Weekend Coffee Share, For the Moms

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today is a matcha green tea day, as my dog rests at my feet. Morning gratitude affirmations play in the background. I am very ponderous, it being Mother’s Day weekend.

This goes out to the mothers out there and the fathers who filled a Mother’s role, the nurturers, encouragers, and listeners. You are awesome, and you build a future, whether you know it or not.

I am so grateful I will be able to spend time with my mother tomorrow. However, it is up in the air whether my son will join us at dinner tomorrow. He’s going through a hard time and does not want my involvement. I am trying not to be sad about it. So, now this goes out to the mothers who will be alone this weekend due to military, war, or loss. The mothers whose child (whether young or grown) is sick, hospitalized, incarcerated, or estranged. Enjoy your day, do it for you. At some point you realize you have very little control over the choices they make. If you laid the foundation for faith, love, and hard work in their lives, then you have done an excellent job. Be thankful for your own mother. If your family is riddled with trouble, addiction issues, or abuse, find a way to do something just for yourself. It will strengthen you for the next battle.

Realize that there comes a time when their battles are their own, and not yours. Once your child is grown, you can only remind them they are loved, and hope they will hear it and feel it. I have worked hard recently to let him fight his own battles, and he is going to do it his way, not mine. In an odd turn of events, my ex-husband moved down here to be closer to his son and has been turned away as well. He gets filled with worry about our son’s well-being, too. I pray he can be a positive presence in our son’s life.

Those of us who grew up with or live in a dysfunctional family should always remember that we are not dysfunctional. We are warriors, and sometimes I believe there is a way we can use that experience to help others. It is one way to make something out of the dunghill, something that possibly could shine.

Here is a recent favored quote I have found: “Our past is not, as some fear, a series of events carved in stone that we must carry around for the rest of our lives… but a kaleidoscope of experiences that, when viewed through different lenses, can ‘color’ (change) how we see our present and future.” ~ Bill Crawford

Weekend Coffee Share. For Mothers

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share. Today is a match green tea day, as my dog rests at my feet. Morning gratitude affirmations play in the background. I am very ponderous, it being Mother’s Day weekend.

This goes out to the mothers out there and the fathers who filled a Mother’s role, the nurturers, encouragers, and listeners. You are awesome, and you build a future, whether you know it or not.

Now this goes out to the mothers who will be alone this weekend due to military, war, loss. The mothers whose child is hospitalized, incarcerated, or estranged. Enjoy your day, do it for you.

Poetically Gobsmacked

(C) 2021, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

You arrange your blocks

You build a world

A microcosm

Holding your thoughts and feelings

It may have others gobsmacked but it holds your healing

It may seem like a cypher

Or may send them reeling

Did she really mean that?

If you wrote it for you, then you meant it…

If you meant it, you could change the world

If they’re gobsmacked, then they get it

Don’t hold back…words are like knives, or a gentle mother’s arms

They can heal and strengthen us, instead of causing harm.

Weekend Coffee Share: Viva La Independence!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It was a green matcha tea day. I am being kind to my health, and I actually did some yoga with an online yoga website class. A healthy body aids a healthy mind and vice versa.

What an interesting week. On Thursday, my Newspaper Club had judging for a poetry contest that we ran during the month of April. This was my pet project. Several of the students wanted to be in on the judging, and I had two other teachers present to help with judging as well as one of their wives who is into art and poetry. I read each poem aloud, and they judged it American-Idol style. I think the kids had great fun with it, and the adults seemed to have a good time too! I showed my principal the 1st place poem the next day. She seemed pretty busy, but when I asked if she had time, she said, “I can always make time for the kids.” She was impressed by the poem as well! Winners have not been officially told yet, but I have a student who wants to do the announcing.

