Posts Tagged With: pros and cons

Day 3456: Strike while the iron is hot

I’m going to strike while the iron is hot and immediately share the meaning of that idiom.

I like to strike while the iron is hot and right now I’m trying to figure out how to take advantage of a travel opportunity with free airfare, which is expiring on June 30.

Striking while the iron is hot can be

  • adventurous,
  • effective,
  • ineffective,
  • fun,
  • anxiety-provoking,
  • smart,
  • dangerous (ouch! hot iron!)
  • invigorating, and/or
  • exhausting.

Let’s strike while the iron is hot and look at my images for today.

On National Logistics Day, I’m trying to strike while the iron is hot to figure out the logistics to make this trip work.

When I strike while the iron is hot on YouTube, this is what I find:

Finally, I’m going to strike while the gratitude iron is hot and thank all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 1713: Like a pro

Like a pro, I noticed this sign yesterday:


I see pros and cons in that, based on my previous profession as a copywriter.  These days, my profession involves asking questions, including these: Is it possible to go back to school like a pro?  If you are in school, aren’t you NOT a professional?

Back to defining terms, like a pro:

noun informal
1. a professional, especially in sports.
“a tennis pro”
1. (of a person or an event) professional.
“a pro golfer”

1. relating to or connected with a profession.
“young professional people”
synonyms: white-collar, nonmanual
“people in professional occupations”
2. (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
“a professional boxer”
synonyms: paid, salaried
“a professional rugby player”
1. a person engaged or qualified in a profession.
“professionals such as lawyers and surveyors”
synonyms: white-collar worker, office worker
“affluent young professionals”

I rest my case, like a pro (even though I’m not a professional lawyer).

What does “like a pro” mean to you?  As you look around, who is acting like a pro?  Who needs to go back to school so they can act like a pro?

Any pros in my other photos today?




Here‘s “Like a Pro” by The Wizard, with people dancing like pros.

Thanks to all the pros and amateurs who contributed to today’s post and thanks to you — of course! — for reading like a pro.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1584: Yays and Boos

Yay!  It’s time for me to write another blog post!

Boo!  I only have a short time to do it before I need to leave for work.

Yay!  I love my work!

Boo!  Work can be stressful.

Yay!  Yesterday, I facilitated a therapy group where we made a list of Yays and Boos.



Yay!  People said they found that exercise very helpful.

Boo!  People had a lot of boos to list.

Yay!  People had a lot of yays to list, too!

Boo! I haven’t been to a Red Sox baseball game in a long time.


Yay!  I’ve been to two World Series games at Fenway Park with my sister!

Boo! I haven’t seen my sister enough lately.

Yay! I’ll give her a call today.

Boo! I’ve got a lot of tasks on my plate.

Yay! A lot of those tasks relate to my making a successful offer on a house near the ocean!

Boo! Soon I’ll have to pack and leave our current home.

Yay!  Yesterday we had a fun meeting at work where teams competed to build the tallest free-standing structure using spaghetti, masking tape, string, and a marshmallow on top.

Boo! I’m not sure if that last sentence was clear or detailed enough.

Yay!  There‘s a great video on YouTube that explains it.

Boo!  My team’s structure wasn’t very tall.


Yay!  It still won the contest!

Boo!  I need to end this post.

Yay!  I’m so grateful for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1546: How to decide

How to decide how to start this post?


  • Explore all your options.
  • Look at the pros and cons of all your different options.
  • Listen to others who have relevant wisdom.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Be logical.
  • Follow your heart.
  • Look for signs from the universe.
  • Pay attention to your dreams.
  • Flip a coin and see whether you want to flip it again.
  • Check your comfort level at each stage of the process.
  • Realize that even a “wrong” decision is not the end of the world.

How do you decide?

How to decide which photos from yesterday I should include here?

















How to decide whether to give peas and/or peace a chance?

How to decide which music to share?

Here‘s a song about how to decide from Into the Woods:

How to decide how to thank all who helped me create todays’ post and — of course! — YOU?




Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1484: All sides

Whenever I need to make an important decision, I like to look at all sides of the issue.

In order to look at all sides before making a decision, it helps to make a list of pros and cons of taking an action and also a list of pros and cons of NOT taking that action.

Yesterday, I took action and looked at all sides of many things.


Do you trust me to look at all sides and find two sides of a great song for this post  (here and here)?



Every day, I look at all sides to find new ways to thank those who help me create this blog and you — of course! — for being on my side, every time you visit.


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

Day 475: Superhero names (hyphenated or not)

Yesterday, dear readers, I suggested a new, superhero* identity for myself: “Super-Recovery-Woman.”

