#WeekendCoffeeShare. Picture a Future

Good morning, and welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  I’m sipping a peach mango V8, but there is coffee or tea available. I won’t judge…

I thought of writing last night to work on the character of Ellie. I have left her in a precarious situation. I already know how her story ends. She is a warrior. I just haven’t worked out how she escapes her predicament that I was last pondering. All good things take time, I suppose.  Before that, I was composing this post in my head; to quote T.S. Eiliot: “How do I spit out the butt ends of my days and ways…” Sounds ugly, so maybe I am instead painting rainbows out of my doings. 

The last week had a few dark and uncomfortable days tainted by reality.  I can’t give specifics but it is the nature of my job to sometimes deal with uncomfortable situations.  I am so often thankful these days that I started on the journey to grapple with my anxiety and accept the doctor’s diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder a year ago, just 3 months before COVID hit my area of the world. 

I lighten the air with fantasy, envisioning talking flowers or animals, as if in a cartoon.  I do this for me and for my students.  Some days shine with meaning and purpose, while other days, I just respond to my needs.  Breakfast, shower, clothing, work, work, work, decompress, dinner, exercise. Sleep. Socialization and emotional connection fits in somewhere, but it is so different in this socially-distanced era.

Friday nights I put my feet up, with my loyal dog at my side.  I tire of watching someone else’s stories, though, having them stuffed down my throat, and I picture my own. They cannot be as terrible as the world today. Maybe they foretell of a brighter future, where we build the world we want to live in. Certainly not a world of cyber-bullying, sex-trafficking, or violence.  We owe our children better than this.  We need to teach them it is not alright, teach them how to turn the tides.

Who will teach the children to dream a new tomorrow, so they can make it true? To create better moments instead of just reacting?  At night I train myself not to worry about the future of our children, or unseen threats and my own assumptions. I try, but training takes time. It’s an ongoing work in progress, one step up and two steps back…sometimes, 3 steps ahead, others, going nowhere.  That’s okay though. 

In the meantime, I love the sound of my dog snoring, love the cool evening air when I let him out and the morning sun peeking through window blinds.

I try to ponder these things and think of nothing else.

Sometimes it works, and my breathing slows.

I try, but sometimes the trying takes time.

Yet, I try, and sometimes the trying is a victory…

So, still, I try.

If all else fails, laugh like no one is watching. Not so glam, but it feels great!

In other news, ‘coronophobia’ is now a valid term, researchers say.  I work amongst middle school children daily, and I lean down (masked) when I can’t hear them talk.  I social distance as much as possible, but I am not always behind my desk shield. I think I have good days and bad days, so I am not going to adopt that term; however, I believe it is real. 

My phobias stem from so many other things, and yes, a healthy dash of hypochondria at times.  It may have started with a hospitalization at age eight because I wasn’t eating right. My blood count was very low. I felt so alone for those few days, as Mom had to be at home with my three-year-old brother.

Suffice it to say, hospitals can really trigger me today.  I have to be mindful.  So here I am, dredging up my past.  Therapy can lead to that. You think about why your mind goes to certain places. It is very helpful, though, in framing your thoughts, as if you are taking a picture of a moment that makes you feel triggered, yet you take the looming clouds out of it, because, it was only your mind that put them there and interpreted them as a threat or an ominous portend.  I still can put up my guard, but now I can laugh at myself when I am overthinking things. 

Thanks for joining me. I’m going to run into the kitchen to get my green tea, and you are welcome to a refill.  The ‘cafe’ is playing something by Ben Harper, a guitar solo called “Winter is for Lovers.” Interesting idea on this rainy Valentine’s Day weekend! My ‘bae’ and I will go out for Mediterranean food tonight, and I’m cooking him spaghetti on Sunday.  Have a great weekend, send out some love to the world, and stay the course my friends!

What It’s Like to Vote. #2020

Wearing my pearls in honor of RBG!
We voted, and we honor RBG! Educators teaching young minds to think for themselves.

What it’s like to vote in 2020:

Request your absentee ballot. Receive said ballot; study the amendments within it to make an informed decision. Decide, then fill out your ballot. Send it in early. Track it online until its receipt is confirmed. Encourage and tell all of your friends and family to vote. Yet, avoid politics at the dinner table or family gatherings; your mother does not share your political views and does not want to hear them. Plus, you’ll get an earful of hers until she says, “We shouldn’t even be talking about this. We won’t change each other’s minds.” True. Avoid political talk for the rest of dinner and love your family anyway.