Also on my mind this week was how tired I’ve been. I did not sleep well for a few nights, all due to a conversation with my boyfriend last Saturday night. After dinner, he said we needed to talk. So, after a brief talk, we amicably split up. It was sort of a shock to me being brought up now; we had dated for 11 and 1/2 years, but lately, it didn’t feel much like dating. More like the old ball and chain that didn’t want to take vacations with me, didn’t agree with my bucket list, etc., etc. There’s no way he would ever accompany me to Europe. All of this also felt strange though, so soon on the heels of my son moving out.

Adjusting to this new norm could take a while, I suppose, and might be a slight challenge. Just as adjusting to daylight savings time can result in disruptions to sleep patterns, adjusting to the new norm in my social and relationship life has also done the same. Maybe an over-thinker like me can’t help it. Going back over things, wondering what I should have done differently, if I should have called it off myself sooner, if I should not have let the relationship start in the first place, etc. Yet, I feel I have accepted all of this.

Through the pandemic and shutdown, I started really throwing myself into my work. I also tried to maintain friendships with female friends, even if it was only by phone. My focus and ability to write were challenged, but I’ve done a little, and that is my personal little world that no one can take away from me. I lost the watch he gave me, so I bought my own, a nice watch…it made me feel independent and self-satisfied. Then I found his weeks later. So now I wear either one depending on the day. I think I have been moving toward accepting that the realtionship was not going to go any further and that I needed to make places for myself in this world…so I have. I feel grounded.

So, needless to say, I did not get enough sleep most of last week, just processing all of this stuff, but Thursday night, I finally slept well. Last night, I also got eight hours of sleep! I don’t expect this to be every night, but I am thankful that my brain slowed down for a while.

The best hallmark of this week, though, was my son’s twenty-fifth birthday! We went to eat Mediterranean food, one of my favorites. He had a hookah, so we all sat outside. It was cool and comfortable. There was hummus, pita bread, shish kebobs and plenty of veggies…so tasty! My mom also had a great time. I think it was a good way to celebrate that pleased everyone all around.

He seems to be doing well with his move to independence. If I text in the morning, he answers. So, I know he’s been getting up on time for work. I don’t try to call him much, as I know he won’t be talkative yet. (I haven’t given him enough alone time yet) 🙂 Acceptance seems to be my key word for the day, until I can say I am truly embracing independence, my own, my son’s, and that of all of us. Viva la independence!

Welcome to Day 7 of #RRBC’S ’20 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA @pdoggbiker

Welcome to Day 7 of  #RRBC’S ’20 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR!  

I am proud to be hosting Author John Podlaski!

Title:  When Can I Stop Running?

Cover:

Blurb:

2019 KCT RRBC Runner-Up Silver Award Winner
#RRBC 2020 Rave Review awards: BOOK OF THE YEAR

The year is 1970, and the story follows the two soldiers – impressionable Detroit teenagers – during their long night in a Listening Post (‘LP’), some 200 meters beyond the bunker line of the new firebase. Their assignment as a “human early warning system”, is to listen for enemy activity and forewarn the base of any potential dangers. As they were new to the “Iron Triangle” and its reputation, little did they know that units before them lost dozens of soldiers in this nightly high-risk task and referred to those assigned as “bait for the enemy” and “sacrificial lambs”.

Sitting in the pitch black tropical jungle – with visibility at less than two feet – John’s imagination takes hold throughout the agonizing night, and at times, transports him back to some of his most vivid childhood memories – innocent, but equally terrifying at the time.

As kids, we instinctively run as fast as we can to escape imaginary or perceived danger, but as soldiers, men are trained to conquer their fears and develop the confidence to stand their ground and fight. Running is not an option.

