Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the explorer. And I am relaxing after having slept in late when my back started screaming at me. My drink this morning is a Tazo Zen tea, a green tea which actually does have caffeine but not as much as a coffee would.
Maybe it seems strange that I am not drinking coffee during a weekend coffee share, but I am just trying lots of different things lately for my health and my stress levels. Both of these are intricately related at any rate.
My weekend started out pretty low-key, and I was a bit tired after my work week, so I ordered in for dinner, and just laid around with my dog and later watched Netflix. I got to see my son playing with the dog which was fun to watch for a while, before he went out to dinner.
Spring is such a beautiful time of year, but I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of last year. I’m trying to remind myself of how far things have turned around with my son and my family, and if the people who helped me through those times. It is a work in progress. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy, but it is tiring me out.
This is just where I am at the moment, I don’t mean to complain! My boyfriend and I are planning a vacation for this summer, and that has been fun to plan. The end of my school year is approaching, so that’s a good thing. At the moment I am contemplating what my exercise of the day will be, and it is sure to involve some yoga, because maybe that will help my back. I probably need a good amount of stretching.
It seems that pain is quite a distractor, and my teaching job requires a huge amount of multi-tasking. I must have pulled my back in the last day or two, becuase yesterday at work was rough during my classes, when two kids need help at the same time and often interrupt each other. They say we must train them not to do that, but it is a process that needs so much repetition. Anyhow, my main goal is not to let pain stop me from moving. A physical therapist once said that mine is a stability problem and not a mobility problem. Sounds believable, so I plan to do more yoga at home with an online site called Yoga Collective.
I’m still finishing up the audible version of Wuthering Heights. Bronte definitely created some twisted, messed up characters and relationships. It isn’t a book to rush through, though I feel the best parts were earlier in the book.
The sunshine is inviting, so maybe I’ll heed that call! Have a great weekend everyone, and a great week to follow!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s in the 40s here right now, but the sun shines on my back as I eat my cereal with fruit and drink my half-caff. The newly shorn Bixby wanders around looking for his toys this morning.
If we were having coffee, I’d thank you for waiting until Sunday, as I had a hair appointment yesterday. I’d apologize for missing our coffee chat last week, as I was finishing up some grades that were do and preparing for a night at the theatre with my boyfriend.
He surprised me a few days before, saying he wanted to make sure I had that night Free for a dinner theatre date to see Guys and Dolls. The show and the dinner were both grand!
Last night, I convinced him to go to an Improv Comedy night with me at a Veterans Brewery. The atmosphere and ambiance are casual. I’ve only been once before. ..but I loved it! We both loved it last night, too. The comedians are everyday people; one joked about the accident that left him wheelchair bound, another about kicking cancer and what apologies she’d have to make if she didn’t make it.
Improv has a creative process, and I identify with and respect these folks, being a writer. My work occurs in isolation though, and I love sitting somewhere amidst the laughter and following a comedian’s line of thought. A nice activity for a long weekend; I sure needed this break in my routine!
I didn’t do any school work or grading yesterday which was nice. I guess that and my hair appointment forced my Sunday instead of Saturday coffee share. I’ve been keeping up with exercise, so that’s good. I’m going to church in a little while. I haven’t been regular with that, and it’s sad because that is my local extended family. The people are what keeps a church running. The faith is what starts it.
Work has me busy, weather and gray days make me tired. I’m hanging in there for Spring! Days are starting to get longer, and that really has an effect on my energy levels. I’m looking forward to Spring break and a Celtic Fest in March!
Have a great day, everyone! May the sunshine, or the promise of sunshine, spur you on!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On a mild weather day that feels like early Spring, watching my dog ham it up with his play toy, I sip a Starbucks blonde roast and in true T.S. Eliot fashion, I ask, “How shall I spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways?”
Truly, it is one of my favorite quotes from Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, so please indulge me. Sometimes I’m not sure what to write for the Coffee Share, (I get tired of saying what I did each day or all week) so I looked for inspiration today, and remembered the Eliot quote from a poem he wrote 50+ years ago. The photo is from the #writephoto challenge that has been around a few years, and it is now shared and hosted at the site https://new2writing.wordpress.com/category/writephoto-challenge/ . I have used the hashtag and challenge before, thought it’s been a while. However, today’s concept is quite fitting.
In the photo, old furniture and collectibles sit together in what may be an antique shop. Being an allergy sufferer, I’m seeing lovely things but imagining dust. My mind says, ‘Out with the old, in with the new’….but only with moderation. Keep what works, and throw out what doesn’t, right? At any rate, some things are old but worth keeping, and sometimes what is old for one of us is new for another.
