What a life I live! Those were words I started writing in my diary when I was thirteen. Sometimes it seemed sarcastic: other times, very hopeful.
Recently, I looked back in some old diaries I kept at age 13 and 14. I was quite innocent then, but man, did I ever write a lot about crushes I had on boys! Even in church and in the private church school. These diaries covered looking back at 1979 when Dad told me he and Mom had to work some things out, then skipped to me writing about the divorce happening, but NOTHING about my feelings. It covered the closing of my private school, starting at a public high school, the sale of my childhood house, moving to an apartment where I had to make new friends, and navigating the public school arena and seeing my dad maybe once yearly, yet my posts seemed mostly hopeful.
I didn’t express my feelings or opinions much, as if I feared someone would peek at my diary. Through all the changes, I never mentioned crying, except when Beth, a character in Little Women, died of a long term illness. My dad had given me the book, and I’d started reading it over that Christmas break when my brother and I went to visit him.
Never did I mention crying when my dad said they’d divorce if they couldn’t work it out, never when they divorced. I didn’t even write that day . My posts seemed like simple recountings of my days overall. I wrote a lot about boys when I was 14 too, as if I thought they would make my life better. I wrote funny stories about my friends and sounded like I responded to many things with the attitude of, “Oh well,” which seemed different than before. I mentioned getting ignored by a boy and feeling glum, then being cheered up by a friend or some other boy.
Man, was I shallow, or what? Even then, I was pondering being a writer…you have to start somewhere, I guess. Honestly, I think I didn’t express my feelings well until they hit me over the head. It seems I avoided my feelings a lot. Maybe I was afraid of them. Funny, I didn’t write much about my beliefs, just about my activities with church and youth group.
Well, I guess things have changed! I was disappointed with myself, though, because I can look back and remember the feelings I had. Maybe it just took me a little while to learn how to express them, even to my diary. Guess what? I lived through it all, every growth experience. What a life I live!
Jan.27th- Welcome to day 26 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 5 of Literacy Week. I hate to see Literacy Week come to a close, but I’ll admit there was a whole lot of planning involved, and I am tired, ready for the weekend, for sure!
We had a two-sentence story contest this week, and all entries were due today. It was a lot of fun reading their entries! I had two other teachers helping with the judging and decision of the sixth grade winners. There were some very descriptive stories with imagery, personification, and alliteration. They only had two sentences to work with, but they found ways to wow us!
There is a whole thread on Reddit of funny two-sentence stories. Check it out! I made up a few two-sentence stories during the pandemic. One of my favorites:
I was worried about the flight, but I have reassuring friends. The dragon says, “Who needs an airplane anyway ?” -PC
Literacy Week brings back memories, memories of my mom reading to me, my lower grades teacher teaching me and encouraging me to read, my 7th grade teacher (Mr. Troje) having us read A Tale of Two Cities, my Senior year English teacher giving us choices of books to read, my dad for gifting me with Little Women, and many others who inspired me through the years . Mr. Troje died of cancer about ten years ago.
My mother encouraged my reading by letting me learn about life from books. She’d have books on her nightstand, and I’d take them to read. She allowed me to do that. I read beyond my age. I tried hard to enjoy Literacy Week this year, because we need joyful occasions in a middle school to celebrate with the kids.
So, now the question is, how do I share one of the things I love most with my students? How do I flourish in a job where I feel censored in this state? I keep looking for positives. Sometimes I find them. The questions I have asked here are still to be answered.
That’s a day in my life, that closes a work week in my life. Happy Literacy week. Go and read a book of your choice, and be thankful you can choose!
*Any opinions I express on my blog are strictly mine and not those of my employer.
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This last week was very relaxing and maybe even lazy, once I got the vacation laundry done. There were two days of teacher training, however, but Friday gave me a renewed chance for lounging. 🙂
The training we received was very informative. Despite English teachers having new standards, new curriculum, and a new text, I left with the feeling “I can do this!” The lesson plans are more clear, and the text completely links with our new state standards, so I’m quite happy with this! I also had a great lunch with a teacher friend at the Garden Cafe!
