Weekend Coffee Share, Outlook Adjust

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s nice and sunny, and I’ve imbibed cold green tea today. Bixby is at my feet, and Indie Folk music is playing, a calm, light atmosphere.

Bixby had his end of summer haircut and is cute as always…

I’ve been back at school for a week, attending meetings, taking training, and planning my classroom set-up. It appears I’ll have a lot of low level learners in addition to Advanced classes with Gifted students, so I’ll have three different types of classes to teach for English Language Arts. I’m expecting a challenge, and I’m nervous.

I can still find inspiration, though.

I still believe there are students I can reach and that I reached several last year. Perhaps I just need to believe in myself more as we start anew again with another set of students, while recalling what I’ve learned from last year’s kids.

At the back of my mind and in the forefront of the news is the COVID situation. Florida has had a lot of COVID hospitalizations in the last few months and a few deaths as well. At work, we are required to wear a mask for 30 days. I’ll do that to benefit a child. However, not all students will be wearing one, as they are not required to.

If you think these policies are sort of confusing, I agree. I’m being careful even though I’m fully vaccinated. Some vaccinated folks are still getting COVID, but I believe the symptoms are allayed in most.

On the bright side, I got together with my companion last night. He took me out for steak dinner, and I had flavored brussel sprouts on the side that were scrumptious! Well, so was the steak, and the company. 😉

My writing feels like it’s suffering. My emotions are overwrought over my struggling family member who barely speaks to me lately. My intellect is challenged over my upcoming school year. But I still find time to meet up and laugh with this man who listens and lightens my mood, and I have some dinner plans with friends for next week. All are forms of self-care.

Perhaps my writing situation is different since I don’t like to sit still much lately. Fact: I’m laying on the couch typing this on my phone. When done, it’s time to exercise. I’ve written little bits of Ellie’s story in a notebook. We adapt as needed, I guess. I also wrote about Special Family Dynamics based on reading I have done about dealing with a family member who is ill. You can view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/navigating-special-family-dynamics/ It is based on what has been foremost in my mind lately, and I wrote it to condense things that I have learned as reminders to myself on how to manage emotionally.

Don’t worry, I’m not done sharing stories yet, fiction or non. This Coffee Share is my way of sharing little bits of my story. I thank you for reading this far. How has your week been?

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Business as Usual? Nope.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! I’m posting a little late, but I already got in my Saturday exercise. That’s a good excuse right? My drink is matcha green tea today, what’s yours?

Having had my exercise means I got some fresh air for at least 30 minutes, and it’s a nice, mild 70 degrees, so I’m dreaming, dreaming there’s a little bit more sunshine, and the world has returned to normal. Dreaming that I could be at an outdoor music festival today, smelling fried food, hearing loud echoes of the music of my choice while I sit back and lose track of time, feeling the rays of sun on my face.

But things have not gone back to normal. I’m teaching in the midst of a pandemic, sleeping horribly, and lacking focus to the effect that it’ll take 5 plus years to write another book, and I get so distracted when reading. I’m not my usual self. I still find things to laugh at, though. I’ve always been a survivor. How do I thrive through this, though?

1/20/21 My coworker & I in our pearls honoring the first female Vice President!

I’ve been trying to show more appreciation to those I love and to my friends and co-workers who lift my spirits. While being careful with teaching around kids, I’m trying to help start a new club at school. There are lots of sweet, awesome kids also in school during this pandemic, longing for the social-emotional connections they miss. While I want us all to be safe, I hope we don’t have to stay home again to do it.

I’ve been prepping all week for my yearly observation like it’s business as usual, and I’m feeling positive about it, because some kids still love to learn. I see some kids acting out at school, though. I hear the frustrations of new teachers, and I sometimes struggle to react positively. That’s where I’m at right now. Sometimes, dark or absurd humor helps.

Despite feeling a sort of writer’s block, I do write poems now and then in certain bursts of reaction. The most recent was in response to something I’m planning to teach next week. Please visit the post and read my short poem: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/01/18/day-and-night-poetry/

I love teaching poetry…one more thing to be positive about. Despite arthritis flaring up in my hand, I’ve been able to type this post. I was able to go over a mile this morning. Our nation had a peaceful Inauguration Day! Let’s focus on what’s good today. I hope you all are well, and taking any bad news that filters through in stride. Have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share, Getting in the Spirit

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage!

