Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog It’s sunny today, but temperatures will be in the sixties. My morning drink is match green tea, since I had coffee yesterday.
It’s a great week to be grateful, so I’ll organize this post into 10 things I’m grateful for.
1. I’m grateful for two days off followed by this weekend! It gives some good time to pause and reflect.
2. I’m grateful for family, and Thanksgiving gave us time to spend time together. It was different, since my ex-husband was at our dinner, but it all went well. My mother cooked a great meal, and I helped.
3. All of us, when given a chance to speak our gratitude, are so grateful for my son being with us at the table and doing well in his life right now. He, my mother, and I, walked to Starbuck’s yesterday for a coffee. That was my only contribution to Black Friday. I love the atmosphere at Starbucks, including the jazz music!
4. I’m grateful for my dog, Bixby, an important member of our family!
5. I’m grateful for my friends that are constantly there for me, and that includes my companion, Chris, and I’m thankful for the twists and turns that helped me reconnect with him. I’m thankful for several friends who helped see me through a tormentuous family issue this past summer. I think I learned to reach out, and I have not regretted it!
6. My job is a blessing, and I am grateful. I’m able to share my gifts and help others appreciate things that I love, such as reading and writing. I’m glad to be employed and to afford things I need, although I’m becoming sort of minimalist with finances. I don’t spend money just to spend anymore. One day I’ll need a retirement strategy. 🙂
7. I feel gratitude when walking through nature, usually with my dog. We’ve actually had some seasonal colors and a recent cooldown, albeit a mild one.
8. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and for the people who have commiserated with me on this writing journey so far. I’m not sure what the next turn is; I’m really feeling a minimalist change in the wind, and considering Kindle Vella. Anyone have experience with this? If you’d like a taste of my fiction writing, I have two books that are currently .99, Detours in Time (always for .99) and Undercurrents in Time (ending Monday, 11/29). https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716
9. I am grateful for this blogger’s community! Many here are writers, whether full-time or on the side. Some of you post here regularly, and I’m thankful for your thoughts on my posts and for what I can learn from your posts!
10. Last, but not least, I am grateful for my health! Recent checkup tests have been good, I eat fairly healthy, and I’m about to go to the gym with my son today.
There is so much I can’t control, but acceptance, humor, and an attitude of gratitude are helping me to see the best in whatever comes my way!
When you have a family member who is ill, you try to help them. You have to accept the reality of their illness, even though sometimes, they won’t. If it is your child, you must get over the self-blame.
I’ve read many books on mental illness, alcoholism, and recently, the book I’mNot Sick, I Don’t Need Help, by Dr. Xavier Amadore. Over the last 4 to 5 years, I’ve attended meetings through NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to learn what my loved one is dealing with and how to face it. Over the course of a week, I tried to record some of the most important things I’ve learned in order to remind myself how to deal with the ups and downs of this life.
The ABC’s of Navigating Mental Illness in the Family
a- Acceptance. It is what it is. Maybe it is a tragedy and so unfair, but it is the reality, and now what matters is how you all deal with it.
b-Boundaries. You have a right to them. I can only be healthy when I set them and require others to respect them.
c-Care, for your loved one and the others in your family.
d-Detach from the drama. Sometimes it’s not easy. Other family members may react to the ill loved one in anger or catastrophize the situation. Try to handle it calmly to be supportive, but remove yourself when it’s too much.
e-Express your true feelings to a therapist or friend
f-Forgive. Your loved one may hurt you emotionally, and may not even remember doing so. It’s hard to forget, and I don’t since I learn from each event, but forgiving is what you do for someone you love.
g-Gently voice your concerns. Hollering never got me anywhere with a sick person.
h-Hug freely, if it is accepted.
i-Instill confidence in them. Show them you notice or remember their good qualities.
j-Judge not. It’s even Biblical. I personally don’t like people judging me, so I’m working on not judging the ones I love.
k-Keep anger at bay–do not aim it at a loved one who is ill.
l-Listen openly. There are many times they may not even speak to you. Emrace the times when they do.
m-Model calm reactions
n-Never Stop Believing that it could get better. It has gotten better many times, and I try to forget that it could go downhill before getting better again.
0-Offer a listening ear but do not offer advice. Don’t speak to your loved one like an expert.
p-Practice Self-Care (Part of NAMI’s protocols and many other support groups)
Q- Quit blaming yourself. I think this could mess up a person’s personal balance of boundaries and caring for the individual who is ill. You’ll be more respected if you have boundaries, in my humble opinion.
R-Reject Stigma. I got this one from NAMI’s best practices, and it comes down to dealing with our own shame over our loved one’s illness. Do not allow others to belittle or mock their struggle. Accepting the stigma sort of feeds our own shame. I second-thought my decision to share this post, because I’m aware of the stigma. Yet, I know this post may encourage another who is dealing with a similar situation.
S-Show your love. There are ways to do this confidently and reassuringly without fawning over them and while maintaining boundaries. I constantly remind myself of this. Examples: “Next time you come over, please check the time. Midnight is too late.”
t-Try to empathize. It’s hard, but I think it really helps.