Trailer:  https://youtu.be/UZzOQN5Te6I

Amazon purchase link:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H9BESNC

Author bio:  John served in Vietnam during 1970 and 1971 as an infantryman with both the Wolfhounds of the 25th Division and the 501st Infantry Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, two Air Medals, and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He has spent the years since Vietnam working in various management positions within the automotive industry and has recently received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. John is a life member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 and lives with his wife, Janice, in Sterling Heights, Michigan. They own a 1997 Harley Davidson Heritage and are both members of the Great Lakes Chapter of South East Michigan Harley Owner’s Group. Both retired in 2013 and enjoy not working anymore. John has authored and published four books on Amazon: “Cherries – A Vietnam War Novel”, “When Can I Stop Running?”, “Unhinged”, and “Unwelcomed”. He is currently working on a sequel to “When Can I Stop Running?”

Social links:  John Podlaski | Facebook

(20) John Podlaski (@pdoggbiker) / Twitter

(24) John Podlaski | LinkedIn

Author reading of preface – https://youtu.be/pmNMB5srYns

Thank you for supporting the books and authors along the RRBC ’20 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR!  These authors are generous in their support of others so we want to show our support of them in return.  You may follow along each day of the tour by visiting the tour’s home page.  Be sure to leave a comment below to ensure that you have a chance at winning a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Weekend Coffee Share, Milestones

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Good morning! Join me with my V8 and green matcha tea. Yesterday was coffee day, and I needed it to handle that middle school energy. It is gray outside, but my home cafe is playing The Bandit, new from The Kings of Leon, and it brightens my spirit. That voice…From their new song, Supermarket:”I’m going nowhere, if you’ve got the time.” Why, yes, yes I do. Needless to say, their new album is on my Youtube playlist.

This song played on my car radio yesterday on my way home from work. It had been such a stressful day, and if I’m not careful, I’ll feel old because of it…but I am resisting! The Bandit reminds me of a mix of INXS and U2, bringing thoughts of the Spring of my 15th year, a time of so many changes. Changes are not easy, but they are the hallmark of growth. So, I am going to focus on that today instead of talking about the stresses of my job. I feel I am managing them appropriately, and that’s all I need to say on that today. 🙂

I am surrounded by middle-schoolers going through vast changes, some growing wiser with their struggles, some consistent and solid yet growing taller or exhibiting voice changes. Others are struggling and reacting, and all I can do is try to reach them. I remember a lot of my ups and downs in the pre-teen and teen years and am able to look back and see the good in it all. This is a part of my job, to empathize and treat them with understanding. Again, if I focus on this instead of the stress of teaching in a pandemic in a system that does not have adequate resources, for instance, only two guidance counselors for a school of 1200 students. I play many parts at times and have learned to embrace that.

Yesterday morning, feeling the winds of Spring, I wrote this poem in response to my sometimes tired, challenged by middle schoolers, yet rejuvenated by the few who appreciate me feelings: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/04/16/spirit/

Age 15.

My son seems to be doing well on his own. His job and responsibilities are perhaps keeping him focused. I text him every morning. He always replies quickly. So, I know he is waking up and going to work. Working keeps him on a straight path, gives him purpose, and this is good. His 25th birthday is Monday. Yikes! So many memories will come back. My doctor, the doctor who delivered him, is retiring this year. Fitting, in the year my son is reaching for independence. May this reach be successful!

Memories and Milestones! 1996

Have a great weekend, friends and fellow bloggers! Keep it light, keep it hopeful, and always carry some sort of shovel for the days that the murky depths which you must navigate are especially thick and deep. We’ve got this! Namaste!

Spirit. #poetry

(C) 2021, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

A spirit will not grow old

Unless you let it.

The flame of Youth is always there

Don’t squash it

With doubts, distrust, experience, and every outcome you think you know.

Rekindle the spark, enthusiasm, innocence, expectation of good things….

Don’t turn away fron the sun because you know it’s going to set

Let the sunset calm you just as

A sunrise will break open your heart

With excitement and hope.

Let your spirit learn from the dark

But keep the innocence of hope,

So your spirit will not whither in darkness,

But expands to make room for all you know, feel, and desire.

If you don’t cast out either, Can wisdom and innocence co-exist in your soul?

I believe it.

