Tag Archives: united states

The sound of roars

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First, the lyrics:

[Verse 1]
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

[Pre-Chorus]
You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

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Roar by Katy Perry

[Chorus]
I got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

[Chorus]

Source:http://www.directlyrics.com
Posted October 6, 2013

And then the song:

What did you think? I`d love feedback on what YOU discovered, as I might learn something from my readers as well.

More information:

The Daily Post

I have written some posts on dissociation, and even if people might feel this song has nothing to do with it, it still highlights one fact about dissociation: Dissociation means […]
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First podcast on kindness to a stranger

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I am still learning new things about the internet and its possibilities.. I`m talking english, so forgive me if the grammar could be better, and the nervousness, but I think the point is made, and that you`ll get an idea of what the podcast is about. I`ve finally sat down to look at podcasts, and have hopefully learnt enough to upload and publish my first one

Follow this link for the podcast

If you`d like to be interviewed about kindness, contact me at forfreepsychology@gmail.com with a request. After a while, I will try to pay the people I interview, but for now, the rewards will be psychological in nature. If you like the idea, remember you can donate to the cause (the money will never be used by me personally).

Depression and learning disabilities: Will you ever read anything like it?

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Andrew Solomon

“Stories are the foundation of identity. We forge meaning and build identity.”

Andrew Solomon

I am moving my eyes back and forth as I chase the words of enlightenment in Solomon`s book. Sometimes I glance up, look out the window and stare at moving cars or people. I let my feelings, awakened from a line beautifully crafted, circulate inside. I let the meaning of it touch me, and let the aftershock of new insights and hope explode. I want to inspire. I want to live.

The power of books, and the people writing them, can never be unappreciated. Instead of learning every lesson ourselves, we can let other words touch us by reading and listening to other`s experiences. The last week, I have either let my eyes rest on «The Noonday demon» or listened to “Far From the Tree “. Andrew`s two books feed you with experiences and knowledge from the first to the last page. The first digs deep into Andrew`s personal depressive demons, the other explores learning disabilities and challenging diagnoses like autism, schizophrenia and down`s syndrome.portable

Both books have a plethora of examples fitting the themes like a glove. They both blow life into theory, by letting us feel the people`s pain so we can also feel it. As psychological theories shows, you learn more when emotional. Another thing I like, is that my eyes never bumped into walls of bad writing, you simply float from page to page, only irritated by lack of time to devour everything at the same time (I have wished many times that I`d taken more time to learn to read faster, like I tried for a while).  

In addition to relevant stories from people with different types of problems, he writes about the newest research and even test many of the methods himself. He is not afraid of testing even alternative approaches that hasn`t been researched much. This is done in a balanced way since he manages natural skepticism blended with openness for new experiences at the same time (he liked EMDR).

I`m not sure how much time he`s used on the books, but I do know he`s been travelling all around the world (Bali, Africa, Europe and of course many states in USA) and investigated both medical and theoretical theories by reading and talking with professionals with diverse thoughts. He even tried to talk with America politicians (who sadly had their hand tied). It is clear he has taken the time necessary to write the book, even if he had to stop writing when Mr. depression knocked on the door.

Product Details

Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Solomon, Andrew (Feb 7, 2013)

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Another positive feature of the book, is the compassion towards people with a variety of conditions most of us would automatically turn our backs too. He is honest while describing his thoughts and experiences, and doesn`t try to walk on the water with the work he`s done. He has a down to earth attitude, also when it comes to the description of own shortcomings. He writes he can feel self-absorbed at times, and tries to look own motives in the eye if they walk next to him. Acceptance is mixed with curiosity, and the end-product is two of the best books I`ve read this year. He talks about the magnificent courage of the interviewees, but seldom points to his own. If he mentions it, he talks about how he should have written more.

I must not forget to mention how much knowledge he has managed to fit in between the stories of people who fight every day. He is capable of doing this in a very readable way. The emotions awakened after stories, make it easier to remember the facts.

