Posts Tagged With: returning to work after illness

Day 1428: Play Like an Animal

What does “Play Like an Animal” mean?  I wondered about that, yesterday, when I saw this at a local supermarket:


Apparently, playing like an animal involves finding your way.

Tomorrow, when I find my way back to my job after a two-month medical leave, it will be time for me to work like an animal. But what kind of animal will that be? Will it be a tired animal? A healthy animal? This animal will know more, soon.

Do any of my other photos from yesterday play like an animal?






















Don’t be shy …. please play like an animal, here and now, by leaving a comment below.

Before I work out like an animal at cardiac rehab, I have time to share this play-like-an-animal music:


Playful thanks to all the animals who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter how you’re playing or working today.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 1305: All you need

As I went back to work yesterday —  after being away for weeks because of pneumonia and heart failure — it was obvious what I needed.

Do my photos from yesterday reveal what I needed?

















All I need in the near future is love, work, and seeing my son Aaron in that Arlington Children’s Theater production of Anything Goes!

All this post needs  is some great music (here and here on Youtube):

What’s all you need, here and now?

Thanks to all who give me all I need to blog every day, including you!

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

Day 505: How to tell a visual story

I’m not sure how good I am at telling visual stories.

I probably have SOME things I could tell you,  about visual story-telling. For example, it’s good* to:

  • Have visuals people can see, clearly enough.
  • Make chronological or other connections among the visuals, in a credible way.
  • Put yourself (and other compelling characters) into the story, as best you can.
  • Show growth or other development, in the characters or other elements.
  • Have conflict, tension, or suspense, which resolves in some way.
  • Don’t try to show everything.

I have no idea how well I’m going to meet those criteria.  I’m just going to do what I decided to do when I started writing this post: (1) show you photos I’ve taken since my last blog post and (2) try to make some sort of story out of them.

Before the visual story-telling commences, I shall express this concern (thus letting go of it): I hope that my indulging so gleefully in non sequiturs, two posts ago, hasn’t weakened my story-telling skills.

Spoiler (which-isn’t-a-spoiler-if-you’ve-been-reading-recent-blog-posts) alert!

(Yesterday, I returned to work after being out for over a month with pneumonia.)

I’ve never done a spoiler alert before, so I did the best I could, making the alert more obvious and the spoiler less obvious.

Are we ready to begin?

Wait!  First, I’d like to balance the warning tone of the spoiler alert with a note of safety.  For example, I could say, “No animals were harmed in the making of this story” and that’s certainly true, but that seems a little … I don’t know …. long-winded, clichéd, over-used, and not so much in-the-moment* (even though animal welfare is important to me).

I’ve got it!

This story is 100% gluten-free.

Okay! It’s time to begin.

A Visual Story

by Ann

Hmmm. I think I can make this story more focused if I have a more specific title.

Work:  A visual story

by Ann

When I go to work, I park my car near an iconic baseball park.  Then, I pay respect to an old hero, as I walk by.


Yesterday was no different. I hat-less-ly returned the hat tip to Mr. Yastrzemski — with a little hand-to-head salute.

Moments later, I saw this:


Arrgghh!  There are TWO problems with that photo: (1) Inexplicably, it’s showing up on its side and (2) it’s violating my first rule, above, regarding good visual story telling: “Have visuals people can see, clearly enough.”

Let’s see if I can fix all that:





Then, I had a meeting with Employee Health, saw people I haven’t seen in over a month, sat at my desk, made phone calls, and left after a few hours.   I could go into more details, but I don’t have any photos for any of that.

Later, I saw these interesting* things:






The End

How do you think I did, with that visual story-telling?  I think I did well enough, despite some challenges.

Now that I’ve written “The End,” though, I’m aware of what I have NOT included, such as:

  • letting my regular readers know that I successfully* used the waterpik before I left for work,
  • reassuring people that I felt okay enough, in my shorter work day, yesterday, and
  • this photo, which was going to be an example of “Things I’m not good at making work”


… which is okay, because that’s a terrible* title, and photo, too.

