Weekend Coffee Share. New Horizons, New Me…Same Hopeful Mess!

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette at

This is the last Coffee Share of 2019! I am so looking forward to 2020, and instead of a resolution, I decided to choose a word:  Limitless.  I have had so many limits this year and put so many limits on my life.  It has almost gotten me down at some points.  I have also accomplished a few things:  I encouraged my son to get a low level job in a new field, and he loves it!  I published/produced two books into audio.  I celebrated my boyfriend’s 57th birthday, my 51st, and my mom’s 78th.  I actively sought to deal with my back and pain issues and sought help with it; as a result, I am now doing squats (among other things) several times a week.  Squats!  It is a shocker.  However, I draw the line at Burpees.  🙂  My family are in on my new health kick, well, at least on supporting me.  My boyfriend got me a vertical mouse which is ergonomic and more comfortable for the hand and arm.  I am really getting the hang of it! (Google it and check it out). So maybe I can write even more, pain-free.  Mom got me an upright desk, it just isn’t assembled yet….

I did not feel much Christmas spirit due to the loss of a few dear people, but I did find opportunities to help others and the community, which made it feel more like Christmas.  Now I get to greet a New Year, and live out my personal goal of a being more of a limitless person.

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Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

A blogger friend wrote a beautiful Weekend Coffee post on New Year’s resolutions, to be more loving, like Christ.  It’s a wonderful post, and you can read it here:  https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/coffee-share-191227/ 

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Since it is Winter Break, and I have time off, I have been writing some short and flash-fiction.  I am proud of this piece here, which involves aliens: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/popular-opinion-fiction-fowc/ and was written in response to the Fandango One Word Challenge; the word was ‘popular.’  I personally love those one-word challenges and have tried them with some of my students who like writing.

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These are two books I have read lately.  One, very traumatic, yet hopeful.  The other, just all out bawdy humor by one of my favorite humorous authors, and I loved it as well!  I needed that after a Holocaust novel, and I loved both of them equally.

I also was able to meet up with an old friend who lives out of town.  She lost her husband of three years to an illness.  I read recently about the healing power of laughter.  She and I laughed a lot this time, as always.  It was wonderful to see her and her daughter.  The Insomnniac’s Diary is still in progress, but I think it is more of a personal thing now; in other words, I believe I am accepting a new normal.  As long as I can fall asleep at night and get at least four hours of sleep, I can handle it.  I am still logging the basics, though.  I mean, I was on 5 hours when I met my friend for dinner.  We had a great time for about two hours, and then I went home to relax and get ready for bed.  No problem!

I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and will have a safe, fun New Year with many pleasant surprises.

-Pamela

Weekend Coffee Share. I Survived…

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette T. Here we are the day after Friday the 13th, and I’ve already exercised and had my hair cut and styled. It was half a cup today, I’m sticking with that because I can’t go without, and I can’t risk my ability to sleep later. I fell asleep early on the couch the last few nights, but then I woke up at 1 or 2 and couldn’t get back to sleep for a few hours. So, there’s another entry in the Insomniac Diary. This was more sleep than my norm for the week, though. There’s a plus! Also, my dog came in and sat on the bed with me last night when I woke and started tossing a little.

I survived this Friday the 13th, which was an emotional roller coaster for so many different reasons. I survived by creating an atmosphere in my classroom that I myself could stand to be in as student or teacher. My students surprised to me. A student in my highly advanced class said I was her favorite teacher and I thanked her. I shared a highly personal poem that they loved. I wrote peace on Earth on my board, and a boy went up and drew and colored a beautiful Earth with blue and green. (Photo coming later). We all survived together. My student origami artist added a dragon to my collection! It now watches over me too. Though I still have new content for my insomniac’s diary, I have to tell you, life is good. ❤

On the writing front, I’m reading through Malachi again before I send it to an editor. I’m recording my insomnia experiences as well as my experiences with stress and how it may be affecting my health. I’m going to get wellness right, that is my goal, and someday I’ll take cardio yoga confidently! The physical therapy had a snag when I think I pushed too hard, so they gave me new exercises and it’s going much better now. My legs are getting stronger so my back will have a more stable foundation. As I visualize it and work toward it, I know this will happen!

That’s my week and my growth journey in a nutshell. I hope your week has gone well! Now I am off to cheer on some students who are ringing the Salvation Army bell today!

Weekend Coffee Share. An Insomniac’s Diary/ Slice of life

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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!

Sunrise524403_3714407267762_133138129_n 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. 🙂

That was my week.  How was yours?

 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share, The Mentors

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share. Please fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster ride as I will stop to acknowledge those who take their time to help our young people. Thank you in advance for joining me.

