Weekend Coffee Share, Shifting the Perspective

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Traveler at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/03/26/5-themes-for-a-fun-week/ . The day is warm, and the coffee is on ice. Agnes Obel croons in the background to increase a calm, cool, collected mood. It has been quite a week.

I am not only dealing with rambunctious kids overwhelmed by the scent of Spring , the encroaching state tests, and my own allergies, but some family stress has given me hard lessons in parenting. You do know that once a parent, you are a parent for life, right? It is so hard to stand back when they are going through a hard time.

You cannot create peace in someone else’s mind. You can only be an example of how you will not let their sparks of agitation burn your calm down.
It is exhausting to think and not react, to feel love even when you feel spit on. It’s also hard to let go as a parent, and to acknowledge the hurt and the love you feel, leaving space for both at the same time. Suffice it to say, I felt disrespected by my adult son (24 going on 12) and told him to save up, he had two months to move out.

He decided he would apply for an apartment right away and try to move out next week. He has his eye on some cheap apartments just down the road. He will have to ride his bike to work, as he has not gotten his own car since the accident that totaled his car and gave him a brain injury three years ago. He does need to experience true independence, so I know I cannot talk him out of it, and part of me does not want to. Yet part of me does, and I am not listening. I start to worry.

Worry is one of my traits and character flaws. It is distracting from real-life tasks. I am working on meditation. Trying not to ponder too much on whether he’ll take his meds as needed and be careful where he goes, eat healthy and live a healthy life, not the partier lifestyle. I could worry on any little thing, so the meditation is pretty necessary for me right now. I have an app called DARE (an app that addresses anxiety), and there are some really helpful meditations or information sessions there. Worrying about the future is a waste of time.

Flashback photo. Many cherished memories!

I am not just a parent. I am a writer, which is mostly consisting of blogging right now, and that’s just where I am at the moment. In looking at my life right now, I have to shift the periscope for another perspective. I am an English teacher of middle schoolers, and I mostly enjoy that. Still, I have to make myself remember the good that I instilled in my son, and believe that all of it will overwhelm the headstrong stubbornness of a young adult. While I have expressed that work can be stressful, I always try to maintain an accepting atmosphere in my classroom and to build relationship, to know them and make them feel part of a community, and that can be so rewarding!

It seems I may fail with some, but others, and even some whole classes, seem to feel the strength of community or at least appreciate my efforts. I believe in them as well. Some are so brilliant! At times I make corny jokes and tell them the teaching platform is just practice for my future live comedy career. 🙂 I can get going and talk fast, I always thought it was anxiety brain but my doctor thinks it could also be an attention deficit. I talk about these things with some of my students. Many of them know what these issues are like. Perhaps I can be a good example of functioning regardless. (So I hope). 🙂

When I relate to my students, I sometimes forget my worries. I get the feeling of being a stepping stone and learning experience in their lives. To let them know I’m glad to see them, I use my imagination and call them my little rays of sunshine, bright shining moonbeams, dragons, or butterflies. (Their choice). Some do not identify as the assigned gender. I have had to learn this; It is 2021 and I’ve been teaching 21 years. Things are different now. I must be mindful of whom I call a boy or a girl. So I’ll say, ‘Boys and girls or NBs (for non-binaries), listen up!’ They approve. I purposely called someone the wrong name who just laughed, then I started adding the wrong name behind his real name, and he just laughs.

Yesterday, I had another student request that I add a syllable to their name! I thought it was sweet, a way I can make someone feel special. There are some really bright kids in some of my classes, but they are all special, just in different ways. So, of course I’ve added a syllable which happens to be what her dad calls her, so she likes it! Now I have more to remember. I’m always trying new things to be sure I challenge the brightest gifted children while using strategies to motivate those at grade-level or just getting there. It’s safe to say, they challenge me as well. I appreciate that; my job is not boring, my life is challenging and motivates me to wake up daily. Those who may misbehave at times also challenge me to always show acceptance, one of the most important things in life.

