Weekend Coffee Share, Milestones

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Good morning! Join me with my V8 and green matcha tea. Yesterday was coffee day, and I needed it to handle that middle school energy. It is gray outside, but my home cafe is playing The Bandit, new from The Kings of Leon, and it brightens my spirit. That voice…From their new song, Supermarket:”I’m going nowhere, if you’ve got the time.” Why, yes, yes I do. Needless to say, their new album is on my Youtube playlist.

This song played on my car radio yesterday on my way home from work. It had been such a stressful day, and if I’m not careful, I’ll feel old because of it…but I am resisting! The Bandit reminds me of a mix of INXS and U2, bringing thoughts of the Spring of my 15th year, a time of so many changes. Changes are not easy, but they are the hallmark of growth. So, I am going to focus on that today instead of talking about the stresses of my job. I feel I am managing them appropriately, and that’s all I need to say on that today. 🙂

I am surrounded by middle-schoolers going through vast changes, some growing wiser with their struggles, some consistent and solid yet growing taller or exhibiting voice changes. Others are struggling and reacting, and all I can do is try to reach them. I remember a lot of my ups and downs in the pre-teen and teen years and am able to look back and see the good in it all. This is a part of my job, to empathize and treat them with understanding. Again, if I focus on this instead of the stress of teaching in a pandemic in a system that does not have adequate resources, for instance, only two guidance counselors for a school of 1200 students. I play many parts at times and have learned to embrace that.

Yesterday morning, feeling the winds of Spring, I wrote this poem in response to my sometimes tired, challenged by middle schoolers, yet rejuvenated by the few who appreciate me feelings: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/04/16/spirit/

Age 15.

My son seems to be doing well on his own. His job and responsibilities are perhaps keeping him focused. I text him every morning. He always replies quickly. So, I know he is waking up and going to work. Working keeps him on a straight path, gives him purpose, and this is good. His 25th birthday is Monday. Yikes! So many memories will come back. My doctor, the doctor who delivered him, is retiring this year. Fitting, in the year my son is reaching for independence. May this reach be successful!

Memories and Milestones! 1996

Have a great weekend, friends and fellow bloggers! Keep it light, keep it hopeful, and always carry some sort of shovel for the days that the murky depths which you must navigate are especially thick and deep. We’ve got this! Namaste!

The Words

The words that we hear

Influence the people we become.

There is no way around that as a child….

But then there is the process of becoming an adult,

And the moments of awakening you may be fortunate enough to reach.

You are influenced by the words you choose to let in, you influence the world with the words you send forth and share, and you may negate the power of any words aimed at you or nurture them in your heart and soul. Don’t grow and nurture the vitriolic words that bring you down.

Nurture in your heart the words that help you grow as a person, just like a flower grows toward the sunlight.

This thought comes to me on this Holy Week as we head toward Easter weekend, and I feel I’ve been neglecting my faith.

Perhaps a change is coming, or maybe this is just a phase. Hopefully, we are near the end of COVID’s rule over our lives, and I can get back to fellowship with my church friends instead of watching church or talking to heads on a screen when I actually choose to participate in Book Club. The fellowship sometimes feels two- dimensional in this era, but of course, that’s just me being like a stubborn child when my routine is upset and the things that I like change. So, I’ll ask forgiveness for that, but I will not judge myself for the way that I am.

The stories of the love of Jesus fed my childhood imagination. The judgment of my childhood church stifled my growth. Nonetheless, I am past that paradox and I hold the stories of Jesus dear.

On this Easter weekend, I feel it is helpful to think of what Jesus would do. He would live my troubled son no matter what. He’d work to get along with those who seem difficult to take. I don’t always feel up to it, but it’s worth a try.

I started today listening to a positive affirmations recording. It was an awesome start to my day. I don’t feel very churchy lately, but I am seeing the benefits of putting the right words in our mind. So I’m going to try to frame my life with words of gratitude.

That’s where I am this Easter, 2021.

Weekend Coffee Share, Lounging Around

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, Spring break edition! It’s a beautiful Spring day, my porch foor is wide open, and birds are regaling me with their song. My dog even slept late today! I must confess, my Spring Break has been more Emily Dickinson-like than Kerouac inspired.

Allergies have kept me indoors for much of the week. Being off work has allowed me a lot of time to nap, thank goodness. Being an educator, I am pretty careful and got a COVID test Tuesday. The results were negative, so of course, I am just having an allergic reaction to the exuberance and re-birth of nature. It is getting better, otherwise my porch door would not be open. Still, I’m sort of regretful that I could not get out and enjoy nature much. I won’t let it weigh on me too heavily. I’ve had coffee with honey several days this week, knowing that it would not overtake my lethargy, and I was right!

