The Alpaca “Shag.” #RDP

In what is sounding like a peaceful, ambient track in my head, I’m remembering my day in upstate New York at the Lazy Acres alpaca farm. The tour is one hour and starts with loads of facts about the raising of these lovely animals as well as a tour of the shearing areas and barns on the property. One such fact is the shearing of the alpacas once a year, to control their wooly shag, as it is much warmer in this climate than the climate of their ancestry.

Set in a green, hilly area of upstate New York, Lazy Acres alpaca farm is lovely, and the animals are quite peaceful. We explored the farm on a beautiful, 75 degree day that felt like Spring to me (a resident from Northern Florida). I’d been visiting an old friend that used to work with me in Rochester, and found out my cousin was in the area. So, we arranged to meet her at the alpaca farm as well as her son, his wife, and their family.

A muddy walkway covered by wooden planks led to green pastures. It had rained profusely the day before. However, the sun shone brightly on us, and the visit was worth the muddy shoes. Our tour guide, a young college girl, told us that alpaca are not as agressive as lamas or camels. I found this to be true. While feeding them, I felt the alpaca’s teeth graze my hand, but not even in a nibble; it was just accidental as their lower teeth are in an underbite.

Baby alpaca!

The children on the tour (I think you’d call them my third cousins) were quite engaged and interested. We grown-ups were charmed as well. The animals let us pet them as well as feed them. When the food ran out, they did, of course, lose interest. Not surprising, right? 🙂

I highly recommend such a tour for anyone who needs a brief escape from the worries of their life or just an escape from the rat race. Children who love animals will find it quite engaging as well! One of the alpacas had MIA on her tag, so I started calling her Mia. I assumed this alpaca was female, it answered to Mia anyway, and I could pet her after my food was gone. Though, maybe it was because my friend had some food left….

It makes me wonder what it would be like to only be concerned with only the most basic of needs: eating, digestion, shelter, family. The cares of the outside world, the ‘rat-race,’ cannot penetrate their peaceful exterior. My favorite alpaca, Mia, was actually quite a ham 🙂

Unbothered. 🙂

This was a perfect day!

*The Ragtag Daily prompt is given daily. You can find their site and today’s prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/ragtag-daily-prompt-thursday-shag/

The alpacas were my first thought when I saw today’s word prompt: shag. 🙂

Weekend Coffee Share, Summer Travels

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m on vacation this week! Bixby is back home with my mother. He’s going to smell another dog on me when I get home, which is sure to be interesting! I’m on the back deck at Hannah”s house, and I’ve witnessed a sunrise in a new city ( working my way through a bucket list item). 🙂

Sunrise on the back deck!

My coffee today contains hazelnut milk, and is stronger than usual. We are walking every day there is not rain, so I’m using up the excess energy! Enjoy your beverage of choice and pull up a virtual chair on the back deck. The weather in Rochester, New York is pleasantly cool today with chances of rain.

The art in this place is amazing! It has a small town feel with an art school and several museums within walking distance of my friend’s apartment. It seems like a wonderful Arts community as well!

The door to the Memorial Art Museum.

Another place of interest was Erie Canal. It made me think of Holland, a place I’ve never been. It was just nice to see it. We sat with a drink and took in the views and breeze. The next day, we had dinner thereoverlooking the water while a jazzy band played outdoors.

At Erie Canal, outside Lock 32 Brewery. Grapefruit Sessions was awesome!

My friend was so kind to invite me to stay here this summer, and her dog was also an excellent host and play buddy!

I really have enjoyed Hannah’s sweet dog, a big, affectionate mixed-breed. I do miss Bixby, though.

I made sure Hannah got a signed copy of Detours in Time!

There is not a whole lot of writing going on right now, but I am getting inspired! 28 days of Ellie, my current writing plan, paused at day 6, and I’ll return to it when I’m back. For now, there is a lot of walking, taking in new sights  and laughter with an old friend. I believe anything that warms the heart can inspire a writer’s soul!

Thanks for visiting me for a weekend coffee share! I hope all is well in your corner of the world. Have a great weekend!

Aladdin’s restaurant at Erie Canal.

Weekend Coffee Share, Of Fire and Water

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. After a matcha green tea, I am taking my time this morning. Why? Because I can. 🙂

It is Fire Week in the Soul Coaching book, which involves stepping out of the usual routines. It being summer, I get to step out of my work routine anyway! One new addition to the routine is walking 5 miles on Tuesday evenings with a Meetup group, traipsing through neighborhoods I don’t normally frequent and seeing wonderful new sites. I do know one person in the group, but taking these walks is a new thing for me, and I love it!

