Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This morning had me longing for green Tazo tea, and after brewing it, I added my chocolate ashwagandha powder, which makes it even more tasty, and supposedly has great health benefits.
Note the cup. I think my mom gave it to me. After I had a surgery 10 years ago, as I recovered I would ask for things. She said, yes, the precious needs some water, here you go. I think sometimes she said princess, but I jumped on the precious comment and mimicked gollum from The Lord of the rings: “Precioussss!” She would just look at me strange. My boyfriend Chris sometimes refers to me as a princess. It’s his fault, as he often treats me like one, LOL!
Is it any wonder I had a former boyfriend who said I was “The princess and the pea?” Look up the story if you’re not familiar. I believe it’s a fable. Anyhow, I think it’s because I’ve had pain sensitivity for a number of years; I can’t sit in a hardback kitchen chair for too long, can’t walk too far in high heels, etc. I mentioned the story to Chris and said,” That just serves to show, I am a real princess!”
Interestingly, today’s prompt from my Louise Hay journal is about feeling good getting older and being at peace with one’s body. In many ways, I have more confidence in how I look, and I do honor and respect my body more as I get older. Some of it is realizing I didn’t always have a healthy attitude about it: I felt it wasn’t as good as others’, thought it didn’t look good enough, didn’t feed it right. I’m constantly seeking to keep it healthy now and to strike a balance between body and mind.
I’ve had to work harder on this because I’ve had chronic pain of one kind or another for a few years. Google defines chronic pain as “persistent pain that lasts weeks to years.” So, some things can aggravate me worse than they do others. Some days, it’s really hard to drag myself out of bed, put some pep in my step, and be ready for what I may need to face is the world of middle school education. But, I do it. I don’t wake extra early to go to committee meetings anymore. I think I have the right to decide if something is to much for me.
This is how I can be at peace with my body. Again, there has to be a balance between body and mind. This is why writing these days is slow-going for me. I won’t force myself to play out a plotline idea by sitting at the computer munching chips and typing for hours on end, my back screaming at me for being in a chair too long, (no matter how comfortable that chair is), a crick in my neck aching me from looking at the computer screen so long, basically, my body screaming for my mind to just slow down. Hmmm, yes, I try for balance now.
My dog, Bixby also prefers I don’t spend hours glued to the computer screen. In the long run, when one seeks to find balance and be kinder with oneself, isn’t a dog a valuable source of sage wisdom?
This ends my coffee share on a high note. Trust the wisdom of the dog: enjoy loved ones, show them you care for them, when it’s time to play, do so with reckless abandon, and when it’s time to rest, rest as much as you need!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s 38 degrees outside, but it’s warm and toasty in my house. We Floridians are not so brave with cold weather. Most of us, that is. After eating cereal, I’m drinking green matcha tea in my quest to be healthy. I ran out of half-caff coffee today and don’t think I can handle the full throttle coffee more than 1-2 times a week.
It seems to me that I have to drink copious amounts of water if I’m habitually drinking the coffee ‘zilla.’ Otherwise, my legs may bother me. Yeah, I know I sound old. I’m pretty sensitive to the slightest changes though, because I don’t want small things to get worse. I intend to have an active body for many more years. Movement is very important to me at this point in my life!
For breakfast, I had Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran, mixed with Great Grains with blueberries and sliced banana with turmeric mix powder sprinkled on top in an effort to maintain my fiber, energy levels, and address arthritic pain. Two servings of fruit, one of grain, and one of dairy. The Nature’s Path has an overall rating of close to 5 stars, but the flakes look like think carboard cut into flakes, hence the reason I mixt it with Great grains, something I’m familiar with, which makes it more acceptable to me. The Nature’s Path is expensive, so I might not always buy that.
My boyfriend thinks my breakfast habit sounds atrocious, but it’s really healthy, and I consider it a simple, yet comforting feast on a daily basis. He’s never been married and has lived alone without a female influence for a long time. He’s trying to be healthier now, due to my influence, so he says. He’s approaching 50. 🙂 When we went to Savannah recently, we ate in a Bed and Breakfast with dishes inspired by Indian influences. I loved the spices on their potatoes! He is allergic and had to get the spices left off. I think I was affected by turmeric at first years ago, but I never had dangerous reactions and seem to have developed a tolerance.