Weekend Coffee Share, On Relating and Forgiveness

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer, accompanied by the music of Agnes Obel. It’s a good day to invite tranquility in. I’m getting my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today and following up an eventful, slightly stressful wake packed full with just, well, too much for my liking. Still, I managed.

State testing was the first challenge, though nothing compared to handling the emotions of my son moving out ON THE VERY SAME DAY. However, I focused all day on the positives and paced the aisles as the students whittled away at their thoughts and words for a state writing test. My ex had flown down to help my son move and get all things in order as possible. The students had my attention; I kept the thoughts at bay. I felt happy that my son is stepping into independence, happy that I may have a new sort of freedom now that my son is moving out on his own. All the while acknowledging that I felt relief and a little worry at the same time, but knowing that this is a necessary step.

My son and my mother, circa 1997-98.

I got to see it after work on Wednesday. The place is small, a studio apartment, but the landlords put in a new stove and ceiling fan. There is faux wood flooring which looks very nice. He got his bed and long dresser in there, has to keep his bike inside, and there’s a bookshelf. There is no room for a sofa. Mom and I decided to get him some folding cloth chairs and TV trays.

After seeing the place, my ex-husband took me, my mom, and my son out to eat a steak dinner. My son was so tired, and my ex was talking a lot about details and ways my son could improve his life, get a car, etc. I’ve mentioned before that my son had a bad car accident three years ago. He also has a mood disorder that is mostly kept in check. He gets lost in the details, and it is not wise to throw too many at him at once. He truly needs to take it one day at a time, but I am proud of how he lined up all he needed to do to get this apartment. He does not have a high-paying job but makes enough to pay me rent, so now he’ll see what true independence is.

It is true that my ex-husband can worry a detail down to a fine thread. Sadly, I guess that is one thing we had in common. He is more of a “You’ve got to do this” sort of person. I am more of a “You need to do this, and if you don’t get that done, what is your back-up plan?” gal. Obviously, we did not get along well enough to stay married; it only lasted 5 years, so dating and marriage for us lasted seven years, and my son was only 2 1/2 years old when I had to leave that marriage, after two failed marital counseling attempts. I felt controlled, manipulated, trapped. He would get onto me about who I befriended and talk them down to me, also accusing me of affairs with male co-workers (which did not happen at all). He stressed me out a lot.

In the years we were together, I had some depression, had a rough post-partum year, and his drinking was problematic. Sometimes I wonder if stress during pregnancy led to my son’s emotional state. I have often been very wary of my ex when he’s back around. I sent my son to live with him one summer six years ago, and it did not go well at all; my son was anxious to come back a month later. I have to try to avoid blame, yet I do feel I’ve forgiven him.

There’s a funny thing about forgiveness. It means “to grant pardon” or “cease to feel resentment.” It is healthy for us, they say, and can prevent the toxicity of such feelings to ruin us. Still, I want to point out that forgiveness does not mean letting down boundaries, which exist for a good reason: self-preservation. In my past year of self-improvement and looking inward, I have been re-establishing and exercising boundaries in relationships with family, at work, and with others. You can forgive someone, but still keep the boundary up. I’ve given past relationships a second chance and learned things didn’t work the first time for a reason. It is not a lesson lost.

My mother is impressed in the changes she sees in my ex. Yes, I’ll admit there is some goodness in that man and he seems to have straightened up. He is here when my son really needs him. I am allowing him to do that. He bought a microwave and some other things for my son’s apartment. The two of them may be bounding, and that’s good. So, I sat at dinner and enjoyed it whole-heartedly, telling him what a handsome son we have and how I love my son.