He presents a cocktail of different treatment options, and is not judgmental if others chooses something different than himself. Once in the book he states that people can use the strategy they want, as long as it helps. This shows more than anything, that he writes (among other reasons) to help others who suffer.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity  Sounds like a really interesting read, heard him interviewed on the CBC.

What touches me the most is his own insight about why he writes; Because it gives hope. He chose the stories of people who impressed him, which doesn`t mean that you won`t see the dark sides of depression or learning disabilities, because you will. It just means that he again uses his ability to balance different views with grace and style. In my opinion, if others find it too positive, this is one of the books qualities. We learn better if we realize that we can do something about it. That`s why they have anti-smoking advice on the cigarette packages. You can`t jump into the water if you don`t know how to swim. I could have written much more, but I`d rather just recommend it, and hope that people with interest in psychology and especially in depression or learning disabilities, will run to the next shop (or amazon internet store) and start their own trip to wonderland. 

Kindness to a stranger

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How do you approach a conflict? We all know how hard it can be to keep our heads cold in a situation where the best approach would be to not retaliate when slighted. Our emotions often run wild, and in these situations we often attack rather than draw back. We see this tendency everywhere, even in politics

This doesn`t mean that we always act in destructive ways: Sometimes kindness replaces hate and fear.
I am a clinical psychologist with an idea I will work the rest of my life for
I have , through a life with both good and bad, learnt to dream, and have started my own utopia: Kindness to a stranger. The idea is simple: I`ll ask if people will be willing to do just one kind act towards a stranger every week, and interview all kinds of people.


My hero Ellert Nijenhuis has already agreed to the interview next week.


true world


Want to help yourself? Feel free to share this post, and if you really want to do something that might help, feel free to do a one-minute interview on your computer where you say what you think about kindness. You can include stories of kind acts, or even talk about the drawbacks with an idea like this. There will be a competition too, with 500 euros in the pot for those joining the kindness group and following the event

Why be kind

Let`s change the world: Background

My plan is to interview people about kindness. I have already contacted people willing to be interviewed, and some have already been interviewed. For people who`d like to say something about kindness, they are welcome to send their contributions to forfreepsychology@gmail.com. 


Random Acts of Kindness

Vicky L.

Random Acts of Kindness / by Vicky L.

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The plan is to contact media and to write a book about it all, the following months. 

 
 

The book will include kindness stories, and focus on psychological knowledge related to why kindness works. I have already contacted some famous people enthusiastic about the idea, and will continue to do so whenever I get the change. According to Steven Pinker, this is the time to act. We need to change our habits, and we can all do it by finding a slot in our calendar (five minutes is enough) that we dedicate to kindness.Maybe your kind act will inspire others?

– Trauma and DissociationWordPress.com

Milton H Erickson

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On the bus yesterday, I listened to an audiobook about a man I found very interesting. I would love to reproduce everything I heard, but this will be some facts that I found especially interesting

I had the nickname in grade school and high school, “Dictionary,” because I spent so much time reading the dictionary. One noon, just after the noon dismissal bell rang, I was in my usual chair reading the dictionary in the back of the room. Suddenly a blinding, dazzling flash of light occurred because I just learned how to use the dictionary. Up to that moment in looking up a word, I started at the first page and went through every column, page after page until I reached the word. In that blinding flash of light I realized that you use the alphabet as an ordered system for looking up a word…I don’t know why it took me so long. Did my unconscious purposely withhold that knowledge because of the immense amount of education I got from reading the dictionary?

Milton H. Erickson – Wikipedia

His story is impressive, and even more so when one considers his background: He was color blind, deaf and dyslexic. He learned hypnosis, and worked as a psychiatrist first. He married, got 5 children with his wife (he had three from previous relationships). He founded the American Society of Hypnosis. He died in 1980, and his ashes were strewn over a mountain top that many of his clients reached.