I’ve been compared to Sheldon Cooper when it comes to my dietary habits. So be it; I know what works for me! I love Thai food, Mediterranean, Chinese, and sometimes Mexican as well as usual American favorites, all with mild spice. However, I bought a turmeric ketchup recently and love it on my grass fed burgers at home. (Who knew burgers could eat grass, right?) 😉 Still, when I go to these types of restaurants, I usually order the same thing. I know what works for me. Having been told I had a slight milk allergy encouraged me to avoid cheese frequently. Some say I obsess over food or seem a little O.C.D. about it. Hey, it works for Sheldon, why not me?
On the writing front, I am tired out from the day job and don’t do much on the writing front currently except to jot down ideas, and I still have them, thank God! I wrote a second installment for Crossroads Diner, a runner-up in Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest, and now have an idea for a third, that, yes, I have written down! They could all be read as stand alone. I love the idea of many flawed people, some holding up a perfect facade, others carrying their scars outwardly, all coming together by chance to rectify themselves or make their way.
Next week is Literacy week, which got me thinking about my writing and where I am going with it. I am investing in several different genres now. I still don’t know if I might streamline it and stick with just one. It seems I am largely writing for myself and my moods, and it is cathartic quite often. I’ll have fun talking about books I’ve read and learning what my kids like to read next week. It’s time for me to get out of this chair though, and get a little exercise for the day. Tomorrow, I’ll have a massage to prepare for the week.
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, 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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. This week, I decided to focus on filling the days that are left of my summer with things that I want to do. I otherwise might have been obsessing about the upcoming school year, and what a waste of time that is! Too much COVID anxiety could get in the way of living. I have a mask to be careful, so the worry is not needed.
This week, I met a friend and we took our dogs to the dog park for a blissful hour chock full of cuteness! My dog, Bixby, also got a haircut this week and looks so adorable! I went to Physical Therapy twice, and that is easier now. I am doing well, and the PT and I decided when my last appointment would be. I’m nervous, but I will ask questions at the next appt. to hopefully become more confident. Wednesday, I went to the beach with my son again. Any time I go there, the stress melts away the closer I got. I felt tension build up in my body as we left. It seems a constant struggle at times. Friday was not a great day; my sleep was affected because I slipped out on the patio after it rained. It seems the only pain was in my left leg; sadly, that is the side I sleep on due to my shoulder most nights. So it made sleeping more uncomfortable. But I exercised after slipping, and I think that was the right call. I will do more stretching today.
I’ve been thinking lately, that many of us seem to have a contract with ourselves, that we may have a job that serves others, and we sacrifice so much of ourselves for it. I really do not want to put my happiness on the line for a job, so my new life contract is to put my health and mental well-being first. If I don’t have those things, I cannot help anyone and cannot attend to anything else. Next is my family, third is God. Does that seem strange? Well, I believe that honoring my family is honoring God, so maybe those two go together. Many of us also put volunteerism in the ‘serving God’ category, allowing it to get in the way of time with our family. This is why it is not moved up. Moving on. Fourth is my job. It cannot get in the way of the first three. If it does, then I am hurting myself and doing this life thing all wrong. Fifth, a balance between my friends and my hobbies or passions, depending on how social I may feel. I cannot go without either of them; I need them both, but my hobbies and passions do require time to myself. That’s it. Pretty simple, right?
In the writing/book world, there is not much going on except for the production of Malachi, Ruse Master in audiobook. We don’t expect it to be finished until some time in Sept., but I am meeting through Zoom today with the producer of the audiobook. Then, I can find out how he is progressing. Exciting!
I also posted a short story you may like in response to the one word prompt from Ragtag Community on WordPress. Read it here: Home. #homeless
That’s all for today. I hope you all enjoy your weekend and have a great week to follow!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali. It has been another week full of Live meetings with my sixth graders, the usual online teacher stuff, a broken down computer, and self-publishing a book, which made for a happy break from loneliness or monotony. So, I ordered a new laptop. I use the work laptop, but the microphone does not work, and I’ve been too lazy to take it in to the designated repair center. I’m happy about the new book. One regular reader has told me I’ve taken an “artistic leap,” as it focuses on one character, a young man going through his identity crisis after dropping out of college and obtaining a job where lies and pretending earn his pay.. Give it a look if you like! it intersects with some characters and events from undercurrents in time, but it can also stand on its own.