Since our vacation, I’ve had a sore/stiff shoulder and my boyfriend has a knot in his back muscle near the shoulder blade. For me, it was likely from doing a backstroke while lounging in the Coco Cay waters. For him, it’s definitely from carrying luggage that included my cosmetic carry-on . We both seem to agree that vacation was still worth it!
On Writing —
I wrote probably one page this last week on Ellie, the Time Traveler. I also jotted down thoughts and ideas for continuing Crossroads Dinner #205. I’ve really been distracted by the shoulder. However, I’m still journaling by hand almost daily. Here are some thoughts on being part of the rhythm and flow of life:
From the July 1st prompt: I heard in a pain podcast, “Don’t be fearless, but fear LESS.” (Pain Free You). My thoughts are that we cannot help but to have feelings, but we can try not to over focus on them. This morning, it’s easy for me to trust the process of life. I know all my loved ones are safe, and I’m sitting in a room blessed by Sunshine peeking through my blinds.
Grasshoppers are making joyful noise out in the day as the temperature climbs. It is peaceful. I am noticing it all. On cloudy, rainy days, I need to also spend more time noticing, just observing, because it is also a part of life’s Evan flow, the cycles of nature. I can notice what’s around even if it’s not what I wanted or expected without judging, even if it changes my plans. The dance of nature is so awesome to observe!-PC
That’s where I am right now. I see my doctor about the shoulder next week and will have coffee with a writer friend Thursday. It is sure to be at least a two hour coffee chat! Have a great day, and I hope you find time to relax. Bixby certainly is a guru at this!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s 38 degrees outside, but it’s warm and toasty in my house. We Floridians are not so brave with cold weather. Most of us, that is. After eating cereal, I’m drinking green matcha tea in my quest to be healthy. I ran out of half-caff coffee today and don’t think I can handle the full throttle coffee more than 1-2 times a week.
It seems to me that I have to drink copious amounts of water if I’m habitually drinking the coffee ‘zilla.’ Otherwise, my legs may bother me. Yeah, I know I sound old. I’m pretty sensitive to the slightest changes though, because I don’t want small things to get worse. I intend to have an active body for many more years. Movement is very important to me at this point in my life!
For breakfast, I had Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran, mixed with Great Grains with blueberries and sliced banana with turmeric mix powder sprinkled on top in an effort to maintain my fiber, energy levels, and address arthritic pain. Two servings of fruit, one of grain, and one of dairy. The Nature’s Path has an overall rating of close to 5 stars, but the flakes look like think carboard cut into flakes, hence the reason I mixt it with Great grains, something I’m familiar with, which makes it more acceptable to me. The Nature’s Path is expensive, so I might not always buy that.
My boyfriend thinks my breakfast habit sounds atrocious, but it’s really healthy, and I consider it a simple, yet comforting feast on a daily basis. He’s never been married and has lived alone without a female influence for a long time. He’s trying to be healthier now, due to my influence, so he says. He’s approaching 50. 🙂 When we went to Savannah recently, we ate in a Bed and Breakfast with dishes inspired by Indian influences. I loved the spices on their potatoes! He is allergic and had to get the spices left off. I think I was affected by turmeric at first years ago, but I never had dangerous reactions and seem to have developed a tolerance.
I’ve been compared to Sheldon Cooper when it comes to my dietary habits. So be it; I know what works for me! I love Thai food, Mediterranean, Chinese, and sometimes Mexican as well as usual American favorites, all with mild spice. However, I bought a turmeric ketchup recently and love it on my grass fed burgers at home. (Who knew burgers could eat grass, right?) 😉 Still, when I go to these types of restaurants, I usually order the same thing. I know what works for me. Having been told I had a slight milk allergy encouraged me to avoid cheese frequently. Some say I obsess over food or seem a little O.C.D. about it. Hey, it works for Sheldon, why not me?
On the writing front, I am tired out from the day job and don’t do much on the writing front currently except to jot down ideas, and I still have them, thank God! I wrote a second installment for Crossroads Diner, a runner-up in Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest, and now have an idea for a third, that, yes, I have written down! They could all be read as stand alone. I love the idea of many flawed people, some holding up a perfect facade, others carrying their scars outwardly, all coming together by chance to rectify themselves or make their way.
