Weekend Coffee Share, Balance for Self-Respect

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.

No, it’s not easy being a princess! 😉

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!”

From my Louise Hay affirmation journal.

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.

Bixby and his winter ‘hairdo.’ 🙂

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!

Have a great weekend!

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A Day in My Life, Day 22: Literacy Week begins #RRBC

Jan. 23rd: Day 22 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 1 of Literacy Week!

We wore black and white today to represent newspapers. I pre-recorded a video describing what newspapers remind me of, memories of my youth when my dad would get engrossed in a newspaper. (Mom was always the one engrossed in books. I was fated to become a writer and an English teacher:)) Anyway, here’s the video I made: https://youtu.be/F5vrGODSr3c

I showed it to my students. They seemed to like it and were impressed that I had a YouTube channel. Yikes! Doesn’t everyone? My educational YouTube channel is private, and the videos only available to those with whom I’ve shared the link.

My bookshelves at 10:30 a.m.

So, I did as I was told to do. Day 1 of Literacy week , and my bookshelves were almost empty at 10:30. Books all hidden away. I explained why to my students, state statute 847.012….they didn’t get it.
*
I cleaned off the bookshelf during class, and many kids were socializing and cutting up, but I had to do this. I couldn’t go in early. I do feel bad for my students, though.
*
I look back to the first year I started teaching and our county’s push for us to have a “print -rich environment” with reading choices, and I could just cry. It makes me want to leave teaching, but I won’t leave these kids behind. I hope to teach them to be very aware of what’s going on in the world and in our state.
**This is my first hand experience, not even opinion! However, I’m sure you can figure out my opinion, and any opinions shared here are my own and not those of my employer.

Right after work, I left to go to physical therapy. It seems to be going alright. After that, I stopped for a bite to eat and a woman at the table next to me asked for my prayers. She’s waiting to hear about a job interview she had a few weeks ago. She got caught in the rain yesterday. I’m not sure if she has to take the bus or is homeless. Most would tell you if they are. She didn’t want anything from me but to be heard. Send out an anonymous prayer, won’t you? She really is trying.

So, my evening is winding down, but I’m on my Gazelle exerciser typing this out. My phone makes that possible! The WordPress app is a wonderful thing for a writer.

That’s my day in a nutshell: the good a bad. What a rollercoaster! Have a good evening, everyone!

Day 21, A Day in My Life

Jan. 22nd, Welcome to day 21 of #ADayinMyLife.

Today has me feeling somewhat listless, Hey, I did get some great sleep last night, so I can’t complain there. I do have some errands to do, but I’ll do them at my own pace. One of those is grocery shopping, and I’m going to look for more anti-inflammatory foods.

By the way, as a lifelong reader and proponent of teaching students to think for themselves, I’m still mad about this: https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2023/01/18/state-education-officials-pass-rule-on-library-book-choice

So now it seems appropriate to talk about books I read. I just finished reading a book, so let’s celebrate! The Riddle of Satan’s Cube is sci-fi fantasy and seems to have metaphysical and spiritual elements. Many of the characters are symbolic and have lived through several different time frames and in many different universes. The future is in peril, and Carl Prescott has to battle Satan and “solve the riddle.” This book is not religious but addresses some biblical ideas; God being three parts in one, for example. I found it quite entertaining and at times, deep. If you like a good mind-bender, you’d enjoy this one!

There was not much else going on today. I did get some rest and got the week’s groceries, so that’s good. Now it’s time to figure out my next read. Have a good evening, everyone!

Day 20, A Day in My Life and #weekendcoffeeshare

Jan. 21: Welcome to day 20 of #ADayinMyLife and my Weekend Coffee Share, which is hosted by Natalie the Explorer.

I woke this morning still unhappy about hearing yesterday that we teachers who have books on our classroom bookshelf have to empty those books into boxes or put them away until further notice. They have to vetted by a media specialist, which is something we don’t have in my school due to budget cuts 5 years ago.*In my opinion, not that of my school or district leadership, our state has made very confusing decisions regarding educational freedom.

Here is the Florida law upon which decisions were based to not make books available to students (unless part of the curriculum) if those books haven’t been “vetted by a media specialist” to be appropriate: https://law.justia.com/codes/florida/2000/TitleXLVI/chapter847/847_012.html

At least I can get a massage today. I will need that escape. Today is pretty much a relaxing, self-care day. Yesterday was preventative health care day, as in doing what we must to be or make sure we’re healthy. Here is that short post: https://wp.me/p7aqV2-37X

The appointments of yesterday got me to a different part of town, San Marco, where I enjoyed the views of murals.

In San Marco, Jacksonville.