It is notable that, I have been divorced from my ex for twenty-two years. I dated a few other men after, but I have currently been dating the same man, Kenny, for eleven years now. That relationship provides me some freedom to be my own person and has allowed me to determine what I want: to come forward in my writing, to communicate with the world instead of hiding. I relate to others more freely and have found it benefits my teaching by showing I care and have empathy, benefits how I relate to co-workers, and not being afraid of relating to others makes me feel better about myself. I had a past full of secrets kept from my mom, a therapist, friends. Where I learned I shouldn’t tell my husband everything for fear of being judged or having it spun out of context. I have learned I’m imperfect but pretty awesome as I am.

My current boyfriend, Kenny, has boundaries and likes an amount of time to himself. I am finding that, so do I. Therefore, I am happy with all that has come about. I do wish some things had happened differently and had gone better for my son, but I am going to make the best of today and perhaps make it better.

So, I sat across from my ex-husband, with my son to the left of me who looked quite tired from working the usual hours and moving in the afternoon. My mother was to the right of me, raising a glass of wine, wishing for a good transition and new life opportunities, smiling at us all. I smiled and thanked my ex-husband for the dinner. I hugged my son and said “I love you” as they left. Then, I went to Target and happily bought some chairs and TV trays to support my son in his move.

Thursday I had a usual workday with Spring-springy middle schoolers and evening time to myself for exercising. Friday after work, I had dinner and caught up on my sleep. It has also been a wake-up-at-2 a.m. and struggle to sleep again week. I made up for it last night. So, this morning it is coffee and a vaccine shot at 11 a.m. I look forward to more rest later!

Have a good weekend, my friends. I wish you all a reconciliation with your past events and/or decisions, a present that cannot be controlled but only appreciated, and a belief in a hopeful future!

Weekend Coffee Share, Health: Body and Mind

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

It’s 9:59 a.m. here in Jacksonville, Florida and sitting at about 50 degrees. Nonetheless, our Florida sun is shining vigorously. My coffee is half-caff with almond milk and honey. Have whatever you like and join in the conversation!

Please excuse my bedhead, however. 🙂 I slept until 9:30 this morning. Sleep: what a glorious thing it is! There was a brief wake-up when I heard my son’s alarm and his shower running. I had to take the phone and knock on the bathroom door so he would make it stop; evidently I don’t know how. He was out the door and went to the gym. I returned to the world of dreams. I needed that sleep. Work has been hectic and life with my grown son at home has been taxing.

He’s moving out next week. This should be a good thing for my stress levels. However, he has been bullheaded and agitated leading up to this move. His move was at my request, though I thought he’d take a few months to save up. He won’t be far away, so that’s good. Still, he is increasingly irritated when I ask questions or give him reminders, as if he is offended and just can’t wait to get away from me. Well, I worry. I’ll have to give myself a number, and that is the number of times I’m allowed to contact him during the week. Only one or two, and I’ll have to stick to it, because I know it’s better for my own health and well-being. There have been too many near-misses, mishaps, ER visits and accidents that I have seen him through. You may be thinking, I see why you worry then. However, he’ll be twenty-five in two weeks. It is time for his next phase, and I can just hope he will step up and show more maturity with spending and responsibility to take care of himself.

I am one of those people who can get really tense, and I’ve been feeling that. It leads to more aches and pains, something I’m quite familiar with, having had several of my own injuries and in the last few years, having been diagnosed with arthritis and now, poly-arthritis. I was tested for RA and it came up negative, which is good. I’ve had my share of accidents and slips that may lead to recurring pain as well. I’ve read a lot about healing and dealing with emotions that may have surrounded an incident. I’m trying. I don’t think the pain is strictly emotional, but that these things react to each other. Part of my healing is likely dealing with past emotions and putting them in their place (which is a raging, burning dumpster that I will send off into a mysterious river by night).

My childhood emotions aside, and the numerous times of teen imbalance when I just fell off of stairs out of the blue aside, the first thing I remember is a car accident with my friend driving at age 20 when my head hit her windshield. I had no seatbelt on. I seemed okay, the paramedic said I looked catatonic, but no medical treatment. I made a little crack on her windshield.