In my life, I started out last week feeling very confident, then it ended with some stressors with my job and extra club responsibilities. I’m sure it will work out. I’ll just focus at the positives. I am encouraging young people to write, and how could I do better than that? I also have opportunities for creativity, something I must have to thrive in a job. I am a nurturer and a creative. These opportunities at my job are important, since my son is grown now and my parenting is more hands-off, as should be.
My family life is slightly stressed, as I have an uncle who recently passed away after a COVID hospitalization. May he rest in peace. Relatives have told us he didn’t wear a mask in public and wasn’t vaccinated. He was almost eighty-years-old. My son has been sick with cold symptoms but tested negative for COVID, thank goodness. My boyfriend has been really sick with similar symptoms and is now better. I’m just carrying on. I did get my booster shot just over two weeks ago. I will mask up when I am moving around my classroom or sitting with students to help them.
Writing has been sporadic for me, but I wrote a first draft of Janie’s story that gives a little closure for her, so that’s something new. Janie is a character from my published short story, the eerie Crossroads Diner #205, which is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098269VSN and won Honorable Mention in a short story contest from Rave Reviews Book Club. My boyfriend was the one who encouraged me to continue the story for Janie. There are other characters who deserve their closure: Cowboy, Maria, Raul. I’m getting ideas! 🙂
Truly, writing is something that should remain new, with a constant flow of ideas. Ancient stories can always have an appeal. So, ‘out with the old,’ in my wishes, will be the writer’s block and the feeling that I don’t have time to write or market anymore or the feeling that I don’t have the energy, confidence, or ideas to still actively BE a writer. In with the new: ideas, energy, and spirit! I’ve decidedly recently that I should use my energy spurts efficiently to save up for retirement time, when I use my well-deserved rest and relaxation, keeping a balance, of course.
So, today is a day, one day for rest and relaxation. I sleep late, take my time with breakfast, go to get Starbucks coffee with my son. I’m seeing lots of binaries here. Work/rest, Old/New, Maintain/Release. I guess that’s where I am. My son and I are about to take the walk on a mini-trail hike, an old practice we haven’t done in years, so we need to make it new again. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a nice, breezy day, and I’m enjoying some half-caff with vanilla cteamer. Pull up a chair!
I enjoyed my breakfast this morning, as well as a stretch for my back followed by a short gym visit with my son where I used the stationary bike. I was feeling tired this morning. I wonder how this week’s full moon may have affected that?
I drove home from dinner at the neighborhood Thai restaurant last night, looking at that beautiful moon.When talking to my friend later, he said, ” Do you think the full moon affects your aches and pains?” It’s true, I was really feeling them yesterday.
At any rate, my morning laziness included stretching out and laying on my lotus mat, which I also call my pin needle mat. It’s theoretically supposed to release the chemicals you’d produce during acupuncture, and to be honest, I do feel relaxed after it sometimes even fall asleep on it. I ordered it online. If my issue is anxiety, it could also have therapeutic results.
Is anxiety my issue? I’ve mentioned here before about the Mind Body connection with pain. Yes, I somewhat believe in it. I work on improving physically and mentally. However, I haven’t paid enough attention to my dog, another source of fun and relaxation. He will get a trio to the park during Thanksgiving week. I mean, I’m off 3 extra days! This morning, I threw the ball for him as I ate breakfast.
He’s small enough, and the ball is soft enough that I can throw it inside. In addition, he’s so darn cute when he’s anxious and excited! This 10 year old dogs acts like a puppy again. It puts a smile on my face. 🙂
So, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving holiday with local family, I’ll see my friend/companion Friday, and there will be dog-play time! Other plans will surface, I’m sure, but simple is the way for me these days!
I hope you all have a blessed, fun, and happy Thanksgiving!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On this busy week, I struggled with sleep then made up for it all last night. 🙂 It’s a green matcha tea morning, and I’d like to share a poem I wrote and intended to publish earlier this week. This way, I can get to the park with my dog sooner! I’ll drop by some of your Coffee shares later.
Another day to wake up, clean up, show up.
Realizing philosophizing is making me want to throw up.
So, today I’ll stop looking at the skies and wondering why
I’ll turn my gaze down to the creatures on the ground
The ones that surround and keep me company,
I will rise and shine like the birds chirping this morning,
the sunshine peeking over the trees providing light and warming
The dog that is sniffing at the door to be let out
Then asks to come back in with a bark that shouts,
“Thank you for the outing, but I want to be with you!