My dad and his partner got out on their way home this morning. It was a good visit with him and Patsy! I think they’re a good pair, but partly because she keeps him on his toes and trying to be a better man. I’m going to try to get to his side’s family reunion in Minnesota this summer. One of his sisters helped me with genealogy and our family history on that side, which is really interesting. It makes me think of this quote ( found on the internet):

Anyhow, I’m at the gym now, doing my 30 minutes on the bike, jamming to Salt-n-Peppa, being a woman- over -forty- in -short- running -shorts (how dare she)! I feel a little rebellious. People will judge either way I might as well be interesting! I come from a long line of unique individuals and will embrace my freedom if expression. Have a great weekend, everyone!

A Day in My Life, Day 19 #blogchallenge

Jan. 20th, Day 19. #ADayinMyLife

Today I took the day off for appointments. I slept in, getting back to sleep after the bathroom wakeup call. Man, I really needed that sleep! We had a good dinner with my dad and Patsy again last night, with my son and Chris also. Everyone had fun! They’ll be leaving early Saturday morning.

The first appointment today was at JOI for physical therapy for my shoulder. I hadn’t gone in several weeks but decided to go back for a few appointments to see if that would help me get over the hurdle, since being at home over Winter Break had me feeling like I had plateaued. My physical therapist pushes me further than I push myself, but if I still feel I’m not improving, I want to try for another MRI.

Afterward,I got to go home for lunch, see my mom, and feed Bixby some of my apple. It’s a relaxing thing for me! You can see he needs his toenails trimmed, but I’ve been waiting since a spot on his paw has been aggravated and still healing.

Bixby loves apples!

The second appointment was to get checked for breast cancer and get a mammogram. I can’t stress how important it is to get those tests regularly. I’ve had aunts on both sides who had breast cancer, so I’m trying to be cognizant and careful. At least the clinic was in an interesting part of town that is sprouting several murals now!

The outside of Sherwood’s bar.

The drive home was scenic and enjoyable. I’m planning to stay in and sleep well again tonight! Have a good Friday evening, everyone.

A Day in My Life, Day 18, Pre-Alarm Ideas

Jan. 19th. Welcome to Day 18 of #ADayinMyLife, in which the best ideas happen before breakfast, before my morning alarm even!

I kind of would have preferred getting back to sleep at 4 a.m., but that didn’t happen. I had a mixture of bright ideas and health worries (shoulder, inflammation levels, upcoming tests). I’m not sure why my brain was doing a jitterbug instead of a lotus on this night of all nights, but it is what it is.

On to the productive results of my insomnia! As I’ve mentioned, next week is Literacy Week in the U.S. , and I am an English teacher, so this is big for me! Several teachers did a recorded book talk with our Reading coach yesterday about a book from our youth. I did mine on a Judy Blume book, Deenie. Well, last night I remembered why it was once banned. No big deal, I am a quiet rebel. 🙂 Which led me to make this:

All true. But books are no more dangerous than walking out your front door.

My other idea had to do with newspapers.. I’ll share more Monday, since that’s newspaper day and the first day of Literacy Week!

Busy at work, hoping to spread the joy of reading!

My workday came to an end quickly. It’s a lot of fun planning for Literacy week and talking to my cohorts who share a joy for reading with me! Tonight, we’ll be having dinner with my dad again, but this time Chris can attend. It should be fun!

A Day in My Life, Day 13. #RRBC #weekendcoffeeshare

Jan. 14th–Welcome to my #WeekendCoffeeShare and Day 13 of the daily blogging challenge. I’m having a chai latte to welcome the cool morning.

The weather really cooled yesterday after a rainy night, so we had a warm, relaxing fire going last night. I think my dog Bixby even enjoys sitting by the fire.

A peaceful sight and sound!

Today is a day to take a breath and catch up. Of course, I’ll get my 30 minute cardio. I’ve already walked the dog. Some laundry needs to be done, ( that’s part of the catching up).

I had an interesting dream last night that took me back to my childhood home here in Jacksonville. We lived there 5 years, age 8 to 13. It was the longest time I’d lived anywhere in my youth. The start of my dream was chaotic, I was touring the house, and it was full of ants, the bathroom mirror was covered, I had a memory of being betrayed by a friend and letdown by someone else. But I think the mirror means “leave it in the past.”

As I continued the walk-through, I saw adult friends of recent years, told them I was selling the house, and to come view it with me. It really was a nice house in real life (we moved to an apartment when my parents divorced). I kept finding new, cozy, beautiful rooms (that weren’t there in my youth) and heard my adult friends squealing in delight behind me.