One more thing:  In case people are wondering whether my story truly was 100% gluten-free, as guaranteed, I did some fact-checking, and found this, on Facebook:

Skinny Cow Hi, Heather! I’m excited to tell you that we have quite a few gluten free options! The list below are all of my gluten free products:
Caramel Truffle Bars
Chocolate Truffle BarsSee More

And that’s all I needed to see.

Thanks to Skinny Cow, Heather, Carl Yastrzemski, the guy wearing the “Excellence” t-shirt, Goodwill Industries, story-tellers everywhere, people who do their best (letting go of judgment and otherwise), and to you — of course! — for looking here, today.


 * In my humble opinion.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 499: Random Numbers

On the last day of my first (and I originally thought only) Year1 of Living Non-Judmentally, I wrote this, in a footnote:

* I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, regarding my feelings about numbers. I love numbers, sometimes.  However, numbers are not my native language, so sometimes they challenge me. Hmmm. I don’t like the way I said that. “They challenge me” is too mild, too wimpy a statement. How about this? Sometime, I hate numbers. Nope, too strong.  How about this? Sometimes, numbers make me crazy.  Nope, “crazy” is not a great word for me to use. How about this?  Sometimes they make me angry. Nope, people have trouble with anger.  Arrrghh!  What’s the right word, regarding me and numbers?  Damned if I know, right now. Maybe I’ll figure that out next year.

 from Day 365: End of Year (Big Deal!)

It’s well into next year, and I have yet to figure out my feelings about — and relationship to —  numbers.

Here are some things I know:

  • I definitely notice numbers.
  • I can have trouble holding on to them.  For example, yesterday I had a 3:30 appointment with one of my doctors, and, in my mind, it was a 2 PM appointment. Another example: today I’m meeting an old friend from college, and I can’t remember how many years it’s been since the last time I saw him.
  • Remembering numbers can seem critical to my survival. Therefore, when I can’t access a number quickly, my automatic response can be negative (anxiety, self-criticism, worry, etc.)
  • There are lots of numbers to deal with, from the past, present, and (I assume) future.
  • I can’t quite figure out how important numbers are, for me.

Some numbers I’m thinking about, right now:

  1. How many more days should/will I stay home from work?2
  2. When I go back to work, how many hours per week will be the “correct” balance, taking into account my (a) health and (b) finances?3
  3. What’s a good-enough weight for me, right now?4
  4. How many more items will there be in this list?5
  5. How many more words in this morning’s post, before I’m done writing?6
  6. How many pictures will I show here?7

Hmmm. Some of those questions have more obvious answers than others. As always, I shall do my best, figuring things out.


I’m going to conclude this post with some recent photos I’ve taken. In order of appearance:


Here are some numbers regarding that photo.  The number of times I’ve walked by that sign: 100’s. The number of words — and legs — on that sign: 2.  The number of days since I took that photo:  I’m guessing … 5. Wait!  There’s some data I can check, to find out the actual number. Aha!  I was wrong (but very close) … it’s 6.



How many limbs there?  2.   How many limbs was I expecting?  4.



As you can see for yourself, there are lots of numbers in that photo.



How many dandelions in that photo?  3.   How many blisses?  The answer depends on what — and how — you’re counting.



How many times have I been to that restaurant? 1.   How many days before I expect to return? 3.



How many people in Massachusetts have a license plate with the word “Toad”? I’m assuming more than one.



How many strings on that instrument?  6.   How many stripes on those cushions?  Ahhhh … forget it.



How many papers is Harley sitting on?  1.    What’s on that paper?


Eeeeek!   Math!

Thanks to numbers everywhere, to people who have varying reactions to numbers, and to you — of course! — for reading this today (one time, I assume).

1   The year I started blogging was 2013.

2   Most likely, I’ll return to work in 2 days. 8

3   I’ll probably start out working about 12 hours/week, increasing as I can. 8

4  Weight is such a loaded issue.  I’m definitely NOT going into that now.

5  There were 6 items on that list.

6  I’m too impatient — or it’s just not important enough to me — to find out how many words I wrote after that.

7 I showed 9 photos. Or — more precisely — I showed 8 photos I had taken, plus one zoom, blow-up, close-up, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

8  These numbers are subject to change.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Blog at