Gauging by the comments, people seemed to like this idea.

However, nobody embraced the hyphens in my proposed name. For example, quoth Sitting on My Own Sofa (using an alias of her own):

Dear Super Recovery Woman (with cats)

You know, we were just thinking that the world was in need of a new superhero. And after thoughtful deliberation, we have concluded that Super Recovery Woman fits the bill perfectly.

Thank you for stepping up.


The World Superhero Appointment and Licensing Committee

Also, a long-time friend from college, Gene Phillips, wrote this:

“Super Recovery Woman” would be a great new superhero…heck…is one.

And, mk  from WordPress, also dropped the hyphens in the superhero name, in this great comment:

Dear “Super Recovery Woman” you are a one fine addition to the super hero population of this world . As you and WSALC have officially come to an agreement , you definitely need a super hero costume .

Super Recovery Woman, this world needs you.

Likewise, in this kind comment from David Prosser, also from WordPress:

Super Recovery Woman sounds fine. At least a superwoman would have enough sense to know she can’t return to work until she’s ready, fit and able. You need strength to be able to jump over building in one leap.

If I harken back to my experiences of marketing focus groups … perhaps people are telling me this: “Drop the hyphens, Ann!”

Although, I have to admit, I have trouble with losses of all kinds, even punctuation marks.

And, as I also admit, I can struggle with decisions of all kinds, too.

Plus, here’s something I haven’t even considered yet: What is GRAMMATICALLY correct, for my superhero name?

Another possible superhero name for me could be Grammar Girl, although that’s already taken. That is, I can really focus on grammar issues when I’m writing (although, as I get older, I can sometimes lose track of what’s grammatically correct).

Here’s the deal: I’ve often been puzzled by the correct use of hyphens.

For example, what’s the correct way to write Peter Parker’s superhero identity? You know, this guy:


(I found this image here)

Is it:

  1. Spiderman
  2. Spider-man
  3. Spider-Man
  4. The Amazing Spider Man

I actually don’t know what the correct answer is, people. If you look on-line, it’s Super Confusing.

However, no matter which experts you consult, they will all agree there IS a hyphen in the name. And you are supposed to capitalize “Man,” apparently. So #3 is the most correct answer, from that list. (Here’s the Wikipedia entry, if you want more info.)

Confused?  Join the crowd. People often forget how to correctly punctuate that particular superhero name. (I know I do.)

So … to get back to MY superhero name: To hyphen or not to hyphen?  That is the question.

Let’s look at some pros and cons, shall we?

Choice #1:

Super Recovery Woman

Pros: According to my (admittedly small) sample size, that certainly seems like the popular choice. (Although there WERE a couple of write-in votes, yesterday, for SuperAnn** but if I expand the possible choices at this point, my head may explode.)  Also, that name will be easy to remember, when I and others are writing it.  No hyphens, no problem.

Cons:  I like hyphens.  Also, Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite superheroes, so a hyphen would be a nice homage.

Choice #2:

Super-Recovery Woman

Pros:  It has a hyphen!

Cons:  It might be difficult to remember where to place the friggin’ hyphen.  Also, the placement of the hyphen there implies that my recovery is what’s super, and not the rest of me.

Choice #3:

Super Recovery-Woman

Pros: It has a hyphen!

Cons:  It might be difficult to remember where to place the friggin’ hyphen.  Also, the placement of the hyphen there implies … I’m actually not sure what it implies. Maybe the same exact thing as “Super-Recovery Woman.” That’s odd.

Moving on …

Choice #4:


Pros:  It has two hyphens!  And, that was the way I wrote it originally, in yesterday’s post.  I guess I really like hyphens, huh?  That would also be pretty easy to remember — that is, people wouldn’t have to worry about where to put the hyphens. Hyphens everywhere!

Cons:  It has two hyphens!  Doesn’t that seem a little … much?  I mean, what superhero has TWO hyphens in their name?  Won’t that seem, perhaps, that I think I’m TWICE AS GOOD as any other hyphenated superhero?

(pant, pant, pant)

As I mentioned, I really struggle with making decisions, sometimes.

Here’s something that helps: using a process of elimination.

Okay!  I am going to rule out (1) Super-Recovery Woman and (2) Super Recovery-Woman.  Those are just too difficult to remember.

So that leaves, as  candidates for my superhero name, these two:

a. Super Recovery Woman

b. Super-Recovery-Woman

As I like to say in my work (as a group psychotherapist), “It’s time to go to the group!” That is, do you have a preference?***

Geesh!  I really thought I’d be tackling other issues in this post today, including

  1. Making more headway on my costume, and
  2. Considering a worthy nemesis.

But first things first, don’t you think?

