Weekend Coffee Share,  Not a Number.

My regular coffee buddy!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Natalie the Traveler.  After some stretching of tired, sore legs, I did some work related things on the computer this morning with the dog by my feet, matcha tea in hand. Work is weighing on my mind. Not only is our state planning to do state testing,  but they are asking teachers to come up with all sorts of extra ideas to make up for losses through the pandemic.

I feel I have made progress with learning to know my students and to make them feel understood. I also teach English Language Arts, a subject in which texts can have multiple interpretations.

I feel a little stressed, maybe the students do as well. All that matters is that they do their best. Most of what I write in these last weeks is short bursts of emotion. I’ve penned my thoughts for students during this era, and I’d like to share.

Dear student,

You are more than a test score. You are a moving ecosystem full of brain networks and emotions,  and yes, personality. While preparing for a test and doing your best can reflect your brain ability and even what kind of person you are, those few answers you got wrong on the last test do not devalue all of your efforts and hard work. Nor do they hold you back from doing better next time.

You are much more than a test score. You are your determination and fortitude that got you this far through a pandemic,  some of you going through quarantine or illness of family members. You are your force of will that got you through the hard times, your personal and spiritual growth (even when nothing makes sense) that moves you to do the right thing and treat others decently and try your hardest, even at things that only pay off in the future and not now.

You are your strength that helps you to never give up and keep on trying even when it seems impossible.  That is the most anyone can ask of you.

Signed,

A Tired Teacher in the COVID era

***It’s Saturday, and I promise to do nothing else work-related today. Now I’m heading out for a long overdue pedicure.

Weekend Coffee Share. Bursting the Bubble

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Today I’m having half-caff coffee. It has been green matcha tea pretty much all week. I’ve been trying to imbibe just healthy things and sleep well at night. I slept in today and feel I can handle the coffee; life is short, right?

It has been a full, busy week at work with the end of quarter progress monitoring tests. It always means we must be on a modified schedule, which seriously throws me off. I believe I have a slight touch of OCD, because I like to know when certain things are happening, and where to find things, in order. It’s probably a byproduct of anxiety, if that’s possible. I know those two things can co-occur at any rate. The change in routine leaves me seriously tired in the afternoon. I survived the week, though, somehow, and Spring Break starts in seven days!

Tuesday morning I woke at 4 a.m. and didn’t sleep again. I had a therapy appointment and dentist visit. I took medicine for a tension headache, and it helped. I got home and ate dinner, then just relaxed. I remember my boyfriend calling and that at one point, I said “I’m not really able to talk much. I’m soooo tired.” He said I kept falling asleep on the phone. I believe it.

I did something difficult Sunday, and I’m proud of myself for taking the risk… My studies on pain, anxiety, and repressed emotions, learned from books by Schubiner and Sarno, have reinforced what my metaphysical friend told me once: “You’re holding in resentment from the past. It’s what has caused some of your health issues.” (I’ve had cysts in several places, had some removed, and was told 10 years ago I had one on my liver that could not be removed and might just deflate on its own, and not to worry. No sweat, right?) I know I’ve had resentment for my ex-husband, my almost fiance of 2005, sometimes my mom, and yes, my dad.

My dad is a recovered alcoholic, active in AA since 1989, which is very admirable. I was out of high school then. But when I was a child, he was ‘drunk dad,’ man without a filter, a little sexist and careless as to how his words would shape me as a person. Some of those words stayed with me for so long. It comes up in therapy a lot. I think of bubbles of resentment inside me, burping them up, internalizing them as cysts, and I think of bursting a bubble of resentment. I metaphorically stuck in the needle and started that process Sunday.

When you’re a child, you kind of live in the world your parents create for you. Maybe that’s why I am so keen on creating worlds now, and creating an atmosphere for my students in my classroom. As a child, you might easily stuff things down. Maybe you learn that you can speak up for yourself, but I did not. Mom’s religion taught me to turn the other cheek and be ladylike. Dad’s blackhole of a philosophy taught me to try really hard to be good out of fear of his temper, but his words taught me that I was a growing female fit to be mocked for the changes occurring to me, and that I was not good enough–to get a training bra, to wear bright lipstick, to gain a few pounds and still be beautiful. I brought it all up Sunday. Does it seem to you I was carting out past skeletons that are already dead? Well, they’ve been rattling around in my head inside that imaginary bubble.