I had polio, and I was totally paralyzed, and the inflammation was so great that I had a sensory paralysis too. I could move my eyes and my hearing was undisturbed. I got very lonesome lying in bed, unable to move anything except my eyeballs. I was quarantined on the farm with seven sisters, one brother, two parents, and a practical nurse. And how could I entertain myself? I started watching people and my environment. I soon learned that my sisters could say “no” when they meant “yes.” And they could say “yes” and mean “no” at the same time. They could offer another sister an apple and hold it back. And I began studying nonverbal language and body language.
I had a baby sister who had begun to learn to creep. I would have to learn to stand up and walk. And you can imagine the intensity with which I watched as my baby sister grew from creeping to learning how to stand up.
– My Voice Will Go With You

He was recognized for his hypnotherapy, were he integrated his extensive knowledge collected from experience and intelligence. An example of his insights: “One day a horse wandered into his home place. He let the horse take him where he wanted, and he stopped where he came from. When the farmer asked how he knew where the horse came from, he said: I didn`t, the horse did”. By relying on the force of the unconscious, he could help both people and animals

Milton Erickson was an interesting therapist and scientist: With creativity he tailored therapy to each client so that it fitted perfectly. He was the perfect ”mirror” for others, so much that he actually could “talk” exactly like the client in front of him. He strongly believed in the unconscious, and in letting people find their own insights. He could tell little anecdotes that were completely right for the client. An example was an alcoholic that lived in a family where everyone drank (even his own wife) and drunk for several years. He was considered a hopeless case. Milton gave him a task: He should go to a park and sit down to watch a cactus for several minutes. Erickson told him this cactus could live without water ericksonfor three years. 5 years later his sister called Erickson and told him both he and his wife had stopped drinking. He also used Reframing, mirroring and the paradox intervention. And example of the first, is when he sent a rootless client to Flagstaff so that she created new positive associated to a place that just seemed negative before. An example of the second is when he met a patient that tore things apart. She tore and threw everything she saw: Clothes, curtains, wallpaper. Generally, she was acting out. Erickson stood beside her and did the same thing, he tore up pieces of the wallpapers and threw things here and there. He exclaimed: “This was fun! Let`s go somewhere else and do more of it”. They came to a hospital, where he ripped the clothes off a nurse.

After this event, the girl became an angel, not knowing that the nurse in on the whole thing. An example of the paradox intervention was telling a woman who had severe problems with her weight. Erickson told her to try a new method where she first would gain a certain weight before she started with dieting. When she no longer had to restrain herself, she suddenly lost the weight she needed.

BUCHis theories have been developed further after he died, and one of the results is NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming ). I actually know very little about NLP, but I have thought several times that I`ll have to check into it, since I`m very interested in theories integrating what we know about our brain, with psychology.

  1.  Milton H. Erickson | History of Hypnosis

    Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980) graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1

    Milton Erickson, Founder of Conversational Hypnosis | Business NLP

  2. Ericksonian Hypnosis: Breaking Habits with Tasks — NLP 

    PICTURES:  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/391391023837204618/
     http://ww2.odu.edu/~eneukrug/therapists/Erickson.html

Small stories

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Every person can do many acts of love.

 

On our post “I presented our new cards, and already I have distributed some of them to readers and fellow humans who wants to help me distribute them. Yesterday I met a friend who will travel for 5 months and she would love to distribute the cards in South-Africa, India, America, South-America and Asia. I also got a reader from Portland (thank you Laurie) and one from Pennsylvania (thank you Niko), who wants to share the cards. If more readers of this blog would like to help me with distributing them, feel free to send me some contact information, so I can mail some business-cards you can give to people you know, or even complete strangers (thereby also getting extra stars in the «kindness project».

 

If you don`t want to do that, it`s perfectly fine.

 

I hope our readers like what we`ve produced so far. If not, we really love concrete feedback on how we can make the blog even better. We can only deliver high-quality content if readers tell us what could be better.