Next week is Literacy week, which got me thinking about my writing and where I am going with it. I am investing in several different genres now. I still don’t know if I might streamline it and stick with just one. It seems I am largely writing for myself and my moods, and it is cathartic quite often. I’ll have fun talking about books I’ve read and learning what my kids like to read next week. It’s time for me to get out of this chair though, and get a little exercise for the day. Tomorrow, I’ll have a massage to prepare for the week.
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog It’s sunny today, but temperatures will be in the sixties. My morning drink is match green tea, since I had coffee yesterday.
It’s a great week to be grateful, so I’ll organize this post into 10 things I’m grateful for.
1. I’m grateful for two days off followed by this weekend! It gives some good time to pause and reflect.
2. I’m grateful for family, and Thanksgiving gave us time to spend time together. It was different, since my ex-husband was at our dinner, but it all went well. My mother cooked a great meal, and I helped.
3. All of us, when given a chance to speak our gratitude, are so grateful for my son being with us at the table and doing well in his life right now. He, my mother, and I, walked to Starbuck’s yesterday for a coffee. That was my only contribution to Black Friday. I love the atmosphere at Starbucks, including the jazz music!
4. I’m grateful for my dog, Bixby, an important member of our family!
5. I’m grateful for my friends that are constantly there for me, and that includes my companion, Chris, and I’m thankful for the twists and turns that helped me reconnect with him. I’m thankful for several friends who helped see me through a tormentuous family issue this past summer. I think I learned to reach out, and I have not regretted it!
6. My job is a blessing, and I am grateful. I’m able to share my gifts and help others appreciate things that I love, such as reading and writing. I’m glad to be employed and to afford things I need, although I’m becoming sort of minimalist with finances. I don’t spend money just to spend anymore. One day I’ll need a retirement strategy. 🙂
7. I feel gratitude when walking through nature, usually with my dog. We’ve actually had some seasonal colors and a recent cooldown, albeit a mild one.
8. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and for the people who have commiserated with me on this writing journey so far. I’m not sure what the next turn is; I’m really feeling a minimalist change in the wind, and considering Kindle Vella. Anyone have experience with this? If you’d like a taste of my fiction writing, I have two books that are currently .99, Detours in Time (always for .99) and Undercurrents in Time (ending Monday, 11/29). https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716
9. I am grateful for this blogger’s community! Many here are writers, whether full-time or on the side. Some of you post here regularly, and I’m thankful for your thoughts on my posts and for what I can learn from your posts!
10. Last, but not least, I am grateful for my health! Recent checkup tests have been good, I eat fairly healthy, and I’m about to go to the gym with my son today.
There is so much I can’t control, but acceptance, humor, and an attitude of gratitude are helping me to see the best in whatever comes my way!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a day for matcha green tea, since yesterday was my half-caff day. I am sticking to the green tea routine with coffee as a treat maybe twice a week. Sleep is more important to me these days.
The weather report was promising rain, but the sun has been peaking in and then fading out this morning. I think rain will come later. My week was so busy, I hardly had time to read, and writing seems to be just sporadic these days. This pandemic and my teaching job seem to cause a special kind of stress, and since I’ve dealt with stress a long time in my own ways, this was also a week for sciatica and on/off back pain. I may have to get back to using the Curable app or at least following meditations on Youtube. Yes, I have been the kind of person who internalizes stress or anxiety and holds in anger or resentment. I’ve been trying to deal with it, but then, sometimes I get too busy.
I can tell myself I have an important job, and that I am making a difference, but I have to maintain the downtime for myself. This is most noticeable with the Back-to School swing. I had summer off and dealt with a lot of things in my life, so now I’m busy again. This weekend is a respite. I saw my (new/old flame) boyfriend last night for a delicious Italian dinner, and today I am getting a pedicure. Outdoor time may be in order, since the sun is holding steady currently. I’m still relaxing after breakfast, though.