Not only that, but the Newspaper Club I am sponsoring at school provides an outlet for ideas. It seems to decrease the burnout I could get from FSA test prep and prescribed teaching methods as well as antsy Springtime behavior in middle schoolers.

I feel I have digressed, as I often do. It’s just that, these extra syllables and NB nicknames as well as the bright students are giving me good moments that will become memories during the challenges of my life….as well as lessons learned. It is a wonderful life when you can teach others and keep learning from the experience as well! Maybe it is actually possible I am reaching these students socially and emotionally and building an accepting community. So now let’s shift the periscope again to another perspective that can also be viewed brightly: I have many reasons to be grateful, and raising a son who has been a challenge is just one of them. Maintaining an accepting relationship with him but giving independence shall be another, I am sure.

Smile and think of mad possibilities when you’d rather give up and take a nap.

Thank you for reading my Weekend Coffee Share! Writing is so cathartic for me. I also love poetry, where I can just feel things and be completely metaphorical if I like. Maybe you can tell by my love for butterflies and dragons. 🙂 I can be either, depending on my mood. I am allowed. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Spring is Bittersweet. #poetry

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

(c) by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Spring is bittersweet, like a love song

because all good things must end.

Just as we can say goodbye to bitter cold

Only a moment’s memory can keep its hold.

But why think of the end, when it starts?

Instead, open widely of your heart

Race through the meadows in the sunshine

Sit picking daisies beneath the pine.

Seize the day like a bee

enjoying its pollen snack.

Yes, it will end later,

but later is not now.

No moment stays forever, anyhow.

No hurt can forever keep you down.

All moments must wash away down the stream

Good and bad, or in between.

Every Spring is here to be enjoyed.

Two Levels, #poetry

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Two Levels by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2021

There are two levels of me in everything–

the scared, unsure child and the reasonable adult

comforting her or calming her, reminding of what’s

real and what is a reflection of an anxious mind.

But which is the one that takes off on a flight of fancy?

Which is the one that laughs at an uncomfortable moment,

breaking the tension with a goofy smile?

Which is the intellectual and which is the buffoon?

Ah, but aren’t they one and the same when

I can open up and just laugh at myself?

You see. These two threads are intertwined.

I should deny neither one. I have earned that prize,

my prize for repressing the youthful spirit

when I still had my youth, a consolation prize,

for I had to be good girl, big sister, had to be the wife, and then the mom

restrained by fear or worry or someone else’s view of me.

I had to be what society wanted to see…

and was so afraid to step out of those lines.

I have owed it to myself, I should have claimed it then

But finally now I see it’s my right,

To comfortably own all sides of myself.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Weekend Coffee Share, Three Little Birds

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share in verse, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali!

Three Little Birds

The birds tell me ‘don’t worry,’

but I am in a hurry

to leave the past behind,

get this year gone from my mind.

Still, they whisper, ‘Be still,

For all of this is real.

Ponder on the lessons,

Each moment has its essence.’

One must flap his wings and go,

One will stay and become known,

The other existing just in our minds

Changeable, elusive, but we shall find

All of these birds will occupy our hearts

One moves in when the other parts.

Everything has its place: past, present, and future. With each New Year, we relegate another to joining the ranks of the past. I am probably, like others, anxious to kiss this year goodnight! However, every year has its lessons, and we should not deny them. They are worth remembering! Any mistakes made can bring a lesson, but it is best to remember our mistakes without shame or sorrow, to not continue suffering from our mistakes, but instead, to forgive ourselves and be thankful for the lesson. Most of my mistakes are way back in the past, but they come back to haunt me sometimes. I am working on keeping them in their place and remembering them rationally without berating myself. My anxious brain needs to remember that I am not doomed to continue the same pattern of mistakes. Every day is a new day! There’s nothing like a New Year to remind us of that.

If you’re interested, I summed up my year 2020 in a bloggers’ challenge post by Beaton at becomingthemuse. net, and you may read it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/12/16/best-of-the-year-boty2020/ You can also share your own! It was interesting to think on my lessons learned and what were the best parts of this year.

