Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “coping”

Winter Is So SAD

I need to borrow the TARDIS during January. The resident Doctor could zip me somewhere sunny, pleasant, safe, with an ocean view and an access path to the beach. Blue skies being a requisite. I could pass through the wintery muck of snow and ice and grey ideas and be back in time to grade semester exams. Maybe a Zygon could be my substitute.

BBC One - Doctor Who - The TARDIS
Seriously, where is a TARDIS when you need one?

Just a fanciful thought, I know. Living in a land of beauteous surroundings one must deal with the woes of winter to appreciate the joys of spring, summer, and fall. That’s right, I don’t ski. I wouldn’t complain about winter (so much) if I did ski. Used to. I do not want to be that teacher hobbling about on one of those knee scooters.

The best knee scooter - Chicago Tribune
No thanks

Besides the mounds of snow, slick sidewalks, freezing days and even colder nights, there is the lack of sunlight to contend with. It’s dark at 7 am when I leave the house and dark when I return at 4 pm. I’m thinking of carrying a canary to work.

Idioms in the News: Canary in the Coal Mine | ShareAmerica
Teaching in winter is a bit like working in the coal mines

It’s not that I get depressed during our long winter (November, December, January, February, March, sometimes April—heck, it’s been known to snow in May), it’s just that most days I feel like I’m living in a bowl of oatmeal, all that gray and white. Someone suggested I have SAD—seasonal affective disorder. Maybe I do. I bought those special lights, and they help–some. What I really miss is COlOR!! Two exclamations. I miss blue sky, flowers, green lawns—spectrum variety. Winter is shades of gray. January snow is worn out and looking like a white t-shirt washed too many with a load of dark clothes. Not inspiring.

This year I decided to be proactive about winter. I spent my Biden Bucks on a Mom Cave. Smart TV, sound bar, reclining love seat, fake ficus tree with twinkle lights, lava lamp (glitter instead of jelly blobs). When the sun goes down I cozy in and watch PBS, nature documentaries, and DVD binge with library finds. I can safely say I am adding to the natural average of watching almost as much TV as I put in working.

I also read and do puzzles, yet escaping with David Tennant and going around the world is fun (would be faster in the Tardis, Doctor) and visiting with the Skeldale House crew from All Creatures Great and Small helps pass a dark evening. I’m currently hosting my own Sidney Poitier film fest.

Not wanting to be accused of losing my marbles (I have sometimes issued a barbaric YAWP when winter blahs strike), I hung them up in my kitchen window. Instead of viewing mounds of snow I now gaze on droplets of colored glass. It has made a difference.

I know exactly where my marbles are, thank you…

Once January passes I do manage to endure winter a bit better. Spring doesn’t seem to be quite so far away once Valentine’s Day arrives.

I can do this.

Anyone else deal with the Winter Blahs? What are your survival tactics?

Film Finds and Redeux

Lately I find myself drifting towards watching movies rather than reading. Having a bit of a brain fizz from teaching this year. It’s been a stressful year, as was the year before, and the one before that one. Reading, my usual standard of decompressing, is not the tonic is once was.

I am turning towards old favorites, movies that make me feel good, or are entertaining or offer a sense of escape. Here are a few that have helped me cope through the odd and strenuous days from teaching, grading, coping with students present and those missing, not to mention coping with parents and policies.

Watch The Prisoner | Prime Video
The Prisoner: I relate to how Patrick McGoohan tries to find answers to the question of “Why Am I Here?” Field of Dreams : Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Timothy Busfield,  James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Ray Liotta, Frank Whaley, Dwier Brown,  Gaby Hoffman, Phil Alden Robinson, Lawrence Gordon, Charles Gordon, Phil
Field of Dreams: Believing in the impossible is encouraging
The Thin Man' Movies in Order
Thin Man Series: Solving mysteries in a humorous fashion is something I understand as I try to track down missing assignments from missing students.
Mystery!: Cadfael (TV Series 1994–1998) - IMDb
Cadfael: Derek Jacobi as a mystery solving monk from the Middle Ages provided inspiration to making sense of the insensible

Silverado (1985) - IMDb
Silverado: A good laugh, and I need those lately
The Hunger Games (film) - Wikipedia
The Hunger Games series: Katniss is resourceful, loyal, and tenacious. She might consider becoming a teacher.
Watch This: Stranger Than Fiction | Tres Bohemes
Stranger than Fiction: definitely English teacher humor at work here.
Nature | PBS
Animal documentaries are quite soothing and inspiring as critters deal with their environment Western Legends 50 Movie Pack : John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene  Autry, Tex Ritter: Movies & TV
I also discovered a 24 hour Western station. There is something satisfying about the good guys getting the bad guys.
Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Book 1: Abadzis, Nick, Scott, Cavan, Mann,  George, Stott, Rachael, Melo, Adriana: 9781785863462: Books
Wouldn’t it be amazing to pop in a time machine and travel to better times, let alone experience new adventures and be home by tea time?

What movies or series do you gravitate towards for escaping or coping?

Summer Sun Heats Up the Blues

Did Eddie deal with the heat of the Summertime Blues?

Summer is when I am usually found living in my hammocks (one for shade and one for sun). However, this year’s extreme heat dome temperatures have created new routines.

I can endure the outside heat up to 90 degrees (with a nearby fan) and then it’s hiding inside the air-conditioned house until evening when the sun goes down and the heat dissipates.

I could take advantage of being inside and completing projects such as decluttering, painting, deep cleaning, getting serious about writing, but here’s the truth: hot weather, extra hot weather, drains my energy and my coping activities range from reading, napping, puzzling to watching movies next to the air conditioner.

I never thought I would spend part of my summer staying inside watching movies. I’m embarrassed.

Reading is always a go to but reading from 1pm to 7pm, the “heat zone” of the day, drifts towards monotony. Did I really say reading can be boring?

Napping is good for a quick 10 minute doze to a serious pass out for two hours. Too much napping means being awake at night.

Puzzling is a passable activity, depending on the puzzle. Staring at 1000 pieces that should become the picture on the box doesn’t always make for a relaxing time.

It’s nearing August. In a typical summer this is our area’s miserable month with triple digit days shifting into one or two weeks, but that has already happened this summer.

As August peeps around the corner I know summer is ready to close down. I usually regret the end of summer, since being outside is my place of choice, yet I’m actually looking forward to fall with its cool mornings, temperate days, and crisp evenings.

We don’t mention the season after fall.

This summer has been extreme in many ways and I never thought I would be distressed at having too much sun.

What are your thoughts about this extreme summer? How have you been coping with the heat?

My Left Hand

Dear Left Hand:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, you have undoubtedly noticed the extra workload and overtime you've been having to cope with these last few days.

Management appreciates your willing attitude and unexpected diversity, if not ingenuity, in approaching situations your aptitude and abilities have previously not necessarily
prepared you to encounter.

Recently it was noted you coped well in the following situations:

  • signing release forms ("Better than the doctor's," noted the nurse.)
  • opening a child-lock prescription bottle (known to be difficult with two functioning hands)
  • making up a bed (we do acknowledge the assistance of pulling corners)
  • putting away dishwasher contents (commendable)

And this last one we found extraordinary:
Teaching a child how to darn her sock in order to uphold a commitment made prior to the stated unfortunate circumstance.

While the everyday and mundane tasks of personal hygiene maintenance and meal sustenance were expected, management appreciates the fortitude and perseverance shown in recent days.

At present it is not known when immediate relief from present duties will be expected nor the return of right hand's full capacity. Therefore, we encourage you to persevere and carry on, continuing appreciated efforts until further notice.

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