Posts Tagged With: The School of Life

Day 3256: How do you make decisions?

As someone who can struggle making decisions, I am very curious about how others make decisions.

One of the reasons I struggle with decisions is that I’m a high Perceiver according to the Myers-Briggs test, which means I feel more comfortable collecting additional data rather than making a decision.

So I’d like to collect some data, here and now. How do you make decisions when

  • you are definitely out of your depth?
  • you get conflicting data from experts?
  • there can be considerable costs (monetary or otherwise) if you make a wrong decision?
  • you secretly wish the problem would just go away magically?
  • you tend to catastrophize worst case scenarios?
  • you’re afraid of getting trapped on a path you can’t escape?
  • you distrust your ability to figure out who and what to trust?
  • you wonder about people’s motives?
  • there is so much miscommunication and misunderstanding among humans, that it’s difficult to get to the “truth”?
  • you don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings or otherwise cause them trouble?
  • you have trouble asking for help?
  • different people give you very different advice?
  • you would much rather be focusing on situations within your comfort zone?
  • you’re not psychic and can’t predict the future?
  • you feel like you don’t belong in the role of decision maker?

Right now, I’m having trouble making decisions about what to discuss in this blog post! Should I write about my struggles with decisions regarding getting the repair work done on our home? Should I share my problems deciding about next steps related to Joan the cat’s recurring ear infections? Should I discuss the kashmillion decisions I make every day, with varying levels of comfort?

Well, I’m making the decision to share these images.

How do you make decisions about which of those National Days to consider today?

How do you make decisions about which of these videos (which I found by searching YouTube for “how do you make decisions?”) to watch?

How do you make decisions about what thoughts and feelings to express, here and elsewhere?

I have no trouble making decisions about expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who made the decision to visit this blog today, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 2983: Weakness or strength?

I have a weakness for Twitter, where somebody recently asked, “Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?” I had the strength to answer as follows:

Do you see weakness or strength in my other images for today?

Is admitting mistakes, like today’s Daily Bitch, a sign of weakness or strength?

When I search for “weakness or strength” on YouTube, I find this:

Here’s “Strength No Weakness” by Demarjay Smith.

That reminds me that exactly a year ago, the week before lockdown, I was in Times Square in New York, attending a group therapy conference and contracting COVID. Is it weakness or strength to share that with you, here and now?

Actually, I think it’s helpful to think in terms of AND, not OR, so it’s all weakness AND strength.

Many thanks to those who help me share my weakness and strength in this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2902: What are people thinking?

“What are people thinking?” is something I often ask in my Coping and Healing groups.

“What are people thinking?” is also something I am increasingly asking myself as I look at the news these days.

What are people thinking on Twitter recently?

What are people thinking about the photos I took yesterday?

When I search YouTube for “What are people thinking?” many of the videos focus on what rich people are thinking, which, to my way of thinking, explains a lot. Personally, I don’t care what rich people are thinking. I think people think about rich people way too much.

Here is “The Dangers of Thinking Too Much; And Thinking Too Little” (and what were people thinking punctuating that title like that?)

Here is what one person is thinking about that video:

I think that sometimes I may think too much about thinking too much.. I think.

What are people thinking about “Think” by Aretha Franklin?

What are people thinking about gratitude, here and now ?

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2720: Worrying about everything

Three hundred and ninety-two days ago (don’t worry, I’m counting), I wrote a post titled “A Year of No Worry.” Recently, I reminded Michael about our shared pledge to not worry for a year, starting on April 10, 2019.  We laughed and noted how we had gone from worrying about nothing to worrying about everything.

Last night, Michael noticed that I was worrying about everything even harder than usual. So he told me he was making my favorite childhood comfort food, tuna noodle casserole, to help get me through the next few difficult days. (In case you’re worrying about tuna noodle casserole, I shall remind you that Michael is an accomplished chef.) Michael didn’t seem worried when I responded to his news by crying — he knows that kindness can make me cry (as well as cruelty).

Yes, I’m worrying about everything, including these recent photos.








I can NOT go from worrying about everything to not caring about anything in a matter of seconds, but I’m actually not worrying about that.

Hmmmm. I guess I am not worrying about EVERYTHING.

Here’s Why We Worry All the Time and How to Cope, from The School of Life.

Once I heard that video quote Donald Winnicott, I stopped worrying about sharing that here. Here’s the quote:

The catastrophe you fear will happen has in fact already happened.

I’m worrying about how to share quotes from Marcus Aurelius, who governed during a terrible pandemic. Here‘s a good enough solution:

I’m worrying about how many quotes use “man” when they mean “human,” but I know they apply to women too.