It has been a long week, but I survived it and this weekend, I know there’s no need to set an alarm Monday! My grading is done, and I already have some ideas for my lessons in January. It is a good feeling to finally be caught up!

Things got pretty intense this last week. My boyfriend had sinus symptoms ten days ago, and Saturday he called to tell me he tested positive for COVID. I freaked! I was supposed to drive up to meet my brother in S.C. to get my mom and bring her back home…but not in the midst of COVID cases exploding around me! My son also had a cold. After two days, he said, “Nah, I’m getting better. I don’t need a test.” I thought he was being way too headstrong and stubborn, but he kept sounding better day after day. I was, ironically, lucky my boyfriend did not see me the weekend before last since he went to see his dad in Georgia. Therefore, I was outside of that rule “Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks?” Otherwise, I’d have to quarantine away from work for two weeks.

My significant other and me, circa 2018. He’s not a vegeratian! 🙂

Things are much better. My son’s cold is almost 100% gone, and my boyfriend tested negative for COVID yesterday. So, I’m going to pick up my mom Weds. I’m not too keen on driving in South Carolina during holiday traffic, sometimes I get panicky due to a car accident in 2016, so I’ve asked a friend to drive up with me. She said yes, thank God!

All week at school, the kids were a bit more excitable than usual. Friday, my plan was quite simple: discuss if you would choose either a pause or a reset button on life; explain why, creatively. Then, design/color an ugly (or wonderful) sweater on paper. The standard? “We can co-exist harmoniously.” I challenge anyone to prove to me that is not a legitimate standard in this day and age. I mean, they had to share crayons. The discussion in some of my classes was GREAT!

It was ugly Christmas sweater day, but I don’t have one. So, my Christmas dog mask had to suffice. 🙂 I was tired, but I’ve been tired almost daily for the last few weeks. Those kids kept me awake, though. I have to admit, the students I teach are pretty great. Sometimes, full of too much energy, but they’re good kids. Friday was fun, but it went by just fine. I was given a few nice gifts from the kids that included gift cards to places I love. At the end of the day, one of my female students surprised me and hugged me. She said she was sorry about COVID changing everything and hoped I had a nice Christmas. We don’t hug these days; I was surprised. But I did not shoo her away. There is such a delicate balance between human connection and COVID safety that makes these times hard. I’m not worrying about it, but I worry for those who really need that human connection.

Christmas 2020!

Yesterday (Saturday), I acted as adult chaperone for kids in National Junior Honor Society as we rang the bell for Salvation Army collections. It’s the first actual holiday event I’ve joined in, being so cautious and having slight COVID anxiety. This is always a fun event, as the kids are great and very civic-minded. Several of the students were in my class last year, and some I had taught two years ago, so it was nice to catch up. I was still a little tired, though, so I left when my shift was over at 2 p.m. and at home, got the first nap of my Winter Break!

Some relaxation is certainly in order! Stay well, everyone, and feel free to visit Allison’s blog and join in the Coffee Share today or in future weekend shares, https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2020/12/18/weekendcoffeeshare-relaxation-life/

Peace!

Covid 2020. Stifled. #poetry

Covid anxiety has me feeling stuck, tied down,

Oppressed…

A hot flash brings it on,

Allergy sniffles bring it

Stuck in a mask, afraid to go out…

It has me pinned by the arms. Stilted breathing, muffled voice

But I will summon my nerve and beat it, one day.

I will stare it in the face, lash out like a cornered animal,

And defiantly,

Spit in its eye.

Weekend Coffee Share. I know, we haven’t talked….

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali on wordpress. So, it has been a week. What a week. Please forgive if I am not very focused today. Here’s why:

A middle-aged woman keeps anxiety at bay

Usually. She reduces coffee intake, but not today…

She brings her work home all the time

But lets the air out on Friday night

For a date with the couch, and her feet up

A dog at her feet or closer for a belly rub.