Strange angle, but I had to catch that awesome sunset too!

There has also been plenty of time to rest, take my time, and live in the moment. If that is the water part of my life, it is a slow-moving, lazy river. I love those, and they certainly represent living in the moment. It is such an important thing to do, isn’t it? Of course, we may not be able to do it all the time. Still, living with uncertainty with all of the shake-ups and changes in my life recently has made living in the moment necessary at times. I have to maintain the balance.

Bixby does the dance of ‘living in the moment ‘ so well!

In honor of Fire week, I wrote a post with a poem all about fire and what the flame means in regards to moving forward. You may view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/06/23/respecting-the-flame-poetry/

Perhaps I will blog more on my journey through the Soul Coaching book, if the spirit moves me. It has become a welcome routine every morning with a long, drawn-out breakfast. When it is done, I’ll be changing up my routines again. I actually worked on writing the Ellie book this week. There will be more of that to follow!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for stopping by for my coffee share!

Weekend Coffee Share, Of Sunrise and 1,000 Mornings

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been a green tea day for me. Enjoy whatever beverage you like! “Caution” by the Killers is playing in the background, a lively, hopeful tune.

This past week, I had an opportunity for walking the beach with a good friend. I’m still reading the 28 days of Soul-Coaching book, so maybe it colors everything I see, including a gray day! On Beach-walking: “The skies above may be gray, but my feet are grateful to be grounded on cooler sand and pavement today as I connected with the earth while beach walking with Judy.” She and I just talk and talk, about anything. It’s awesome and we enjoy it!

Morning Beach-walking with my son, circa 2006.

On the subject of mornings, I have found that I’m regularly waking up this summer before 7 a.m., due to the angle of the sunlight through my window. It peeks through the slats in my blinds and comes through the sheer curtain that hangs there. I don’t mind it, because at other times of the day when I am in there, I find the sunlight cheering. Not only that, but it will be helpful to be used to waking early when I have to go back to work. I’m not really a night owl anymore. I’m probably healthier this way anyhow.

From a poetry book I just finished reading, titled 1,000 Mornings by Mary Oliver: “…who would cry out to the petals on the ground to stay, knowing as we must, how the vivacity of what was is married to the vitality of what will be? ” This poem was called LINES WRITTEN IN THE DAYS OF GROWING DARKNESS. I’ve been pondering a lot about my past and the changes that have occurred in my life, how everything happens for a reason, and I’m trying to make those reasons positive, not always easy, right? I’m also discovering that there is a Season for everything. You have to see it for what it is. I’m still working on that, and can’t really be any more specific at this time. 🙂

My house is still too quiet at times though. I am not working this summer, so it really is noticeable, the absence of my son. July is travel month; that will be sure to help. I am still catching up with old friends, which is very fulfilling. Sometimes you can easily be open and honest with someone if you’ve known them a really long time, no matter how long it’s been since you conversed.

Mom had a cataract surgery this week, and I drove her. It went smoothly, and she is noticing a difference already. Her appointment was really early Wednesday, so when we returned home, I slept a lot. The silence is good for that, but it still seems too silent for me. Bixby seems to have adjusted. I just have to keep busy with reading, writing, reaching out to people, etc. That is the plan.

In the writing arena, I have been working on a short story for publication in early July. It is going to be part of a contest. I will definitely let you all know when the publication date comes closer. The book about Ellie is in my mind, but I haven’t made more progress yet. I decided I have to outline the ideas, and I likely need a full-throttle coffee day, since I have not had one in a good while. Then I could possibly work on it for several hours. It just may tickle the muse into inspiring me!

That is all I have for this week. I’m still getting a lot of down time and relaxation, and I’m sure that is just what I needed this summer. I hope you all are doing well and will have a great weekend! Happy Father’s day to those who are fathers.

You may visit Natalie’s Coffee Share and view those of others in the blogger community at http://natalietheexplorer.home.blog

Weekend Coffee Share, Bridge to….

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I’m enjoying matcha green tea, hearing the birds singing outside, dog at my feet. London Grammar plays in the background. Oh, that voice. This is thinking music, certainly appropriate for today.

I know, I should just celebrate the onset of my summer, but I’m still dealing with a year of big changes, so my goal right now is mindfulness and enjoying each little good thing in my life.

School’s out and summer is beginning. The afternoon hours after the students left on the last day were quiet; I felt like an empty nester all over again. The kids are our reason for being there, and now there is just clean-up before summer begins. There were a few times that afternoon that I got to sit and laugh with some co-workers in the clean-up, paperwork part of our day, but they are hurrying on their way out. I was unmotivated to get it all done.