When I was 24, living in Tulsa during my ill-fated engagement before my ill-fated marriage, I slipped and fell on my back on some ice. Also at this time, I caught a TV on my knee at work when a fellow salesman was trying to hook it up and it slipped out of the cabinet. I had gotten on my knees hoping to catch it with my hands and use my knee as backup. Stupid things we do in our youth, you know. My not reporting it was also stupid.

At age 25, I was married, and my husband was driving the car behind a foolish young girl who kept breaking. He sped to get in front of her. We had to stop in a long line of cars, but she just barreled into the back of us, and we had a ten car fender bender. I got x-rays and had physical therapy that time.

Let’s make a long story short, and I’ll sum it up with, a few more car accidents, one of them in 2016 setting off anxiety in me and possibly causing some lingering claustrophobia. Then, there’s the one my son was in that landed him in trauma and ICU for a few days with a head injury. I was not involved, but waiting in the ER with no word of his condition for a few hours and then hearing the details of the accident caused me to envision it all in my mind, and how it could have ended up differently. He suffers no recall of the actual accident to this day.

My sidekick and source of relaxation and play. Circa 2016

Until a few moments ago, I had written event by event, and then my laptop froze, forcing me to exit out and come back into WordPress to finish. I’ve lost a few paragraphs. Maybe it helped me to get it all out but would not have helped my readers. Suffice it to say, the physical injuries we sustain are not as harmful until we emotionally take them to heart. Our emotional reaction to our injuries can impede our healing. Dealing with our emotions can really aid our physical healing.

I’ve spent a few days this week starting my morning with morning meditations through the DARE app (for addressing anxiety) and Youtube videos of positive affirmations involving gratitude for everything that is wonderful. I had no idea my post today would seem as dark as it is, but sometimes you throw the bottle into the ocean and it goes its own way, goes with the tides, or takes a path determined by fate. I do see the need for more gratitude. I promise you I will soon write the post, as it is long overdue. Now I am trying to get motivated to get my exercise in today.

Thank you for bearing with me as the subject took a turn today. I suppose it’s what I needed to talk about. What are you going through? Perhaps some of you can relate to my struggles as of late. I am not fearful; I am making progress. There is hope in that! Have a great Easter weekend, and enjoy the holiday or the coming of Spring, whichever you celebrate.

The Words

The words that we hear

Influence the people we become.

There is no way around that as a child….

But then there is the process of becoming an adult,

And the moments of awakening you may be fortunate enough to reach.

You are influenced by the words you choose to let in, you influence the world with the words you send forth and share, and you may negate the power of any words aimed at you or nurture them in your heart and soul. Don’t grow and nurture the vitriolic words that bring you down.

Nurture in your heart the words that help you grow as a person, just like a flower grows toward the sunlight.

This thought comes to me on this Holy Week as we head toward Easter weekend, and I feel I’ve been neglecting my faith.

Perhaps a change is coming, or maybe this is just a phase. Hopefully, we are near the end of COVID’s rule over our lives, and I can get back to fellowship with my church friends instead of watching church or talking to heads on a screen when I actually choose to participate in Book Club. The fellowship sometimes feels two- dimensional in this era, but of course, that’s just me being like a stubborn child when my routine is upset and the things that I like change. So, I’ll ask forgiveness for that, but I will not judge myself for the way that I am.

The stories of the love of Jesus fed my childhood imagination. The judgment of my childhood church stifled my growth. Nonetheless, I am past that paradox and I hold the stories of Jesus dear.

On this Easter weekend, I feel it is helpful to think of what Jesus would do. He would live my troubled son no matter what. He’d work to get along with those who seem difficult to take. I don’t always feel up to it, but it’s worth a try.

I started today listening to a positive affirmations recording. It was an awesome start to my day. I don’t feel very churchy lately, but I am seeing the benefits of putting the right words in our mind. So I’m going to try to frame my life with words of gratitude.

That’s where I am this Easter, 2021.