At age 15, pictured with my brother.

I’m ready to bury past beliefs I developed from my childhood that caused me to date jerks and marry a man who was a mess and latched onto me for a sense of normalcy, yet blamed me for so much and held me back with his possessive nature. Past beliefs made me keep quiet when I felt wronged or when I saw something going on that I knew was wrong. I expressed all of this to my dad, (on one of our weekly long-distance calls) and he said he didn’t remember most if it, (not surprising from a foggy, rum-soaked mind), but he was sorry.

He said that he was sorry, and he thanked me for telling him these things. No admonishing me for trying to give a guilt trip (something I’d heard him say years and years ago). I am a grown woman past the age of forty, but I still remember being a small eight-year-old, being an awkward ten, being 13 with some baby-fat, turning fifteen and noticing I suddenly had hips, graduating from college and wearing red lipstick, which I thought looked very striking and daring. I remember all of that and should not have been ashamed of the changes I went through. His upbringing did not need to become my upbringing, but I can break through all of that! If I wear daring clothes or bright lipstick, it doesn’t mean I should be labeled. It doesn’t say anything about me except I felt daring that day. And now he and I have an understanding.

College graduation, age 23. Even with bright lipstick, it’s still me!

I said, “I haven’t felt like I really know you in ages…you’re not the man I grew up with. Sometimes you still joke with me like you’re really comfortable, but I am not comfortable with you. I’ve been afraid to tell you how I feel or if I’m upset about something, because you live states away and we might become even more distant. But lately, we’ve just had phone calls in which I tell you I’m in therapy but not what I’m discovering about me and why I am this way or about the way I want things to be. And I’ve felt that if I’m not comfortable really telling you these things, I don’t really know you at all–which makes me just not want to talk to you.”

I know men have had their own narrow gender identities taught to them and reinforced through fear or religious guilt, especially those of my generation or the one before it. I had a lot of that, too. I couldn’t say ‘crap’ for fear it would be unladylike, as if I was disobeying the Lord by doing so. It taught me I could not express anger; likewise, a young man may have been brought up thinking he could not wear pink or express sadness. Well, bursting this bubble has freed me somewhat from that thinking as well. Thank God, the changing tides of time have also loosened these definitions and judgments!

So, you, dear reader, may have never met me before, you may somewhat know me, or you may know of me. I do not mind you knowing these things. Maybe you had a similar upbringing, maybe you suffer ongoing, chronic pain/tension or anxiety. Anxiety can run through the DNA, it can develop from your upbringing, or may be a reaction to a temporary lifestyle. But I feel that acknowledging and letting out things that make you uncomfortable or anxious can loosen the grip anxiety holds on you. Maybe you’re still young, but I want you to know, life can get better, and this is the one joy of adulthood. You CAN take charge. I’ve often worried what people think of me, but I do not want to be fake. I have struggled, and I have overcome many things. That makes me incredibly strong, and why would I be ashamed of that, ever?

I have burst a bubble of silence and fear, for I am not afraid to be who I am, to acknowledge where I came from, to change the parts of it I feel were wrong, and to feel proud of what I have done with all that I was taught and all I was given. The bubble has been burst and that which festered will leave me, in a sneeze, in a conversation, or when I spit out my toothpaste. I don’t expect it to happen all at once, but I am confident that it will not rule me anymore.

Thank you for reading my Weekend Coffee Share. I’ve been a writer for a while for many purposes. I have a book in the works, and I write blog entries and poetry. Here is my most recent poem on kindness: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/02/23/cake-it-poetry/

Have a a great weekend and an even better week to follow!

