#WeekendCoffeeShare. On the Hamster Wheel.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com.  May is slipping past us.  I have felt so busy and overwhelmed, yet the days keep going by.  To quote T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”  Eliot is singing to me lately, as I’ll be turning 50 later this month!  I just worked on a turing fifty post and can’t wait to share it later this month!  Lately, I have pondered my life, what I am doing, where I am going, etc.,  and sometimes that just results in anxiety.

Case in point, last Saturday.  I was feeling frustrated with my book marketing efforts.  I had a marketing strategy session with Audrey, who runs the Author Transformation Alliance, and it was so exciting and educational.  I was pumped!  Then, I went and saw that my back tire had been leaking air all night; you see, my boyfriend and I had put air in it the night before.  I’d have to take it in somewhere.  Only, I had a massage appt. for 3:00 and hadn’t showered yet.  I had spent time on the laptop doing lesson plans before I’d even gone out to see my car.  What was I going to do?

I wasn’t taking my car in.  I would not cancel the massage appt.  It was bad enough that I had brought work home this weekend; I didn’t need a crisis situation.  Instead, I got a ride.  My son and my boyfriend later patched it up, and it was looking better Sunday…not flat.  I am so glad I didn’t jump and react with panic.  That was NOT going to be my Saturday.

Saturday evening was relaxed.  Affter dinner, I fell asleep watching Netflix after my boyfriend left.  I had started fantasizing all day about leaving the job, leaving my writerly aspirations, leaving my responsibilities, buying a van and then parking it on a beach where I would live and write poetry on paperbags, convincing someone I was the next Kerouac so they’d bring me tacos and sandwiches a few days a week.  On the beach!  A great way to leave behind the hamster wheel.  Sometimes it seems I’m going nowhere.  I’m getting older and I’ve never been to Europe.  My body aches after a massage.  I stress out just planning a vacation to the Northeast.  This tells me I’m riding on the edge a little too much.

On the writing scene, I finished my first edit for Undercurrents in Time (the sequel to Detours in Time) after the paid editor did her edit and notes.  Someone is now reading it for me….Excited, I am! I also took at least two webinars this week and read many notes of advice on the GDPR that is passing on 5/25, so I feel like my privacy policies and my e-mail marketing are in compliance.  I was stressing about that for a while.

On the topic of stress, I’m still reducing the caffeine intake.  I am dreaming of camping out and watching beach sunrises.  I suppose that could replace the dream of Europe.  Flying in a plane for 12 hours might not be the thing for me.  It’s okay.  I’m still living my life.  I’m just tired right now.   Slept until 10 a.m. last Sunday.  Guess I needed it!  The hamster wheel is a pain, but I am going to imagine it is exercising me, getting me in shape and ready for the next phase of life.  I’m going to believe it will be fabulous.

My family and I  enjoyed a wonderful Mother’s Day last week.  We went on a boat in the St. Augustine waters.  Here is my post  about my Mom and the wonderful ways she has shaped me as a person:  What Mother’s Day Means to Me

Thanks for visiting my Weekend Coffee Share!  Visit more Coffee Shares or enter your own for viewing at  Eclectic Alli Coffee Share 5/18

Have a great weekend!

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#WeekendCoffeeShare. Staying Afloat

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/  I like completing this challenge weekly, if at all possible.  It helps me to check the gauge somewhat, and process where I am in my writing and life journey.  I apologize for the stressed tone in the first few paragraphs; there is relief if you read through, I promise!

I am sad to say I didn’t write much this week, except for a flash fiction at the start of the week based on a photo prompt.  What came out was sad and maybe a little bit touching.  You may find it here: Flawed Magic Men You know, it’s disillusioning when the faults of a a person you look up to as a small child become revealed little by little.   I’ll have a cheerful story another week!  Other than that, I’ve been so busy I can’t write, and I’ve only been able to read a little bit but not every night.  Still, a manuscript of mine is in the hands of a beta-reader, so my words are making progress!  I’ll be happy for that.

The aforementioned state of being busy was due to work, of course.  I’ve grumbled about the state of education already as of late, but I’ll just say I had a suggestion on how to do things.  I tried to plan it to make it work, and my plans were great, but I ended up working until 6:20 one day.  Getting home at 7 p.m. is just no good.  Seriously, I go to bed at 10 p.m.!  I still brought paperwork home and dealt with some of that while eating dinner.  Yikes!  It was quite frustrating.  I felt so behind on the paperwork because I took a day off Wednesday.  That day was great, in the morning.  I did a lot of social media and planning for my author strategy.  Rarely do I get to do that.  However, the afternoon was spent at the dentist, which gets my shoulders in a knot.  Never a good thing.

