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.

#WeekendCoffeeShare, Giving Your All

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I had a good week at work despite some of the classes becoming a little more excitable. I’ve really been trying to smile at them when I see them outside of class in the hall and to greet them cheerfully when they come in to class. It’s important in these times.

We now have our first COVID case at my school and some are quarantined. One high school in town is closed and doing online teaching; my friend who works there said there are 47 cases. *Anxious sigh*

I do not like the pressure coming down from the district and the state as if this is all about standards (*strictly my opinion, not my empoyer’s). My area of interest is Social Emotional Learning, because I was very unmotivated in high school and did not excel or try for Honors classes until the Senior year, because my son had learning problems due to emotional issues, and because no child will meet the standards if their teacher has not shown that they are accepted while still setting gentle, yet firm boundaries.

I know, yada, yada, yada. 🙂 It’s becoming clear I like to throw myself into things. I am still reading self-help books about healing and anxiety as well as the brain’s role in pain and healing. All summer, I had thrown myself into the healing process with my shoulder injury and physical therapy. This fall, I’ve thrown myself into being the best teacher I believe I can be, not necessarily what everyone else expects. Meaning, it takes me how long it takes me to grade essays. I don’t want to rush and then give them another writing assignment. Still, I am almost done, and this week I was developing project options for my Gifted and Advanced students. I designed my own rubrics and came up with ideas for different projects appealing to different modalities. Some of them seem pretty interested to get started.

I got my vote in early this year, but Tuesday, I joined in with the teacher next door in her efforts to get students excited and to stress the importance of voting. I shared my enthusiasm in a post you can read here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/11/04/what-its-like-to-vote-2020/

Empty desks will be filled with bright minds….

I am doing well with my nerves, but my focus is sometimes a challenge. Maybe it is a part of changes that come with my age or maybe I once again have to put the past in its place. I don’t know. I just apologize to my students and say I had a “brain freeze” and move on. They don’t make fun of me. There is a feeling that my students and I get along even when I sometimes have to crack down on class behavior or noise, so it seems we’re on the way to building a pleasant little community this year, and that makes me ecstatic! (Do I sound like a hippy)? I love to focus on ways to challenge them. My goal is to make a difference in their lives, like those who made a difference in my life in my healing journey for my shoulder this summer. Not just for the shoulder, but my peace of mind and my trust of medical practitioners. (Hospitals have been a source of high anxiety for me for years).

So while I still spent two nights this week just exercising or relaxing and not grading, while I had them do work Friday but did not grade it, I still think I’m giving my all. There are ways to do this and still maintain balance, I do believe.

Writing is moving slowly for me with my next book, but Malachi, Ruse Master has been fully edited for audiobook and is now in the approval process. Woohoo! My favorite local indie book store closed, the one that carried my books. 😦 So I got them out and they’re at home. I have a few friends who are going to get a copy. There is another store in town I have to check with, though they may require a book signing. I still have COVID fear. Ugh, my social life has suffered. But I will see some friends tonight!

Yes, some long time teacher friends and I are getting together tonight, just the girls. Only two of us are still at the same school, so it will be great to get together! I may be having tea later with a church friend, and this morning I’ve got the ‘got to do’ things: this blog, a little grading, exercise. I am compelled to do these things. Two thirds of them keep me healthy! 🙂

So, social life, beloved writing hobby, work requirements, work goals, healthy habits–all are present….getting close to balancing them! Much love and hugs to the blogging/writing community and peace to any newbies stopping by. Have a great week!

#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!

Weekend Coffee Share, Challenge

Don’t hide from the storm. Revel in its power and beauty.

Here’s my Weekend Coffee Share.  Take it or leave it. Digest it or leave it on the table. Yeah, I suppose I sound a little antisocial today. I’m having work and COVID fear- burnout this weekend and don’t feel up to doing much. I’m working on avoiding overwhelm/stress/anxiety. I’m reading about the brain and pain/anxiety.  I was kind of achy when I woke this morning.

The 4 a.m. restroom wakeup had me tossing and turning to get back to sleep while an 80s Pixies song danced in my head. (My frequent wakeup song on the way to work). 🙂

Nonetheless,  it is a coffee day…because there is always something to do. While I don’t have flu or any other illness,  I will be doing. Right now the coffee has my brain juices going, working to get over the fatigue and body aches I feel. I’ve read a lot on this, and I’m a firm believer in tension-myositis. So, here is what I’ve learned from my recent readings in poetic form:

Don’t ignore the ugliest parts of yourself

Stare them down and challenge them

Know them, don’t deny them.

“Try it, I dare you.” Don’t back down, nothing can stop you

Headache, heartburn, pain, fear or fatigue…don’t let them rule

While you’re quaking in your boots, face the giant

You’ve faced it before, and it truly is not bigger than you.

You’re older now, facing many changes

They cannot control you, for you are not only a sum of difficult times

You are every good thing that has happened to you

You are every victorious moment of triumph in adversity

Never forget that when facing the storm.

It never was bigger than you.    

