Posts Tagged With: the South Shore of Boston

Day 2782: First guess, best guess

What’s your first guess about why today’s post is titled “First guess, best guess”? Let’s find out if it’s the best guess.

Since the first day I met my best friend/husband Michael, he’s been saying, “First guess, best guess.”

One of my other best friends wrote to me the other day, when I felt insecure about how I had run a board meeting:  “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful.”

Is it your first guess, best guess that both those pieces of advice — “First guess, best guess” and “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful” — mean the same thing?

I love guessing and I don’t stop with my first guess. If I DID stop with my first guess, our ailing and adorable cat Oscar would not be alive today.  Also, Michael’s first guess was that the Social Security office had his correct birthday on file and they did NOT.  My next guess about filing our taxes is that we’ll have to do that by mail, which is not exactly a catastrophe (although my first guess — when the IRS rejected our e-filing this weekend because Michael’s birthday on the form did not match Social Security’s record — was that it WAS a catastrophe).

Catastrophizing is a common cognitive distortion (which we talk about in my Coping and Healing groups) where our first guess is that a catastrophe is imminent, even though it isn’t.

Since catastrophizing is a first guess, not best guess, I’m now guessing that “first guess, best guess” is not always best.

However, my first guess about Michael, when I first met him on okCupid, was that he was a wonderful person I wanted in my life.  I’ve had similar first guess, best guesses about other people, including the other best friend I quoted above.

My best guess about guesses, here and now, is that it’s best to trust our intuition AND also be open to new evidence that comes along.

What’s your first guess, best guess about what’s next in this blog post?

If you guessed photos, your first guess was the best!

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In today’s Daily Bitch Calendar, auto-correct’s first guess was not the best guess.

This is the first song I heard by The Guess Who, which I think is their best:

My first guess was that the title of that song was “She’s Come Undone” but my best guess is that it is “Undun.”

My first guess, best guess is that there will be great comments about today’s post.

First guess, best guess, constant guess is to express gratitude every day.

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

Day 2779: Staggering

Our 18-year-old cat, Oscar, who has cancer, has been staggering, sometimes, when he walks. Otherwise, his appetite is good and he does not seem to be in pain. He continues to be a staggeringly sweet kitty who wants to be close to his family.

It is staggering to me ….

  • What world leaders will do to hold onto power,
  • The increase of coronavirus cases in the United States,
  • That the U.S. President discourages testing and social distancing despite the recommendations of his own staff,
  • How people can ignore facts and science because of fear, anger, and denial,
  • How pernicious white male rage can be,
  • How some people are valued over others,
  • How kind, perceptive, and thoughtful my 22-year old son is,
  • That my son Aaron thinks that people should have the option of euthanasia and animals should be allowed to die naturally,
  • How long the line and wait was yesterday for Aaron to be tested for COVID-19,
  • How quickly we got the good test results,
  • How beautiful the South Shore of Boston is,
  • How everything my husband Michael cooks is so delicious, and
  • How great it is when the whole family is in the house.

Do you see anything staggering in my photos from yesterday ?

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It is staggering to me that somebody posted a negative comment at the end of this article in the Deseret News starring yours truly.

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/indepth/2020/5/31/21264377/coronavirus-anthony-fauci-socks-quarantine-pandemic-covid-19-tees-tshirts-masks-etsy

It is staggering to me that

  • Jennifer Graham, the awesome writer of that article, found me through this blog and
  • the article links to this performance of my original song “Left the House Before I Felt Ready”!

My viewer numbers on YouTube are still less than staggering even after the publication of that story. However, I will keep staggering along in my pursuit of fame and fortune.

In the meantime, I am staggeringly grateful to all who follow me here, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2778: Troubling Questions

What troubling questions are on your mind, here and now?

My troubling questions include:

  • What do I do about the realities of white supremacy?
  • How do I deal with the realities of the coronavirus?
  • Why is wearing a mask a political issue?
  • What does the American flag even mean these days?
  • How will we know when (and if) to euthanize our cat Oscar, who has cancer?
  • Why am I so worried about making mistakes?
  • Should I go back to being a vegetarian?
  • Why is it so difficult to wait?
  • Why is it so difficult for the human mind to stay in the present moment?
  • Why are people so concerned about their image and how they appear to others?
  • Why is it that when life is more difficult,  people often feel worse about themselves?
  • Why are trauma and abuse so often multi-generational?
  • What do you do when you suspect a friend or colleague is having a mental breakdown?
  • Does power corrupt and does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
  • What is going to happen to nature as the world keeps warming?
  • What kind of world is my 22-year-old son going to live in?
  • Should we try to protect those we love from pain?

Do you see any troubling questions in these recent photos? (And is that a troubling question?)

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If you have any troubling questions about why I have slinkies in my office, see this very early blog post.

Jennifer Eberhardt answers troubling questions about racial bias in this excellent TED talk:

Unquestionably, that is a very important video.

Circling  back to the image that inspired today’s title …

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here is the live studio version of “Cloisonné” from Album Raises New and Troubling Questions by They Might Be Giants:

 

Feel free to raise new and troubling questions or answer any question in a comment, below.

Thanks to all who took the trouble to read this “Troubling Questions” post today, including YOU.

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

Day 2777: Such a sweet ____

Oscar is such a sweet cat …

… that during his last days on earth, all he wants to do is be close to his family.

My husband Michael is such a sweet guy that he is closely watching Oscar and also making delicious meals.

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Living near the ocean is such a sweet respite from worry, fear, and sadness.

 

As discussed in my Coping and Healing group yesterday, throwing a pillow on the floor  …

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…  is such a sweet way to let out anger .

Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar has such a sweet description of feeling like a complete train wreck.

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Here‘s such a sweet rendition by Wynton Marsalis & The Young Stars of Jazz of Duke Ellington‘s “Such Sweet Thunder” (which is such a sweet suite based on the works of William Shakespeare).

That is such a sweet tap dance and such sweet playing!

Asking for feedback is such a sweet way to let people know you care about their thoughts and feelings.

Gratitude is such a sweet way to end any encounter, including a blog post like this one!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2776: No longer

I am no longer President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, so I am no longer worrying about acting Presidential (although “acting Presidential” no longer has the same meaning it used to).

Carl Reiner is no longer on this earth.

This sentence, at the end of the Wikepedia entry about Carl Reiner, is no longer than 20 words:

Reiner died at his home on June 29, 2020, aged 98, in the company of his family.

This episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which Carl Reiner wrote, produced, and created, is no longer than 25 minutes:

This 2000-Year-Old Man Routine, co-created by the no-longer-with-us Carl Reiner and the-still-with-us-as-of-this-writing Mel Brooks, is no longer than four minutes:

I am no longer able to say that I never saw that before. It’s been no longer than 55 years that I’ve known Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks as comic geniuses.

Mel Brooks, who describes himself on Twitter as “Writer, Director, Actor, Producer and Failed Dairy Farmer” and who no longer can have dinner every night  with his old friend and co-writer Carl Reiner, posted this no-longer-than-280-character tribute yesterday:

Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment. He created comedy gems like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Jerk, and Where’s Poppa? I met him in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, and we’ve been best friends ever since. I loved him. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So whether he wrote or performed or was just your best friend — nobody could do it better.  He’ll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner’s case it’s absolutely true. He will be greatly missed.

It took me no longer than a few seconds to find this great photo of Carl Reiner, Annie Reiner, and Mel Brooks that was taken no longer than two days away from Mel Brooks’s 94th birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day:

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I hope it is no longer debatable in this country that black lives matter.

I am no longer worried about other people’s incorrect assumptions or my inadvertent miscommunications, like Mel Brooks’s birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day being the same day (which they aren’t — they are one day apart).

This post is no longer focusing on words as I share my images from yesterday:

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I am no longer expecting comments but I will welcome any you choose to make.

It takes no longer than one word to express heart-felt gratitude.

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Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2773: Your participation is requested

Your participation is requested, as stated here:

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Your participation is requested in this blog post, as I share these photos from yesterday.

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How do you tend to participate?  Do you participate more when your participation is requested?

Your participation is requested in answering this question:

When I was participating in the flow of love yesterday by taking one of the photos above, somebody came out of  their house and asked, “Can I help you?”  When I said, “I’m taking a picture of this because I thought it was funny,” she nodded, went back in her house while saying, ‘We are big skiers.”  Which photo was it?

 

When I search YouTube for “your participation is requested” I find this:

Your participation is requested in appreciation and gratitude!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2772: The light

As I’ve said to several people lately, “I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it’s not a train coming in the opposite direction.”

Can you see the light in my photos from yesterday?

Here‘s “I Saw the Light” by Todd Rundgren:

I look forward to seeing the light in the comments section, below.

There’s always the light of gratitude at the end of these posts (and I don’t think it’s a train coming in the other direction!).

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2769: Big hikes

Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar relates to big hikes:

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I am hearing from many people, through my Coping and Healing groups, that food choices and walks are very important these days.

Here are some photos from yesterday’s big hike:

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Thanks to Michael for that big meal (with monkfish, vegetables, and noodles) after my big hike.

It was hot here yesterday, so here‘s “Heat of the Day” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays:

 

No matter where I’m hiking, I’m always feeling big gratitude:

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

Day 2768: Smiles

I wonder how many smiles appear when the latest post of The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally shows up (even when it’s late, like today)?

In a Coping and Healing telehealth group today, the mindfulness exercise was focusing on smiles. We talked about how even a fake smile can get endorphins going and improve somebody’s mood.

Smiles are particularly difficult to come by these days because of

  • tension,
  • stress,
  • worry,
  • fear,
  • uncertainty,
  • discomfort,
  • loss, and
  • masks.

How many smiles can you find in these recent photos?

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You may need to click on some of those smaller photos to look for smiles, but smiles are always worth looking for.

Here‘s a song about smiles:

I’ll smile if you leave a comment and I hope gratitude makes you smile.

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2765: Stoned

You might think, from looking at this photo,

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that somebody was stoned when Michael and I gathered with my son Aaron and my ex-in-laws for my first social gathering since March. I don’t think so, but who knows? And even though it might not look like it, I kept a stone’s throw distance from my son Aaron and my ex-in-laws, too.

You might think that I chose the title for today’s post because I took these photos of stones yesterday:

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You might think I was stoned when I took some of these photos, but I was not.

 

Who needs to get stoned when I  can look at scenes like these?

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Do Harley or Oscar look stoned?

I wonder if Oscar will feel stoned when I bring him out for a walk in his new stroller.

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Here‘s Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and many others performing “Everybody Must Get Stoned” at Farm Aid in 1986:

Please don’t throw any stones when you comment on this “Stoned” post, below.

Finally, stoned gratitude from me to you!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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