Yesterday, I sat out in my yard, half in the sun, half in the garage, with my loyal dog at my side. He loves to sniff the smells of nature, and today, he is listening to the birds on alert mode. Maybe he can interpret their song?

I did do some reading this week for a book club I participate in; the book was Of Mice and Men, a re-read for me. It’s fairly short, a plus for someone whose focus is challenged like mine is; it’s rough when I’m juggling the teaching requirements, and it’s rough when my sinuses are affecting my brain. At any rate, I love Steinbeck’s descriptions of the countryside, and it is interesting how a dream and a goal could keep an easily agitated man (Lennie) focused. This book could be interpreted so many ways, and I recall how the ending bothered me when I read it as a teen. Steinbeck threw quite a punch; he is an excellent writer.

It has been about a week since I worked on the Ellie novel. You can imagine how unfocused I have felt all week. Still, I am not out of sorts. All things must take their time: allergic rhinitis, writing a novel, pollination of our naturescape. I have a photographer friend who takes marvelous photos of bees, flowers, and landscapes, so I’ve been enjoying those sights from afar. I did write a short poem mid-week in response to the #RDP word prompt: Pursuit. I chose a minimalist approach. You can view the poem here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/03/08/in-pursuit-of/

Upon feeling a little better yesterday, I made an appointment and will get my COVID vaccine shot today; I just have to drive a little further. My voice is still raspy, but I do not feel feverish, congested, and lethargic like I did days ago. Hopefully, the after-effects won’t be so bad, but I am sure more rest will be in order.

Once I am fully vaccinated, I plan to participate more actively in the world around me, which seems to be in full swing here in Florida. For now, I am drinking juice and getting my rest so I can be back to work next week with a voice that commands respect, authority, and, yes, understanding.

In Pursuit of…

Peace of mind

(C) 2021 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

It’s our right.

How much does the pursuit of happiness cost?

Is it found in a mall,

In a thrift store, or a horse stall?

Does it result in a mountain of clothes on your closet floor

Or moments in the sun, fluffy dog at your feet on the floor?

Is it day after day working hard and staying late

Pursuing the money, or….is it the simple fun you can create?

I find that my stuff starts collecting dust

One thing hides another, and I forget what the motive was.

Maybe happiness is to be minimalist and free

To enjoy a given moment and just

Be.

Happiness means different things for each of us.

I hope to find the answer to this.

I’ll make sure to let you know

If I find true bliss.

***Written in response to the word of the day prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/03/08/rdp-monday-pursuit/ Visit the link and check it out!

Two Levels, #poetry

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Two Levels by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2021

There are two levels of me in everything–

the scared, unsure child and the reasonable adult

comforting her or calming her, reminding of what’s

real and what is a reflection of an anxious mind.

But which is the one that takes off on a flight of fancy?

Which is the one that laughs at an uncomfortable moment,

breaking the tension with a goofy smile?

Which is the intellectual and which is the buffoon?

Ah, but aren’t they one and the same when

I can open up and just laugh at myself?

You see. These two threads are intertwined.

I should deny neither one. I have earned that prize,

my prize for repressing the youthful spirit

when I still had my youth, a consolation prize,

for I had to be good girl, big sister, had to be the wife, and then the mom

restrained by fear or worry or someone else’s view of me.

I had to be what society wanted to see…

and was so afraid to step out of those lines.

I have owed it to myself, I should have claimed it then

But finally now I see it’s my right,

To comfortably own all sides of myself.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Day and Night, #poetry

Day and Night, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2021

“I am rest and respite.”

“But I am energy and light.”

“You are dangerous and fiery hot.”

“So, I make plants grow, and you do not.”

“Don’t be so sure, for I inspire the tides.”

“Well, I inspire humans to come outside.”

“Must we fight to have a place?”

“Well neither of us should feel disgrace.”

“Perhaps we should just compromise?”

“Yes, yes, that would be most wise.”

“So, it seems now that we agree.”

“Yes, humans benefit from both you and me.”

“Who will rule at what time? I just don’t know…”

“Of course, an unbiased decision, so let us go ask the crow.”

Off they went to clarify,

The crow, without chaos, would decide…

And today, we have both the moon and the sun

For we could not survive without either one.