While I sit waiting for a pedicure at a busy nail shop, I wonder what good it was to make an appointment for 10 minutes ago. How do women handle sitting tbrough a pedi and then a mani, too? Do they know I’d rather be writing? Sorry for the gripe; I am rescued by the WordPress app on my phone! So, I’ll spill my thoughts to you.

I am happy and sad. Happy that people are downloading and listening to my audiobooks! On my WP home page there is a link to them and all I’ve written. I’m happy I had a nice holiday with my son and my boyfriend. Happy my son could attend an art show with me last night at a Wine Bar. The artist was my friend, and I encouraged my son to try and be social. We had a burger first, and he had a beer, which gets him talking, to me at least. 🙂 He is in a good place and loves his job.

I’m sad because, over the last two weeks, two great men lost their lives to battles with cancer. One had served an example for my son in community service at our church, and the other I’d known 19-20 years as a co-worker. He’d helped my son with Math, been a good listener as a co-worker, gave great parenting advice, and helped countless other kids. I feel grief but also gratitude for his presence in our lives. God put these people here for a reason. It’s sad to form the words you wish you’d spoken while they were living, I’m working on a poem in honor of these great mentors and friends, not the first we’ve lost, but very important.

Poetry, The Mentor, (c) 2019, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

What do you do when your mentors have all passed?

The last just left your life…

Do you become a sad shell of what you once were?

Do you strike out in anger, that life is so unfair?

Or do you rise up and recall all you’ve been taught?

Do you remember, and in remembering, wish you could say thank you?

See the many ways that you can say thanks, long after the great ones have left you.

Live your life in remembrance of all you have been taught.

It’s not easy, but your life is your ‘thank you.’

Live it well.

Shout to overcome the void, lest the void might overtake you.

This is how I deal with the negative feelings I’ve held in so long. My shout may be touching, it may be ugly at times, but I seek good health and have suffered the affects of holding in anger, grief, worry, fear much of my life. I believe this habit can be retrained. Thank you for joining me, maybe it was kind of weird…How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share, Unwind.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com and observed by bloggers all over the world! My dog is my source of stress relief today. School has been terribly busy this week, and the pre-holiday ants-in-the-pants syndrome is widespread in middle schoolers. I was running on a large cup of hazelnut coffee and Advil yesterday.

Today, I’m really taking it slow. I need that, sometimes. Mind you, I love my job, because I am teaching a novel I love, by Walter Dean Myers. I’ve made connections with my students by discussing things I have in common with Myers, things that go beneath the surface.

I’ve also been sharing about things that I have written, like this book, From Bedlam to Ben, something I have been proofing before I get it into paperback, even though it was published for Kindle 3 years ago.

As I’ve probably already mentioned, Undercurrents in Time is now in audio, and it seems to be doing well!

I almost have no energy to deal with writerly things today, though.

I’m writing this on my phone while I’m couching it with my dog. He sort of accompanied me as I exercised on the porch this morning.

He also was glad to sit outside with me for 15 minutes in the sunshine on this 78 degree day. You’ve gotta love the Southeast! I really needed some lazy time with my dog! Now, I think I’ll go read a book.

Yes, it just may be a tearjerker, and I really don’t mind.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Weekend Coffee Share, I Can Do This!

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli

I am parceled out in thirty minute increments this morning, that is, if I want to get in  my thirty minute exercise. I’ve got to get to Physical therapy for my shoulder.  After which, I have time to get to the salon and get a hair trim.  Then, there is a lunch date with an old friend who used to teach with me.  I’ll give myself more time for that, because there are no appointments afterward. I am hoping my afternoon will just stretch out before me, and I won’t have to hurry anymore.  So many things to go and see this time of year though!

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Last night, I took part in an induction ceremony for the National Junior Honor Society new members.  This is a club honoring excellence in its middle school members which has high standards for GPA, conduct, and community service.  It is a pleasure to honor such students and to work with them throughout the year!  This is a worthwhile use of my time after the teaching day, and I get to help these kids find community service projects while I benefit from renewed hope for our future.

On the author front, I am pleased to announce that Undercurrents in Time is now available in audio!  If you have read Detours in Time and might like to listen to the sequel and drop an honest review, try this US code: 72T6RQW85286E to download at https://audible.com/acx-promo or this UK code: 3GCCE5TS9MPQH to download at https://audible.co.uk/acx-promo

I know I have only shared one code each, so it is first come first serve.  I also will share codes in the Facebook group Audio Book Boom tomorrow if you’d like to listen and review but have found that the codes are already used.  Happy listening!

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Now, I must take a break to go to physical therapy!