 

I want to than601835_580478758651088_1235832139_nk all the readers, contributors and people who`ve been involved so far. Without you I would be nothing. The next week I will collect stories from people: What small things have they done for others the last couple of weeks. I will then write a post describing those acts. Maybe I can even videotape it, if people would be interested?

Project kindness to a stranger: Give a smile to a stranger, and you might have made the world a little better

 

 

 

We go about our everyday lives wanting things to always be getting better. We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud and we wish for our children to have more than what we were given. As anyone knows who has heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech—delivered fifty years ago this August~ dreams are at the center of any effort to make things better. And today we have something with more power than we might realize: The internet. It’s not without reason that China and North-Korea tried to keep their inhabitants away from news. The media also have immense power, and even if some might argue that they focus on the wrong things, a lot of journalist really want to make the world a better place. Combine the knowledge, motivation the internet and the media and you have a wonderful recipe: People who actually do something.

 

 

So, by now you might be thinking: Yeah, sure, but what can I DO? When we have the possibility to help, by little effort, we do it. For example, most people help the world by sorting our paper and throw it in a separate garbage bin, thereby saving the rainforest. So, what about potentially making somebody happy by smiling a little?

 

trueResearch shows that our mirror-neurons respond automatically by creating a smile on your own lips. This means that smiling AT someone, actually MAKE them happier. Research also shows that being happy yourself, gives you more energy to be there for others.

I would challenge the readers of this blog to do JUST one nice thing for somebody else (preferably a stranger, because that would have the biggest impact) the next week (five minutes, or if you are in a hurry, two second, is all that`s needed to fulfill the criterias).

 

When you have done that, write WHAT you did, and if you want,  email us at forfreepsychology@gmail.com

For every one of you who does that, you might have made the world just a little better.

  

Nina, psychologist

Happy hour

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Every day someone lives in pain. Sometimes it is physical torment, and sometimes it`s mental agony. A memo

Our blog tries to cover varied topics, but the underlying theme is that we want to inspire and give people hope. One of our goals is to do our part to make the world a better place, and maybe somebody else will want to do the same? We see people around us everywhere, and we don`t always know their stories. 

Today was a good day for the blog. Some weeks ago, I ordered business cards, small post-cards and a cup, and today it finally arrived. I was very happy with the result, especially the business-cards that look gorgeous. What do you think? If readers of this blog would like to help me with distributing them, feel free to send me some contact information, so I can mail some business-cards you can give to people you know, or even complete strangers (thereby also getting extra stars in the «kindness project».

If you don`t want to do that, it`s perfectly fine.

I hope our readers like what we`ve produced so far. If not, we really love concrete feedback on how we can make the blog even better. We can only deliver high-quality content if readers tell us what could be better.

I want to thank all the readers, contributors and people who`ve been involved so far. Without you I would be nothing.

Nina, psychologist

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Blog-cup

Card

Front-side of card

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Back-side of card

Validation: You can change things

Still not giving in | Free psychology (Edit)

The Validation Project | Free psychology (Edit)

Facebook: Pay it forward group. Meet and connect with others!

App Of The Week: CardMunch (stevenblaser.wordpress.com)

Half the sky

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half-the-sky
I have written about the terror of human trafficking  and  sexual slavery in earlier posts, so I am pleased to introduce a new post that is based on the book Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide that I`m reading right now.  A wonderful emotional outlet, since it gives hope in addition to informing the readers about one of the crisis the world struggles with today.

Sometimes books about serious issues can be so depressing and overwhelming they’re hard to get through. Sometimes they’re so steeped in religious or political opinions that the real issues get lost. Sometimes they make broad assumptions or use fuzzy logic that leave you with more questions than answers.

Half the Sky is not one of those books.

More than 100 million women are missing – Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning economist

Written by a married couple- the first married couple to win a Putlizer Prize- Half the Sky takes a look at gender inequality around the world. The authors consider gender inequality the current major humanitarian issue- on par with the Holocaust and slavery from the years past.

