New England weather wasn’t doing winter right yesterday with record high temperatures, but that was all right with me.
Did I do it right with these other photographs?
Somebody did not do it right in that last photo.
After I do something, I wonder, “Did I do it right?” I do it right by telling myself I did it well enough and then think about how I could do it better the next time.
I often tell people in therapy that it’s important to acknowledge and validate progress, especially their own.
Therefore, I’m going to acknowledge and validate progress in several areas.
Michael sent me the three photos he took for me on Saturday.
I am having a pain-free reaction this year to November 22, the anniversary of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy and also my first heart surgery at age 10 (progressively blogged about here, here, here, here, and here).
For now, when I have my teeth cleaned (as I am today), I take only a single pill of antibiotics instead of having an intravenous infusion (progressively blogged about here and here).
In this daily blog and elsewhere, I like to present my best side. That is, I tend to focus on the positive and to share hopeful and optimistic thoughts and feelings.
Of course, each one of us has more than one side, and all of those sides are important.
Today, “my best side” in this post actually refers to somebody else showing a worst side.
Several decades ago, when I was in my 20’s, I was doing my best to create a marketing brochure at a high tech company. The high tech company had hired an advertising company, now defunct, to help us produce that brochure. One day, the account manager of that advertising company, the project manager within my company, and I discussed who would appear in photographs for the brochure. Here’s the worst side of that conversation:
Project Manager: We would like to use some of our employees in the photographs for this brochure. As a matter of fact, we would like to include Ann in one of the photos.
Me: So, make sure you get my best side in the photo!
Account manager (turning to project manager): Well, in that case, she’d have to be bending over. (sleazy laugh)
Me (stunned and shaking my head): WHAT?????
All of my sides were horrified that the account manager of an advertising agency we had hired had just objectified and dissed me, so blatantly, in front of me and my co-worker. I was so appalled, I spoke to many people on different sides of my company, hoping to get them to see my side — that the account manager’s behavior was unacceptable, unprofessional, and worthy of swift retribution.
Here’s the worst side of the story — nobody did anything about it. The project manager didn’t protest, the female executive I spoke with suggested I just let my anger go, and the high tech company continued to work with the account manager and the advertising agency. I remember being VERY disappointed how none of the decision makers at my company took my side.
Why am I focusing on this dark side of human nature today? Here’s my best answer for that: two days ago a candidate for President of the USA was shown demonstrating a similar misogynistic and women-objectifying side. Today, as I write this, most sides are protesting his behavior, which I see as progress.
Back in the late 1970s, I would have wished that somebody else took my side when I was so egregiously objectified and dismissed. However, I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell my side of that story, today.
What are the best sides of the photos I took yesterday, before I knew which side of myself I was going to show in today’s blog post?
What does your best side believe about this post? On my side, I believe that I and other human beings deserve to be treated with respect on all sides.
My best side now wants to thank Aretha Franklin, my long-time friend Barbara (who colored “your beautiful heart”), my son Aaron (who FaceTimed with me from Scotland yesterday morning), all those who helped me create today’s post and you — of course! — for witnessing and bringing different sides, here and now.
On Day 122 of This Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, I did my first official progress report of the year. (By “official”, I mean I named the post “Progress Report.”) (I think, in some way, every post I write here is a progress report.)
Today, I am going to do the 2nd Official Progress Report of The Year.
Why am I doing this today? Because (a) I am in the middle of my second-year review at work and (b) I’m noticing some real progress lately.
Here are some areas where I’m noticing progress:
I’m giving myself more compliments and credit, without the automatic responses of shame and catastrophizing. For example, when I just re-read that previous progress report, in order to prepare for writing this one, I thought, “Hey! That was pretty good! I liked that post!” And so far (15 minutes later) …. (let me check) … Yay! No shame or fear. Here’s hoping those don’t show up, at all. (Fingers crossed.)
I am NOT waking up feeling uneasy. (See here for my first blog post about that.) Now, chances are that the whole waking-up-uneasy/waking-up-easy thing is a cycle; that is, I probably will wake up uneasy at some point in the future, but this is still progress. (See here for a blog post about how we often cycle around — and up! — as we make progress through life.)
I have realized some truths about myself, that sometimes are directly opposite to fears I have about myself. For example, I fear that I have a bad memory (which I mentioned, here, in my most popular blog post). Well, guess what? It turns out I have an excellent memory, according to people who know me AND Lumosity (which tells me I am in the — get this — 99.9% percentile for memory for people in my age group). That doesn’t mean I have a perfect memory. I still forget things, especially when I’m anxious and/or don’t get enough sleep or food. But I have been considering NEVER saying the following about myself again, “I have a bad memory.” That would be nice. (Fingers crossed.)
I am getting better at recognizing and dealing with my limits. I can NOT be good at everything, nor do I need to be. For example, that great memory I just cited above? I am not so hot at remembering details. So, when I can, I write details down. And if I don’t write down details and forget some things, I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world. People will forgive me. Plus, I’m learning to forgive myself.
I’m getting better at setting limits. I’m remembering to say things like this, more often: “I can do this, but I can not do that.” For example, I can write a blog post every day, but I can’t get back to every person who e-mails me or writes me within one day. (That felt good to write, I must say.)
I am allowing myself to have more fun in different areas of my life. For example, I find it fun to post pictures here.
I took this photo last Sunday, when I was allowing myself to have fun by spending the afternoon with people I love, on a beach near where I grew up.
(That photo reminds me of one of my favorite Droodles when I was growing up: “Fish Committing Suicide.”) (I can’t find a picture of that particular droodle right now, but just picture a fish, tied to a helium balloon, floating above the water.)
Before I conclude today’s blog post, I will name a couple of areas where I would I like to make more progress:
Letting go of judgment about numbers (or other data) that tell me “You are not doing enough.” As I’ve mentioned before, periodically I have these unhelpful thoughts, “Not enough people are reading my blog” or “Not enough people are coming to the groups I’m doing at work.” It helps to think the following thoughts, in response: “The right amount of people are reading this blog and doing the groups.” “Everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be, including you, the groups, and the blog.” And, to (mis-)quote a movie (another way I have fun), “If you build it, they will come.”
Letting go of judgment about everything else.
Remembering that letting go doesn’t mean being perfect, or even stopping something completely. It just means doing the best you can, to do something less, and to recover more quickly when/if you do it again.
That concludes today’s blog post. Thanks for witnessing my progress, whenever you do.