Right before winter break we got a blurb in our school newsletter that at this time of year teachers start to feel burnt out, depressed, awful, etc… It offered some tips to remain positive and not want to apply to other jobs over the holiday. One of the recommendations was getting a little “DailyGood” email. I signed up. I was so desperate for happiness.
I was on the verge of unsubscribing because I open it every day just to delete it. Every now and then one of the quotes catches my eye, so I decided to let it be. Now on this chilly Saturday morning, coffee in hand, I had the pleasure of reading a whole article regarding solitude.
“Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone.”
That line caught my eye because every morning in first period I have students rolling into my classroom up to 10 minutes before class even starts (and then they are somehow STILL not ready- don’t have paper, pencil, notebook….grrrr). It makes sense that being the first one anywhere you might pull out your phone until another person comes in. Otherwise you would just look like a total lame staring into space right? Well the thing is, other kids come in and just do the same thing. They look up and exchange some words (maybe) but the phone is always there like a security blanket. Let me just step down from my judges stand and say that I am guilty of the same when I’m out with a friend or friends. It’s like suddenly everyone goes to the bathroom or finds a handsome stranger to chat with all in the same five minutes. Well, God forbid if anyone were to pass by and think I’m sitting at a table by myself eating two or more meals!
I guess for me eating alone is totally legit. I don’t find that weird and I don’t judge other people that do it. I know in high school I judged solo diners probably because of my own insecurity. I’m sure I thought that that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me.
I actually have a lot of things that I prefer doing alone for various reasons. Grocery shopping: I could go for hours. Clothes shopping can only last for 10 minutes. Bookstore: hours. Working out/ running- I don’t want to feel embarrassed if I decide 5 minutes is enough and then walk for 30. The list goes on, but I draw the line at going to a movie alone. I guess that is one thing that I think is weird and I don’t have any real explanation. It just is.
As far as I know I have never successfully given up anything for lent. In recent years I’ve tried the modern spin on it and aimed to do something positive like “run more” “write in a journal every day” “be nicer to annoying people” and so on. But then you lose track of those things.
Last year I took the Facebook App off of my phone and that was very helpful because I don’t go on as much. Now I’m addicted to Instagram. Different App, same problem. I think if I just focused on being alone or doing anything else before reaching for my phone I would not need to know what all my closest Victoria Secret Angel friends are doing.
“…a hundred text messages a day creates the aptitude for loneliness, the inability to be by yourself.”
I have students tell me that they are bored quite often- everything in school is boring. “This game is boring”
“A movie? Boring”
Well you are surrounded by literally THOUSANDS of people your own age so…maybe you’re boring. Then they tell me I’m bogus. Then they bell rings and they text someone. Sigh.