In the last month, I’ve had a pain flare-up, likely due to stress and fear. The news stirs my fear, and going to the grocery store in a mask is weird, but I do it. I feel like I have severe OCD, anxiety, paranoia, and agorophobia. Well, 80% of the world also does right now. I do have arthritis, but there may also be something else. I did so well after physical therapy at the start of this year, but the pain is back intermittently, and I aggravated it by going gung-ho two weeks ago trying a new exercise with light weights. Turns out I should not ever lift anything above shoulder level. 😦 No one told me that; I had to learn the hard way. )
It is relevant that I am currently reading something by Sarno about the Mind-Body Connection. It’s quite interesting, about how emotions or past trauma can cause or prolong chronic pain. Also, certain personality types are more prone to tension-myositis. When I explore these ideas, I feel more in control. Though, I am not really, but I feel it becomes possible.
I am blessed that I have my family here, though. My 78 year old mother, and my 24 year old son. He had his birthday last Sunday and we took a walk in a park just he and I, then came home and my boyfriend came over and we all ordered a great meal from Outback. I bought a cheesecake the day before, so we pigged out on all of that. My dog is also great company in these times; he seems to enjoy having us here, since Mom and I are always here, and my son is here a few days a week since he is working between 20 to 30 hours a week.
My dog has been anxious, though. Perhaps it was because of a stormy day the other day. He seemed to really like energy, or maybe he was preoccupied. And when the storm started, he was very on edge. I had walked him for, and noticed stickers and his leg, so I tried to get one out and he snarled and snapped at me. That is unusual. I kept telling him it was okay and then he started licking my hands as if he really felt sorry. He’s really a good dog. His age in dog years right now would be about 58, sort of young to be a cranky old man. But maybe he’s getting arthritis or something like that similar to what’s going on with me.
My mom took him to the vet, and she said everything looked kind of normal but based on what we had told her she was going to do some blood tests. We are still waiting on the results, but also based on what we had told her, she gave him a chewable medicine and I’m just going to call it doggie Prozac. It seems fitting. He’s in really good spirits today, but not really eating much. So, we pray there is nothing really seriously wrong. He was a stray for three years before becoming hours, and I know there were some hard times, it was evident when we first brought him home. I consider him to be a dog with PTSD, God bless him. I love that dog.
Last night I stayed up a little too late watching Homeland on Showtime with my free trial. I am definitely hooked on that show, as it has many twists and turns and OMG moments. It was a treat to myself to binge watch something again, as I can’t do that much during the week. I do try to take at least two yoga classes per week and I exercise on the back porch about two times a week, trying to stay healthy. Balance, right?
As I mentioned before, my arm and shoulder are kind of bugging me today, so I am writing this via speech to text on my phone. I do need to go back and check for errors. I hope you all have as good a week as possible and taken some sunshine. If I have not visited your weekend coffee share today, please feel free to leave your link in the comments area. I can visit your post via my phone. I’m planning to take it easy today. 🙂 Sending a virtual hug!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette T. You can find her site and Weekend Coffee Share at https://antoinettetrugliomartin.com/2019/12/06/tis-the-season/ **It is half a cup of hazelnut coffee for me, and whatever you would like as I share my partial sleep/lack of sleep diary for the week. It’s not as funny as Bridget Jones’ diary, but I think I am just as honest, so there’s that. 🙂 I am hoping some of you may have similar experiences. Truly, there were several things competing for the heaviest weight on my mind this week. My physical health and my quality of sleep are two of those things. I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook about it, partly because I know a few people who at times will post that they can’t sleep or can’t believe they are up at 4 a.m. and can’t get to sleep again. I have found one or two friends who will chat with me on Messenger when I can’t sleep. It helps to know you are not the only one with insomnia.
Why is this happening, though? I started physical therapy 8 days ago, and I have leg exercises to do morning and night. The first two days I was so energized and waking up early. However, I suspect I should do the night exercises earlier, maybe before dinner. It will just take some shuffling of my schedule, and I am vowing to bring less work home. The sad news of a friend’s passing was also something I had to mentally process. May he rest in peace.
The week in a nutshell:
12/02: Woke up at 4:30 a.m. Maybe it was the recent news of a dear friend/co-worker losing his battle with cancer. This is such a big loss for my school and the community. Maybe it was also partly a change of energy due to having started physical therapy this past week. My mind was definitely a bit too busy after I woke and tossed/turned from sciatica ( a frequent occurrence). FB post reads: Insomniac thoughts: Nothing to see here, my brain is just rattling its cage. #overthinkersareus
12/03: From my post: I slept in until 5:23, I have a busy brain and a full cup of coffee, and this student artwork ( blue and pink origami bird) waits for me at my work computer. Started PT for the back and it’s going well. Should be working on the shoulder in the next few weeks. I feel stronger. It’s worth the investment, and I’m trying to work on my mindset. My body must keep up with my brain or they’ll ruin each other. I think my energy level is better, but yesterday was rough due to emotions and lack of sleep.