So, as I finish my cereal and decaf coffee today, (part of my new healthy habits), I am feeling optimistic. I also know that I may drag my feet today and spend the day reading, journaling, playing with the dog, and maybe organizing my closet as I try to stay in from the cold. I am allowed to do that today! Everyone who is dear to me is currently COVID free and I got to see them for this holiday. So, this morning, I am one step closer to “being happy.”

*A random word generator gave me the word, ‘flap.’ I was thinking on the New Year and how the old year must take flight. I’m always thinking about how the past, present, and the future collide. Thank you to Bob Marley for inspiring me with his song, “Three Little Birds.” Yes, ‘every little thing, gonna be alright!’

#WeekendCoffeeShare. I’m a Grown up! Meh.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Yay, it’s Saturday!

I’m writing as I eat breakfast, and my beverage will be iced coffee. It has been a strange week with an extra day off Thursday due to storm Eta, which didn’t trouble my neighborhood much except for gray skies.

It’s sunny out, but I have to do some adulting. My car needs service, and it may need struts, which cost a pretty penny and may change my holiday plans. It makes me want to consider a second job. Yuck.

On that topic of adulting, I joined the #agechallenge on social media. It entails being proud of your age and accomplishments. Suffice it to say here, I meet and I am friends with several people who are young enough to be my child. Hopefully, I’m not old enough to be their grandma, but it will happen. So I am like many others who try to not look their age, try to NOT dress their age. I don’t overdo the makeup, because scrubbing eyeshadow and liner off my eyes gives me more eyebags. I exercise quite faithfully.

There is a silver lining that actually sounds a little ironic. My age challenge statement is this:

**I am ___years old. I would’ve already been dead if this was the Middle Ages. Yet, here I am, with time left to figure it all out.**

Yes, like a teenager, I still try to figure out myself, where I’m headed, what works for me, how I can live at peace with others and with my lot in life. They say, “bloom where you’re planted.” Never a dull moment.

It’s clear (or not) from this image I drew a week ago. Everything I am is who I used to be (so , yeah, the free, tree-climbing girl and the awkward pre-teen and confused teenager), but also includes how far I have come today and everything I possibly can be in the future….all rolled up in one and living within my soul at the same time. The future self just sits in wait for us to be ready and to choose what it will be doing. You are sure to see this image again. (Sorry) 🙂

Very wise one day, I shall be. (But I haven’t quite caught up to Yoda yet) 🙂

I need to exercise more, so I can one day be like the old lady who still wears yoga pants and has arm muscles, with a gray braid down her back….so I better grow it. I do not want to be one of the sitting ladies, staring at pigeons on a park bench. I’d rather be wondering and exploring the park, hopefully with a faithful dog by my side!

Somehow I feel I’ve digressed. I should’ve written a philosophical poem….but, it is what it is.

Have a great week, everyone! Don’t swim around in these thoughts for too long, though I’d love to hear yours. ❤

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Flowers and Mud.

My canine spirit animal will accompany us as we sip our morning beverage.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali. It is a coffee day for me, though three days a week it is Matcha green tea. And my coffee today is half-caff. I believe this is better for my health and ability to sleep, and the Florida weather is very sweat-producing lately, which disagrees with my age. 🙂 Half-caff seems to be all I need, though I am pretty tired in the evenings now. We’ll see how that goes when we have less daylight.

My focus is all over the place. I brought home work to do last night and still have some to do this morning. Tomorrow there’s a drive through Trunk or Treat in the afternoon at church and I’m taking pictures. It should be fun.

Focus being as it is, let me just pick a word and ponder on it. Random Word Generator says: Heal. Gosh, if that isn’t the word of the year for me, then I don’t know if words even exist. Take a gander at what I’ll call a free-flow poem:

Mudflower, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2020

If you heal, you are a flower growing out of the mud. What matters is not that you were in the mud, but that you are a flower. Should one forget the mud? It was a cool, nurturing place for you. Maybe forget the bugs. Mud grew you into a flower, and not just any flower. You may be a tiger lily or a wildflower but with thorns along its side. You are not easily plucked, friend to the bees, protecting itself, yet opening to flourish and receive the sunshine. Do not feel ashamed, but empowered. What matters is that you are a flower.

