Weekend Coffee Share, A New Routine

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  I’ve got to say, my coffee is sooo good today!  Maybe I am just feeling a sense of gratitude, trying to make the best of strange times.  I am beset with a lot of changes, as most of you probably are, too.

I’m a 6th grade teacher switching to online teaching to keep with the times and the state protocols. I’ve done my best to find the positives. Here is an intro video I did in the spirit of optimism:

https://youtu.be/5lLWXmpEMt8

(Yes, I know, I touch my face too much, especially when I’m feeling warm, a not-so-strange phenomenon for a woman my age :)).

So, here are five things you can do with online learning (or teaching) that you could not have done in a classroom:

1. Clip your toenails during a lesson

2. Wear sunglasses and a hoodie while completing (or grading) assignments (Good for students or teachers)

3. Raid the refrigerator for snacks as you wait for a student to give an answer

4. Pet your dog or cat, or your pet snake for what it’s worth….

5. Wear pajama pants. Really, no one will know!

I am going to enjoy the dog access the most!  (He has appreciated me being home more).  Seriously, though, I have been missing seeing my students.  I have posted to my Class Dojo a few times this last week as we had a week added to our Spring Break.  Well, now we have three more weeks off of school (at least), and Monday we will be starting online learning.  Schools in some states are out for the rest of the school year, and state testing is canceled here in Florida.  So, I am looking forward to communicating with my students and their parents.  I just have to go easy on my arm and the mouse-clicking.  I will say, yesterday after my home workout for the arm and shoulder, it felt better, despite being on a long conference call and setting up my classes online.  There is hope!

Nature is buzzing around us, even though we are avoiding many things.  A lot of parks are closed; nature is unbothered.  Birds chirp when I wake to silence, as no cars are starting up this morning.  I read that pollution has reduced drastically in China, and Venice canals are much cleaner.  Yes, we can be a parasite on this Earth.  I won’t go doom and gloom, okay.  I love the sound of birds in the morning!  My dog is happy, and I will take him for a walk later.  The sun has been shining constantly.  We will be fine!  I had some down evenings of worry and despair, but that was five days ago.  My church book group had a Zoom meeting for our discussion Thursday and will have an online service Sunday, so I’m feeling more connected.  Maybe now that I have more purpose and will be teaching my kids again, I feel better.  I can make other people feel better, since I’ve been actively seeking to learn what I can to calm my anxiety. Instead of feeling alone, we should all take this time to reflect and learn to unplug.

relax-569318_1280 Pixabay photo.

I loaded an app for meditation called Insight Timer.  I really like it so far! The Curable app for chronic pain and Mind-Body issues also has great meditations.  I signed up for an online course on Mindfulness which will yield a certificate when done through New Skills Academy online.  There is a lot about meditation in there.  I am exercising with things I learned in physical therapy and also logging in to see virtual yoga and abs classes through my yoga studio which is closed currently.  All of this is keeping me healthy; heck, it is keeping me going!  We have many ways to stay connected.  Let’s practice them!

I have also finished editing my manuscript for the Malachi novel, which is focused on a young adult man taking an unusual job to make ends meet.  This job forces him to face his own ideas of right and wrong.  There is now formatting and a final proofing.  Maybe it will be out in a month? I will let you know!  Here is a preview of the cover:

MALACHI.RUSEMASTER.eBOOK

Malachi, Ruse Master is a young adult novel with hints of sci-fi, as it intersects with characters and some events in the Detours in Time series.  People of all ages should enjoy it, as it can take you back to your own identity struggles and clamoring for independence as a youth.  There is plenty of action and adventure, too. I will follow it with a novel devoted to Ellie, whom we have already seen as a child, a teen, and an old, demented woman.  She will intersect with Malachi in this novel and then have her own story in a novel to come out in 1-2 years.  Time is not linear, you know!

