Posts Tagged With: “So What?”

Day 2990: An achievable next step

In therapy, when people feel overwhelmed, I ask them to identify an achievable next step.

For me, here and now, achievable next steps include:

  • sending an email inviting somebody to connect with me via ZOOM,
  • opening up 2020 tax preparation software for the first time,
  • entering some tax data,
  • sending my video of “Vaccinated Women” to another TV show,
  • calling my health insurance company about family coverage,
  • calling a new company about my flexible spending health accountability account,
  • dancing, and
  • sharing these images with you:

According to the CDC, achievable next steps are definitely changing. Change is stressful, even those changes you desperately want. I would suggest choosing and practicing an achievable next step for reducing stress.

For me, sharing music I love is an achievable next step. Here are international women taking achievable next dance steps to “So What” by Miles Davis.

Is an achievable next step for you leaving a comment about this achievable-next-step post?

Gratitude is always an achievable next step for me.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2095: Giving emotions words

When I search my previous posts for “Giving emotions words” the only thing that pops up is Day 1530: Obscure Sorrows.

I think it’s helpful to give emotions words, and so do other people.




In a therapy group yesterday, we talked about the importance of giving emotions words. Then, we gave words to triggers.



As usual, I stole some words — including “knuckleheads” —  from other people in the group.

Do any of my other photos today give emotions words?










Last night, I watched many people give emotions words in Ken Burns’s latest documentary The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope and Science.




It gave me emotions to see my heart surgeon, Dr. Joseph Dearani, and the piano I played while I was at the Mayo before getting my new artificial heart valve.  Here‘s me, giving emotions words back in 2016:

I’m giving gratitude words, as usual, at the end of my post. Thanks to all who helped me give words today and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1340: What you need to know

What you need to know first about this post is that it was inspired by this patient publication from the Mayo Clinic, which I was reading yesterday:


What you need to know about me, right now, is:

  1. I’m having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic later this month.
  2. My only son is leaving for a five-year program at Edinburgh University in 10 days, and he wants to watch certain movies with me and my boyfriend Michael before he leaves.
  3. I am a group therapist who recently facilitated two groups where the members chose to focus on the topics “nature” and “appreciation.”
  4. I saw my cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, yesterday, and he was very encouraging about my future health.
  5. I am not particularly looking forward to open heart surgery, especially because it will definitely incapacitate me from blogging daily, as I have every day since January 2013.
  6. I don’t like being incapacitated.
  7. A person I greatly respect used the words “delightful,” “brilliant,” and “resilient” to describe me yesterday.
  8. I’m very glad to know that I’m resilient, since that implies I will recover relatively quickly from open heart surgery.
  9. I like cats.
  10. I have to watch what I eat and avoid too much salt.
  11. I have handwriting that can be difficult to read.
  12. I took lots of other photos yesterday, if you need to know:



























What you need to know is that I always try to make a grreat choice for music in my blog posts.

What you need to know is that when I  first understood, four months ago, that I needed to have heart valve replacement surgery performed at the Mayo Clinic, I created this YouTube video about that and shared it in a previous blog post:

You need to know that I’m more reconciled to heart valve replacement surgery today than I was when I first sang that song on May 31.

Anything you need to know or to express, here and now?

What you need to know is that I appreciate every one who helped me create today’s post and  you — of course! — no matter what you need to know, today.

Categories: adult congenital heart, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1247: Find your place

As I was finding my place in Newton, Massachusetts, USA yesterday, I found a place with this sign:


I found a place for that image on my iPhone and now I’ve found a place for it, here.

Over the next few months I’ll be finding my place in many places, including

  • the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington, Massachusetts, to sing at another Open Mic,
  • Simmons College in Boston, for an intensive 3-day conference on group therapy,
  • New York City, with another attempt to try out for The Voice,
  • Springfield, Massachusetts to see comedian Louis C.K.,
  • Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend the Festival Fringe and also get my son settled for his first year of university, and
  • the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for heart valve replacement surgery.

What helps me find a place, wherever I go?

  • Love.
  • Faith.
  • Hope.
  • Charity.
  • Creativity.
  • Openness to new experiences.
  • Learning.
  • Using all my senses.
  • Support from others.
  • Self Care.
  • Confidence.
  • Music.
  • Being in the moment.
  • Letting go.
  • Breathing.
  • Self expression.
  • Bravery.
  • Balance.
  • Preparation.
  • Spontaneity.
  • Humor.
  • Curiosity.
  • Skill.
  • Character.
  • Safety.
  • Home.
  • The right clothes for the weather.
  • Blogging.
  • Awareness of what’s around me.
  • My GPS system, Waze.

What helps you find your place?

I shall now find a place for the other photos I took yesterday. I hope you find your place through each one.