The best I can make of this dream, which totally changed tone halfway through, is: I no longer live in fear, chaos, and self-loathing. Thinking I’m never good enough…that’s no longer me. I NOW LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE, BEAUTY, AND COMMUNITY. I see new beauty everywhere. A Day may start rough for me, but it can change, I can feel gratitude, and I can enjoy my life.

So now, I must get ready for my gym cardio, and later get ready to see my boyfriend, a constant source of laughter, and tomorrow, I’ll see my dad who is visiting from up North. I’ll have some time today to work on a lesson that intrigues me, and yes, catch up on laundry. Life is good!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for visiting my corner of the blogosphere!

A Day in My Life, Day 12

Day 12, January 13th

Happy Friday the 13th! I was running on empty this morning, even though I had my once in- a- blue -moon coffee . It had been a weird night, as I woke at 3:45 with the sound of the rain. I tossed and turned for 1-2 hours, then kept hitting snooze in the alarm and finally dragged my butt out of bed… But I woke up with the energy of those middle schoolers around me.

We were reading about Malala, who stood up to the Taliban and got shot. The students were in awe of her bravery and the fear under which she had to live. I just loved hearing their questions and seeing them so interested!

During planning time, I met with other teachers and we talked about our plans for Literacy week at the end of the month, a fun part of the job. I also had time to work a little on an upcoming lesson. By the end of the day, I had gotten my momentum back.

I came home to find out that my mom had someone come out, they changed the air filter, and the heat is working fine! Five minutes later, Amazon delivered my heaters that were scheduled to arrive Sunday. Wouldn’t you know! I got online and arranged to return one of them, giving my son the other. He was so grateful, it warmed my heart. ♥️

Just another day in my life. Have a good night everyone!

Day 11, Slaying the Dragons. A Day in My Life. #RRBC

Day 11 of #ADayinMyLife, 1/12/23

Sometimes I have hard days. I kind of have COVID anxiety again because of my mom being sick. I’m masking up around my mother, at work, and around other people. It was coo out l this morning, and when I turned the heater on, it smelled like something was burning. My mom would be in that all day, so of course, I was worried about a carbon monoxide issue, and it smelled like gas.

I ordered two space heaters on Amazon during breakfast. I informed my mom about the heater, as being sick may give her the chills, and she does have a space heater, albeit old. I dealt with this and a sore shoulder before getting to work, where I had to give a test. I’m sure my voice sounded pretty testy. Get it? 🙂

If you suffer from generalized anxiety (or GAD) as I do, there were likely lots of triggers in your life. If you have any other mental health issue (as my son does), yet you get out in the world and work or volunteer, create art and share, you are a warrior, perhaps even a victor. You are daily slaying the dragons, or perhaps making friends with them. Just don’t ever let them stop you!

There are coping mechanisms I’ve developed in testing time like counting and double checking . It seems a lot like OCD, but I know that is a result of anxiety. (Yes, I’m aware OCD is it’s own sort of anxiety disorder). At any rate, this was not an easy day, but I did not let the dragons stop me!

This is my positive self-talk. It quite often works, and gets me out of bed replacing these thoughts with a purpose for my day. I won’t lie, it still was a hectic day. I still survived it, though.

So, this evening I’ll order food again to avoid dirty dishes, and I’ll stop at the store to get bottled water and wood for the fireplace. It is supposed to start getting cold again tomorrow. Nothing compared to what you have if you live up north, but we are not used to this!

Somewhere, I’ll fit in my 30 minute cardio on the Gazelle exerciser on the porch. This day has shaped up nicely in regards to weather, so I’m sure it will lighten my mood a bit. Have a good evening, everyone!

Day 10 A Day in My Life: Shoulder #RRBC

Jan. 11,2023.

I can’t believe this is day 10 of the blogging -daily challenge! I also can’t believe

*I’ve been dealing with my frozen shoulder for almost 7 months. It took just 4 months last time. 😦 I did see the orthopedic doc today, and he gave me another corti-steroid shot. It always provides relief, but I need to stop needing it. Time will tell. He also showed me a new stretch I should do to add to my repertoire of exercises.

* the school year is more than half over

*January is more than half over

*How old I am. I intend to continue not looking, or acting, or dressing like my age!

*How old my son is: 26. I met my ex, his dad, at age 23, which tells me it was probably too early. I hadn’t fully been independent yet, and that’s part of the problem. I let him cover me with possessiveness, and I took that to be caring. I grew out of that, though.

*It’s been more than two years since our COVID lockdown. I saw a former student from that year, and he asked for a hug. He was always such a sweet kid! I think those hard, fearful times helped us try harder to build a community, even if online.

*This week is more than half over. It helps that I got to leave after testing to go to my appointment. One more test tomorrow.

That’s all I’ve got for today. I have some shoulder stretches to do. Have a good night, all!

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