This year certainly is unlike any other, and maybe I just need to emotionally put it in its place: the fear we felt going in-person, the struggle to communicate in a mask, the joy when I first successfully got a laugh out of them and the moments they trusted me and opened up in writing. They grew so much. I have moved slowly in packing it up, but I feel I’m making progress and still have Monday to finish.

Things that got me through the day this school year: Student-shared art and my attempts at positivity. (It helps)!

I will carry many of these memories with me, and the goal is that I will see these kids on campus next year and know that I gave them a step up in their progress toward the future and furthering their education. The cycle will keep renewing, and there will be a new crop of students next year for me to reach, or simply, to understand.

My family life is also very quiet. My mom and I are very close, but sometimes I need conversation with someone more my age or who understands what I go through, the need to excel in my career, desire to have financial stability and be able to plan for a future, yet be active in my personal time. She is having cataract surgery mid-June, so I’ll be able to help her with that. She hopes to fly to visit my brother in N.C. this summer, as well.

I’ve made good plans for the summer so far: besides, of course, walking the beach or visiting the dog park with Bixby, plane tickets were purchased for Rochester, New York for a 5-day stay with an old friend in July. She has invited me before, but this summer is the best time to go. I’ll also get a low-cost trial at a new yoga studio and go several days a week. I’ve caught up with some old friends and we’re going to hang out this summer.

There is still the matter of an I-Fly certificate; I chickened out after seeing their waiver, but it’s my goal to just do it this summer, and to have a great story to tell. 🙂 Then, there’s the matter of the quiet in my house; my son is still not answering calls, but I know he’s reporting to work. I don’t want to be a stalker mom, but I had always reserved time to go places with my son, even if he wasn’t talkative. It’s different for me. I don’t know how this situation will resolve, but I just need to have faith that it will. Something to work on, for sure.

It’s becoming clear that each season must pass to make room for the next. I have not been happy with the turn my life changes have taken, but there is always opportunity to grow. As a poet I recently discovered (Mary Oliver) wrote, “For some things there are no wrong seasons.” As it should be for me.

So, I took this morning slow today, because I could. I sat on the porch a few minutes, but the heat is something else today. I still have some work to do on my short story, Crossroads Diner, and Saturday exercise/cardio needs to be next on my list. Thank you for stopping by and allowing me to ponder. How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share, Another Year

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Having been fortunate enough to sleep in this morning,  I am drinking hazelnut half-caff this morning! Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage. I decided on Kraugbin for our musical cafe ambience this morning.

I’ll regale you with my wisdom. Heh, scratch that. How about tales of my topsy-turvy life and how I’m managing? Though I’m not a fan of reality lately,  I sure won’t let it defeat me. I’ll let it throw its punches and I’ll fight back. All metaphorically, of course.  You can tell me about your life lately.

If you don’t know me, I’ll just tell you I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder 1.5 years ago. I am no longer ashamed of this.  Being a writer, blogger, etc., I am in a place to share about myself in ways that may help others or that may simply connect me with other like-minded individuals.  Holding it in prevents many opportunities for me to be myself, encourage others, and to be honest about my life.  In fact, holding things in has shut me down in many ways throughout my life.  That is no longer my MO. I’ve been dealing with the anxiety, and I got through the pandemic as well as teaching middle schoolers; then suddenly, around my son’s twenty-fifth birthday,  two important people in my life have left my life.

It is my birthday today, and two days ago I felt I didn’t have the energy to even acknowledge it.  I am not ashamed to say that.  I am a human being with emotions.  However, I’m determined to always survive the storm.

So, I decided to just indulge in some of my favorite things this weekend.

Mom and I started by going out for Thai food and a glass of wine. A church friend, also a Gemini, invited me to her house for steamed crab and salad for lunch today.  I invited my mom, and neighbor, and a co-worker, another empty-nester mom for dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant.  Tomorrow, I shall take my dog to the dog park, something that always fills me with joy whether there are people there or not.  If there are other people there, they are dog-people, the best kind ever!

I feel good about my health, fitness, and my habits. I feel good in the skin I’m in!  Though I still struggle with pain at times, I don’t let it stop me.  In fact, the summer I was told I had arthritis, 8 years ago, was a summer I spent on the couch reading a 1,000 page book.  Of course, I still do read, but I mix it up with movement or using the phone Kindle while on my porch exerciser.

So, my life is just slightly topsy-turvy, but I still know what are my favorite things and have the means to fill my life with them, as well as being surrounded by positive people that encourage me constantly!

