Posts Tagged With: vacation

Day 2452: Be prepared to stop

Yesterday, on the first day of my two-week vacation, I was prepared to stop and  to appreciate this sign in Beverly, Massachusetts, USA.

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Be prepared to

  • stop,
  • look,
  • listen,
  • think,
  • feel,
  • connect,
  • change,
  • move on, and
  • encounter lots of photos from the South and the North shores of Boston.

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Be prepared to stop while you’re in the middle of creating a blog post in order to go to the dentist and then take your cat to the vet because, after all, what else should you be doing on your vacation?

Be prepared to stop, take a breath, and share the rest of your photos from yesterday:

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Be prepared to stop and tell me what photos you liked best and why.

Be prepared to stop and enjoy these tunes by the Zombies, stopping and appearing soon at the Cabot in Beverly.

I’m always prepared to stop and express my thanks to those who help me create these daily blog posts and to all those who read them, including you!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 228: Self soothing (decisions, decisions)

As I’ve blogged about previously, I tend to look at the Friday of a vacation before I return to work as … The Last Real Vacation Day.

As I’ve blogged about previously, I have trouble making decisions, some times.

So how to spend this day?

I know this: I want to focus on self-care and self-soothing.

Okay!  So now I know what question to ask.

Which self-care option should I choose, on this fine summer day?

  1. Try out my new meditation chair.Image
  2. Go for a walk, somewhere nearby.Image
  3. Take a bath, with something I brought back with me from Edinburgh:Image
  4. Go back to sleep.

So what’s the correct answer?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 1 and 2
  6. 1 and 3
  7. 1 and 4
  8. 2 and 3
  9. 2 and 4
  10. 3 and 4
  11. 1, 2, and 3
  12. 1, 3 and 4
  13. 2, 3, and 4
  14. All of the above
  15. None of the above
  16. Some of the above and others not listed
  17. There is no right or wrong answer

I just realized something. 17 is my lucky number.

Okay!

Thanks to self-soothers, decision-makers, mathematicians, jet-laggers, and test-takers everywhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 224: Reasons why I shouldn’t spend too much time in our hotel room blogging this morning

Reason #1:  What’s outside the room.

Edinburgh and the Festival Fringe!

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Reason #2:  What’s inside the room.

This might be yet another example of the Cognitive Distortion of mind reading, but I think this creature, which I discovered in our hotel bathroom, is trying to tell me something:

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You may read something else into that expression, but I see this:

Ann!  Go out and enjoy Edinburgh, as soon as you can!

And who am I to argue with a purple duck?

Thanks for reading, everybody.

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

Day 214: (Small) Talk About The Weather

When I was younger, I used to think that talking about the weather was “small talk.” When people talked about the weather, I thought they were avoiding talking about something important. I had some judgment about small talk, assuming that it was the avoidance of a deeper, more authentic communication or connection.

There have been times when I’ve said, “I don’t like small talk.” And   “I’m not good at small talk.”

Lately, I’ve been wondering if there is such a thing as small talk.

The more therapy groups I do and the more I really listen to people with an open mind and heart, the more I hear in every statement.

Right now, on the morning of my last work day before my two-week vacation, as I listen to the rain outside my window, here are some random thoughts about “talking about the weather.”

  • Weather is often a metaphor for how people feel.
  • Weather really affects how people feel.
  • When I studied English Literature in college, I remember learning about “pathetic fallacy”, which is defined here as ” a literary term for the attributing of human emotion and conduct to all aspects within nature. It is a kind of personification that is found in poetic writing when, for example, clouds seem sullen, when leaves dance, when dogs laugh, or when rocks seem indifferent.”
  • The weather is something that a lot of experts have been talking about lately, with different amounts of concern and fear about the future.
  • When I talk to people about their emotions (especially disowned or otherwise negatively judged emotions such as anger or sadness), I use the metaphor of allowing emotions to pass through naturally, “like the weather.”*
  • I have had moments of worry about what the weather will be when I travel to England and Scotland next week, because people have been telling me that area of the world has been “unseasonably warm.”

Here’s what I’m thinking, right now, as I’m readying to wrap up this post, so I can go into work and wrap up some things before leaving on vacation:

It helped me to write this post, as always.

However, I think I might have written about some — if not most — of these things in previous posts.

And I’ll name this: I do have a fear of repeating myself.  I guess I fear that repeating myself will make what I am saying seem … what?   Less believable? Less important?

Sort of like small talk.

Which, as I hope I’ve demonstrated for your reading pleasure and satisfaction today, does not exist.

And even if “less important” communications do exist,  just wait.  They will pass through —  just like the weather — soon to be replaced by the next big thing.

Let’s see if I can find a photo I’ve taken this year, to illustrate this post …

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That’s a photo I took, a few months ago, when I did my last (small) bit of traveling. (Knowing me, I probably had some moments of worry about the weather for that trip, too.)

Okay!  Thanks for reading everything small, or big, I wrote today.

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*  Thanks to my friend Carol and her friend Eric for talkin’ ’bout this metaphor.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 213: Transitions, Part 2

I am about to go out on a two-week vacation from work.

This is the first time, in perhaps decades, where I have taken that much time away from a current job. (I’ve taken two weeks between jobs, but that’s different.)

I have two more days to get things at work in “good enough” shape before I leave for two whole weeks.

My urge, when I woke up this morning, was to write about transitions.

Based on what I’ve been learning about myself this year (and, also, because of my good -enough memory), I was pretty sure that I had written about the topic of transitions before I went out on my most recent, one-week vacation three months ago (in May).