Thanks to the Amazing Spider-Man (and all the other superheroes populating those comics I loved as a kid), to Grammar Girl, to all my creative and helpful readers, to superheroes of all kinds, to those who have various amounts of trouble making decisions, to people with opinions (or no opinions at all) about hyphens, and to you — especially! — for dropping by here today.


* Which could also be written “super-hero” or “super hero,” I suppose. I wonder what Grammar Girl would say?

** Thanks to Mark Bialczak and Mel Wild.

*** Actually, come to think of it, the group has probably already spoken — in yesterday’s comments. Yikes!  Sometimes I really DO have trouble letting go, don’t I?

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 283: Embracing change

There’s a whole lot of change goin’ on here, dear readers.

I’m very aware of the difference between:

  1. Changes I am choosing, and
  2. Changes I’m not choosing.

That always seems to help: Recognizing the difference between those two types of changes.

Do I deal differently with those two types of changes?

Good question!

Let’s find out, shall we?

Let’s look at two particular changes on the horizon — one which I’m choosing and one which I’m not.

A Change I’m Not Choosing:  

A change in the seasons.  Specifically, the cold is coming, here in New England.

I’m not fortune telling (nor using any other cognitive distortion) when I make that last statement.  I think it’s safe to say that the chances of it NOT getting cold, soon, where I live, are approximately the same as:

Image *

an idiom that’s so inappropriate, I couldn’t resist using it.

Here’s another Google Image, for that idiom, that I can’t resist:

Image  **

So, we can all agree, I hope — as distracted as we may be by those photos —  that the cold will be arriving, soon, where I live.

How will I deal with that change?

  1. Complain about it.
  2. Especially complain about it with people who are empathic and who “get me” (that is, other people who don’t like the cold and who can’t escape it, for now).
  3. Focus on activities I like doing, which I’m more likely to do when it’s cold outside (for example, watching movies).
  4. Buy a fabulous piece of cold-weather gear, and wear it (for example, my one major purchase, when I was in Scotland in August):


It’s the hat (in case that photo was confusing, in any way).


Okay!  I’m ready to move on to a change that would include choice.

A change I would be choosing:

Getting another cat.

We already have one cat, named Oscar:


That’s Oscar,above, sleeping on last year’s winter hat.  Here’s a close-up:


Why am I considering this change?  Lots of reasons, including:

  1. Oscar seems to be hungering for more companionship, despite having humans around most of the time.
  2. He likes to play, but not with toys.
  3. He can be an ankle-biter (only with the person who has recently started taking anti-coagulant medication).
  4. Our vet thinks it would be a good change, for everybody.

So we’re considering another shelter cat, including




Buster, and



And those are just the “B’s.”

Which illustrates something I’ve blogged about before: I can have trouble making decisions, especially those that have an impact on others.

So how will I deal with this change?

  1. Talk (and write) about it.
  2. Especially talk about it with people who “get” it, or who might have helpful information and advice.
  3. Make a pros and cons list, to the best of my ability.
  4. Make sure (because other creatures are involved) there is a do-no-harm “out,” if the change does not work.
  5. Take a breath.
  6. Just do it!

Okay! That concludes our blog post for today.

Thanks to Oscar, Petfinder, Whiskers of Hope,  Broken Tail Rescue,  Gifford Cat Shelter, creatures needing shelter everywhere, and to you, too, for reading today.


* Image ascribed, somehow, to

**   Image ascribed to

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

Day 272: Commitments

As I’ve been blogging about this week, I decided to take on a marathon task recently:  watching many, many episodes of the TV show “Breaking Bad,” over the course of very, very few days.

I set some limits, regarding this task:

  1. I would not reduce the amount of sleep I usually get, during that time.
  2. I would not cancel appointments or other commitments I had agreed to previously.

And I have kept to these limits.

I have noticed some benefits (or pros) to this marathon, including the benefit of distraction.  That is, I have NOT worried about:

  1. A presentation I’m giving next week.
  2. The imminent advent of colder weather.

And, in the past, I have worried about the above, over similarly-timed weekends.

I have noticed some negatives (or cons) to this marathon, including missing the following:

  1. Spending more time talking to real human beings.
  2. Spending more time outside, in some beautiful weather.

Another negative/con I’ve noticed:

At times, watching “Breaking Bad” has seemed like something I HAD to do, not something I CHOSE to do. And that certainly makes a difference in mood, don’t you think?  But I knew I had “an out.” That is,  I knew I could stop at any time.  And that helped.

