Tag Archives: anxiety

Senioritis

14 Jul

Lucy hasn’t been sleeping well. As a result, I have not been sleeping well.

Truth be told, my anxieties over the discussions around returning to in person school have also disrupted my sleep. My sleep disruption has impacted her sleep habits, but her issues are more than a reaction to mine.

A few nights ago, she had a really bad night. She woke up around 11:00 and started pacing. Oh, how I wished for wall-to-wall carpeting, because the sound of her toenails on the hardwood floors woke me up – and kept me awake until 3:00. It wasn’t just the midnight pacing – there was panting and staring into space. When she stilled, she didn’t lay down. She scratched, panted, started, then started up suddenly returning to the pacing There were sudden starts and more pacing. She crawled under the bed. I took her out for a couple of potty breaks. I gave her a very early breakfast. And I started thinking about canine cognitive dysfunction: doggie dementia.

She was better the next morning. I was exhausted, but she slept the day away in her usual, 14-year-old way. Since that day, I have been watching her carefully, keeping a list of all the behavioral changes that have happened over the last few months. She’s been itchy and, despite two baths with the medicated shampoo she got last summer, she is still itchy. Maybe that’s a part of the problem.We have a vet appointment later this week. I am hopeful and a little worried.

Lucy Turns 14

 

 

The weird way I am dealing with my back- to-school anxiety

11 Jul

I am not an anxious person, but as the details of my school district’s opening plan evolves, I have an unfamiliar feeling in my chest that I can only call anxiety. I am trying to deal with it by thinking back to times when I have felt this anxious and, despite living in Medellín Colombia from 1991-1994, I have nothing that compares.

What has been helpful, though has been thinking about my years in Colombia. It was the height of the drug war. Pablo Escobar had escaped from prison and there was a nationwide manhunt. FARC rebels were attacking police. Vigilantes were attacking narcotraficantes.  And yet, I only have two recollections of times I felt anxious there.

The first is at the end of my second year, when I had to change houses. I was struggling to find a house in Envigado where I could still employ my maid, Teresita, and have my dog. It ended well and I loved the traditional house that I found. It had thick white stucco walls and a floor with alternating yellow and green tile. The two barred windows at the front had wooden shutters that opened from the inside. There were two interior patios that had openings in the roof. In winter, when it rained, I loved the sound of the rain falling into the patio. My anxiety of looking for this house has been almost erased by my joy at finding it.

The second time I felt anxious, was in my second year. It was a particularly trying time in Colombia. In a country with the highest rate of murders and kidnappings in the world, it was hard to believe things could escalate, but they did, and it impacted us at school. The murder by vigilantes of the father of a girl in the class next to mine was bad enough. But then, on a family evening out for pizza, a boy in my class was affected. As the family car drove past a police roundabout, rebels detonated a bomb in the police station. The family’s car flipped. Lucas, my student, suffered a broken arm. His mother was taken to hospital and was in serious condition. When the principal and counselor came to talk to my class, I got tears in my eyes when a sweet girl named Veronica asked if we could pray. I had to wipe the tears away as each and every student got out of their chair and knelt in prayer for Lucas, his mother, and their family. We all felt like we were part of their family. A few days, when things took a turn for the worse,  we all attended a mass to pray for his mother’s recovery. Fortunately, she recovered and this horrible tragedy helped bring this class together in a deeper way.

So, all of this has me thinking about finding joy. Every day in isolation, I make myself do four things: exercise, read, write, knit. I think I am going to start writing the joyful stories I have from my years in Medellín. I might even post some of them here.

17da29a28f80902cb950e01410393422

 

 

 

 

Optimists Die First

12 Apr

I picked up Optimists Die First  by Susin Nielsen because of the promise of knitting. There wasn’t as much as I’d hoped, but it certainly got a mention in a few places.

9780553496901.jpg

Publisher’s Summary:  Beware: Life ahead.

Although I enjoyed this book, I didn’t find it as compelling as The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen or We Are All Made of Molecules but it was still a pretty good read.

When Bad Things Happen

12 Sep

When bad things happen, some people carry on, some ignore the problem and some worry. Kathleen Lane’s The Best Worst Thing is all about a girl who worries.

unknown

Shortly after visiting a neighborhood store, it is robbed and the cashier is murdered. This sends Maggie into a world of worry. She checks closets and doors frequently, but grows more anxious. Ar school, her best friend starts hanging with “cool” kids, leaving her behind. And her neighbor, who raises rabbits, sells the leftovers for meat. So, Maggie counts to calm herself down.

Publisher’s Summary:

Front door locked,

kitchen door locked, 
living room windows closed.
Nobody in the closet, 
nobody under the beds.
Still, Maggie is worried. Ever since she started middle school, she sees injustice and danger everywhere–on the news, in her textbooks, in her own neighborhood. Even her best friend seems to be changing.
Maggie believes it is up to her, and only her, to make everything all right. Can she come up with a plan to keep everyone safe?
The Best Worst Thing is a perceptive novel about learning the limits of what you can control, and the good–sometimes even best–things that can come of finally letting go.
This is a short, but thoughtful book about dealing with change.

Summer’s almost over…sigh!

20 Aug

It’s a good thing I love my job, otherwise this time of year would be horrid.  I don;t think the kids realize that teachers get anxious about the start of a new school year, just like they do.

Although it is written for a young audience,  Oliver and His Alligator really captures that nervous beginning of the year feeling.

Unknown

Oliver’s strategy for dealing with his fear is having his alligator eat all scary things, both living and non-living. He just says “munch, munch” and they disappear into the alligator. I wish I had this power sometimes.

Eventually, alone in the room, Oliver hears laughter coming from inside the alligator and decides to join the fun. This book could be a catalyst to talking about times kids confronted their fears or to talk about their own first day jitters.

Schmid’s illustrations, like those in his previous book,  Perfectly Percy, are soft, friendly and very appealing.

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

The Fat Squirrel Speaks

Knitting, spinning, and assorted awesomeness.

Global Yell Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

Tundra Books

Home of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers and Friends

andrea gillespie

Inquiring My Way Forward

Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Horn Book

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The History Girls

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

%d bloggers like this: