Posts Tagged With: travel anxiety

Day 592: On her way

I was on my way to my car, after work yesterday, when “On Her Way” by Pat Metheny started playing.

(YouTube video found here)

This squirrel was on her (or his) way somewhere, too.

IMG_7981 IMG_7982 IMG_7983 IMG_7986

If that squirrel were on its way to Edinburgh, Scotland (like my son and I later today) and asking me for directions, I might wonder whether gray squirrels (rather than red or black squirrels) were native there. About 150 days ago (but who’s counting?),  I wrote a post that included squirrels, and learned from my WordPress readers that different places in the world have different colored squirrels. Would a squirrel from Boston, Massachusetts, USA feel at home in the UK?

I’ve been to Edinburgh twice before, and I remember feeling comfortable there. But no way could I speak for any visiting squirrels.

When I was on my way to checking out my blog post about squirrels — to make sure I included all their colors —  I discovered this post (written when I was on my way to returning to work after a long bout with pneumonia), which reminded me to pack this button in my suitcase:

IMG_4472

I don’t need to pack the blue jean jacket shown there, because I’m wearing it on the plane today.

I was on my way to showing you more photos from my walk away from work yesterday, but I got distracted by squirrels, buttons, etc. Here are more of yesterday’s shots:

IMG_7987  IMG_7990 IMG_7993 IMG_7995 IMG_8003 IMG_8007 IMG_8009 IMG_8020 IMG_8028 IMG_8029 IMG_8039

And while I might get caught up with one thing on my way through any (neighbor)hood — like that Hood Milk blimp, yesterday, on its way around Fenway Park — I’ll notice other things, too.

IMG_7996 IMG_8002IMG_8010 IMG_8015 IMG_8018  photocah IMG_8033

I know that, in Edinburgh, they use a different word for at least one of those things, above.

When I’m on my way anywhere, I especially notice people.  For example, when I snapped this yesterday

IMG_8016

some Red Sox fans saw that, and immediately posed.

IMG_8017

Then, the guy on the right gave me a high-five, on my way past him.

Minutes later, I got ANOTHER high-five from this guy, who I usually see at my workplace parking garage (and who appeared in a previous post, here).

IMG_8024 IMG_8025 IMG_8026

I often hear, from others, that people in Boston are not friendly. I don’t find that to be true. Maybe that’s because I’ve lived in Boston my whole life, so I am used to the kind of friendliness here.

Here are a few more things I’ve become used to, on my way:

  • I  may worry about things that could go wrong, especially before I leave on a trip.
  • I may feel some anxiety and even disappointment, when I first arrive at a new location.
  • I get used to new places pretty quickly.
  • I can have fun, even when I haven’t had enough sleep.

I’m on my way to feeling better, right now.

Okay! There are just a few more photos I want to show you this morning, on my way to ending this post.

Actually, at this point, that would be procrastinating.  I’m on my way, to finish packing!

Thanks to Pat Metheny, the good people in Boston, anyone else who contributed to the creation of this post, those who are welcoming everywhere, and to you — of course! — for stopping on your way, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 338: The joy of doing what scares you

Okay, I had NO idea THAT would be the title of today’s blog post.  But there it was, flowing from the tips of my fingers, unexpectedly.

I had lots of other possible titles in mind, as I typed the title of today’s post, but that one just appeared, like magic.

I’ll tell you what I DID know, about today’s blog post. I knew it would relate to what I’m doing today: giving a presentation about my therapy groups to people I don’t know.

Last week, to help myself prepare for today’s presentation,  I wrote this here post, about saying “SHUT UP!” to unhelpful, self-critical thoughts. Unhelpful, self-critical thoughts tend to rush in when I’m doing something new, when I’m taking a risk, when I’m doing something that scares me.  Am I alone in that?  (I know I’m not.)

So why the title of today’s post? Because I’ve definitely known the joy of facing and doing something that scares me, including these experiences:

  • Living away from home, for the first time, when I went away to college.
  • Traveling across the U.S. by bus, and seeing my country for the first time.
  • Leaving my country for the first time, to spend two weeks in Mexico.
  • Teaching a course, in Communications, to a bunch of college freshmen.
  • Giving a lecture, about my love of movies, to a giant room of people.
  • Performing my own stand-up comedy routine, at an Open Mic night.
  • Planning and giving myself a 60th birthday party.

For each of those, joy was there, but so was fear. And part of the preparation, for everything on that list, included negative self-talk — doubts about myself and my capabilities.

When I’ve done presentations before about my therapy groups — and I’ve done several over the past two years — joy, fear, and negative self-talk have all been there, too.

As I’ve said to my boyfriend Michael, I seem to always include an “I SUCK!” step, when preparing for things that scare me.  I’ve said, “I wish I could skip that step! But maybe I can’t.  Maybe I believe that step helps me prepare.”

You know what?  I skipped that step entirely, this week, thanks to my own SHUT UP! blog post.

Part of me still believes the “I SUCK!” step is a necessary part of preparing and giving a good presentation.  But I’m not listening to that, either. The movie-quoted SHUT UPs, from last week’s post, are still ringing in my ears.

Here they are again, just in case anybody needs them today:

But what about the possibility that my old belief is correct: that I HAVE to go through the “I SUCK!” step, in order to do a good job?