I’m getting ready soon to have that lunch with a fellow Gemini, and Mediterranean food later. It promises to be fun and life-affirming!

Have a great weekend, all!

Weekend Coffee Share, Gone to the Dogs!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, on a quiet morning that touches us lightly with a little sunshine and very little humidity. Sixty-five degrees on a morning in Northeast Florida is truly a blessing. My drink of choice is Half-caff hazelnut coffee, and Miles Davis plays in the background in my home ‘cafe.’

We are dog-sitting this weekend. Lucy, a small, energetic curly-haired dog runs around with Bixby and then sits at my feet. Bixby is not sure what’s going on. He’s used to being top-dog, the only dog. My mother is still sleeping, and he has gone back to snuggle with her. A dog for everyone! Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Just a rhetorical question.

Morning outing in the yard.

The sunshine on the house is quite lovely, and Bixby’s fluffy tail frequently expresses his enthusiasm! The dog situation this weekend is a bright spot for me. Instead of looking to the skies and wondering why, I am looking down to the ground at the creatures that were put in our care by the creator to keep us company and make us focus on living. That’s what they do, and so should we.

Dogs are exceptional companions, that’s why they make great emotional support animals. Bixby helps remind me that one does not always need to act their age, and that it is always helpful and appropriate to sniff the air on a beautiful day! It helps me forget my worries, such as why my son is not speaking to me, why my relationship went south, why so much change had to happen at once.

In fact, this Mother’s Day was the first one in which my son was not present. He is not speaking to me. My ex-husband was supposed to bring him to a restaurant and we’d all have dinner, but instead it was my ex-husband treating my mom and me to dinner with much conversation centered around my son. Not all of it though. He seemed to sensed the talk was bringing me down and changed the topic. I took Mom to the restaurant early to have a drink at the bar, though, and she enjoyed that. She likes being social.

Me and my mom, 2021. ❤

I’d have to say, though, that my Mother’s day was nice if I don’t factor in the missing element. Then, this past week at work just grew to be so stressful. It’s the end of the year, teachers are worried about testing, and the kids have the Spring fever. Ugh. So, the dogs are nice company today, and I had a nice dinner last night with an ex-boyfriend from years ago. We had kept in touch through e-mail, and I contacted him recently about all I had going on and suggested we meet-up because I always found him easy to talk to. He agreed to meet.

When one does this, it could mean let’s start a friendship again, let’s have fun, or even more. One does not have to dwell on ‘what it means’ though. We were able to talk quite easily, and that is good. We haven’t seen each other in twenty years. While I am not looking to jump into a relationship, I know when I find someone easy to talk to that I value their time. Along with female friends, I do have male friends that I talk to these days, but I don’t see them as anything but friends. I am going to give myself some space to be my own person. Reaching out though, is one thing I am getting good at. He asked lots of questions and I went through my stories while he listened.

It’s always good to have a friend who listens. It is much better to spend time with someone who knows some of your quirks as well as qualities. This is why I take this kind of chance. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex, or dating after a break-up (this time from an 11-year relationship), can cause anxiety in itself. Sometimes I have felt like I should just spend all my time with the dog and my female teacher friends and just forget socializing with the opposite sex.

In telling my stories, I found that I would lose train of thought a lot, and forget what I was talking about. My short-term memory at times seems affected in that way, and I wonder if my anxiety has caused that or if, as the doctor said, I have ADHD. If so, that means I suddenly developed it in the last few years, or it could be the brain-fog women get as they move up in the years. Ah, something else to worry about? I should just laugh it off. With my students, I sometimes call myself the absent-minded professor.

I can remember conversations from twenty years ago and moments from my childhood, but in a busy classroom or while conversing in a crowded restaurant, I can forget what I was just talking about. So, I have not lost my memory, it’s just a short-term memory thing. As I tell my students, sometimes very intelligent people can forget things, or….”I have an awful lot in my mind, sometimes something won’t take hold.” 🙂 Not making excuses at all. Repetition helps memory. I tell them that as well. It’s all part of the evolving me, no problem. I still think I’m alright. I have a lot less shame and self-judgment which leaves a lot more room for honesty.

All of this sort of fits in with my ongoing novel about Ellie, my on and off work-in-progress, as I have been more focused on working on me lately. Ellie’s story lives on, though, and is developing with everything I learn. She is not me, but I am a part of her. It’s gonna be great. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my ‘cafe’ for a coffee chat. Weekend Coffee Share is hosted every weekend by Natalie the Explorer. Have a great weekend!

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!

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.