Weekend Coffee Share. Cafe Music and Pre-Springtime State of Mind

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! The sun is shining through the window blinds on this crisp morning, and the cafe is the place to be! My ‘cafe’ is currently playing songs by Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, and there’s a click of my dog moving about on the floor until he settles at my feet again. It all sounds heavenly to me. I haven’t “hung out” in a real cafe in quite some time. So, I’ve created my own. We’ll converse virtually.

It’s a coffee drinking day! I have abstained from coffee for the last four days, due to my desire for better sleep and less anxiety or stress tension. I don’t think coffee is the whole problem, but I promised myself I would drink the green matcha tea more often, as it fuels me enough and is supposedly healthier. Still, this is my reward today, since I slept great last night and actually, most nights this week. Coffee goes so well with Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” Piano and/or horns and a sultry voice just bring Spring closer to my heart.

Spring is scratching on our car windows, flirtatiously telling us she is near. “Be ready,” she calls. A rainy week has washed a lot of pollen off of our cars and into the streets. Florida is confused, but heck, that is nothing new. Having lived here since I was eight (with an 8 month misled venture out to OK for the sake of love), I’m used to it. Last night it got close to the thirties but our Florida sun is brightening this day.

I went along, day after day this week with a number of gray, rainy days. Having Monday off was great. Wednesday after school I had the Newspaper Club meeting. We accomplished a lot, I believe! Some are unsure of themselves with writing, so I pair them up, and it has helped. I am trying to make it a welcome place for anyone to find their voice. This was the third week. On the evenings after Newspaper Club, I am pretty tired. I get to bed and fall asleep with ease, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I get right to sleep. It is good work, something that I am enthused about and that is turning out to be really good for me.

It’s becoming clear to me that I write a lot about my struggles. That’s because I am human. When I am honest with others about that, they are more honest with me. Add to that fact that, my struggles that I’ve overcome are a part of who I am. In my everyday life, I am teaching students who need to feel comfortable expressing themselves in my classroom, so I believe this is beneficial.

Keeping things in or hiding things about ourselves is difficult, too difficult. It results in us alienating ourselves; I know, because I did this drastically four years ago, when my son went through a really hard time with emotions and mind issues after a car accident and head injury. I felt like a failure as a parent. There were struggles he had with himself and that I had with him in the household. I kept so much bottled inside and felt really depressed since I was bottling up the stress. Not very healthy.

Glad that I’m beyond that, I have a few close friends that I can confide in. His struggles are much better, and he has held down a job for two years. I see that I wrote a lot about my stresses back then as well, and that’s a good thing. It helped me to hang on.

Having gone through the shoulder injury last year and educating myself on dealing with arthritis pain has helped me acquire healthier habits. There is a true link between anxiety, body tension, and pain. I’m still working on all of it.

Writing is sporadic, but I will not give up. Perhaps I will move more into autobiographical writing. Journaling is a more frequent process for me in “getting things out.” Blogging is a sort of journaling. It’s all good.

The sunshine outside my windows is representing my current state of mind. I’ve gotten through many things recently, COVID fear being part of them, and I just don’t feel as fearful anymore. Sitting at home in the computer chair all day is not an option! I can do this. You’ve likely heard me say that before. 🙂

**Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly bloggers’ feature that many across the globe have joined. Search for or use the hashtag #weekendcoffeeshare and tell me about your cafe of choice and the goings on in your part of the world. Have a great week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. What’s New?

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Today, I drink green matcha tea, since I had coffee yesterday and experienced some bothersome sciatica. I started the matcha tea in an attempt to improve sleep and stress/anxiety reactions. I do think it helps in the long run, and I allow myself coffee 3 plus times a week. So now, I am experimenting to see if my nerves are calmer with the matcha tea, hoping that means I know one way to keep sciatica at bay. We shall see, right?

Bixby has had a haircut, and good timing, since it was 78 degrees yesterday here in Northeast Florida! It’s supposed to cool off again but won’t be below 40, so it’ll be fine.