12/04: Woke up at about 4:30 a.m. again. Sciatica. My doctor and I will discuss this tomorrow. Scoured Facebook for something to lighten my thoughts and make me laugh. Posted a funny meme of a rebellious woman not heeding her boyfriend’s command to ‘not drink the whole bottle of wine and act retarded.‘ She sports cut-off denim shorts, an empty wine glass, and Batman cape and mask. Good for her! I hope her boyfriend crawled away in shock and shame that he can’t handle this free-spirited girl. I checked, and my boyfriend totally would not stop me if I wanted to do this. 🙂
12/05- Did not post about my sleep, but I think I slept through the night, so tired. I did post about my friend who passed, as his visitation was going to be that evening. Spoke to my doctor in the afternoon appointment about my sleep issues and leg pain. He agrees the PT is the best thing, staying active is the best thing for arthritis and recurring pain. For now, I am going to try melatonin at night. I just spilled out all about my friend’s passing and the many things in the last three years that could have caused my pain: emotional family events, a car accident in ’16 that set off my nerves. This is good.
12/06- I don’t think I got any actual sleep Thursday night. My legs and sciatica were bugging me and I could not find my sciatic magnet therapy cuff. It was cold in the air but I knew I couldn’t make it too hot in the house. That, and I’d had the PT and a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, lots to think about after the Dr. appt., and the PT included new exercises for the hips, which are pretty unbalanced, by the way (so I’m not used to the hip work that was introduced I probably really need it though). The visitation for my friend occurred Thursday evening. I got to meet his family, tell them why he was important to me. There were so many co-workers I hadn’t seen in years except maybe Facebook, and we did some catching up and laughing about the best memories we have of Ron. He was loved by so many. The next morning’s post was me giving myself a pep-talk:
Ah, morning. Despite my lack of sleep, I will make the best of today! I plan to appreciate the students who like to give me hugs, the girls who are writing their paranormal version of the story I’m teaching them, the kids who just started Scholar Bowl and were so excited to tell me about it, and the awesome co-workers I get to work with. From brave new teachers who teach despite horrible news and opinions of teachers these days, to seasoned teachers who keep coming back due to their unstoppable warrior spirit that is, above all, fueled by love for their fellow man and hope for a better future. Life is good!
Sunrise of hope.
I have been working through this. I am not the kind who stays home to deal with my emotions. The lack of sleep didn’t stop me, I liked being around the energy of middle schoolers. My boss spoke to me early in the week and seemed very understanding of the processes I’m going through. I’m still pushing through the PT and I know that my mental state is always the best when I feel strong physically, and my physical state is affected if I allow myself to become a bundle of nerves. One of my relief mechanisms, writing, will not work if sitting in the computer for too long causes me back pain, which it does despite buying a special cushion for the sits bones. By the way,I mentioned melatonin. I started that Friday night. Of course, I was so super tired. I did my leg exercises from 7:30 to 8, and I fell asleep shortly after the dog-walking right after 10 o’clock. So melatonin might have helped. I will be repeating and observing its effectiveness.
If you have read all of this, thank you for the patience. I feel self-centered, but it has helped for me to get the events all together and the possible triggers/antecedents. Perhaps some of you have been through some of these things? Please share if you are comfortable doing so. I actually hope my Insomniac’s Diary does not go on a long time, I do not really want enough material for a whole book. 🙂
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali . I’ll admit, sometimes I can feel myself getting too perfectionistic and being too hard on myself, feeling like nothing I do is enough. At times, I feel like I have to have a little talk with myself, trying to calm myself down. It has been a stressful week. Suffice it to say, teaching is not an easy job. That may not be the only issue. Maybe it was just difficult to transition from Winter break self-care to reanimating my driven self in order to be a quality teacher, yet feeling I have little time now to do anything about my writing goals. Still, I’m always reminded that balance is so important.
I almost took a picture of the scowl on my face on day this week, because I partly was just mad at myself for letting my perfectionism force me to work late and miss my yoga class. I was also mad at my job for requiring so much of me. With my writing, I can go at my own pace, but let me be honest, it is not what pays the bills right now. I suppose I needed an attitude adjustment, and I am not completely sure what got me off balance. I need to be mindful of this in the future.