(C) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2020

Weekend Coffee Share, 8/01. It’s Not Over Yet! Summer, 2020

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  Grab a cup of whatever is your preference! I am having half-caff and Advil this morning.  Miles Davis plays in the background. I’m getting a haircut later and a massage tomorrow.  I don’t know if I can afford it, but I do have a credit card. 🙂  Enjoy the ambience for a little while!

It has been a week full of doctor visits and annual check-ups as well as a shot at the orthopedic surgeon’s office on Tuesday.  Remember, it takes a village. 🙂 The shot was in my shoulder joint (intra-articular shot), and there was a numbing shot first, after which I did not feel any pain nor did I know when the actual steroid shot occurred. The nurse on my other side asked me something and we got onto the topic of returning to school to teach, and that I am learning a few ASL signs for when I need to communicate but have my mask on. We discussed the signs we know and then, it was all over.  They did a good job of distracting me and keeping me calm and cool.  I just lay around the rest of that night and had slight discomfort from it the next day. I was back at physical therapy on Friday. I’ve been working hard on that for 7-8 weeks and it may end soon, but I’ve been told with frozen shoulder I need to keep working on it at home; it may take a year to fully resolve.

I am so done with feeling old and want to do stupid, youthful things again…read that as fun things.  Nonetheless, we celebrated my mom’s 79th birthday Thursday night and I was able to cut my own steak! It was very tender, I will admit, but still a win! A month ago, I couldn’t quite do that.  I am not writing much lately as it’s hard to sit down for very long.  Whether this is a new focus issue or me avoiding sciatica, I can’t say.  I will say that I prefer to get up a lot to take breaks from the computer. It probably is a result of the online teaching I did this Spring.  I did publish a nice poem on WordPress this past week in response to the Ragtag Daily word prompt; it was about our human condition and the current world situation. View it here: By Design, a Poem

20190530_200427 Me and Mom (2019). She has many more years left!

I had lunch with some retired teachers yesterday and then later chatted with a current teacher friend about my health ailments.  I also developed a mood yesterday that hasn’t been helped by lack of sleep, (which just became problematic in this last year and may be due to hot flashes and overthinking, go figure), so I have decided that getting old sucks.
I want to develop a ‘getting older’ attitude that says “I am wise, and I know the little stuff doesn’t matter.  I know my day can be GREAT without brushing my hair or buying the most expensive makeup.”  I want to use this as an excuse to be silly, do zany things, and make questionable stylistic choices. I want to break out of society’s assumptions and chains! Aches or not.  I do sometimes worry that I will overstep my limits and hurt myself, but living in fear is not my new M.O.!

Mind you, I am careful, and I sure don’t travel much in our current situation, which is why I’m pondering and looking for physical activities. I suppose it is boredom, mid-life crisis, or just wanting to actually feel I am LIVING while I can. (It’s not over yet, you know). I want to stay active and be healthy, as staying physically active could also possibly put me on a new path, not the path of pain I have felt stuck in for a good 5 years or so, partly as a result of emotions and life stress.  I polled some Facebook friends, and I’ve gotten suggestions such as: horseback riding, paddle boarding, trying wine in every county in Florida (totally doable), solo travel (not sure about that), and getting a kick-start scooter.  We shall see! I definitely want to hike some more.  Summer is not over yet, and I have a little time left to enjoy the beach.

Florida news: In my state, we now have 465,000 cases of COVID according to cdc.gov.  My county has 20, 816 cases.  School is going to re-open on 8/20. Teachers are starting back for planning/training on 8/12.  We’ll see what happens, I suppose.  I for one will have plenty of masks at the ready and I’ll also wear a face shield.

I hate that I still can get in such a negative mood like I did yesterday, but reading the book Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety has been providing nuggets of wisdom for about a month since I started reading it.  This is how I proceed with non-fiction books; I devour a fiction book in a week but take a break now and then to read part of whatever NF or self-help book I am currently on.  Anyway, here’s what inspired me:  “When we fear that ‘something bad is going to happen,’ or when we get upset because ‘everything went wrong today,’ we are also suffering from our own judgments. Refraining from judging and blaming allows us to enter the sacred realm of unconditional acceptance where we are ‘good enough’ and nothing ‘bad’ will ever happen to us.”….”If we truly want to emulate the divine, we will cultivate unconditional acceptance.” So there it is; let’s stop being so hard on ourselves, stop believing the worst, and start seeing the positives in everything! I am working on it.

I hope that you all have a great weekend and find the good in everything you see!  I am going to do my best to put on a youthful attitude.  It just might require a nap this afternoon…

Weekend Coffee Share, of COVID, Birthdays, and Healing

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali on WordPress.  Today is pretty hazy due to the sand ‘storm.’ It is very hot though.  I am moving slowly, which I guess I can afford to do at this time.  Thank God for lazy summers!