The always-poofy tail! #pommix

On New Year’s resolutions

I always liked the idea of New Year’s resolutions. It is a great time to start over and look forward to a better year. I sort of did it differently this year. I’m reading and working on something called A Mindfulness for Beginners Journal. (That’s because, despite trying for fifteen years, I still suck at meditating, but I’ve accepted that some ideas that pop up at the wrong time could still be good ideas). Anyway, this journal gives recommendations on things or ways to ponder and disconnect from worry and the every-day grind. One suggestion was to think on an inspiring mantra, shut my eyes for a certain amount of time, and then write down the mantra or whatever variations occur to my mind.

Perhaps I was not narrow enough or focused enough (which I’m not), and I always break the rules with these ridiculous exercises; still, I will actually own it if I do it my way. I only call them ridiculous because I don’t do them exactly as they are prescribed. I’ll own that too. 🙂 Since mindfulness is a personal thing for all of us, don’t we need to access it in a way that works for us? I was writing each time something good popped into my head, thinking of the things I need to remind myself all throughout this coming year. Here’s what I have, in a quaint little graphic:

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”-quote by Amit Ray, from A MIndfulness for Beginners Journal

Yes, I am enough.

My running joke is that I take selfies merely to document the aging process. Believe what you want. 🙂

My gratitude today is for sleeping well last night, which is overall much better for my sciatica. They say practicing gratitude is a great way to stem off or fight anxiety, which I believe affects the nerve pain of sciatic. I will make it so. My belief is that, day after day, I can make a difference in this world while honoring my own needs and boundaries. I will make it so!

Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for stopping by. I hope your life is wonderful, and I’d love to hear what you feel gratitude for during, and despite, this COVID pandemic.

Peace!

#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!

#WeekendCoffeeShare Stream of consciousness. While I wait…

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. It’s been quite a week. All is good now. Want to know? What’s it like to live a day in the life of someone awaiting a COVID test?

I know you want to know…just like that girl who asked me to describe what it’s like giving birth after I’d had my son. I summed it up…”It’s like the worst cramps you could ever imagine. ” She looked letdown. I did not communicate the drama, the fear, the excitement and the feeling that God is in that room and that I was a chosen one, to bear this pain and deliver this life. But I digress.

It should take 24 hours to get my test results…I hope. So I’m out of work today and will be again tomorrow. I think the moment by moment is agonizing.  My symptoms seem like that of having a cold, my glands are swollen and that’s what troubled me. Children have been sick at school and leaving early. Today, the soup I ate for lunch is sitting wrong with my stomach. I’m just going to be raw and honest here. We should all do that more.

I heard someone somewhere use the phrase that when they write it’s like God is guiding them. Are they seeing that bearded man in the sky reach down his hand to guide the pen? I’m not.

Yes, there certainly is a muse. She is a younger, but wiser me who would have spoken up for herself many times when I didn’t. She pops things into my head, and I become amused, inspired, thinking, “Yeah, I should do something with that thought.” If I’d heeded her sooner I would have traveled much more, written long before I did, and done more exciting things.

I don’t think there’s an angel guiding me, and when I write, it is not holy. I write to escape demons. Or, more specifically, to purge them. I imagine a kaleidoscope of vomit spewing forth from my mouth or through my pen and onto the paper. They are not horrible things that I did, but they are things that always make me feel I am less, they are things that some would, or would have once, defined me as. Trailer trash. Product of divorce. Daughter of an alcoholic. Navy brat. Divorcee. People make assumptions about these things. I could perfectly fix my hair and makeup and look like I had all the privilege I could besides that of race. I could dress like a professional working woman and mother and no one would know the crap I’d put up with from my husband at home. It was eating me up.

You’ve gotta spit up those demons somehow or they will give you an ulcer or some other GI disorder. They’ll eat at you and travel to your nerve endings causing serious sensitivity and pain issues. So, this is why I don’t think my writing is ‘touched by an angel.’ It is human, it is real, it is of this earth. Though everything I write has a message for someone, that you are not alone, it is not going to convert anyone and I suppose it won’t get me into heaven. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is to make something beautiful out of the tough lessons we’ve learned or the crap we’ve been given.

And I probably don’t sound like a good Christian, but I’m going to thank God he gave me this ability. It has helped me to dream and imagine myself into better realities. It has helped me survive.

