Posts Tagged With: recovering from pneumonia

Day 1299: Looks

As I look around, I notice how much looks matter to people.  Personally, I look at a lot more than just looks when I look at somebody.

But look at me!  Yesterday, looks mattered so much to me that I requested that people look at this photo AND I asked them “HOW DO I LOOK?”


Look, I’m like anybody else. I want to look good.  But I especially wanted to people to look at how I looked yesterday so they could see how I look a short week after  diagnoses of pneumonia and heart failure .

And even though I asked others “HOW DO I LOOK?”  I look at it this way:  What’s most important is how I thought I looked. If somebody else had looked at that photo critically and judgmentally, their looks would not have mattered to me, at all.

Are you ready to look at other images I looked at yesterday?











Did any of those photos get a second look from you?

It’s time to look at some music!

I’ll take a look later to see if I get any comments for this post about looks.

Look!  It’s me thanking you for looking at my blog, here and now.

Categories: celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Day 490: Out with the bad air, in with the good

Anybody else familiar with that phrase?

Out with the bad air, in with the good.

Let’s see what comes up, when I Google that …

(I found that YouTube video here)

Ah! It’s Inspector Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers, in “The Pink Panther” movies. I loved those movies and watched them with my son, when he was young.

Here’s what I notice/remember about that film clip, right now:

  1. Somebody uses the word “pervert” in a labeling, judgmental way.
  2. Chief Inspector Dreyfus is about to be discharged from a long stay at a mental rehabilitation facility, when he encounters his old nemesis, which seriously sets him back in his recovery.
  3. Inspector Clouseau is both helping and (mostly) hurting his boss, although his intentions are good.
  4. As usual, there are communication problems with Inspector Clouseau.  In that scene, he pronounces the word “bump” as “bimp,” which is confusing, and stops the action (momentarily).
  5. Inspector Clouseau says, “Out with the bad air, in with the good,” as (he believes) he is saving somebody’s life.

How do I relate that to my life, right now?

  1. I am doing my best to NOT label myself (or other people) in a negative, unhelpful way, as I recover from pneumonia. Unhelpful labels for myself would include “invalid.” Unhelpful labels for others would include … “unhelpful.” It helps me, especially when I am struggling, to believe that everybody is doing the best they can.  That helps me maintain life-sustaining connections. At the same time, it helps for me to ask for what I need, in an effective way.
  2. I am dealing with old nemeses right now, specifically (a) illness and (b) the way illness can negatively affect my self-esteem.
  3. Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to know what is helpful and what is hurtful, especially when I am dealing with unfamiliar situations, specifically pneumonia.
  4. When I am not feeling well and when I am feeling “needier,” I seem to struggle, even more, with communicating clearly with others.
  5. As a person recovering from pneumonia, I have some confusion about “bad air” and “good air,” including my ongoing choices of indoor, outdoor, and fresh air. Also, I know that “good” (mindful and deep) breathing helps with physical, mental, and emotional health, but when I am dealing with new, confusing, or concerning situations, it can be more difficult to breathe “good.”  When I am anxious, ailing, or emotional, I tend to breathe “badly” — that is, less deeply and more shallowly.  And I know I am not alone in that.

What else can Google show me, for “Out with the bad air, in with the good air,” this morning?

Here’s a blog post with that phrase in the title.  And here’s the first line of that post:

There is an Italian proverb that when a door closes, a window opens elsewhere in the house.

I shall now consult my old friend “Google,” for the meaning of that proverb. Here’s what I found, at

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell

I wonder if that is a helpful quote — in other words, what kind of air is that? — for me (and for you) this morning.

I just visited the Wikipedia page about Alexander Graham Bell, and here are two things I particularly noticed there:

  • He (and family members) dealt with debilitating illnesses. At one point, “his health faltered mainly through exhaustion.” 
  • He was very focused on improving communication among people.

I ask you, dear readers:  is there enough bad and/or good air in today’s post, at this point?

Before I end, I would like to include some visuals, as usual.