I checked The Blog Archives here and, sure enough, I wrote a post called, “Transitions,” the day before I left for vacation.

Coincidence?  I think not.

Maybe, this time around, I’m writing about the same topic a day earlier because (1) my vacation, this time, will be twice as long, (2) I’m wiser about how important transitions are, and/or (3) I’m wiser about how naming any source of anxiety can help relieve it, so why wait another day?

And, by the way, it helped me, today, to read that previous post about transitions, especially these resolutions, at the end:

  1. I will do the best I can today,

  2. I will not be perfect in doing all the things I am supposed to do to prepare for this transition, and

  3. I will be doing well for myself  (and for other people), if I can remember # 1 and #2.

So what else do I want to say, right now, that would be helpful for (1) me, definitely and (2) readers, perhaps?

These things:

  1. Transitions — and change, in general — can cause anxiety.
  2. Anxiety isn’t always a problem.  There is such a thing as “healthy anxiety,” which reflects excitement and hope.
  3. We can learn to let go of unhelpful thoughts (including cognitive distortions) which can increase anxiety, in painful way.
  4. The main unhelpful thought I would like to let go of today is: “I HAVE to take care of (fill in task) before I leave on vacation, or else people will feel (disappointed, disconnected, or otherwise dissed). (This seems to be an automatic combo-plate-of-mind-reading-and-fortune-telling thought of mine.)
  5. There is no fifth thing. Four things are enough, for now.

As is my wont whilst creating these blog posts, I would like to include an audio/visual aid (for the benefit of me, definitely, and my audience, perhaps).

Today’s presentation is ….two communities of creatures (observed last night, at a local pet store):

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And while those chinchillas and finches are stuck, for now, in less than ideal — and perhaps painful — ways of being, I’ve got to hope that (1) better days are ahead for them and (2) they appreciate having each other.

Thanks to creatures who are doing their best, everywhere (and you, for reading).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 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 132: What I learned on my spring vacation.

This post is dedicated to my late mother and to my son.

What I learned on my spring vacation:

1.  Take the time you need.

2.  Trust in your natural impulses to heal, learn, and grow.

3.  Pay attention to everything.

4.  Choose next steps that will benefit you (and those you love).

5.  Everybody makes mistakes, including your iPhone.

6.  You get lots of chances to do it better the next time.

7.  Everything is changing and growing (even if you can’t see it).

This reminds me of another Emo Philips joke:

I was walking down the street and I thought, ‘My gosh, that’s Jimmy Peterson. I haven’t seen him since 3rd grade!’

So I go up to him, slap  him on the back and say, “How are you doing, you old moron? You drunken reprobate!” And I knock him down, and he starts crying, “Mommy!  Mommy!”

And I realized:  Wait a second. If that’s Jimmy Peterson … he would have grown up too.

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8.  You promote whatever you perceive — and acknowledge — in others.

9.  Trust the wisdom of those who love you.

10.  Embrace all your feelings — they will give you “juice.”

And last, but not least:

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11.  If you’re going to assume  ….

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…  assume the best.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 128: I get by with a little help from my friends

This is going to be a short-ish post, today, people.

Because it’s my vacation this week, I’m realizing what my priorities are:

  1. My own basic needs (because if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t be there for anybody else).
  2. My family.
  3. Everybody else I love.
  4. My work in this world (which lately, in my mind, seems to include my paid work and this blog).
  5. Everybody else.
  6. Every thing else.

I haven’t quite figured this list out — including how to stay true to the above priorities (or even who and what fits into what number on the list).

It’s very confusing. But I’m working on it!

Of course, I’ve meandered away from my title — but my title always brings me back to what I wanted to say.

I want to thank people — who are important to me — whom I’ve seen so far, during my vacation week.

In order of appearance, that would be:

  1. Ellie (Saturday morning) — whom I met when I was in my late 40’s.
  2. Joyce (Sunday morning) —  whom I met soon after I was born.
  3. Debbie, now called Deb or Deborah (Sunday for lunch) — whom I met before I was 10.
  4. Linda (Monday evening) — whom I met when I was in my 40’s.
  5. Laura (Tuesday for breakfast) — whom I met before I was 10.
  6. Tony (Tuesday for lunch, at The Dairy Joy) — whom I met when I was in my 20’s.
  7. Mia (Tuesday afternoon, for a walk through Mount Auburn Cemetery) — whom I met very recently.photo (51)
  8. Kathy  — (Tuesday evening, for a baseball game) — whom I met when I was in my 30’s.
  9. Eleanor, also called Ginger or Ella, because that’s a more effective name to use when you’re waiting for your food at a noisy, popular restaurant (Wednesday for breakfast, at Sofra) — whom I met when I was in my 20’s.

This is what I want to say about all these people (and the people whom I hope to see or otherwise connect with during this vacation) (and if not during this vacation, soon afterwards, whenever I get the friggin’ time):

I learn from each of these people, every time I connect with them.

For example, this is something I learned this from Eleanor this morning (in addition to lots of other things):

If your name is easy to miss or otherwise difficult to hear when you’re in a noisy place (like a restaurant) and you’re waiting for something you need (like food), try using a different name just for that purpose.

Possible candidates for a name I might use, in this situation:

  1. Ace.  Pros: I like the sound of that. Possible cons: Too short, and I might feel self-conscious. 
  2. Anna. Pros:  It’s close enough to Ann  that I might still remember to respond to it when I’m distracted. And  it’s two-syllables, so easier to hear.  Cons: Not strong enough to be heard and …. boring!

Hey, look at the time!  That concludes today’s post, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks to everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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