Now that you’ve found your place at the end of today’s photos, I’m finding a place for some music I made yesterday.

I found a place in my day yesterday to make up new lyrics for “So What?” by Miles Davis. In case you can’t find your place through those lyrics, here they are:

I’m gonna have an operation.

So what?

A finer chance I’ve never had.

So what?

They’re gonna do it at the Mayo.

So what?

I’m gonna get a brand new valve.

So what?

I’m gonna have an operation.

So what?

A shiny new mechanical valve.

So what?

They’re gonna do it at the Mayo.

So what?

A finer chance I’ve never had.

So what?

I’m gonna have an operation.

So what?

I’m kind of scared and kind of nervous.

So what?

They’re gonna give me a new valve.

So what?

I can’t wait for it to happen.

So what?

A finer chance I’ve never had.

So what?

I am finding my place, now, to point out that my voice found its place all the way up to high G while I was finding my place at the keyboard, sitting down.

Please find your place for comments, below.

I’ve now found my place for gratitude to all those who helped me create this post and to you — of course!  — for finding your place here.


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

Day 327: Will, Part Deux

Six Score and Four Days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote a post, named “Will,” regarding my last will and testament.

Yesterday, during a day of reflection and self-care, I revisited that topic.

Actually, I’ve been revisiting that topic — in thoughts and deeds — since I wrote that post.  And I’m very close, as I write this, to completing my will.

I don’t know about you, but working on my last will and testament — Also Known As the document that will survive me after I am DEAD — brings up lots of issues for me.    I am aware that I am not alone in that.

This is what I know about completing the Will Process, right now:

  1. I’d like to acknowledge the importance of other people, but not to bother them.
  2. I enjoy surprises, but I’m not sure how other people feel about those.
  3. I am not sure how to deal with #1 and #2, regarding my will.
  4. #3 is okay, because  I don’t have to do a perfect will.  I mean, people will forgive me if they feel slighted or inconvenienced by my will.
  5. And if they don’t forgive me, so what*?  I’ll be dead.**

It’s another gift of mortality!  (See here for more about that.)

Okay! It’s time to end the process of This Post. What’s left undone?

As my loyal readers know, I like to include an image before I end.

However, I didn’t take any photos yesterday. Also, I’ve been noticing a new glitch in WordPress — where some photos that have previously blossomed in their full glory in my posts are now reduced to teensy little images.***

Well, dear readers, I can’t control WordPress, nor your personal operating system and its proclivities for presenting images.

What I CAN control is what I do. And my will is to show you an image, anyway:


This came in the mail, yesterday.  It’s a ring I’ve been looking for, for a long time.

Thanks to people who like and don’t like surprises, mortal creatures everywhere, and to you — especially — for reading today.

* “So What” is one of my favorite tunes AND it’s an antidote to cognitive distortions.

** I don’t claim to know what happens after we die, but I’m assuming that Worrying About What Others Think will not be a featured activity.

*** If this happens, I hope people know they can refresh the page or click the images to see their full effect.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 182: So What?

“So What?” means many things to me.

“So What?” Take One.

“So What?” is an amazing tune by Miles Davis, which I’ve loved (and played on the piano) since I was 16 years old.

Your ears and eyes might tell you how “simple” that tune is. Yet, I’ve listened to it countless times. And I expect to keep listening, as long as my ears hold out.

“So What?” Take Two.

“So what?” is something I say to myself when I’m feeling discouraged, down, depressed, disenchanted, and other words that begin with the letter “d”.

As in, “So what if I do (or think, say, write, or feel) this, or anything else? What does it matter, ultimately? What can it really change? Who cares?”

“So What?” Take Three.

“So what?” is something I can say to myself in a freeing, liberating way, to get myself unstuck.

It’s actually one of my favorite ways to challenge cognitive distortions (which are unhelpful and automatic thoughts):

The So What? Technique. Consider that an anxiety-producing possibility (even the worst case scenario) might not be as bad as you fear. For example, “So what if this one person doesn’t like me? Not everybody is going to like me.” or “So what if I lose my cell phone? It’ll be an incredible hassle, but I’ll be able to deal with it.”

See here for a complete list of handy-dandy antidotes to cognitive distortions.

When I wrote that description above, I used the example of losing my cell phone, because I was feeling anxious about losing things. (See here for a post about THAT.) Since then, I’ve lost many things, including my credit card and checkbook (some temporarily, some not), but I haven’t lost my cell phone. Yet.

If I do, I’ll just use that antidote.

It’s a very simple remedy. It’s one that I’ve used many times before. And I expect to keep using it, as long as unhelpful thoughts hold out.

“So What?” Final Take

Here’s something my mother used to say:

“So what? Sew buttons.”

Thanks for reading today. (So what if you did?) (Sew buttons.)

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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