My state, (Florida) when I last checked, now has 111,724 cases of COVID 19.  I go places and still see people not wearing masks.  As of yesterday, all bars in Florida are closed. (Unless 50% of their sales are from food).  Three people that I know have recently stated that they either a. no someone who tested positive or b. have a family member who has it AND has tested positive. The younger generation is testing positive far more often now.  I did convince my fifty-something boyfriend to wear a mask to Old Navy when we went to buy him his birthday present yesterday. I have not been able to convince my 24-year-old son to wear one, even though we have some at home.  Perhaps masks will be made mandatory soon.  I am not going to worry, but I am going to take the precautions, as I have been.

Speaking of birthdays, my boyfriend had another birthday two years ago! He’s now in his upper fifties! We went out to Longhorn Steakhouse where I treated him to a steak dinner and discovered an ‘axe-throwing’ place in the area.  Maybe plans for the future when I have full shoulder mobility?  We both love the age we are, no matter what age that happens to be on any given year; we joked about me wanted to write Pixies song lyrics all over my sidewalk in chalk (scandalous) and him wearing a shirt saying, “In my defense, I was left unsupervised.”  Gen-X is the best!  We both also like to joke about being sore in the morning and waking with aches and pains. Laughter is the best medicine! Definitely an aging thing, but my joke is, when I have a birthday, I say, “No matter how old I get, you’re always older!” 😉

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As you can see, we both love to go for the ‘no-brush’ style!

On aging, I want to tell you that I’m making progress with my shoulder pain.  Three weeks ago, I could not put my right hand on my hip due to the pain of putting my arm in that position. (Shoulder impingement likely affected arm & hand also). With 2 weeks of PT behind me, I was able to finally place my right hand on my hip! (Albeit it at an awkward angle). I can also raise my arm higher!  I am so happy that I’m making progress, and it makes me want to keep working even harder! I was referred to see a surgeon, and I’ll do so, but I am going to keep moving forward as if I did not need surgery, as if staying active and complete the physical therapy will totally heal me.  I believe that it is possible.  Time will reveal if that is all I need, but I am going to give it my all.

As far as writing, it is going very slowly for my work in progress, but I had accepted that at the start of summer due to the pain I was feeling.  The audiobook for Malachi, Rusemaster is in progress as I now have a narrator and we have made a contract.  Woo-hoo!  I have also decided to choose certain days this summer in which I will share a short tale from the blog archives; I have several, and many of you may not have been following me for long.  I’ve been at this blogging habit for four and a half years now!  Life is good. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by! Please share about your life and your week, and if you want to learn more about my books,  please visit Pamela Schloesser Canepa, Amazon Site

Have a great weekend and enjoy this coming week!

Weekend Coffee Share: Set back, but Still Moving Forward

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  It’s half-caff for me today, and whatever you would like, since we are doing this virtually.

I’ve had a slight personal setback, but it won’t stop me.  After a slight accidental discovery 2 weeks ago (that I cannot do exercises that involve my arms above my head with a 3-pound weight), I consulted the doctor yesterday. It has been hurting for this full two weeks, and my mobility seems even more limited in that arm.  The doc says I have a rotator cuff impingement. It does not feel good. I’ll be taking Prednisone for a few days hoping to avoid a steroid shot. I have to go light on the weights, but I’ll just find new ways to move this arm and shoulder. He showed me some stretches I should do that do not involve weights.  I’ll still do online pilates barre tomorrow, just without weights. 

We also had a scare this last week.  My mom had horrible heartburn and pain in her chest.  She said ‘It’s just my esophagus, I’m sure,’ but I insisted she call the doctor Monday.  They said she’d better go to the ER, ‘just in case’ there was something going on with her heart. At the ER, they decided she needed a stress test, so she waited overnight at the hospital in a room. Her test was in the morning, results didn’t come back until after noon, but her heart was fine.  She has to see a surgeon about her gallstones, though. We’re just thankful it is not her heart! With all of this social distancing, I feel really close to my family in my home.  Sadly, I could not visit her in the room.  I am just glad that little scare is over!

In book news, my most recent book,  Malachi, Ruse Master got its first, and it is 5 stars!  This same reviewer stated that I seem to have made an “artistic leap” with this one, and I find that quite a compliment!

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“Malachi is a living, breathing character, likable, flawed, believable, who grows in wisdom page by page. I lived his adventures with him, sympathizing with him as he faced his dilemmas.

I read almost the entire book in one sitting, stopping only after midnight had come and gone. Now I look forward to Pamela’s next book.

I heartily recommend this book. If you have not yet read the Detours in Time series read this first. Then look for Malachi again.” -Steven, Amazon Review

Malachi, Ruse Master is deeply character driven and connects to Detours in Time book 2 (Undercurrents).  As the reviewer stated, you wouldn’t need to read any of the others first.  There is a lot of mystery in Malachi, Ruse Master and just a hint of sci-fi; it is telling Malachi’s story. He’s a twenty-year-old trying to find his way and his place in life.  What ensues is quite a roller-coaster ride!  You might like it.  Find it here:


https://www.amazon.com/Malachi-Ruse-Master-Character-Spin-off-ebook/dp/B086VYJYZX

I thank you for stopping by and reading my blog post! How was your week?