Weekend Coffee Share, Full Moon Effects

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer.  It’s a nice, breezy day, and I’m enjoying some half-caff with vanilla cteamer. Pull up a chair!

I enjoyed my breakfast this morning, as well as  a stretch for my back followed by  a short gym visit with my son where I used the stationary bike. I was feeling tired this morning. I wonder how this week’s full moon may have affected that?

I drove home from dinner at the neighborhood Thai restaurant last night, looking at that beautiful moon.When talking to my friend later, he said, ” Do you  think the full moon affects your aches and pains?” It’s true, I was really feeling them yesterday. 

Each little “lotus” is plastic and has edges.

At any rate, my morning laziness included stretching out and laying on my lotus mat, which I also call my pin needle mat. It’s theoretically supposed to release the chemicals you’d produce during acupuncture, and to be honest, I do feel relaxed after it sometimes even fall asleep on it. I ordered it online. If my issue is anxiety, it could also have therapeutic results.

Is anxiety my issue? I’ve mentioned here before about the Mind Body connection with pain. Yes, I somewhat believe in it. I work on improving physically and mentally. However, I haven’t paid enough attention to my dog, another source of fun and relaxation. He will get a trio to the park during Thanksgiving week. I mean, I’m off 3 extra days! This morning, I threw the ball for him as I ate breakfast.

Here he is, anxiously awaiting me to throw the ball!

He’s small enough, and the ball is soft enough that I can throw it inside. In addition, he’s so darn cute when he’s anxious and excited! This 10 year old dogs acts like a puppy again. It puts a smile on my face. 🙂

So, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving holiday with local family, I’ll see my friend/companion Friday, and there will be dog-play time! Other plans will surface, I’m sure, but simple is the way for me these days!

I hope you all have a blessed, fun, and happy Thanksgiving!

Weekend Coffee Share, Honor Thyself

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This week brought a short work week, something most of us in the education field have welcomed! It’s below 70 today, which is cooler than it was yesterday, so I am enjoying some hot coffee!

This past Thursday, besides being Veteran’s day, was also the 7 year anniversary of bringing home our dog, Bixby, from the Humane Society. With a sullen teen/young adult in the family who didn’t talk to us much at that time, my mother and I were thrilled to bring a furry toddler home that wagged its tail anytime we came home! My son has even built a bond with this enthusiastic canine. He has changed our lives.

I am constantly reminding myself to love my life and where I am right now, instead of jumping ahead to the future and looking for guarantees; It’s hard. However, life is better than it had been months ago. My family is in a good place, my son is doing well, and I have steady employment. I won’t focus on the stresses of my job at this moment. 🙂

Seen at the mall last night. Too soon, too soon.

Still, the season may be affecting my moods a little bit. I am fortunate that I could reunite with my old friend/boyfriend who listened through a lot of my hardships this summer, and we enjoy spending time together, but I think back to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday; I have memories and start thinking how different this year will be. I am mindful that I am not alone but sometimes wonder why. Would I be okay if I was alone? So I am seeking more activities to do in my spare time and hopefully to meet more like-minded people. You can’t just rely on one person.

However, I am quite close to my mother, and my son and I are getting along well, even though he isn’t predisposed to being loquacious. I’m still investing in his well-being though. I took him to the mall yesterday to pick up something his dad ordered for him, then we ate in the Food Court. I had honey bourbon chicken with rice and veggies. It was tasty, but maybe not so healthy. I was glad we did something together, as my weekday life keeps me so busy right now. I am really hoping and praying for a teacher raise soon as I want to focus after school time on healthy living next year instead of seeking to supplement my pay.

The approach of the holidays also has me looking back on this year. This year reminded me that anything can change on a dime. I suppose we just have to see the silver lining in those changes. I mean, my son did change for the better. His dad is now in the picture for him, and though those dynamics sometimes stress me out, I do not have to live with him anymore, and my son is doing well living in my home again but being able to spend time with his dad weekly.