There is not much that’s interesting to share except that I’ve been enjoying my students in the Newspaper Club, who write about what they want and accept editing suggestions gracefully; boy, do they ever love to write! It’s refreshing. I’m sponsoring the Yearbook Club, and we’ll start meeting and get geared up on the 27th. Work was been hectic with grades due last Friday and then an online Open House in the evening this past Tuesday. I’m working on time-management and have a true need to work-smarter-not-harder.
I’ve been reading a fiction book about Bigfoot. I may explore the whole series, it’s kind of interesting. Books have to catch my attention these days, and it is easier for them to lose me, a result likely of the pandemic, all that is going on, and maybe because of my age and how I handle my stress and responsibilities. As I said, writing is sporadic, but last week I posted a poem in response to the Ragtag Daily prompt. View it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/a-kaleidoscope-rdp/
This morning, I received a notification from a genealogy site I belong to called Family Search. I used to be all into that sort of thing; I have a lot of family lines from different places and love knowing ‘where I’m from’ and about my ancestors. My paternal aunt lives in Utah and has been very active in searching those family roots and introduced me to Family Search. All I have today is photos, one from mom’s side and an ancestor from the Denmark line, and one from my dad’s line from the Johnston’s, a relative from England but of a line that could be also Scottish.
I love looking at these old photographs. I haven’t been as active in searching these things as I was in 2013, but they send me hints, so I know I have some living relatives who are cataloging and collecting, so it is very worthwhile for me to belong to such a site. I used to try to construct the background stories of my ancestors. I think that’s what got me started in writing fiction. Historical fiction is also very interesting to me.
Well, I had plans and ideas for today, but I don’t stick to a constrained schedule on Saturdays, except that there’s a 3:00 appointment for the pedicure. I hope you all have a great week!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, in which I have reached Earth Week in the 28 days “Soul Coaching” book. Earth Week (and Fire Week too for that matter) has been full of water. Rain, rain, rain. At any rate, as we sit in my ‘cafe’ with Agnes Obel in the background, a solid favorite with beautiful piano notes, I drink green macha tea and I am so grateful for the sunshine this morning.
Yesterday, we had a morning of sunshine as well, which was such a blessing after days and days of gray wake-ups and rain. After breakfast, I sat in the sunshine in my driveway with the dog at my side. He sought the shade of my chair after a few minutes. I don’t really know how many minutes. Do I really have to know? My skin felt good, my eyes were shut, and my dog did not complain. I seem to know when is too long for Vitamin D exposure. My body and spirit did need those few moments to warm me, especially since I was suffering from a sinus infection this week.
Yes, ironic isn’t it, that during Earth Week I had a body that did not allow me to do a five mile walk or get out of the house much? The rain discouraged me, too. I got the appropriate rest, ate well, slept late when I could. I exercised to an extent that did not push things too far. I read, continued the 28 days book, and took care of Bixby. I do think I appreciated the earth in fitting ways. That one morning of sunshine was wonderful, since I was just feeling well again.
I certainly would have done more if I felt up to it, but I imagine I’ll make up for it next week. It has been too long since I walked the beach! Two weeks, at least, and it is such a centering practice for me. A part of Earth week in the book suggests imagining being a rose, a willow tree, or a pebble. I would prefer being a willow tree or a pebble. The willow is motherly and familial, peaceful, and soulful. The pebble is a young child/ tomboy’s dream, always useful–be aware I climbed trees when I was a child! I would not choose the rose, for I feel I’ve lived that: the sweet flower pruned to look good and often plucked to die in a vase. Sigh, the plight of many women before this generation; the vase being a ‘good’ marriage that puts a girl on a shelf. Yet, I was allowed to climb trees! Not so bad after all, but society sort of tried to hold us back, you know? Things are changing though, but I digress.