Or……

What it’s like to vote in 2020:

Get dressed, put on your mask (and maybe gloves) then go to the polls! Tell your friends to go to the polls and post on social media to remind them. Rejoice! For there was once a day that women could not vote. You have female ancestors who had to stay home with kids, clean house, and cook while their men voted, but they couldn’t vote. Nope. Or, they finally were able to vote but their husbands told them who to vote for. Enjoy your time at the polls. You may have political opponents eyeing you, or you may be standing in line singing, Kumbaya! Everyone smiling at each other and not talking politics. Making their best decision, casting their vote in gratitude for this freedom, this right. Not thinking about what happens if their candidate loses.

This is why I wore pink. I am proud to be a woman today when looking at how far we have come. Pink to me used to mean precious and delicate. Now, it means power. This is also why I wore pearls, because RBG fought for so many women’s rights and civil rights, and I honor any woman who fought, and fights, for the rights of others with her words, her pen, and her actions.

My friend at work also wore pearls, and one of her students as well! We were so proud. What happens now? We put change into effect in our world regardless of who sits in the White House. We keep voting when we can, but we show up everyday to make a difference in this world in the way we speak and relate to each other and the way we communicate to our bright minds of the future. We are unstoppable.

Character Background: Tabitha and the Professor. #pointsofview

 

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Tabitha and Milt are characters from the award-winning time travel novel, Detours in Time.  Why are they such good friends?  Follow Tabitha on a typical day and get a dose of what goes on in her mind.

“Tabitha, Tabitha? Have you heard anything I’ve been saying?” Candace raised her voice to be heard, frustrated at her friend who was gazing out the window vacantly.

“Yes, yes. Of course I heard you,” Tabitha replied, a little too insistent.

“Okay, so what’s his name?”

“Um, Walter?” Tabitha offered.

“No. His name is Matt, and you are not listening! If you’re not really interested, just tell me. I don’t want to set up a meeting and have you disappoint him.”

“I guess I’m not really interested,” Tabitha answered.

“It’s been years, Tabitha! You’re thirty and you’re going to turn to dust!”

Tabitha snorted in laughter. “No, I’ve got some time left. Seriously, you exaggerate a bit much.”

“What’s going on with you and the doctor?” Candace asked slyly.

“Dr. Braddock? No, um, nothing. I mean, I have been working with Milt more lately.  Instead of just cleaning I’m also helping him organized his office, but nothing has come of it; it’s just work.”

Nothing had come of it, except learning that he was researching quantum physics and how to travel in time. Not that she’d ever tell anyone. When she came clean and told him what she had seen, he begged her to promise not to reveal what she knew. In fact, he confessed that he already discovered the secret to time travel. Tabitha couldn’t deny that they were growing closer. She’d proven herself indispensable when she created a filing system for keeping his lab notes in order. It was obvious he appreciated her. Despite the age difference, she found him intensely interesting. Still, they’d probably always just remain friends.

“We’re just friends, Candace. We work together well, that’s all. I’m really organized; he’s not. He’s totally brilliant; I’m not.” Even in her denial, she couldn’t forget the dream she’d had about kissing him. She shook her head to dispel the thought. “Just friends.”

“You don’t even seem convinced of that.  And–I noticed how you call him by his first name!”  Candace smiled deviously.

“That doesn’t mean anything, Candace. Stop trying to read my mind. I’m just not, I just don’t need a man right now. Is that all right with you?”

“Okay Tabitha, that’s all you had to say. And don’t knock yourself; you are pretty bright.” She glanced at her watch. “Oops, gotta go. I’ll call you tomorrow!” Candace blew a kiss on the air and grabbed her jacket as she jogged out of the cafe.

“Okay, later Candace!” Tabitha had someplace to be as well. Dr. Milt Braddock needed help that evening organizing his tax papers. I could use the extra money, Tabitha reasoned. That’s all this is about.

She strolled out of the cafe slowly, picturing the smile lines around Milt’s eyes.  Smiling, she walked into a young couple.

“Sorry!” she called as they laughed and walked on.

“Daydream much?”  one of them replied.

I have got to get a grip, she thought.

**Read Detours in Time and learn what Milt and Tabitha discover together in the future. Available in Kindle, K.U., or paperback. Universal link:   Detours in Time Amazon link

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