Time for a date tomorrow night

I’ve got to relate to someone, am I right?

Tonight, a glass on the table, Netflix a little loud

Something ridiculously funny, like the IT Crowd.

Thoughts on the back burner, wondering

How her job took over. Pondering

How do I take control of this?

This is my life. There is so much more

that I want to do.

And will I have to tell the children

“The problem is not at all you?”

So I struggle for free time

To survive and keep my mind at peace.

Yet, new requirements, mandates,

Take the time away from me.

Let’s not mention health, which is a hobby and a job.

Or serenity and fun, they seem to have been robbed.

Don’t worry, I’m going to get it back.

Somehow, I will get these cards stacked.

Signed,

I want to focus on the things that make me enthusiastic again.

A teacher in 2020. But also, a middle-aged woman. A mom, a daughter, someone’s friend, an arthritic woman, a writer, a fitness-minded individual, an anxiety sufferer, a survivor, a fighter, one who loves to dance but never does these days, a dog-lover.

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/04/20. Liberty and Justice for all!

Happy 4th of July, and welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  It has been so hot here in Northeast Florida.  Grab your favorite beverage; I’ve got the AC on high!

This week has been relaxing, yet challenging. I started off with a physical therapy appointment, then had a relaxing coffee get together with a writer friend at my house.  The physical therapy IS, at times, challenging.  More on that later. The coffee was mostly relaxing; we talk about where we are in our current works in progress and what our plans may be. I talk a lot about my shoulder because it has slowed down my writing and my time at the computer. We talked about our loved ones: her grandson and my son.  We can talk for hours! I rarely do stuff like this anymore.  Don’t worry, we were at a good social distance in my house, and I played some good jazz in the background. 🙂

I am making progress with the shoulder. With the guidance of my physical therapist, I am now able to place my hand on my hip.  He encouraged me to move my right hand and arm behind my back, something which I have not done in a very long time and would not have on my own. To think, I used to be able, just 3 or 4 years ago, to reach both hands behind my back in the prayer hands position.  Not any more.  But I’m gradually working through the pain.  I often come back from physical therapy ready for a nap. That is okay! My hard work is paying off! I will get my mobility and capabilities back. I have goals: axe throwing for one.  I may or may not be kidding. We shall see!  I also plan to be able to do more upper body yoga moves, without having to modify so much.  I do have an appt. with an orthopedic surgeon on 7/21.  My hope is that I don’t need surgery that badly.  I will be working hard on my mobility until then!

Of course, COVID-19 gives me a little anxiety and on days it really bugs me, I feel so obsessive-compulsive.  It’s not every day, though. I do still get hot flashes at times, and one day, that led me to take my temperature five times until it finally appeared to be lower.  What is going on with me?  There were no other symptoms.  What doesn’t help, is that our governor is bound and determined that kids will physically be in school to start the year in August.  At my least check, we had 166,000 COVID cases in Florida.  My city and county evidently had a big rise in cases yesterday.  I wish I could go to the beach this weekend, but I probably won’t. I do plan to go Georgia with my boyfriend and see his dad.  I plan to be careful and not catch COVID. I don’t think it is prudent or careful to have all these kids in school. Yet, the district has spent money on plastic dividers.  I guess they’re not even considering us being online for a while.  WHATEVER! I’ll get through it. My friend suggested wearing scrubs, which wash easily, instead of our good clothes. That may be a plan.

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I hope all is well with you all.  We can survive this.  We can even thrive in our own ways. Though I am not writing as much, I am journaling daily to help myself mentally not just deal with, but overcome the pain.  I bought sidewalk chalk and drew little pictures outside my front door.  I plan to do more of this, as well as making a miniature living room out of playdough. 🙂  

white and red flag

Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

If you’d like to learn more about my books; the first two in the Detours in Time series are just .99 in Kindle format through Sunday.  Click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0711ZW6XF (Detours in Time), or  Book 2 (Undercurrents in Time) at  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DCCQS3N .

Have a great week, and a happy, safe Independence Day!  I feel us gradually moving closer to “Justice for all.” May the tides keep turning that way, and may we hold true to our promises as a nation. 

 

 

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