In their book, Kristof and WuDunn show how a little support can transform the lives of women and girls all over the world. “Women are not the problem,” they write, “they are the solution”. How so? Studies have indicated that when women hold assets or gain income, that money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing; consequently, their families are healthier. According to Half the Sky, for every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family; men are more likely to spend the majority on themselves. If a woman is given access to microfinance, livestock gifts and proper vocational training, she can begin to take charge of her own life and of her family’s income. The outcome? She becomes the solution to combating gender inequality.

The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century. More girls are killed in this routine “gendercide” in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. | In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world. (xvii)

Many of the stories in this book are wrenching, but keep in mind this central truth: Women aren’t the problem but the solution. The plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity.

I loved the book, and maybe you will too?

Here is a trailer showing what the book is all about:

 

It seems that many women (men`s also allowed) are actually raising their voices!

More:

Time To Pretend

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“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill

Digital Art by Jeanne MasarWhat I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.

Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy or 9/11, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.

Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.

I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.

But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.

*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.

Happy waiting

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The Joys of Waiting

I hate waiting. Most people I know hate waiting. Life is full of waiting: we wait for loved ones to come home, we wait for movies to start, we wait in lines at groceries, banks, or the DMV. We wait to hear the results of tests at school, and the results of tests about our health.  Right now my love is waiting to find out if a new job will come through, unable to make commitments until he a5bf950448372b7a778f89216c198160does. As writers, we wait for the muse to strike, we wait to hear back about a submission, we wait to see if anyone will discover our work, and we wait to learn if they love it as we do. All this waiting creates an often excruciating sense of anticipation, anxiety, or dread. It puts us in a state of suspended animation, of limbo: we understand, while in this limbo, why Dante used that term to describe the experience of being in neither Heaven nor Hell, of being profoundly uncertain of where one will wind up.

So, in an exercise of deep spiritual dedication, I thought I’d better come up with the top ten joys of waiting. You know, turn this thing on its head. Take a deep breath (well, maybe not if you’re waiting in line at the DMV) and find what we can love about limbo.

Top Ten Joys of Waiting

10. Any waiting room, anywhere, can serve as an object lesson in how NOT to decorate a room for the comfort and pleasure of its occupants.

9. The “take a number” machine reminds you of your first trip to Baskin-Robbins Thirty-One Flavors as a kid. (Oh, would there be any Bubble Gum or Peppermint Stick ice cream left by the time it was your turn?)

8. The conversation you eavesdrop on while in line provides excellent inspiration for dialogue between the two least-educated characters in your work-in-progress.

7. In an hour spent staring at your toes, you are taken on an emotional journey from rejection to acceptance, from “my toes are hideous!” to “I kind of like my left pinkie toe” to “my toes are beautiful, just the way they are.”

6. You finally have time to read your friends’ Facebook posts. (Although you regret, deeply and forever, looking up “twerk” on YouTube, as your friend recommended.)

5. You realize you have a great excuse to say “no” to invitations to upcoming events you were dreading anyway. “No, I’m sorry, I’m still waiting to hear about [fill in the blank], and I’d hate to take up someone else’s spot at your third cousin’s bat mitzvah, the one with the Klezmer Captain and Tennille cover band, only to have to cancel on you at the last minute.”

4. You realize you have a great excuse not to start cleaning the bathroom, because that phone call might come any minute, and you can’t answer the phone with your hands covered in Comet.

3. The anxiety from waiting gives you the energy to organize the hall closet. (Hey, your partner/roommate/kid can take that giant garbage bag of stuff to Goodwill. You’re done, you’ve earned a cold beer/dish of ice cream/nap.)

2. You make up six new verses to “American Pie.” In your waiting-induced mild psychosis, you think they’re better than the original.

1. Suddenly, a voice cuts through all the fear, anxiety, anticipation, or dread, and reminds you of everything you have to be grateful for, right in this moment: the ability to breathe, to worry, to create lists, to laugh, and to love.

two empty chairs lakeside at sunset