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Okay, I’m back.  PT was frustrating.  The physical therapist was lovely, a nice, sweet guy, but he said the order was for PT for my back, yet I feel that chiropractic keeps that in check and that I need more help for my shoulder and arm.  Ugh.  They were nice about it, printed out the whole order, and they can fit me in early next week if I get the order for my shoulder.  So, I read all the paperwork.  It mentions concerns about my anxiety exacerbating my back pain.  It also mentions my shoulder “ridiculopathy.” You’ve got to love these technical terms, and looking back, I think I’ve had some sort of anxiety since childhood.  I do feel more yoga will treat my back AND my anxiety, but nothing is helping my shoulder, and it actually keeps me from doing certain yoga poses.  Therefore,  I’ll call Monday to straighten out the PT and just why I am going.  Le *sigh*.

 

fb_img_15518364789175458011365442213066.jpg A flashback photo with my son…

Despite this morning’s frustration,  I had lunch with a good friend after that made it all better; she’s a retired teacher, and I took my 23 year old son who suffers from a psychological disorder and is, overall, pretty anti-social.  My friend, Judi, was fine with me taking him and asked him questions to get him talking.  Don’t get me wrong, he is very healthy, on the right meds, and employed in a job where he can move up.  He just does not have a social circle and is quite introverted. She is very funny and friendly.  We went to get coffee afterward because she is so easy to talk to, and well, we had the time, so why not?  She is so encouraging of my dreams and interested in my hobbies; she also gets the stress teachers go through.  By the way, you know my next goal is to do Improv Comedy, right?  Truth be told, anxiety will not stop me from anything, I just need to learn how to keep it from settling into my body, causing me to clench my teeth or get tense.  I am going to keep pushing my limits!

I remain ever hopeful!  That’s it in a nutshell.  How have your week and your Saturday  been treating you?

Weekend Coffee Share, The Health Edition

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

Enjoy your favorite beverage and stay for a chat in the air conditioning; it still feels hot and sticky out there!

It has been another week on the job, and many evenings I came home with sore feet and legs.  Gladly, I made it to yoga Wednesday night, which helped!  I feel really busy now, as I am trying to creating challenging lessons and projects, and working on proofing the final chapters of the audiobook for Detours in Time.

Do any of you take statins?  If you’re reading this and thinking, that’ll never be me, or that’s for old folks, overweight folks, yada yada yada, I once thought that too.  I wouldn’t call myself overweight, though I am at my highest weight non-pregnancy.  I am fine with the way my clothes fit, but a gain of a few pounds will send off an alarm for me.  My mother and I might go on a diet together as she is not happy with her weight.  She is retired and many social events for her center around going somewhere to eat ‘good’ food, and she really enjoys it.  For me, I am going to try and add an extra night of 20 minute cardio.  My default last year was to do 2 cardio nights/day and a one hour yoga session once a week.

So, my weight baffles me.  I thought I was a healthy eater.  Four years ago, I was 15 pounds less and I don’t think I exercised more or did much that was different.  A year later, I had gained maybe 5 of those pounds, and was told, “Your cholesterol has continually gone up and now is at a level that requires you to take statins.”  So, I did, but probably at half the recommended dose.  This last year, I got really lax at that and would forget.  Result? Cholesterol went up; the doc wanted me to double the dosage.  I did it for a couple nights, but then added blueberries to my morning cereal and sometime, soy lecithin in liquid form.  I decided to stick with one, as it seems I feel effects when I increase the dose.  Effects such as hands that feel even stiffer than my arthritis causes in the morning, and feet that feel terribly swollen at end of day.  Am I stupidly not following directions or rebelliously taken my health into my own hands? I am trying to eat healthier, and likely should work harder at that. 🙂

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Along with all of this, I have been slightly cutting down on coffee consumption.  I’m having half a cup today. My other doctor agrees this is a good move, as I tend to get benign cysts.  I had read up on that elsewhere, too.  Not to mention the sources I have read about decreasing coffee if you have arthritis.  I actually hope it is the statins causing my soreness and not my arthritis getting worse.  Come on, I have 11 years to go until retirement!

So, I am trying a few things.  My one glimmer of hope, something I think I can actually do, is to add the cardio session and increase my exercise to four times a week.  That doesn’t even factor all the walking I do around school.  I bought a foam roller, but I left it on the floor and it got dog pee on one end.  My little furbaby is getting older too; he is eight years old.  I walk him at nine p.m. and I am in bed by 10, so it is hard to give him another outing.  He seems unable to hold it until morning now.  The foam roller should be good after the bleach dries.  Ugh.  The money I spend on exercise ‘equipment’ includes the super thick knee pad for yoga that I take to class with me.  My consensus: worth it!  Using bleach and cleaning up after the dog: worth it.

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I hope you all have a great week, and I think you for listening to my obsessing over health!  I hope you are well and have enjoy our coffee visit!