Posts Tagged With: taking care of oneself

Day 493: Dogged Determination

Our cat Harley saw a new veterinarian yesterday — Dr. Jake Tedaldi.   During the introductions,  I told Dr. Tedaldi that the vet at the shelter where we got Harley in October had written that Harley was “kind.”

I want to share with you the first sentence from Dr. Tedaldi’s visit description, which he left with us:

Harley is a cautious, possibly fretful fellow, but the term “kind” may actually be quite appropriate.

This strikes me as a helpful instance of the sometimes-not-so-helpful automatic process we humans have of labeling others (and ourselves).

Harley wasn’t the only one who saw a doctor yesterday. I saw one of mine, too, and it looks like I won’t be returning to work next week.

Now, might it not seem strange that this post —  describing a cat and a non-working human — has the title “Dogged Determination”?

Well, this post is about to take a turn, people.

Yesterday evening, I went for a leisurely walk with my boyfriend, Michael, at an outdoor location (rare in these parts) where dogs can run free, without leashes.

Here are some photos from that walk:













The next four photos show a dog determinedly retrieving a ball, from a pond (my apologies for shooting into the sun):






The next group of pictures features another water-loving dog. While we weren’t formally introduced to any of the other canines in this post, we were to this one:   Zoomy Bear.

When I first noticed Zoomy Bear, he was living up to his name — leaping over a fence to get to the water.  Unfortunately, I did not capture any of his impressive jumps on my iPhone. This was my first shot of him:


His zoomy-ness blurred him a little, there.

He became less blurry once he returned to the walkway. Here’s Zoomy Bear with his owner (whose name I did not get):









Here’s what I especially remember about that encounter:

  • Departing from my usual routine, I neither (a) explained I was taking photos for this blog nor (b) got her email to send her this post.
  • She told us several interesting things, including how she and Zoomy Bear celebrated his most recent birthday (which included doggy pastry),
  • When I requested photos of the two of them, she said, “Oh!  That will be a study in contrasts: He’s dirty and I’m clean.”
  • She used other labels about herself, including “loopy.” I disagreed with that label, in my thoughts and out loud.
  •  Zoomy Bear’s breed name  included the word “miniature” and (I think) “wolfhound.”
  • My phone died after that last photo, as I was trying to show her the images.
  • When I apologized for that (or, perhaps, for something else), she said, “Don’t worry.”

I am taking her advice.

I’m just glad that — despite not being able to record it on my phone — I remembered the name “Zoomy Bear.”*

Thanks to doctors who care for animals and humans,  kind creatures everywhere, dogs (unleashed and leashed),  those who zoom as best they can, and to you — of course! — for coming by here, today.

* I wonder if I’m spelling that correctly.  It might be “Zoomy-Bear.”

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 478: Personal Medicine, Revisited

Waaaaay back on Day 29, I wrote a post called “Personal Medicine.”

I do think that post is worth visiting and checking out — even though I wrote it early in my blogging journey and have probably developed immeasurable blogging skills, wisdom, and other improvements since then.

Although, perhaps not.

Why don’t you see for yourself, people, and visit that old, old post, by clicking on that link, above?


You know what?  Sometimes, I have zero faith that people will do what I request.  Even when I express a need or request REALLY CLEARLY, like

  • Link to that post, please, or
  • Do whatever else for me, please, which involves a little bit of effort  …

…. there’s a part of me that thinks:

That’s not going to happen. People are (1) too busy and (2) my request doesn’t matter enough.

Whoa!  This is NOT what I expected to be writing about, this morning.

However, I can’t say I am surprised.

When I am ill and less able to do everything for myself, I need to ask for more assistance and help. And that is difficult for me to do.

Now, why would that be so difficult, for me?  I was ill, quite  a bit, when I was growing up with a congenital* heart condition, and did need some help and support, in many areas.

Hmmm. Maybe I have trouble asking for help because … I’ve been healthy a lot, too, in my life, and I’ve always liked THAT better.  And when I was healthy, I COULD do things for myself.

Also, I do live in a culture,  my dear readers,  that values independence and a “can-do” attitude. Even though I KNOW (and tell others) that human beings can NOT do things on their own, and that it’s actually a STRENGTH to ask for help …

… it’s still difficult for me to do that.

That would be Ye Olde Double Standard, which I’ve written about, many times, in this here blog (including yesterday, actually).

Yes, it’s difficult for me to ask for help, for a “favor” of any kind,  even though I realize that is Personal Medicine — healthy — for other people. It’s difficult for me to ask for help, even if it’s something that takes minimum effort for the other person, such as my request to you, earlier in this post.

Remember that request? It was “please go visit a post I wrote before, because I think it has something of value.”

Hmmm. I’m realizing, now, that there is something else “loaded” in that request of mine to you, this morning. That is, I am saying:

I wrote something of value.  My thoughts are valuable. They are worth that additional effort of yours, to click on my link.

Again, these thoughts are NOT what I expected to write about today.

But it all feels like personal medicine, to me, here and now.

So the question remains: what DID I expect to write about today?

I expected to report to my readers about some of my Personal Medicine from yesterday, as I continue to deal with and heal from pneumonia.

I am happy to report that those medicines did NOT include antibiotics, but rather:

  1. A visit from my friend, Barbara,
  2. Watching episodes of Seinfeld with my 16-year-old son (who is seeing them for the first time … what fun!),
  3. A delicious meal cooked by Michael (which I didn’t photograph, because I was too interested in eating it … I guess my appetite is returning!), and
  4. A brief visit to the Boston Public Garden, during my favorite season and at one of my favorite times of the day.

Here are some of my attempts to capture the magic and personal medicine of Springtime in Boston, yesterday evening:











Okay! As I was looking for those photos from last evening, I did some pictorial time-traveling, right then.

And to end this post, I would like to share two of those old(er) pictures I just encountered.

#1 – I took this photo, almost exactly a year ago:


(I first used that photo here)

#2 – Here’s a photo taken of me (and my older sister) many years ago, before I developed a lot of skills, wisdom, and other improvements:


I suspect I had a similar expression on my face, yesterday evening.

Thanks to beautiful Boston, to children of all ages, to those who are developing skills and wisdom as they age, to people who are doing their best in asking for (and providing) help, to those who clicked and did NOT click on that friggin’ link to my previous post, and to you — of course! — for being part of my personal medicine, today.

* “Congenital” means that I was born that way.


Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

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