True story. My life. I think I’ll try these sorts of poems more often. After all, I grew tired of griping about my health, the state of politics or education budgets, or my temporary writer’s block. This could start a prolific trend…dare I hope? Virtual hugs, my friends. Have a great week!

Tomboy. #FFfAW #flashfiction

 

Photo (c) Enisa

Tomboy, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa.  (c) 2018

It was a good memory.  Until it wasn’t anymore.

The sun shone vividly and bounced off of the rocks and the shallow water.  I admired my next door neighbor, Rolan, so much.  He was a little older, but I was a tomboy.  I was like a younger brother.

Yeah, right.

That was the day I became a woman, and there was no hiding it from Rolan.  He seemed disgusted.

“Now we gotta go home!”

“I’m sorry,”  I said.

“You need to quit tryin’ to be something you’re not.  You don’t belong out here with me.  Go to the mall with the other girls.”

On the way back, the tears burned my dirt-streaked face.  I hated that.  I was acting like a girl.  Maybe he was right.  I didn’t belong there.

Needless to say, we were no longer friends.  So I started going to the creek with Henry.  I choose where I belong.

~Approx. 163 words

 

Visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers  for more information about this Flash fiction challenge!

Finding Michael. #FFfaw #amwriting

Photo credit, (c) Enisa.

We were eighteen and his parents were tired of worrying.

The note on my step said, “I’m gone.  Hanging out somewhere guarded by two dragons.”  It sounded delusional to me.  His parents were used to his strange speech.  I hadn’t told them he may be reacting to my latest boyfriend.  Michael and I weren’t as close lately, so I felt slightly guilty.

Two weeks later he was still gone.  I enlisted my younger brother one weekend, scouring the town.

Great imagination, or maybe he didn’t want to be found right away.  Sure enough, two dragons were guarding the field where Michael was camping out.

A thinner, tanned Michael smiled and hugged me.  “I didn’t think you cared.”

“Ron may be a cool guy, but I can still care about you.”

“Yeah.  That’s good.” He put his arm down, but kept smiling.  “Thanks for being my friend.”

After all, I was still his friend, despite college and new friends manipulating my time.

I didn’t tell him about breaking up with Ron.

Story: 175 words

 

A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

You can join the flash fiction fun at flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Z is for Zone. #AtoZChallenge

narrative-794978_12801 Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

I am in the zone lately, reading and writing like a maniac, learning marketing ideas as an indie author, and escaping into fiction reading just as often.

I wanted to write about something Zen for Z,  but let’s be honest, I have no true idea about Zen.  My home life is a little chaotic.  Work is terribly busy, so I just escape into a book.  It’s nothing new; I’ve done it all my life.  I had my phases where I’d binge watch certain things on Netflix, but I can’t seem to make myself a passive recipient of others’ ideas right now.  I don’t think reading someone’s book is passive at all.

“Zone out” means you become inattentive or unbothered, and I have to use that in my life right now.  There have been many changes in my home, and I have to accept them. Know what helps?  Getting in my zone.  Every now and then I have to reconnect with those around me, though.

I look forward to telling you more about what’s happening in my zone in the next few weeks.

*For the month of April, I’ve participated in the April A to Z Blogger’s Challenge!  Can you believe it’s just about over?  I’ve done it!  Each day this month, I have written something based on the next letter in the alphabet.  It’s been challenging and fun while giving me a chance to pause for reflection as well.

Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

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How Much Do We Need Community?

What do a recent rap song, Johnny Cash, the movie Fight Club, and the Bible have in common?  A post on society and the ones we love. “No man is an island, entire of itself…”  R…

A re-blog of a subject that revisits me constantly. Source: How Much Do We Need Community?