So, my mother sent me today to go to a flotation tank type spa.  Escape!  My body gets very tense with the events of my day and week.  Letting the words flow when I get home is great for my mind, but still may overuse the wrist, arm, bicep, etc.  My lifestyle is demanding in this way.  Though I have to remember to skip coffee next time, I did lose track of time and my body loved floating.  I felt like a mermaid!  I definitely came out of there with much less tension in my joints or worry on my mind.  I will certainly go again, just to see what it’s like with the door closed!  Baby steps….

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So, the moral of today’s post, is “I shall rise.”  Have a great weekend, everyone!

If Yoga Were a Guy… (My Exercise Evolution cont’d)

 

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It’s been over a month.  I don’t know why, but I let stressful times keep me away when there are crises in my family and stress at work.  Then my shoulders get all these knots.  I really shouldn’t stay away.  Yet, coming back is a sweet homecoming.  The music and the essential oils beckon me and make me feel welcome.  Despite my tense body, I never feel guilt.  So I imagine yoga is this sweet guy with a Barry White voice, telling me, “Hey babe, the door’s always open.  So glad you’re here.  You’ll be glad you came back.”

Let me honest, I have no idea what he’d look like, except that he’d be fit and his hair would be out of his eyes.  He’d be wearing a light colored short-sleeved t-shirt, and yoga pants.  Okay, maybe not yoga pants, but those long, lightweight pants that yogis wear.  If yoga were a guy, he would:

*Not notice the few pounds I’ve  gained

*Not state the obvious, that my muscles would not be so tense if I just made sure to show up even during the taxing times, and I would not have gotten sick if I used the yoga to help me destress and stay healthy

*Play a lot of Dave Matthews, you know, for atmosphere.  That, and whatever else he seems to play that relaxes me so.

*Keep those candles lit and the lights dim.  Let’s not make it obvious how off-balance I am. Instead, he’d:

*Lend me a hand for balance when I need it.  Bring me an extra block without saying anything or pointing me out

*Let me linger a little while after savanas.  That’s right.  He wouldn’t kick me out, because he’d understand that I don’t just come here to whip my butt into shape, I come here to escape the outside.

*Invite me to come back in a few days or say something that makes me want to be more of a regular, not because I feel guilty, but because it feels SO good being here.

Truth be told, most of my instructors are female.  However, yoga is neither male nor female.  So I can imagine it any way I want.  What’s most important is that I keep going back.  🙂

While we’re using our imaginations here, I think it would be fitting if he gave me a half hour massage after each class.  I don’t live far from the studio, so I could just cruise home and drift into bed afterward.  What completes the fantasy better than a full night’s peaceful sleep?

#weekendcoffeeshare Do the Hustle!

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Welcome to the #weekendcoffeeshare, created by parttimemonsterblog.com.  If we were having coffee this morning of February 18, I’d tell you:

I’m really hustling to get my work and my name in the public “reader’s sphere.”  I recently joined a new website called Niume which is a blogging and social media site that will start paying when I reach a certain number of views.  See my post about it here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/use-niume-to-promote-your-writing/  It includes a referral link if you want to sign up there, publish some posts, and give me credit.  That’s how I got signed up, by reading about a fellow WordPress blogger’s experience!

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You needed a visual interruption, right?  This is from back in the day when I took ballroom and contemporary dance lessons and was practicing at home.  One of the dances was the hustle, though I can’t guarantee that’s what I was doing here!  Alas, dance lessons are not as important these days as stretch and yoga to undo all the typing and stressing I do lately.

Speaking of social media and doing new things, I’ve been trying to share my work and even the work of others to Reddit.com.  Evidently, they are not too keen on sharing.  Is anyone here using Reddit to promote your work or just to write in general?  If so, please tell me what is working for you and I will give it a shot.  It just doesn’t work the way I’ve been using it lately.  They tell me I don’t have enough karma, so evidently, karma means more than just upvoting other people’s posts.  I do share their posts occasionally on Facebook, but do they have to all be from the subreddit where I want to post?  I mainly want to post short stories there, and I don’t want to re-write them on Reddit if I publish them in a blog already.  If you’re successful there, please let me know how!  I’d appreciate it.

I have been writing, of course, to tame my brain and to share and get my name “out there.”  I’ve been pretty reclusive and introverted lately, yet I’ll share my thoughts anywhere.  This is because I’ve grown comfortable with them.  I also like to stay close to home.  Too much has happened in my family, as I’ve posted previously.  I’ve had some dark thoughts and posted one story titled, “Her Beef with Death.”  Read it at  https://niume.com/post/256429. You don’t have to subscribe to read it.  I did post it on WordPress, but I don’t get the way a shared post shows words all scrunched together as if I don’t know how to type.  So, I shortened it and tidied up the sample you see on WordPress.  No big deal.  What shows on WordPress is about half of the story.  It is not dreadfully long but is longer than a flash fiction piece.