U-Understand, it’s the illness, not them
V-Validate their struggle. They are fighting a serious battle daily. No wonder she/he is acting like a jerk or waking up in a bad mood. They are struggling. Validate their struggle and acknowledge their bravery.
W-Work together as a team. This is still a goal for me, but my other family members and I are getting better.
X- eXhibit bravery. Soon, you may believe it. I constantly tell myself, ‘be brave,’ and it helps me.
Y-You are not alone! Seek help.
Z-Zone: Find a safe zone where you can express the truth of what’s going on, a friend, clergy, counselor, etc. It’s also helpful to clue you work supervisor in on the general situation as it could affect your attendance in the future.
*I’m sure some of these repeat themselves, but I have my favorites, and I have the ones I must remind myself of constantly. This is why I put it into a format, and the ABCs are, of course, quite simple. Keep it simple would be a good one as well, but it never was simple; maybe we can try to make it simplified, though.
Thank you, Lord, for the ability to sleep And wake to a beautiful day I learned not to fret that yesterday was gray, I took care of business and rested, So today I could play. Thank you for the daily chance to make a difference and show love In what I do or say. I may not be a hero, but help me be present, a loving mainstay Even when I don’t know the logic in your ways.
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. The drink for me is green tea today, and the background music is peaceful ambient. Actually, Saturday got away from me; I started this post yesterday but was not quite finished until this Sunday morning. Bear with me please! There is some good to share. 🙂
I’ve been posting a little this week about my trip to Rochester, NY, a much needed getaway.. I returned Monday at noon, and boy, was Bixby ever glad to see me! I was glad to get home, as there was a lot going on here while I was on vacation. There has been a family situation, and I am trying not to let it get me down. Sadly, my reading has brought me to the term Anosognosia, which describes what one of my loved ones is going through: refusal to accept that one is ill and needs medical help. The serenity prayer is going through my head so often now. Unconditional love means we love each other no matter what.
The Serenity Prayer also helped me get through a sudden, unplanned repair to my car. Sigh. I can handle it, but I can only handle my own reactions. I’ve been happy to see my local family and friends again, though.
Back in Florida, I’ve enjoyed sitting on my back porch in the sun eating breakfast a few times, but I fondly remember sitting on my friend’s patio in Rochester eating breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. I even caught a beautiful sunrise once! Rochester is also home to many beautiful and historical sites.
There was a lot to enjoy of nature, whether rain or shine! We actually found Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in the rain with rain ponchos on, but did not find that of Frederick Douglass. His statue, however, was located in the nearby park which we visited later at night. Such a beautiful sight.
My summer break will end soon, but I am at peace with that! I like knowing I can pay for my car repairs, and I certainly want to plan for future vacations. Considering I really love teaching overall, I don’t mind getting back to that while earning a paycheck, but I am planning future vacations. 🙂 Life is short! All I can do is do what I enjoy, live up to my responsibilities, and be there for those I love while respecting my own needs, which likely looks different for all of us.
Have a great weekend and an even better week to come!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I am once more drinking green tea today. Tomorrow, there will be coffee! It is a treat for me maybe three days a week. In the background, my ‘cafe’ is playing Living Room songs by Olafur Arnalds. It’s sort of emotional. Perhaps it will invoke some deep poetry in all of us, huh?
I am in a poetry mood lately. There is a lot going on in my family, and I am being told by people close to me not to tell others so much. What they don’t understand is that I am a writer. I either make up fantastical fiction or I tell my story. It is mine to tell. I process things, and I share them because I should never be ashamed of the battles I have fought for good reason, and perhaps it will help someone else who is suffering in silence. I just won’t suffer like that anymore. As Sylvia Plath once said, “everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Having said that, I am not spilling my guts here. There has been a lot going on in my family and I never know if I’m saying the right thing or reacting the best way. I suppose that’s because I’m human. However, I have been building a community. I am more open with others and honest; some have a lot in common with me, and others are just good listeners. They are my friend because I am no longer closed up, no longer flying under the radar or not really present. I wrote a poem this week about how it feels to be a mother, daughter, friend, woman who makes mistakes or is told she is doing the wrong thing, and how I must judge myself less. It is titled Life’s Ceaseless Circus and can be found here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/lifes-ceaseless-circus/ Being an adult, I will deal with any fallout from mistakes I make. I try to treat others this way as well. As a mother, I may not have always treated family members with that attitude, but I am learning.
Lately, life has seemed like a traveling circus, going through rough terrain, hills, valleys, deserted roads and sometimes, fun towns. Get to a peaceful place, then get pulled into steep hills again. If you can love unconditionally, there is no way out, just enjoy the views and brace yourself for rough times. I believe I can maintain boundaries, take care of myself, and still love unconditionally. I am trying anyhow.
I have been through a breakup in the last few months, yet he still checks in and asks about my family. My ex-husband now lives in town again and is friendly with my family, but I live my own life. I am talking to and associating with friends I had not spoken to in a long time because of the whole focus of raising my kid the best way. He is grown now, making his own choices. I don’t make my choices with him at the center anymore. I make my choices with what is best for me in a way that I intend not to hurt others. I’m trying to live my life in a way that practices acceptance of others and kindness. I know I still at times shut others out; it seems I have to temper that need to maintain balance.