If you have read Detours in Time, you should read the follow-up, Undercurrents in Time, in which Malachi is first introduced. I have reduced it to .99 for the remainder of the month.  Find it here:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCCQS3N

Stay well, my friends.  Do the things you love or find new things to love doing.  Read books.  Ask your writer friends about their books.  Write a book!  Exercise indoors or in your backyard.  Stop and breathe the fresh air, and find a reason to laugh, with your family, with your dog, yourself, with your friends online.  We will survive!

 

Weekend Coffee Share, Clearing the Stage for the Next Act

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share and a little slice of my life and dreams, where I am the writer, the producer, the stage hand, and the main character.  It has been quite a week!  Pull up a chair and a brisk coffee or a relaxing tea, whichever works for you.  I am lingering over my V8 and coffee, having slept in and missed the pilates class I was considering taking.  I suppose I needed a relaxing day!

I think I have mentioned before that, after working on and completing physical therapy for my back and shoulder pain (which may or may not have been due to arthritis), I am now going to work on the mind.  Mind you, I’m still keeping up with the body work on my own; today is arm/shoulder day!  Along with my aches and pains,  I need to work on my anxiety and OCD or slight perfectionism, and I have been doing so.  One of the things I’m doing is using an app called Curable that has a lot of writing exercises, meditations, and factual information on the mind/body connection regarding chronic pain. I have particularly benefited from the visualization meditation, while the writing exercises have me digging into my past and things that sparked anxiety for me.  I believe the goal is to identify the stressers you have or had and deal with them, confront them.  So, this week I was talking with my practitioner about my ex-husband.  She asked what the last straw was that broke the proverbial camel’s back.  So, I told the story.  It made me feel so tired to conjure up the setting, the actors, the events, picturing myself back in the house I lived in with my then husband.  I felt sad, scared, and angry as well.  I hadn’t told the story in quite a while.  Still, having done so, I felt more better equipped to deal with my present and future.  I went home tired, though.

I lay down at some point in the evening to relax, and in my mind, I recalled events of the day and the story I had brought up again.  I pictured hands reaching in and moving/removing stage props, my old house, furniture, the garage, the backdrop of trees.  Maybe this was demonstrated on a movie or something, I don’t know, but it popped into my mind and I observed all these things being removed and leaving an empty stage.  It made me feel triumphant!  I had brought up the images, the story, and the actors and processed them, and now they could be put away.  I could move on and create the next act.  Of course, it is never good to dwell on the past, but if you must process it, and if doing so lets you move on, then, eureka!  Something works!  I think we are all different.  But the mind/body work through the app does emphasize acknowledging the stressers from your life/past and that your way of dealing with them may have hurt you, i.e. caused chronic pain, digestive issues, or migraines, etc.  I stuffed so many negative emotions down since childhood that they were bound to hurt me inside.

So, perhaps the stage is my mindset/focus.  I know one should not focus on the past, but it comes up whenever I see the doctor and we discuss what tests I should have done; for instance, I had been tested for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, both negative, thank God!  I was plagued with pain for a while when I was so busy tending to my son in his rough patch of his youth, and now that he is moving along and doing fairly well, it is time to tend to me, to learn and unlearn my anxious reactions to his rough spells, to deal with the physical trauma of having been worried and trapped in hospitals or ERs several times.  Parenting a son on your own is nothing to shake a stick at.  Now, he is choosing a life, an honest, hard-working life and not that of a hitch-hiker (one of my past worries, silly me! :))

So, the stage is cleared and waiting.  What will the next set be?  Who will be the actors there with me? I have some great people and a support network as it is.  Will I explore a meditation group? A writer’s group?  Improv comedy? Will I continue my teaching career until retirement or find another way to approach my ‘golden’ years?  The stage is waiting for me.  The backdrop looks pretty magical, especially when fear and distrust have exited stage left!