From the perspective of this morning of the Last Day of Breaking Bad, I’m realizing this:

I think it’s impossible — with the limitations of time and space — to complete the marathon.

So here are some possible solutions:

I may  skip some episodes and, perhaps, read synopses on-line.  In some circles, that might be considered cheating. BUT, as far as I know, that kind of cheating is NOT against the law.  (And I believe I am NOT rationalizing here, unlike some other characters I’ve been seeing a lot lately:


Or, I may drop out of the marathon.  In some circles, that might be considered weakness or failure.

But, here’s a question I like to pose sometimes:

What if the concept of failure did not exist?

And why not pose the other question (even though this is a first, for me)?

What if the concept of weakness did not exist?

Wouldn’t that be great?

Okay, people. I need to bid adieu to the rest of the world, for now, as I spend more time with those characters above.

I’m sure I’ll learn something.

Thanks to all those who set goals, recognize limits, solve problems, let go of unhelpful things, and keep on going (including you, me, and some other characters, too).  And thanks for reading today, too.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 270: Help with hangovers

Yesterday, at work, I felt  …


Not myself.


I was thinking thoughts like these:

I’m having trouble being here today.

I wish I could go home.

Why am I feeling this way, after having such a great day yesterday?

I wonder if I’m getting sick?

Have I taken on too much?

What can I identify, right now, that might have contributed to those feelings and thoughts?

  1. Some people, whom I have really enjoyed working with, are leaving.
  2. I’ve been watching many hours of “Breaking Bad,” in a row.
  3. Because of changes in the weather, I  am often too hot or too cold (thanks a lot, Goldilocks).
  4. Because of operating system changes to my iPhone AND to my computer at work, lots of things look quite different.
  5. Perhaps lots of things are looking quite different, because of other things on this list.

What helped with these feeling and thoughts, yesterday?

Listening to other people’s wisdom about what helps them, including the following:

It helps to do a cost-benefit analysis.

Yesterday, somebody named this antidote as particularly helpful to them:

Cost-Benefit Analysis.  List the pros and cons of a negative thought (like “I always screw up”) or a behavior pattern (like isolating when you’re depressed). A simple version of this is to ask yourself, “Does this [thought or action] help me?

It helps to let people know that you appreciate them.

This is especially helpful during these times:

  1. When people are leaving.
  2. When people are still there.

It helps to make a list of Pros and Cons, especially when you are facing a difficult decision.

I just went to my Go-To Application (Google), for some back-up on Pros and Cons.

Here’s what I found, thanks to The Oatmeal:


Which leads me to this:

It helps to laugh.

This is especially helpful during these times:

  1. When you’re alone.
  2. When you’re with other people.

That concludes our blog post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to The Oatmeal, to wise and funny entities of all kinds, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 227: Pros and Cons of Returning Home (from Edinburgh)

Last night, my son and I arrived at Logan Airport in Boston, one hour later than expected, after flights from Edinburgh and London. Speaking for myself (which is always a good idea, I think), I was exhausted, done with flying (at least for the day), and relieved to be home safely.

In the grand tradition that I’ve established whilst blogging on vacation, I will try to write a short post before venturing out to enjoy what looks like a beautiful day in these local parts.

The structure for today’s post?  It’s a list of Pros and Cons (which many people find to be a helpful technique for decision-making and moving forward).

Returning Home to Boston from London and Edinburgh

(An Exceedingly Brief List of Pros and Cons)

Con (for returning home):  People in the Boston area, in comparison to people we’ve seen during the last week, seem a tad more conventional and a little less colorful.

I will illustrate this with some photos I took yesterday in Edinburgh, shortly before we left for the airport:






However, as with any kind of judgmental comparison, my assumption here might be unhelpful and erroneous.

For example, some of the people in the photos above might actually BE from the Boston area.

Also, that last photo? That’s a troupe of people performing Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Assassins.”  As I told one of the troupe members yesterday, while I regretted that we had to miss their performance, we had just seen — within the last month — a wonderful production of that same musical.

Where?  In Watertown, MA.



Pro (for returning home):  There are creatures here at home, who seem really glad that I’ve returned.

Here’s an example of just one of those creatures, right now:


While this “Pro” might involve some mind reading on my part, I will end this post by speaking for myself, once more.

I’m really glad to see them, too.

Thanks to all the lovely and interesting creatures in Edinburgh and in the greater Boston area, to Stephen Sondheim, to my favorite kind of egg (whether it’s called “sunny-side up” or “fried”), and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Blog at