***Thank you for stopping by and reading. I have a few constant encouragers, and I thank you so much for this. My test was negative, and my allergies were the cause. I felt so much better yesterday. Covid anxiety is serious. Today being World Mental Health day, let’s all be kind to each other!

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.

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Let’s Not Talk About Work!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I’ve had three non-coffee days this week. I can’t believe I survived! I substituted matcha green tea for coffee. My worst day this week was a coffee day, not because of the coffee, it’s just that having had coffee did not solve the issues.  Seriously, I love my daily coffee, but I already have enough tension in my body and my brain. To reduce this, I am trying to reduce the coffee. 

2018
2020

Lately,  I’ve been working on my peace of mind and staying active and healthy goals. This Spring and Summer were all about that. Exercise is great for me, but my job is taking over. I’m going to manage it. It will not take over a healthy me! So, let’s not talk about work.

I look at myself from two years ago and see the difference.  I suffered with my shoulder issue this summer but got past it! I look more confident.  Emotionally,  I’m doing better because I have tackled some problems that were failing me. I also recall that the 2018 picture was in Rhode Island.

My son and I stayed in RI to visit my dad, a self-described bull in a china shop, a thirty year recovered alcoholic , and a very admirably active senior.  He kept us very busy, and we’d walk for miles touring his town (Middleton), which was lovely.

But we won’t forget his bull-in-a-China shop attitude. He took us sailing with a buddy, out to the choppy sea where we both almost hurled or passed out. Growing up a people pleaser due to my dad’s alcoholic anger and the sexist things he would often say, I kept the peace. But that does not keep peace inside me, and it doesn’t sit well with me now. He certainly does not talk to people like he used to. Still, I learned something from this rough sailing and my non -reaction; this sort of thing shaped me as a child.  Now that I have processed it, I’m going to change it.

Reykjavik, age 4.

Don’t ask my mom about the time in Iceland when I was four, and Dad took us mudding in his Landrover, heading for a rumored bottomless pit.

“It’s just a rumor,” he said, or something like that.

“We’re getting out of here!” Mom took me out of the truck and we went to dry land. She never told me the rest, but this experience also shaped me. I was not safe in the hands of someone I should be able to trust.

Thus goes the journey I’ve undertaken in this last year dealing with the results of distrust and feeling so out of control of my life. I’ve been so good at sweeping traumatic, stressful family events of the last 6 years under the rug, that it all blended with past experiences to make a green soup of indigestion, pain, stress, tension, insomnia, etc. I’ve found some helpful online groups for venting. I use a meditation and pain app. Does it all work? I am still at the start, learning to be mindful of my brain’s usual reactions.

In other, lighter news, I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc about my shoulder.  He says I’m almost at 100% healed of the frozen shoulder based on my mobility, and I don’t need to place limits on myself! It’s not time to get lax, though. I have to monitor any aches but not let them stop my living. I will stay diligent and keep up the exercises; I also have other health goals to meet or maintain. I can do this!  I am feeling good overall and staying active.

I hope you all have a great week and progress toward any goals you may have!

Weekend Coffee Share, 8/30. Weird World.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I know I’m posting this late, and I’m drinking green tea, not coffee, but you may have whatever you like! I envy those who can drink coffee throughout the day.

Unfortunately, I can only have one cup in the morning, and some days, like today, I only have macha tea. I figure it’s best for my nerves, as I already have slight sciatica acting up and tension in my left hip. I hate relying on Advil and a muscle relaxer. I need to get back to meditation and more regular hot baths. I’ve just been busy lately.  Fortunately, I am getting a massage later!

Back to school has required me to adjust my schedule and still fit in the arm/shoulder exercises with cardio 3-4 times weekly. I still take time to read but have a hard time sitting down to write when the sciatica gets worse if I sit too much. My current read is awesome, about finding my feminine spirituality away from the patriarchal church. I’m inspired by it!