My last Flash fiction offering was on 2-11, “Upon Her Throne She Waits.”  It, too, was dark and mysterious.  Read it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/fridayfictioneers-on-her-throne-she-waits/  I love participating in the Flash Fiction challenges, because sometimes I get the best ideas in quick spurts.  I may add to “A Date to Remember” (posted here over a week ago) on my other blog in installments.  I hear writers do it all the time.  Why not?

In the meantime, there are works in progress.  One is going through editing; much like a good steak should not be served raw, it will truly be done when I publish it.  I am also handwriting a story with an animal character.  Yes, that’s different for me, but I’m enjoying it and will start typing soon.

What else is new?  My family situation is about the same.  My work life is about the same.  I stress over them both.   There is not much drama in my family right now; the dust has settled since the accident on Jan. 1, however, it’s hard, when you want what is best for someone but can’t force them to go out and reclaim their life.  Work is hard because it is a constant pressure-cooker full of drama.  Pre-teens and middle-schoolers surround me all day, and they don’t always pay attention.  One of the first and foremost reasons I write is to escape these things.  Therefore, be glad if most of my post is centered around writing.  🙂

After perusing my post, one of my short-term goals is to learn how to create hyperlinks behind a title.  The post with instructions by a fellow blogger is saved to my desktop.  I’ll review it and practice, one of these days.

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster .   This week for the first time it will be hosted by Nerd in the Brain).  Thank you Emily!  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky“.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before. 

 

 

Yoga, Stream of Consciousness, My Exercise Evolution, Pt 4

I like the pained look on this woman’s face in the photograph.  Not because the yoga hurt me, but because my stressed out body was not ready to let go of the stress and relax this time.  I want to be honest, and this photo totally represents my attitude tonight.  I didn’t feel too evolved, but in actuality, I guess I’ve evolved to be able to not push myself too far.

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I hate Triangle.  This is what I was thinking when the instructor told us to set up for our triangle pose.  Then, I immediately felt guilty for my negative thinking.  Sadly, I’ve fallen a little out of tune with my exercise routine, but perhaps for good reasons.  I obviously don’t have the attitude I had built myself up to, and I really need to work to get it back.

I am , however, going to give myself a free pass and just thank myself for showing up to the class tonight.  I knew it would help me, and it did, despite my almost losing my balance and falling once or twice, needing to modify my lunges.  So I modified.  I went easy on myself; it’s been a rough few weeks, with a hurricane passing through, a family friend dying, and the ex-husband in town for a few days.  My emotions have been pulled, and I had cause for anxiety with the ex-husband based on his last visit.  Now it’s all over.  The ex went back home, the funeral has happened, the hurricane dispelled.  Yet I am still at the bottom of the well.  I need to work on coming back up.  I was very mindful to remind myself of that all through class.

On a brighter note, here’s more on the topic of wandering minds during yoga: why do so many instructors use phrasing such as, isn’t that a yummy stretch?  That is mostly used by female instructors, I’ve noticed.  While I haven’t had that many male instructors, there is one most memorable instructor who would say, “Feel that stretch, isn’t that delicious?”  This was said in his beautiful Calypso or Caribbean accent.

“No,” I said, honestly.  It wasn’t delicious as his hand holding my leg steady was, or as his honey dripping accent, or as, let’s say, chocolate.  That’s the part I didn’t say. 🙂 He just chuckled when I said that and let up a little.  I wasn’t being mean, I half smiled when I said it so that he knew, it wasn’t him.  It was me.  I loved having him as an instructor.  But alas, he was just a sub that night, as he normally would teach the early morning class, one I could never make.  At least he wasn’t pushing us to empty our minds.  He must have known the delicious comment was pretty suggestive.  Hey, it made me think of chocolate, or his awesome accent, all things I find very relaxing.  Unfortunately, I no longer attend the studio where this man with the wonderful accent instructs; it is just part of life changes.  I had to choose somewhere closer and I do truly love the new studio I currently attend.

I am not complaining about the wording used by instructors; I love the yoga community.  But calling any of these stretches “yummy” just accentuates the fact that I am not at home eating the goods I am trying to stay away from.  If you are an instructor who wants us to empty our minds, please don’t use the word “yummy!”  I do have to add, though, it always makes my busy mind chuckle while I’m in a resting tree, downward dog, or even pigeon pose and I hear such comments.  Thank you, dear yoga instructor, for giving me that inward chuckle, for coming by with your relaxing scents, and for playing that wonderful music.  I really needed it tonight.