So, I’m learning and trying to practice forgiveness and acceptance, and that is something one must temper with boundaries. I believe it is totally possible. In the spirit of second chances, I wrote the story Crossroads Diner #205 and have self-published it for entry into a Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest. It is free to read in Kindle Unlimited. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN
Besides writing poems for the blog and my short story, I am beginning ’28 Days of Ellie.” Each morning, I will write at least one entry either about her personality, her likes, dislikes, beliefs and/or dialogues with her and other characters. Since I finished the book on Sould Coaching, I decided this would be a fun, creative way to boost my writing and make my character become real. Wish me luck!
Have a great weekend, and an even better week next week! I am planning to travel a little. You’re sure to hear about it. 🙂
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, in which I have reached Earth Week in the 28 days “Soul Coaching” book. Earth Week (and Fire Week too for that matter) has been full of water. Rain, rain, rain. At any rate, as we sit in my ‘cafe’ with Agnes Obel in the background, a solid favorite with beautiful piano notes, I drink green macha tea and I am so grateful for the sunshine this morning.
Yesterday, we had a morning of sunshine as well, which was such a blessing after days and days of gray wake-ups and rain. After breakfast, I sat in the sunshine in my driveway with the dog at my side. He sought the shade of my chair after a few minutes. I don’t really know how many minutes. Do I really have to know? My skin felt good, my eyes were shut, and my dog did not complain. I seem to know when is too long for Vitamin D exposure. My body and spirit did need those few moments to warm me, especially since I was suffering from a sinus infection this week.
Yes, ironic isn’t it, that during Earth Week I had a body that did not allow me to do a five mile walk or get out of the house much? The rain discouraged me, too. I got the appropriate rest, ate well, slept late when I could. I exercised to an extent that did not push things too far. I read, continued the 28 days book, and took care of Bixby. I do think I appreciated the earth in fitting ways. That one morning of sunshine was wonderful, since I was just feeling well again.
I certainly would have done more if I felt up to it, but I imagine I’ll make up for it next week. It has been too long since I walked the beach! Two weeks, at least, and it is such a centering practice for me. A part of Earth week in the book suggests imagining being a rose, a willow tree, or a pebble. I would prefer being a willow tree or a pebble. The willow is motherly and familial, peaceful, and soulful. The pebble is a young child/ tomboy’s dream, always useful–be aware I climbed trees when I was a child! I would not choose the rose, for I feel I’ve lived that: the sweet flower pruned to look good and often plucked to die in a vase. Sigh, the plight of many women before this generation; the vase being a ‘good’ marriage that puts a girl on a shelf. Yet, I was allowed to climb trees! Not so bad after all, but society sort of tried to hold us back, you know? Things are changing though, but I digress.
Earth week reminds me of my kinesthetic field. A quiz once told me I was equally visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Sometimes I just dwell on one, but my life is happiest when I honor all of them. So, I’ll seek to do my 5 mile walk in a few days! I’ll sit in the sunlight again, soon. I will laugh with a friend again as I did yesterday….no details needed, it’s just something I am wisely making room for in my life even through stress or rough days. 🙂 And I will always add music and buy clothes that hold a color that draws me in. Perhaps it will soak up the sun into my spirit more strongly, but am I digressing again? 🙂
In the realm of writing, I self-published a short story that is sort of supernatural and metaphysical in nature. You can find it on Amazon by searching Crossroads Diner Kindle. There is a contest I have entered through an online Book club, and I also just want people to read it. Reviews on Amazon are a great way to get feedback on this story’s ideas and are so appreciated! I plan to work more on the Ellie manuscript this summer, though I do have my little trip to Rochester coming up. I so look forward to it!
So, as of July 1,we’ve made it through the first half of the year! I survived the first half, including the end of a pandemic teaching year. My son is still not speaking to me or his dad, not to anyone in the family. He had an issue in his life, and I wanted him to solve it a certain way; he did not want to do that. It seems he’s doing it his way, and I pray it works. Now, I send him loving or encouraging texts. That’s all I can do, since he is grown. I am still trying to live my own life, since I know he’s living his own life. I am practicing acceptance. He is venturing into his own life and will reach out to family again when he’s ready. I believe that.
The rest of the year may bring more changes, and they may be wanted or unwanted. I am going to have faith that I have instilled strength and willingness to work hard in my son. I am going to keep laughing for the sake of laughing. I will surround myself with those who encourage me to smile and laugh yet listen if I need an ear. I will accept others for what they are and give them leeway to be that while trying to bring out their best. I am going to move toward tomorrow fearlessly and avoid expecting the worst; yet if it approaches, I will battle it like the warrior that I am, like a flexible, sturdy oak or an empathic willow tree (depending on the day :).
So, how’s that for setting my intention for the next six months? I don’t remember what my New Years’ resolution was, and who cares? I think I’ll set six months’ intentions each year, one at summer solstice and one at winter solstice–a great way to honor the physical world and this Earth that we have been granted by a marvelous Creator. Enjoying nature brings me closer to my spirit. I hope to do more of that this week!