You’re sure to hear more from me on toppling the patriarchy.  If you are a woman or a man who feels there’s no problem, maybe there is not for you. Haven’t you seen news reports of college guys who only get months of probation for rape?  Don’t you know a woman who has beat herself up because she couldn’t make her marriage work or change her husband with her loving ways?  Or because her religion made her feel like a Jezebel if she thought of leaving.  Let me tell you, the patriarchy was strongly ingrained into my dad’s head, and it came out in his words and attitude when he was frequently drunk as I grew up as a child.  It was strongly ingrained into my husband’s head too, and yes, even in mine as I was raised to accept this from a man and mistook his jealousy for love and accepted the possessive nature of his relationship with me…..until I couldn’t any more.  My childhood church taught me how I should be as a wife and a woman; it was unhealthy.  The main thread was SHAME.  So I have plenty to say.  This book and writing on this topic is so cathartic for me.  You can, if you’re so inclined, read my recent post on the topic here:  Lies Women (and Girls) are Told

Thus, in the meantime, I’m keeping my PPE on, avoiding germs, avoiding news of the COVID-19 numbers but staying safe, and trying to make students smile in this weird, weird world.

I still have plenty to say, and the mask won’t stop me.

Weekend Coffee Share, Of PPE and Thriller

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! It has been a busy week with return to school teacher planning, fear of COVID, and attempts to catch up on sleep. I’m enjoying full-caff today, and listening to Kraughbin in the background. It is quite pleasant. Stop and have a cup of joe!

Teacher planning has been interesting, as we have received training for a lot of new policies in our three days of teacher planning. I have a bad habit of touching or rubbing my eyes a lot, so I’ll either be wearing safety glasses or a face shield from now on.  Students will be coming to school next Thursday, but we have about 50% of our student body taking online distance learning instead, so classes will be smaller.  The plan was for this to go on until 9/14.  I just pray those in power will extend distance learning options if COVID numbers have not dropped by then.  For reference, my state, Florida, has at least 557,000 cases of COVID-19 now.  I have been glad to be in the midst of my co-workers again.  Teachers are a special, understanding bunch of people, and we can be pretty fun at times, too!  I truly pray I don’t see any of my co-workers become sick this Fall.

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I have really slowed down on writing, but I am trying to still blog 1-2 times weekly. This past week, I shared a short tale for Tuesday called The Post Office, about one woman’s struggle with married life. You may view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/the-post-office-box-shorttales-flashfiction/ I’d like for you to read it and share your thoughts!

I am sure I’ve said this before, but I’ve really slowed down with writing this Spring and Summer due to the shoulder injury, but I am thinking it is a long-term thing; I may need publish my next book for two years or so. I am looking to be more physically active. Of course, we’ve all had our share of butt-in-chair and being entertained by technology. But I think this is what I need from now on. I used to say “My body can’t keep up with my brain.” I would sit in my chair for hours, writing and entertaining myself. Then, I’d suffer from lower back pain or repetitive stress type pain in my hand and arm. I was sort of proud of my brain being so far ahead, but I do not want my body to fall apart! If my body responds in pain due to repetitive stress or too much sitting, the pain will affect my mental ability. Therefore, I need to keep my body in good shape.

Being back at work last week, I did not crave movement as much, but the weekends need to be pretty active, and more than my 30 minute mile, no matter how sweaty it can be. So, I am looking at doing this in the upcoming fall, and I could even start practicing now: Thrill the World It is a challenge to learn the Thriller dance and perform in zombie attire (by video) by Oct. 24th. Well, I’m at Step 1, but I think it will be pretty fun!  I have to decide what my Zombie attire will be. 🙂

https://youtu.be/jnoX8cX59LI

zombie-2013270_1280  I’m not so good at make-up, but I’m sure I can rip up some jeans successfully!

One must have some flights of whimsy now and then, must one?  Especially in the midst of a pandemic, COVID anxiety and virus prevention OCD.  I know, you’d probably choose something different for your flight of whimsy.  That’s what makes life interesting!

Have a great weekend and an even better week, as much as possible!

*The opinions I’ve expressed here about ‘those in power’ are solely my own and not those of my employer.