Earth week reminds me of my kinesthetic field. A quiz once told me I was equally visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Sometimes I just dwell on one, but my life is happiest when I honor all of them. So, I’ll seek to do my 5 mile walk in a few days! I’ll sit in the sunlight again, soon. I will laugh with a friend again as I did yesterday….no details needed, it’s just something I am wisely making room for in my life even through stress or rough days. 🙂 And I will always add music and buy clothes that hold a color that draws me in. Perhaps it will soak up the sun into my spirit more strongly, but am I digressing again? 🙂
In the realm of writing, I self-published a short story that is sort of supernatural and metaphysical in nature. You can find it on Amazon by searching Crossroads Diner Kindle. There is a contest I have entered through an online Book club, and I also just want people to read it. Reviews on Amazon are a great way to get feedback on this story’s ideas and are so appreciated! I plan to work more on the Ellie manuscript this summer, though I do have my little trip to Rochester coming up. I so look forward to it!
So, as of July 1,we’ve made it through the first half of the year! I survived the first half, including the end of a pandemic teaching year. My son is still not speaking to me or his dad, not to anyone in the family. He had an issue in his life, and I wanted him to solve it a certain way; he did not want to do that. It seems he’s doing it his way, and I pray it works. Now, I send him loving or encouraging texts. That’s all I can do, since he is grown. I am still trying to live my own life, since I know he’s living his own life. I am practicing acceptance. He is venturing into his own life and will reach out to family again when he’s ready. I believe that.
The rest of the year may bring more changes, and they may be wanted or unwanted. I am going to have faith that I have instilled strength and willingness to work hard in my son. I am going to keep laughing for the sake of laughing. I will surround myself with those who encourage me to smile and laugh yet listen if I need an ear. I will accept others for what they are and give them leeway to be that while trying to bring out their best. I am going to move toward tomorrow fearlessly and avoid expecting the worst; yet if it approaches, I will battle it like the warrior that I am, like a flexible, sturdy oak or an empathic willow tree (depending on the day :).
So, how’s that for setting my intention for the next six months? I don’t remember what my New Years’ resolution was, and who cares? I think I’ll set six months’ intentions each year, one at summer solstice and one at winter solstice–a great way to honor the physical world and this Earth that we have been granted by a marvelous Creator. Enjoying nature brings me closer to my spirit. I hope to do more of that this week!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. After a matcha green tea, I am taking my time this morning. Why? Because I can. 🙂
It is Fire Week in the Soul Coaching book, which involves stepping out of the usual routines. It being summer, I get to step out of my work routine anyway! One new addition to the routine is walking 5 miles on Tuesday evenings with a Meetup group, traipsing through neighborhoods I don’t normally frequent and seeing wonderful new sites. I do know one person in the group, but taking these walks is a new thing for me, and I love it!
There has also been plenty of time to rest, take my time, and live in the moment. If that is the water part of my life, it is a slow-moving, lazy river. I love those, and they certainly represent living in the moment. It is such an important thing to do, isn’t it? Of course, we may not be able to do it all the time. Still, living with uncertainty with all of the shake-ups and changes in my life recently has made living in the moment necessary at times. I have to maintain the balance.
Perhaps I will blog more on my journey through the Soul Coaching book, if the spirit moves me. It has become a welcome routine every morning with a long, drawn-out breakfast. When it is done, I’ll be changing up my routines again. I actually worked on writing the Ellie book this week. There will be more of that to follow!
Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for stopping by for my coffee share!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Season’s Greetings whatever holiday you celebrate and where! 2020 has been quite a year. I would say my proudest work accomplishment this year as a Middle School English teacher was putting a focus on Socio-Emotional Learning in my classroom by trying to learn what personally motivates my students with various learning abilities from standard, advanced, to gifted learners. I’m working on building community. One personal achievement I reached this year was maintaining a connection with my students during COVID lockdown in Florida from March to June. I would say that it was really rewarding during a time of uncertainty.