* A poem inspired by “Animal Wisdom” by Nancy Wood. Based on the line, “Darkness and light settled their differences.”

The Occupation

From https://randomwordgenerator.com/picture.php

(c) 2021 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Fear took its place

at the center of my heart

Can you tell fear and love apart?

It spread to my nerve endings

Put me on edge, no pretending.

A heart frozen can not be open.

A heart that flees has no hoping.

A heart always ready to fight

Is not occupied by light.

You will not know the peaceful dove

because fear overshadows and poisons love.

The calm of feeling I belong,

A hug or a tranquil inner song

Help refocus me when everything feels wrong…

Focus on fear brings darkness and blight

Love and forgiveness let in the healing light.

Which will show in your face?

Fear and distrust have no grace.

Fear’s stronghold can be released,

Love must always start with peace.

Weekend Coffee Share, Grateful for Each Day

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage! My ‘coffee shop’ has a cute pup wandering around, and in the background, music plays by the band, LIVE, particularly, my favorite song lyrics:

Don’t try to find an answer

when the the truth’s already here

don’t let your heart be wounded

Show no mercy to your fear.

****

Quite appropro, as I had to meet my traffic anxiety face-to-face this holiday season.

Scenes from my Thanksgiving: I proudly drive two hours straight through Georgia and then (respectfully) require my boyfriend, Kenny to drive I-95 in S. Carolina. At a rest stop in Santee, my bro grills hot dogs and we have chips too, before he ushers my mom up to Raleigh, N.C. I gratefully ride home with Kenny having avoided an 8 hour trip alone with my mom and my traffic anxiety. (If I needed a break, her driving would also cause me great anxiety). You see, I could have gone up to N.C. with my mom, but, you can infer why I preferred not to, and my brother and his wife don’t get much time visiting alone with Mom. By the way, what is up with I-95 in South Carolina? Everybody seems to take that route north during the Thanksgiving holiday, and it is just TWO AGONIZING lanes. That scene is just not for me, and let’s suffice it to say, I am honoring and setting my own limits….

Thursday, I effectively teach Kenny’s 83-year-old dad how to take a picture with my cell phone! His smile was wonderful! Carb-laden food is consumed and I laze around. I let my son drive me later on and I get scared half to death because of his involuntary tics…which also add to my anxiety and I don’t know how he can white-knuckle it and tell me “It’s nothing.” He won’t get checked out. I sometimes fear it is a lingering result of his head injury from 2017. It is in his hands, also in God’s hands, I suppose. I pray it is not as awful as it appears to me. Friday, I avoid shopping malls and do nothing but dog play, yoga, and laundry.

On the note of anxiety, I am starting to re-read the book, Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety. It speaks of Toxic anxiety (so prominent in our world today), Natural anxiety (think of wildlife, ready to fight or self-protect), and Sacred anxiety (involving fear of death or that our time is running out to fulfill our purpose). It is brilliant, faith-based and Science- based, so all-around perfect in my book, and I highly recommend it if you are trying to achieve/ maintain balance or calm in your life.

I am not writing much as far as progress on a novel, but I already decided this next one will take some time, and I will give it time to marinate. However, I seem to churn out poetry now and then and a short story or two. Here is a recent poem I posted on my blog about ‘knowing thyself’ and honoring yourself during the start of a hectic holiday season. Check it out here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/11/26/slow-down-and-grow/

Thank you for stepping into my world and catching up for coffee today. I hope you all have a great week!

Slow Down and Grow!

You may be thankful

For your large family,

Your time to eat and shop and watch football

You may move so quickly through the holiday that you stomp over me

But I have roots throughout this yard.

Some stop to smell the roses

Some crouch and marvel at the mushroom in a peaceful, silent moment

Gazing on its existence as a tiny, respectful, stubborn act of glorious, harmless rebellion–

It cannot be boxed in.

Be amazed that such a tiny thing exists, for whatever purpose it serves

Let it serve its purpose and grow wild…popping up where it wishes,

I cannot be boxed in.

Weekend Coffee Share, Growth.

(c) 2020

When life suddenly

Becomes a field of thorns

Sticks to your barefooted soul

And pricks your composure,

Look for the wildflower.

Nourish it, feed it, focus on it,

And thank it for the experience.

Nurture the growing wildflowers in your life and in your heart. Don’t focus on the thorns; let them serve their purpose. Weekend Coffee Share, 11/22/20

Tired but still kicking. Looking for the positives wbile removing the thorns, to bring forth gratitude.This is all I can give today. I hope it inspires you. Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving my friends!