TIme will tell, my dear readers, and very soon.

Let’s see if I can find an image, quickly, to end this post, so I can prepare for my presentation.

Here are the two most recent photos on my iPhone:

Image

Image

Those are meals Michael prepared for me and my son, this week, and they included things he had never done before.

I sure hope he skipped the “I SUCK!” step.  Because those meals were DELICIOUS.

Thanks to mewlists.com (again, for the video), to Michael, and to all my readers, who definitely do NOT suck, even when doing something new or scary.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 218: What’s the problem?

I started this blog post, last night, around 1:15 AM:

So I’m going on a great trip, starting at 9:30 PM tonight, with my wonderful 15-year-old son.

Things are going well at work.

I’ve been enjoying writing this blog.

I feel like I’m learning a lot, every day.

I’ve prepared enough for this trip, definitely.

So what’s the problem?

Why am I anxious, fearful, wanting to hide, and irritated? Why am I focusing on worst case scenarios?  Why am I feeling overwhelmed by decisions I need to make about packing and so on, when I know there is no right or wrong decision, and it’s all solvable?

It doesn’t make sense.

Although I usually believe that everything makes sense, on some level.

And, as I’ve heard lots of people say, in similar situations, “I don’t like when I’m feeling this way. I SHOULDN’T be feeling this way.  I should be happy.”

Well, maybe I could try this: just be with the feelings.

Be pissed off and irritated, for no reason.

Be anxious and fretful, for no reason.

Instead of trying to overcome those uncomfortable feelings with positive re-thinking, maybe I could just be irrationally and unreasonably cranky, right now.

Okay, I’ll give myself an assignment: to have all those feelings I feel uncomfortable with right now:

Frustration

Fear

Then, I put my laptop aside, and was able to fall asleep.  (Yay!)

Then, about an hour later, I woke up and text-messaged (!) my bf, who was downstairs:

“Hi Michael!”

I didn’t know if he would see the message, but I guess he did, because he came upstairs and we had an amazing talk about topics including childhood experiences, guilt, depression, and people we knew who had tried to commit suicide (and one who had succeeded). That might sound like an awful conversation to have at that particular time, when my hope was to fall back asleep and feel refreshed and ready for the rest of my trip preparations. But the conversation also included another topic. Love. So it was awe-ful, in a different way.

After the conversation, I cried. Hard.

It all helped.  And I fell back asleep.

Now it’s morning. And there are several things I have to do, including bringing my car into my mechanic for some unexpected, major work.

So what is it that I would like to write this morning, before I end this blog post?

Maybe this:

I am afraid of flying.

Actually, as an old friend pointed out to me a long time ago, regarding my fear of heights:  “Ann, you’re not afraid of heights. You’re afraid of dying.”

He was right.

Every time I’m going to fly, my busy human mind goes lots of places (as human minds do).  And my mind goes to the possibility that the plane will crash. Which affects my mood. Which increases my anxiety.

And which makes me feel like I need to get everything done, now, because what if I’m gone, tomorrow?

While living each day like it could be your last (something I’m pretty good at, with good reason) has an up side, for sure…

Like most things, it has a down side, too.

Before I close, I wanted to introduce you to a stranger I met yesterday.

I was walking around Harvard Square, in Cambridge, getting some foreign currency, playing with my travel anxieties by “rehearsing” various travel-y things, and pretending that I’d never been to Harvard Square before, when I walked by this guy:

IMG_1370

I was distracted by lots of things, so it took me a moment to take that in.  When I did, I stopped, took out a dollar, and came back.  I told this guy, “I used to be in advertising, and that’s the best ad I’ve seen in MONTHS.”  Then, we had a great little conversation, where I ended up telling him that I was nervous about flying. He said, “Oh!  I understand!  But you know what?  Flying is the safest mode of travel.” And he told me that he knew what he was talking about, because he used to work for Delta Airlines.

And as we were having our conversation, several more people stopped, said something appreciative to him, and put money in his cup.

He also told me that he had several other signs he used.  He recited them all, with pride. I asked, “Which one does the best for you?”  And he gave me the answer I expected, “This one.”

Then, before I bid this gentleman adieu, I took his picture, told him I’d like to put him in my blog, and asked him his name.

“Caspar,” he said. “Like the friendly ghost.”

I like thinking that ghosts are friendly.

Thanks to Caspar, friendly creatures everywhere, and — of course! — you, for reading today.  Here’s hoping I’ll be continuing this blog, daily, on my travels with my son.

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

Day 216: Putting worries away.

A few days ago, I blogged about creating a Worry Box.

Today, for the first time, I decided to use it.

I woke up with too many worries this morning.

So many worries, I didn’t even know what I was really worrying about.

I could guess why I’m worrying this morning.

But why wait? Let’s use the Worry Box!

Image

Step 1: Cut up pieces of blank worry paper.

Image

Step 2: Write down a worry.

Image

Step 3: Put the worry in the box.

Repeat Steps 2 – 3, as needed:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Which leads us to the last step:

Image

Step 4: Close the Worry Box.

Yay!

Thanks to all of you worriers/warriors who are reading today. May all your worries be contained, put away, and groundless, as you deserve.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.