Posts Tagged With: travel

Day 1696: The key to happiness

One of my keys to happiness is learning about the experience of others. So I am happy to ask you, here and now, about your keys to happiness.

Another key to happiness, for me, is sharing my thoughts and photos in this daily blog.

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That’s the key to our hotel in Edinburgh, lying on a table at Petit Paris, a French restaurant we always visit here. Travel and great food are other keys to happiness, I think.

Do you see more keys to happiness in my other photos from yesterday?

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It’s not imaginary that another key to happiness is associating with good humans, like my ex-sister-in-law’s husband Joe …

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… and comedian Ron Lynch (who was playing in several unrecognizable keys on stage yesterday).

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Here’s another Key to Happiness in recognizable keys, on YouTube.

Thanks to all who gave me every key to happiness I needed to create today’s post and to my readers (including you!)  who are more keys to my happiness.

 

 

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

Day 223: Reasons why I should move to London, Part 3

Today is our last day in London, as we get on a train to Edinburgh.

I had a great time here, with my 15-year-old son. I (re-)learned lots of things.  We met many amazing people.  And we saw some incredible theater.

We’re both sad to leave London, but I’m sure that Edinburgh will be fabulous, also.

In order to deal with sadness of saying goodbye, here are more reasons why it’s so difficult to leave Olde London Towne:

Reason #4: I have olde and new friends here.

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This is Alexa, whom I first met when we were kids, at Children’s Hospital in Boston, helping each other deal with some difficult medical challenges. It was wonderful to spend time with her and her son Alex, as they took us to a terrific sushi restaurant and to Camden (pictured above).

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This is Sen, our amazing concierge at our hotel in London. He helped us feel welcome and safe from our very first day (and every time we’ve encountered him since then), with his can-do attitude, listening skills, kindness,  ingenuity, knowledge (of details and important issues),  humor, and appreciation for how a good game of 20 Questions and Charades can cheer up some weary travelers.

Reason # 5:  You can barter for goods here.

This was particularly applicable in Camden, where there were so many goods, everywhere:

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And so many interesting people with whom to barter.

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This is Ali, who was born in Afghanistan.  He had some perfect sunglasses to sell us.  After he quoted us a price  he said was “firm” (after giving my son and me some excellent monetary and psychological reasons for why this was a fair price for these sunglasses), he responded very positively to our requests to have the fun and pride of bartering him down.

Reason # 6: All the beautiful and historic things to see here.

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Okay, there’s a lot more I could show and tell, but it’s time to get ready for the transition to Edinburgh.  Thanks to London for all its riches and gifts, and thanks for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 220: Reasons why I should move to London, Part 1

Reason #1. This place expands my vocabulary.

For example, while my brain may have felt mushy because of jet lag on our first day here in London, a great fish and chips restaurant — recommended by our hotel’s concierge — informed me about a new use of the word “mushy”:

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Mushy peas:

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Reason #2. There are many opportunities for puns and wordplay.

For example, London gives a 60-year-old mother and her 15-year-old son the opportunity to make excellent puns using the word “eye,” as they walk around, with jet lag, on a beautiful first day in a gorgeous city:

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Stay tuned for more reasons why I should move to London, in the days ahead.

Thanks to London Eye; to London Fish & Chips Company; to other things with the word “London” in their names (but not the word “the”); to our excellent concierge, Sen; to my son for his pun-ny and otherwise excellent mind; to those of you who can think of puns with the word “eye” in them right now and those who can’t; and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Day 219: Jet lag

I’ve written posts before, this year, when my brain felt mushed, but there’s something about emerging from a bout of international air-hopping  that’s making my mind feel like a panini right now.

With the squished quality of my mental capacity, I am hard-pressed to report our trip, so far, with either panache or details.

Let this post just be a beginning:  a commitment to connect and report with more, in the days to come.

For now, I’m glad to report that my son and I landed in London, safe and sound.

Thanks to the Wright brothers and all others who have made jet lag possible, to my erudite traveling companion, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 210: A Worry Box

A few weeks ago, a woman in one of my therapy groups talked about a “Worry Box.”

Let’s see if Google has a definition for “Worry Box.” (I doubt it. I think I’m going to have to work a little harder writing this blog, this morning.)

Boy, even that little bit of fortune-telling I did there, in the parentheses …. was wrong. What was I thinking?

When I googled “Worry Box,” this app came up:

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which is, apparently, on a list of “The 10 Best iPhone and Android Apps for Reducing Anxiety,” published on 9/9/12 by HealthLine.

But I still need to define the concept of “Worry Box”.

Wait! Here’s an excerpt from “Two Techniques for Reducing Stress,” from Harvard Health Publications/Harvard Medical School, published on 4/9/11:

Make a worry box

Find any box, decorate it however you like, and keep it in a handy place. (I found that this was a great activity to do with my young children, since they loved helping to decorate the box.) Jot down each worry as it crops up on a piece of paper and drop it into the box.

Once your worry is deposited in the box, try to turn your attention to other matters. The worry box essentially allows you to mentally let go of your worries.

Later on, you can throw out the notes without looking at them again. I decided to look through mine at the end of the month, and while a few of those worries were still bearing down on me, most were unfounded. It was a good lesson that worrying is often fruitless, as a favorite quote of mine from Leo Buscaglia underscores:

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

I am very happy about finding that, this morning, for at least two reasons: (1) I don’t have to write a definition of “Worry Box” and (2) the second technique cited in that on-line article is another one I love to use with people, called “Scheduling Worry.” (I really recommend checking that out, here.)