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*Am I truly done with fear, distrust, and anxiety?  They are getting better.  I can be brave for others and at times, for myself.  I’ve been working on this.  Being of a certain age, I can get hot flashes and brain fog as well as anxious moments, but they’ve improved with my recent mind/body work which I plan to continue.  We’ll see what comes, but I am much better equipped to deal with it now!

Have a great week, my friends! I have Spring break and no travel plans, so this little fellow will have some play time with me, I’ll be writing/editing, and I’ll be getting some mundane appointments taken care of as well as relaxing and sleeping in some more!

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**The Weekend Coffee Share is currently hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli. Give her site a visit and say hello!

Goodbye! A meditation in verse

Sending it Away, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2020.

 

Put your stuff on the boat,

and send it off gently,

the baggage that only

held you back.

 

See them go,

you don’t need them,

and they won’t counter-attack.

 

Pain, shame, anger, fear,

low self-regard, loathing, and resentment

can’t fit your search

for an enlightened life.

 

What you held onto

has distracted and limited you.

For, baggage does its duty.

Now just send it away,

with a genuine, Goodbye.

 

The monster you created

out of negativity

is no longer your friend.

Put it on the boat,

with a tear-free Goodbye.

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white and brown ship on sea

Photo by Levent Simsek on Pexels.com

Weekend Coffee Share, 2/15/20. Prioritizing…

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

I am still hard at work with teaching, taking an online Endorsement class for teaching Gifted students, and completing physical therapy exercises every other day independently; these are the things I have to do right now in life.  I feel like that is going well.  I track my designated shoulder/arm days on my calendar. I have not been to yoga or pilates again, but I do get in a little cardio a few days a week.  A friend and I are planning to go to pilates together next Saturday, and then I should be able to go to pilates and yoga more regularly.  Today, I have a hair appt.  No way to fit those in during the week.  So, my coffee is going to be quickly inhaled, and after a while, I hop on the Gazelle for a twenty minute stride before the appointment.  If you don’t know, the Gazelle is like an elliptical but is not electronic.  Mine is on the screened-in porch.  I often read from my Kindle while I’m out there.  It works for me!

In my research on chronic pain and the brain, I have also found information about chronic stress and how it affects pain.  Facebook is targeting me again, and I have signed up for the Worldwide Tapping summit.  Tapping seems to be a program and strategy to help people cope in a stressful world and with negative feelings.  I am still learning about it.  See https://www.thetappingsolution.com/   My research, or successful social media targeting of me, has taken me to Binaural beats on Youtube, which I listen to if I need to relax before bed or get in a relaxed frame of mind to deal with middle schoolers that bounce off the walls on any given day.  I think it is good background for my coursework, as well.  Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kag0aJqQsGo

I am relieved to say that I think I did sleep 8 hours last night, quite a rarity these days.  I know it helped that I didn’t have to get up and work today or think ahead about what needed to be done at school.  My boyfriend had to work overtime today, so our Valentine’s Day dinner will happen tonight.  The motorcycle ride has not happened yet due to his work schedule and may be a little delayed.  I am still planning to do this, though!  It might be next weekend, if weather cooperates.

The novelist in me is a little frustrated.  The Malachi manuscript is back from the editor, and I have no time at all to give him the attention he needs in order to be presentable to the public.  He will have to wait until this class is over.  We have a date for the first week in March.  I need to peruse the pages though, so he will not seem like a stranger.  Is that even possible? I created him, right?

My creative side just won’t stop, though.  I wrote a poem this week for the Ragtag Daily Prompt challenge, called “Mighty Maelstrom.”  I have been fighting a few things lately in life, so I decided to consider myself strong rather than the sum of hard times.  Read my poem here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/02/12/mighty-maelstrom-rdp/

Monday is President’s Day, and my work friend and I plan to take our dogs to the Dog Park again.  Yay!  I have a dentist appointment that afternoon.  It is just something that cannot be avoided.  So, I think a morning surrounded by dogs is totally called for!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by for my coffee chat!