This year, I published one book titled Malachi, Ruse Master. It is not specifically sci-fi, but focuses on a character that connects to characters and events in my Detours in Time series. I really enjoyed writing this one, getting into my character’s head and writing about the struggles of finding your identity when you are a young adult. He works in an unusual job that serves to help him discover many things about himself and his own ethics. If interested, it is on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX
In 2020, I suffered a frozen shoulder and recieved physical therapy for it. I’d been through PT at the end of 2019 for my back and still use some of the principles and exercises I learned. The shoulder recovered, I’m glad to report. In the process, I read and discovered a lot about how our mindset contributes to pain. Some of it is automatic and takes much work to change, but I am working on the mindset constantly. There are many people who helped me and worked to understand me this year, and I am filled with gratitude. I am trying constantly to extend my circle of gratitude for every little thing someone does for me or every attempt at understanding me. It makes me smile more, which makes people respond more positively to me. It seems to pay off for everyone.
COVID anxiety has been a struggle for me, but I’d say it comes and goes, and staying busy or exercising seems to really help. I struggled with anxiety and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder even before COVID became a concern for the United States this year, so fortunately, I was already working on the problem before lockdown occurred and cases skyrocketed. It’s odd to say, but the diagnosis came right on time. I’ve read and studied many books on the subject and took an online CBT course this year. I feel that knowledge and acceptance of our own flaws are both very important. One thing I do regret is my lack of focus, which really got worsened from COVID lockdown. I am able to focus on my work but cannot seem to focus also on writing a book. Never fear! I have an idea in the works, but it will take longer than my former books.
My social life has suffered probably as much as anyone else’s. I have a writer friend I would invite to the house a few times over the summer for coffee and a chat, distanced, of course. My boyfriend and I maintain contact and even went to socialize with some of his friends outdoors on their patio this summer. I had two Zoom meetings with some of the ‘gals’ from work, one of which carried on into a FB group video chat and included some fun app affects!
At least I have my family, I have an understanding significant other, and I have some longtime, trustworthy friends. My mother has had an extended stay at my brother’s house due to COVID concerns, but I am getting her this week. My 24-year-old son and I have been co-existing gracefully, and he is becoming such a generous soul. I remember his teen years, ugh. He certainly has had his own struggles and still has some effects from them. Still, he is finally growing into the person I’ve been trying to teach him to be in the most important ways: gentle, generous, kind to his family members and not so self-centered.
My biggest lesson learned this year is that our mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. It immensely helps a person’s mental health to tell someone about what is bothering them. I have a stressful job, and just discussing with my boss some of the things I have to go through to get organized and handle certain situations provided such a relief. My anxiety, especially in the holiday season, hits at unexpected times, and I’ve even explained to some of my classes that I feel claustrophobic if too many of them come up to my desk. It has helped. I also cannot concentrate if two people ask me a question at the same time. In my everyday life, I’ve been practicing not keeping things in and speaking my mind in a calm manner.
I also asked for help, unashamed, from a good work friend before taking the drive to South Carolina. When asked if she’d ride along with me and maybe take turns driving, she said yes without hesitation, looking forward to time away from ‘mom’ duties. I am so thankful! Having her to talk to on the way up was great and kept me calm when I went 20 minutes past the exit for I-95. We laughed it off and kept on going. When traffic was congested in South Carolina, as usual, I said, “I hate this road,” and she said, “It’s okay, we’ve got this.” It was very helpful, as congested traffic makes me feel boxed in, a result of a car accident I had in 2016. Why am I not over that? Why ask why, just make adjustments as needed.
I know there is a little risk involved there. So, appropriately, my favorite song of the year has been Caution by The Killers. Okay, it’s a love song, but I want to love my life and ponder predominantly on the positives, so it works! The beat and the lyrics are so inspiring!
So, I say, speak your mind, throw caution to the wind! Take a risk. The worst that could happen is that you may not feel accepted by that person, in which case, they don’t deserve your openness. Talk to someone else, then. You will soon find someone who has felt the way you do at some point in their lives. So, I have learned to own my life, my personality, and not be ashamed to share what it means to be me. I may not be able to travel right now, and life and activities may be COVID limited, but I am still going to grow.
This Best of the Year tradition was first brought to my attention by my global blogger friend Beaton. You may visit his blog at becomingthemuse.net and his Best of the Year at https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/12/17/what-2020-taught-me/ You are invited to share your own, and use the hashtag, #BOTY2020.
In my tradition, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and Best wishes for 2021!