I’ll need an outing later, but there are other things to do.”
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, on a quiet morning that touches us lightly with a little sunshine and very little humidity. Sixty-five degrees on a morning in Northeast Florida is truly a blessing. My drink of choice is Half-caff hazelnut coffee, and Miles Davis plays in the background in my home ‘cafe.’
We are dog-sitting this weekend. Lucy, a small, energetic curly-haired dog runs around with Bixby and then sits at my feet. Bixby is not sure what’s going on. He’s used to being top-dog, the only dog. My mother is still sleeping, and he has gone back to snuggle with her. A dog for everyone! Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Just a rhetorical question.
The sunshine on the house is quite lovely, and Bixby’s fluffy tail frequently expresses his enthusiasm! The dog situation this weekend is a bright spot for me. Instead of looking to the skies and wondering why, I am looking down to the ground at the creatures that were put in our care by the creator to keep us company and make us focus on living. That’s what they do, and so should we.
Dogs are exceptional companions, that’s why they make great emotional support animals. Bixby helps remind me that one does not always need to act their age, and that it is always helpful and appropriate to sniff the air on a beautiful day! It helps me forget my worries, such as why my son is not speaking to me, why my relationship went south, why so much change had to happen at once.
In fact, this Mother’s Day was the first one in which my son was not present. He is not speaking to me. My ex-husband was supposed to bring him to a restaurant and we’d all have dinner, but instead it was my ex-husband treating my mom and me to dinner with much conversation centered around my son. Not all of it though. He seemed to sensed the talk was bringing me down and changed the topic. I took Mom to the restaurant early to have a drink at the bar, though, and she enjoyed that. She likes being social.
I’d have to say, though, that my Mother’s day was nice if I don’t factor in the missing element. Then, this past week at work just grew to be so stressful. It’s the end of the year, teachers are worried about testing, and the kids have the Spring fever. Ugh. So, the dogs are nice company today, and I had a nice dinner last night with an ex-boyfriend from years ago. We had kept in touch through e-mail, and I contacted him recently about all I had going on and suggested we meet-up because I always found him easy to talk to. He agreed to meet.
When one does this, it could mean let’s start a friendship again, let’s have fun, or even more. One does not have to dwell on ‘what it means’ though. We were able to talk quite easily, and that is good. We haven’t seen each other in twenty years. While I am not looking to jump into a relationship, I know when I find someone easy to talk to that I value their time. Along with female friends, I do have male friends that I talk to these days, but I don’t see them as anything but friends. I am going to give myself some space to be my own person. Reaching out though, is one thing I am getting good at. He asked lots of questions and I went through my stories while he listened.
It’s always good to have a friend who listens. It is much better to spend time with someone who knows some of your quirks as well as qualities. This is why I take this kind of chance. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex, or dating after a break-up (this time from an 11-year relationship), can cause anxiety in itself. Sometimes I have felt like I should just spend all my time with the dog and my female teacher friends and just forget socializing with the opposite sex.
In telling my stories, I found that I would lose train of thought a lot, and forget what I was talking about. My short-term memory at times seems affected in that way, and I wonder if my anxiety has caused that or if, as the doctor said, I have ADHD. If so, that means I suddenly developed it in the last few years, or it could be the brain-fog women get as they move up in the years. Ah, something else to worry about? I should just laugh it off. With my students, I sometimes call myself the absent-minded professor.
I can remember conversations from twenty years ago and moments from my childhood, but in a busy classroom or while conversing in a crowded restaurant, I can forget what I was just talking about. So, I have not lost my memory, it’s just a short-term memory thing. As I tell my students, sometimes very intelligent people can forget things, or….”I have an awful lot in my mind, sometimes something won’t take hold.” 🙂 Not making excuses at all. Repetition helps memory. I tell them that as well. It’s all part of the evolving me, no problem. I still think I’m alright. I have a lot less shame and self-judgment which leaves a lot more room for honesty.
All of this sort of fits in with my ongoing novel about Ellie, my on and off work-in-progress, as I have been more focused on working on me lately. Ellie’s story lives on, though, and is developing with everything I learn. She is not me, but I am a part of her. It’s gonna be great. 🙂
Thanks for visiting my ‘cafe’ for a coffee chat. Weekend Coffee Shareis hosted every weekend by Natalie the Explorer. Have a great weekend!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.