Since I missed yoga on my favorite Zen yoga night, I had to lay out the mat at home, so therefore, yoga had to include some dog play. That is perfectly alright! He always makes me smile! We took him to his fourth week of dog training today, which is always fun, and we see lots of other dogs in the Petsmart store where he trains. He loves that part, too!
What goes in our brains is also very important, and it can’t always be work, work, work. I’m listening to this classic on Audible, while I’m also reading a YA Fantasy book on Kindle. I always have reading goals and plans, and sometimes I participate in review groups ( no time for those right now). I feel badly if I don’t have time to read, and I suspect my brain got lazy over WInter break with lots of Netflix time. I did read, just not at a fast pace. Anyway, listening to Dorian Gray is nice while taking a bath. The language is very descriptive and flowery, somewhat advanced if not archaic, and the narrator’s voice is relaxing. Reading this in book form would take me a while. I must add, it got really intriguing in Chapter fifteen and sixteen today! Hey, it got my mind off of work, even though I did do an hour’s worth of work this morning. I didn’t finish, but an hour was all they were getting this morning. This is MY weekend!
Having said all that, I felt like my job was taking oved my life this week, but here I am, writing on my blog! It makes me feel more like myself; it makes me feel unstoppable, and by the way, that was my word for this year: unstoppable. Even though I’ve added a lot of goals to take me to another level at my job, I am going to be unstoppable and keep on writing, enjoying my life, and meeting those goals. I may adjust the pace, but I shall never stop! Have a great week, my friends. I am planning on more balance and self-care this coming week. 🙂
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com! Teachers are back at work, so that has been my life this week. I crashed early every night, sometimes on the couch. I even skipped yoga Weds. night, but at least I got in 20 minutes on the Gazelle last night.
In addition to teaching English Language Arts this school year, I will teach one elective class of 7th and 8th grade Journalism. It will be an introductory class. I have a few ideas, such as showing clips of newscasts and having students detect any bias in the reporter, as well as, overtime, having them produce a newsletter. Most students did not get this class by choice, so it will be my challenge to keep them interested, I suppose. I will be teaching more Gifted students in my Language Arts classes as well, and I think that will be interesting. In fact, I will likely take another course on teaching Gifted students this fall.
Along with what I am teaching, there are the extra things they want us to do. A blogger wrote about this phenomenon at jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com. He urges teachers to not work beyond contract time (4:25 each day). Others responded to him that our CAST (teacher performance rubric) actually consists of all the extra things that one has to work beyond contract time to fulfill. Being a member of a professional learning community, committees, etc. are some of the ways a teacher works beyond their “teaching” day. Staying within contract time for some means bringing more work home. It also means not participating in some of these committees or extracurricular activities. I have volunteered for one or two things so far and am being asked to do more. I’ve said “I don’t think I can,” or simply “No.” I have to really think before taking on anymore. Taking on nothing can mean a lower teacher eval score, which means, when that test score (VAM) number for the last 3 years comes from the state, it could even lower my teacher evaluation more. This VAM number consists of a mysterious high level formula that I don’t think many of our brightest Math teachers even understand.
I love inspiring young people, but I hate the politics of this job. This is why I stay in the Union. Case in point: this one week of teacher planning is sooooo overwhelming, I have not even written a thing this week. This is the first writing I have done. I imagine it will be like this for a few weeks, though I’ll try to participate in a flash fiction challenge. So, in some way, a teacher’s right to say no to taking on one more club, committee, or responsibility needs to be protected by SOMEONE! I constantly seek balance. I’ve already said yes to a few things, and I’m making it a point to reach out to new teachers and make their transition smoother.
I have received some devotions books from fellow blogger, Rick Christensen at https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/, and they are delightful! They are all about Gentle Witnessing, which is something I am trying to do more. Not just keeping to myself, I want to share my strengths with those it may help. Right now, my strength is that I have taught for 18 years under 6 different principals with 5 different schedule cofigurations. I can be of help to a brand new teacher. Two years ago, an emotional storm in my life and family made me what I feel to be the weakest link in my school for a period of months. I still did my job, but I was a shell of what I actually could be. I plan to do much better this year, but again, I need to balance it and rest while at home, write when I am moved, give time to my family and faith community, and have fun with friends and the boyfriend. Sunday I plan to go to church and afterward, see a movie with my son, since he is off. Balance. I will try!