Sometimes I write in a gratitude journal in the morning. Yes, I have to actively practice gratitude, mindfulness, listen to a pain podcast sometimes to keep the negativity at bay. Gratitude can retrain the brain., but I’ve also learned to stay away from people who increase my negative thoughts. Trying to honor myself. Holidays can stress me out, but I am going to plan some low-stress time with loved ones. Then, I can be grateful for the time I have with them.

There’s my holiday survival plan. Thank you for reading! What’s your plan?

Weekend Coffee Share, No Hurry

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This morning consisted of  peach mango V8 juice that contains green tea. I’ve encouraged my son to make a call enquiring about medical insurance costs on his own, so that’s happening in the background.

Yikes! Time flies. He’ll be 26 in April, so it’s time he learns to make these inquiries. Later, I’ll go to the gym with him. His dad works more on weekends now, so I get to go as his guest. Jusy another part of staying active, but I get to bond with my son as well!

Time flies…

Allow me to spiral back now to last weekend. I took him to the gym, then we stopped at a Mediterranean deli/cafe for lunch. It just recently started opening on Saturdays again. I think their food is great, but there were no other customers when we went. That could be good for us, though.

The owner was in no rush, so we had to wait for him to flip some channels and find the football game he wanted. “I’ll be right with you,” he said. He was friendly enough, and he did get to us and our order. Neither of us minded. It’s kind of nice to take a break from the rat race, you know? Did I really have any need to ask him to speed up? Nope.

We sat at a table and waited. When our food was done, the owner thanked us and told us it was just him and the young lady in the kitchen,  told us how many years he’d been there, etc. We got home with our food, mine a Greek salad, and I noted the extra pitas they had put in there. Yes, there should never be a need to hurry on a Saturday! I’ll definitely go back again, and I’m glad to support a locally-owned business! In this anxiety-filled world, we should all be in less of a hurry sometimes.

Nor have I forced myself to hurry at all today. Sciatica disturbed my sleep a few nights last week, but last night I slept great and even slept in this morning. I’m finishing this up on an exercise bike at the gym. Sorry, it seems like I’m ‘phoning in” my Weekend Coffee Share! I waa moving so slowly at home, but I don’t mind multi-tasking now. I normally read while on the treadmill anyway; it helps me not to get bored from exercise!

If you’ve been around my blog a while, you’ll know I may complain at times, but I’ll never give up!

I’m going to stick with that attitude this weekend. Make it a great Saturday, and an even better week, my friends!

Releasing the Pain. #poetry (Revisited)

Photo by Vijay Sadasivuni on Pexels.com

Originally published (c) 2009 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I write, I express

and I press so hard

The hurt in my shoulder

like little glass shards

****

I focus, I strive

My thoughts so intense

The weight on me

at times feels so dense.

*****

Pop! I let the pressure out, let it rise

like a balloon at its demise…

Powerless, away with the wind it goes

The fear and the pain that I once held so close.

*Revised version, 2021

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, Grounding. #poetry

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On this busy week, I struggled with sleep then made up for it all last night. 🙂 It’s a green matcha tea morning, and I’d like to share a poem I wrote and intended to publish earlier this week. This way, I can get to the park with my dog sooner! I’ll drop by some of your Coffee shares later.

Another day to wake up, clean up, show up.

Realizing philosophizing is making me want to throw up.

So, today I’ll stop looking at the skies and wondering why

I’ll turn my gaze down to the creatures on the ground

The ones that surround and keep me company,

I will rise and shine like the birds chirping this morning,

the sunshine peeking over the trees providing light and warming

The dog that is sniffing at the door to be let out

Then asks to come back in with a bark that shouts,

“Thank you for the outing, but I want to be with you!

I’ll need an outing later, but there are other things to do.”

I reach out and let him ground me

Let his love and kid-like joy surround me.

.

It is what it is, beyond our control,

But you can still love life, deep in your soul

Can I forget for a moment, what baffles me

and live each moment joyfully?

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, 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.

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!

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