I wanted to write about Worry Boxes, this morning, because I’m having some worries about my trip to England and Scotland with my son, which is ….. about one week away.

Eeeek!

My worry is right on schedule, based on my Past History of Worrying.

I tend to worry in cycles. These cycles go something like this:

  1. Something New (or otherwise scary/exciting) is approaching and is, suddenly, sooner than I expect.
  2. I worry that I am not prepared enough.
  3. I visualize and otherwise think about things that can go wrong.
  4. I forget about all the times I have mastered similar things in the past.
  5. I recognize and name my anxiety.
  6. I (and sometimes other people) do some work to help me let go of anxiety and worry.
  7. I feel secure enough and start looking forward to What Was Causing The Anxiety Before.
  8. Time goes by.
  9. Go back to Step #1, above.

Yep! It’s a cycle, all right.

So I figured I would do something new, today, as part of Step #6, above.

(I did Step #5, earlier today, by (1) sending a confession about my anxiety to Alexa, whom I met in the hospital when we were both kids, who now lives in London, and who has generously offered to take me and my son around town and then (2) starting this blog post.)

So for Step 6, today, I have designated a Worry Box:

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Front row: Worry Box, previously known as Precious Gift from Precious Friend.

Back row (left to right): A Monitor Screen Cleaner (partially pictured) (purchased at the same great store where I got the “Trust” cup, pictured here); Emergency Messages Box (described here).

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One more photo of the newly-dubbed Worry Box, before I leave for work this morning:

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The left portion of that photo shows all that was in the newly-dubbed Worry Box, when I opened it up this morning, for the first time, in a long time. On the right: another cat that helps out with computers.

Gotta run! Thanks to Alexa, Harvard Medical School, Leo Buscaglia, anti-anxiety apps everywhere, and — of course — to you for reading today. (And feel free to put your worries in a box, or otherwise away.)

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 138: I’m visiting my sister and her spouse this weekend

This post is dedicated to my old friend, Peter, who helped me let go of anxiety while packing for a trip.

I’m getting ready to go to beautiful Provincetown, MA for the weekend.

I’ve been looking forward to spending some quality time with my sister and her spouse.

I wanted to write a short blog post this morning, because I’m eager to get on the road!

So I’m going to finish getting ready, and have trust that, before I leave, I’ll know how to finish this post.

See you in  little while …….

Wait!  It would actually help me to play some music while I’m getting ready.

Let’s see what tune comes up in a game of Spotify Shuffle-Play Roulette:

Here it is!

MUSICAL INTERLUDE:

I’m baaaaaaack!!!

I’ve made several decisions about how to start out on this journey.

I’ve been gentle with myself at each decision point, and having faith in my ability to choose wisely. (Also, letting go of the idea that there is One Right Way to Decide.)

Sooooo …. while usually I feel some anxiety and second-guess myself while preparing for a trip,  (that’s probably why I procrastinate packing) …..  right now, I am at peace, in the moment, and looking forward to spending the weekend with my sister and her spouse, in a beautiful location.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 40: I’ve been waking up around 3:30 AM throughout this vacation

This is today’s topic, which will be short (I hope!)  because (1) I’m starting  this post (about waking up around 3:30 AM) at around 4 AM  and (2) I’m selfish.

And what I mean by “selfish” is this. Each and every time I write a post in the blog, I try to focus on my own needs. That is, I try to write something that’s going to help me in my quest to learn and grow throughout this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally. Whenever I write one of these daily blog posts, I try to remember to ask myself this question: “What would help me to write about, right now?”

Oh, no!  I want to write a short blog post, but I’ve broached two possibly helpful topics, already: (1) How it helps to balance your needs with other people’s needs and (2) how to deal with waking up in the middle of the night.

How can I remain true to the intent of this blog post AND still keep it short?

How about this? I’ll just write down some random thoughts, and assume that will be “good enough” for this dead-of-night blog post.

Random Thoughts

I think I’m waking up around 3:30 AM throughout this vacation because I’m sleeping in strange beds.

When I wake up in the middle of the night, I know that I will stay awake longer if I start thinking about Things That Feel Unfinished.  Or worries about the future.

And I did have some worries when I woke up this morning around 3:30 AM.

Some Things I’m Worried About

I’m worried that the storm is going to delay my return until Monday afternoon, and make me a day late coming back to work.

I’m worried about rescheduling all the people who were planning on seeing me on my first day back.

My schedule can get REALLY packed, these days.  That also worries me.

I’m worried that, instead of the ‘”easy” transition I had planned for my return on a Friday, I will be stressed out by needing to come back to work the very next day.

And this will probably add to my stress: I’ll be having a more arduous return flight than originally scheduled, since I’m going to have a more-than-two-hour overlay in Atlanta that day.

But you know what?  As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I’m doing the cognitive distortion of Fortune Telling. (And none of us can predict the future, no matter how intuitive we think we are.)   And I’m getting away from what I encourage other people to do, because I know these things can help.

Some things I encourage others (and myself) to do.

Be in the moment, as much as you can, because that helps.

Let go of fears and worries about the future, because those don’t help.

Okay.

It helped me to write this blog post.

So, mission accomplished.

I am now going to turn off this computer and try to get back to sleep.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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