I hope you’re not worrying about leaving a comment and I am NOT worrying about expressing my gratitude, here and now.


Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2466: How to feel less anxious

Yesterday morning,  I asked my readers “What are you feeling?”  Later in the day, I learned that everybody in my Coping and Healing group was feeling anxious.

Just in case you’re feeling anxious, here’s the list the group created together about how to feel less anxious.


I got a little anxious, just now, when I momentarily couldn’t read the last entry in the middle column, above.  I feel less anxious remembering that it says “balloons” —  somebody in the group shared their anxiety-reducing technique of imagining fears attached to balloons that float away.

What would you add to that brainstormed list of “How to Feel Less Anxious”?

Might any of my other photos from yesterday help you feel less anxious?









Personally, I feel less anxious when I

  • am  all that I can be,
  • own my leadership qualities,
  • imagine new leaders for our country,
  • find the safety in the moment,
  • recognize that everybody has mood swings,
  • show up,
  • am gentle with myself and others,
  • tell the truth,
  • avoid the cognitive distortion of black-and-white (all-or-nothing) thinking by seeing shades of gray,
  • enjoy Michael’s nourishing food,
  • sit outside,
  • wear cool socks,
  • accept that sometimes I’ll be running late,
  • hang around with nice kitties, and
  • share my anxieties (like,now, in this daily blog).

Here‘s a video titled “How to be Less Anxious.”

As I mentioned in group yesterday, one person’s anxiety reducer might be another person’s anxiety increaser, as you can see in these comments about that video:

Maria ER
3 years ago
This video stressed me out

Ian P
3 years ago
I’m not sure ‘the indifference of nature’ is making me feel less anxious, lol.
Laura Thomas
4 years ago
I feel like this isn’t so much about being less anxious as it is about being more mindful. Still good, though.
Survive the Jive
5 years ago
The sea is so primal, even the mountains are younger. It evokes visceral feelings of man in context to the earth. Strange that meditating on the comparative insignificance of our lives to the span of nature should actually be so life affirming.

Ashley Valentin
2 years ago
Reading the comments made me more anxious than the video…

Experiencing and expressing gratitude make me feel less anxious, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2323: How do you not go mad?

Maira Kalman, in her wonderful book The Principles of Uncertainty, poses many pithy questions, including the question in the title of today’s blog.


How do you not go mad?  I do not go mad by

  • sharing my thoughts and feelings,
  • recognizing that “this too shall pass,”
  • looking for the humanity in others,
  • tolerating uncertainty,
  • sticking to my principles,
  • reaching out for help when I need it,
  • working with people who are considered mad by some and realizing that they are often not mad,
  • creating blog posts and songs,
  • doing what I love,
  • seeking shelter when I need it,
  • avoiding the news,
  • spending time with people I trust and adore,
  • pausing to take a breath,
  • moving forward,
  • not sweating the small stuff,
  • looking at the flowering trees in the spring,
  • following signs and directions as best I can,
  • reading wonderful books,
  • going on long walks,
  • listening to music,
  • calming down,
  • focusing on the funny,
  • letting go of worry,
  • recognizing that some mysteries will not be solved in my lifetime,
  • being in the moment, and
  • taking photos, wherever I am.


































Yesterday was my friend Jenn’s birthday, so I did not go mad by texting her those last three photos.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “how do you not go mad”:

One of my photos …


… inspires me to share my favorite Rolling Stones song:

Finally, I do not go mad by expressing my gratitude to all who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — to YOU!



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1557: Self Love

In my therapy group yesterday, we discussed self love — a topic that I, myself, love.

I loved that my social work intern, Justine, told the group about a Buddhist monk who was perplexed that people in our culture have so much difficulty with self love. The group talked about how it’s so much easier to love others than to love oneself.

I asked the group members to practice self love by writing down their positive qualities. As I expected, all the lovely and lovable members of the group found that difficult. To help the process along, I told everyone to write down the word “beautiful.”

Here’s my list of self love:


Besides loving myself and my work, I love my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Laura Snydman.  I think Dr. Snydman loves her work; I KNOW she loves her incredibly lovable dog.


When I saw Dr. Snydman yesterday, she told me she always checks my blog the day after our appointment.

Hi, Dr. Snydman!

Do you love yourself,  dear readers?  Do you love any of the pictures I took yesterday?


















Do you love this YouTube video about self love?

I love that I end each blog post with gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me create this self-love post and — of course! — to you!img_7828


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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