First, I’ll check the air in Google Images. Here are some visuals that came up for “Out with the bad air, in with the good” (in order of appearance):

download (24)

(I found that image here)

download (25)

(I found that image here)


(I found that image here)



(I found that image here)


(I found that image here)

I would also like to include some recent photos of my own. Here are two images, with inside air:




… and here are a few, with outside air:





Okay!  Time for me to get some air.

Thanks to all those who helped me create this post, to people who are breathing different types of air right now, and to you — of course! —  for reading today.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 488: E for Effort

I have not ever received an “E” for Effort, in my educational experience.

I just googled “E for Effort.”

Here is Yahoo! Answers‘ explanation:

Is it A for effort or E for effort?

Best Answer
tichur answered four years ago
A for effort or E for effort has nothing to do with spelling. “Old school” grades got confused with a newer, less objective system. 

Old School 

E – Excellent 
VG – Very Good 
G – Good 
S – Satisfactory 
F – Fail 

Modern terminology 

A – superior 
B – Above average 
C – Average 
D – Below average 
F – Fail 

Effort grades have little to do with academic ones. Effort means earnest attempt to achieve. 

A for effort and E for effort mean the same thing…superior or excellent attempt to learn.
I want to thank tichur for the exemplary effort he put into that answer.

I will now elucidate the reasons for this title, this morning. As I experience recovery from pneumonia, everything seems like “too much” of an effort. Every exertion, exercise, etc. I extend equals exhaustion exceeding my expectations.

Eeeeek! Look at how many E’s I was able to use in that last sentence! And, I am NOT exhausted.


Expressing my emotions and experience helps, extraordinarily.

Eager for some images, experienced yesterday?

Would you give me an “A” or an “E” for my efforts, today?
Thanks to everyone everywhere effecting any extent of effort, to people who are old school or new school, and — especially! — to my exemplary, excellent, exacting, and extraordinary readers.
Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

Day 486: May Day! Mayday!

So today is the first of May, also known (in some parts) as May Day. Here’s what Wikipedia says about that:

May Day on May 1 is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday;[1] it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. May Day coincides with International Workers’ Day, and in many countries that celebrate the latter, it may be referred to as “May Day”.

As usual, wherever I go and whatever I find, I learn something new.  Here’s what I’m noticing about that introductory paragraph about May Day:

  1. The first day of May is “usually a public holiday”.  I guess that means that it’s accustomed and appropriate to celebrate today, in a public way.
  2. According to the ending of that paragraph, it’s okay to put a period (and I assume, also, a comma) outside of quotations marks. I’ve always thought that was a no-no, but I guess I should give myself more leeway — that is, be more accepting of different punctuation options. Notice that I am celebrating that particular freedom in public right now (see the first sentence in #1, directly above).

Now, there IS another definition of “May Day,” as some of you may know.

When I looked that up,  I  discovered that one is spelled differently.  From Wikipedia, again:

Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It may derive from the French expression “venez m’aider”, meaning “come help me”, the last two syllables of which sound similar to “Mayday”. Alternatively, it may have been coined randomly, making the similarity to “m’aidez” coincidental.[1]

As often occurs, conclusions are controversial. According to that description, either

  1. Mayday derives from the French expression “venez m’aider” or
  2. it doesn’t,

which about covers it.

So, today is May Day. Also, I DO have some urge to yell “Mayday!”*

Why that urge?

  • It has been friggin’ raining here for days, the weather has been cold, and it’s my favorite time of the year (spring).
  • Even if it weren’t friggin’ raining, I have friggin’ pneumonia, and every little thing I do is still exhausting.

Which about covers it.

So how shall I celebrate this day?  I mean, I really should, whether or not I do that in public.

What would make the day more festive?

Well,  I will have fun companions today (who may frolic), including these:


I also have a new, beautiful gift I may enjoy, given to me yesterday by my long-time friend, Deb:


Now, while Deb seems to be showing off Michael’s Tony the Tiger mug (which contains our favorite tea, Bengal Spice) (which also has a  tiger on the packaging), the gift she brought is in the lower right of that photo. It’s a little blue vase which Deb created, in a glass-blowing class. Which I find mind-blowing.

And definitely something I may celebrate, on this May Day.

