Posts Tagged With: Scared Guy watch

Day 354: Genuine/Authentic

Hello, readers!

After much deliberation (a full 20 minutes of it), I have decided upon the title for today’s post.  And look!  I already have a visual for it:

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As regular readers of this blog might know, I love watches.  As a matter of fact, 168 days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote about another one of my favorite watches, here. And for those of you who don’t click on links (and I know you’re out there, people!), here’s the photo of that other watch:

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If you want to read more about that watch (and the reasons why I’ve collected watches), you’re just going to have to click on that link.

So there!

Readers of this blog may notice that my writing has a certain “tone,” right now.

Although, you know what? I have no real idea whether people can tell my “tone”, my feelings, or my state of mind, right now (or at any point).

That’s the whole friggin’ problem with communicating through written words, isn’t it?  We’re missing certain clues, to help us ascertain what somebody else is genuinely feeling or thinking.

However, given that we’re always guessing what other people think, what would you guess about how I’m feeling, right now?  (And, yes, I am inviting people to indulge in the “cognitive distortion” of mind reading — something we do, as humans, every day).

So, how would you complete this sentence?  As Ann is writing these words, she is  __________.

Have you filled it in yet? If not, I’ll wait.

Time’s up!

Now, I’m going to do some mind reading of my own. That is, I’m going to guess how you might have filled in that sentence, as follows:

  • Playful
  • Annoyed
  • Annoying
  • Joyful
  • Worried
  • Confused
  • Hopeful
  • Impatient
  • Distracted
  • Focused
  • Accepting
  • Pissed

Okay, that last guess made me stop (although stopping so soon makes it unlikely I would have guessed what YOU thought). So why did I stop? Well, I know people are reading this blog all over the world, and I know that the word “pissed” means angry* to some people (including me) and drunk to others. So, I stopped, because I don’t want anybody to think I might be drunk in the morning or at any time while I’m writing these posts (because I’m not).

Hey!  Wait a minute! Why do I care what you — or anybody else — thinks?  Haven’t I written, throughout this year, about letting go of caring what other people think? (Yes, I have. And here’s an example of that**.)

But here’s the deal, people. I genuinely want people to know who I am. Authentically.

And genuinely and authentically, I am  ALL*** of those things in that list. And more.****

As I assume you are (or have been), too.

Oh, no!  Look at the time!

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As therapists often (and genuinely) say …. We have to stop now.

Thanks to each and every one of you — with all your various parts, feelings, thoughts, guesses, etc. —  for reading today.


* So why was I angry, at that point?  Because here’s something I know about myself: I tend to get angry when I’m HUNGRY.  And by the way, anger is okay. It’s just another human feeling.  However, I do know a “cure” for feelings of anger related to hunger.  Eating something. Which I did.

** Written way back, on Day 2.

*** Except for drunk, a possible misunderstanding which I believe I have cleared up sufficiently at this point.

**** Including, most likely, what YOU guessed (if it’s not already on that list).

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

Day 186: Watch out

I have a large collection of unusual and inexpensive watches. I started this collection over 35 years ago.

The collection got much larger when eBay came along — when it became much easier to find watches that fit my Collecting Criteria.

The number of watches I collected got a little scary. Actually, the number didn’t scare me, but I noticed that people had a reaction to that number — which looked a little like fear but might have just been surprise — when I would ask them to guess:

How many watches do you think I have?

People would always guess much lower than the actual number, even though I would explain — just as I did above — that I liked to collect these and that they were very accessible through eBay.

Collecting these watches definitely met some sort of need. I guess any kind of collecting behavior can seem like a compulsion. It didn’t feel like a compulsion; but I did spend a fair amount of time looking for watches, deciding about them, and adding new ones to my collection. It was fun.

Was it a habit? An addiction?

I’m reminded of a joke:

I may be addicted to drinking brake fluid, but I can stop at any time.

I kept collecting watches, for many years, growing my collection. And I did have Too Many watches to keep track of, to wear, and — especially — to keep supplied with fresh batteries.

But it was an enjoyable and harmless distraction, and I had some very cool watches. So I kept collecting.

Except one day, I stopped.

I stopped after I had a dream. In that dream, I was wearing a watch and the watch turned into a cardiac pacemaker.

And I woke up from that dream and said, “Duh.”

“Duh,” as in, “Wow. That makes a lot of sense.”

Here’s why:

I got my first cardiac pacemaker implanted when I was 10 years old. I had no choice over the matter. I will be dependent upon a pacemaker until I die. I have no control over all that.

I can tell the story of Ann and Her Pacemaker in lots of different ways.

Triumphant: I am the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker!*

Painful: I wasn’t prepared very well, before I got my first pacemaker at age 10. I spent a lot of time — some of it alone and scared — in the hospital.

The stories we tell can be a way of getting control over things.

Collecting watches was another way, for me.

Pacemakers and watches have a lot in common. They both are man-made devices that people wear. They are devices designed to measure and mark time, in an important way. As a matter of fact, all the pacemakers I got, until I was well into my 30’s, had a fixed rate. That is, they would produce the same number of beats per minute, every minute, until they ran down. The main difference between those pacemakers and a watch: my pacemakers were set for 70 beats for minute, instead of 60.

Anyway, once I realized WHY I was collecting watches — in a new and deeper way — I stopped needing to collect them. I’ve bought a watch or two since then, but very rarely.

I mean, I have enough watches, people.

Before I end this post, I wanted to share one of my favorite watches with you:

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I got this watch on eBay, many years ago, when it came up in my saved search “unusual watches.”

This watch was developed by a woman who worked with kids who had cancer. In the eBay listing, she told the story of how she was working with a little boy who was having trouble expressing his fear of dealing with the diagnosis and the necessary procedures. On an impulse, she drew the picture of the character, whom she dubbed, “Scared Guy.” Scared Guy helped the little boy talk about his fear.

She later turned “Scared Guy” into a charitable enterprise, and she created and offered merchandise — including watches — using that character she drew for the little boy. The proceeds either went to supporting cancer research or other aspects of work with children who had cancer — I can’t remember, exactly.

I would give you more details about “Scared Guy ™” but I can’t find anything listed on the internet this morning. I do have the original watch box somewhere, which would tell me more, but I’m not looking for that right now.

I don’t have the time.

I have to get ready to go into the hospital, where I work.

And, I confess, I’m kind of a Scared Guy, today.

Why? There will be very few people around today, at the hospital where I work, because it’s the day after the July 4th holiday. I’m the only one there who has certain responsibilities. I may need to do some difficult and new things.

It’s a little too close, for comfort, to the old story I tell about my childhood, where I’m in a hospital, feeling alone, lost, and confused.

However, there are lots of differences today.

For one, I’ll be wearing that watch.

Thanks for being here, and reading, today.


* In 2014, I found out that I am NOT the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker.  See this post for more about that.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

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