Thanks to Deb, to tigers everywhere, to Celestial Seasonings (for the tea), to those who may celebrate May Day, and to you — but of course! — for visiting with me today.

* Which May or May Not be immediately understood by my French-speaking readers.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 477: Identity

In my work as a psychotherapist, I talk to people about their senses of identity and self-worth. Often, those things are intertwined.

People’s identity can include:

  • Family Roles (Parent, Sibling, Son/Daughter)
  • Functional Roles (Caretaker, Breadwinner, etc.)
  • Work-related Roles (Job title, retiree, pre-worker/student)
  • Social Roles (“Life of the party,” “Rebel,” Peacemaker”)

… and more.

I woke up thinking about Identity today because:

  1. For many years, a large part of my identity has been the work I do (notice that I referenced that in my very first sentence in this post).
  2. I am dealing with pneumonia right now, which is necessitating my staying out of work. Therefore,  I have a new and unfamiliar role, which I hesitate to name because of stigmatized words like … “Invalid.”  (I mean, look at THAT word — “invalid”! Isn’t that the very opposite of “valid” or “worthy”?)
  3. Another important part of my identity at work — supervisor/teacher — is about to end, because my wonderful Social Work intern is leaving next week.
  4. Today is my late mother’s birthday, so I am aware of a role that I used to fill — Daughter — that no longer exists.
  5. I’ve been writing blog posts (see here, here , and here) about a new identity — a Super Hero, no less, called “Super Recovery Woman.”

When I talk to people, in my treasured role as psychotherapist, I suggest that they look at the roles and labels they apply to themselves about who they are, as a way of understanding what affects their sense of self-worth.

Often these conversations turn to this very general role:

Human being

Here’s a saying that many people have found helpful:


(I found that image here)

In other words,  basing our sense of worth on what we do can be a problem, since that can fluctuate and change so much, from day to day.

Wouldn’t it be great to feel a sense of self worth just for being?  In other words, wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up in the morning, knowing you are worthy, no matter what you can or cannot do that day?

I would like to ask my readers some questions, at this point in the post: Do people think I am intrinsically less worthy, because I am not working right now?

Would you be surprised if I were to tell you that I am struggling NOT to judge myself and my self-worth, because of this latest role change?

And here’s my last question: If you do NOT judge ME right now, might you still judge yourself, if your roles (or other aspects of your self-identity) were to change?

Here’s another part of my identity that I would like to own, at this point in this post:


As with any other role, there are certain norms and assumptions associated with my role of Blogger.  For the most part, these are norms and assumptions that I have had the luxury to choose and shape myself, since I started filling this role 476 days ago.

For example, Ann the Blogger:

  1. Blogs once a day.
  2. Tries to inform and amuse (if possible).
  3. Writes in the morning, soon after she awakes and before she goes to work (on weekdays).
  4. Includes photos, whenever possible, including those she has taken herself.

I don’t know how many norms of that role I am going to fulfill today. As always, I shall do the best I can, without trying to be perfect, and accepting where I am.

In order to fulfill  Blogging Norm #4, listed above, let’s see if I have any photos to show you that relate to today’s topic.

Hmmm, I believe I do.

These are all photos that relate to my Identity/Role as Observer.  (I hope they fit in with my role as Super Recovery Woman, too.*)

Shall we begin?


I observed this when I went for my dental appointment, last week. That window display is near the Boston Marathon route, and includes appropriate footwear.



This photo also relates to my role as  …. Mother.  Here’s what I want to point out, right now, about that shot:  (1) the thermostat on the wall has starred in a post of its own (see here) and (2) as usual, I did not ask anybody to pose; I merely observed and captured what was within my sight.

The final two images in this post relate to my role as Lover of Creatures (outside and inside):



Okay! I believe I have fulfilled enough roles, well enough, here today.

Thanks to imagination soup. net, to all those who do their best balancing many roles while maintaining a sense of self-worth, and — especially! — to those filling a much-appreciated role, right now: Reader of This Blog.

* I don’t believe that being totally bed- (or sofa-) ridden is good for me and my doctors agree. However, I find it difficult, in each moment, to judge a good-enough balance of rest and fresh air.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

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