Friday Two Cents: A Moment Of Tranquility


‘I’m learning a lot about myself being alone, and doing what I’m doing.’ Chantal Kreviazuk

‘The best part about being alone is that you really don’t have to answer to anybody. You do what you want.’ Justin Timberlake

This week I went to see Captain Marvel in theatres on the first showing of the opening day.  But it’s not the movie that made me stop and think but the fact that I wanted to see it alone without any of my friends.  I enjoy my friends company but for some reason I wanted to see this movie and I did not think of asking anyone.  

At the theatre enjoying a movie

I ordered the ticket two weeks before the opening day.  I have seen movies on my own before so this experience was not new.  As well in the past I went to see other movies on their opening days such as Star Trek, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.  Yet I felt a need to spend some quality time with my favourite person. Me. 

I was reflecting on this because many of my colleagues and friends said they would have liked to go too but wondered why I did not ask someone.  The only thing that came to mind was perhaps my work as an occasional teacher.  I love working with the students and I adore my colleagues but I felt the need to be alone with my thoughts to reflect on anything and everything in my life.  

Some people said that I might be becoming introverted, yet upon reflection I disagree.  Many introverted people feel uncomfortable in group situations yet I look forward to them. I like meeting people and interacting with them.  No, I think there is another explanation.  In the past month I have worked almost every day, in a host of classrooms and in a couple of schools.  A room teacher interacts with their class only, about 25 – 30 students.  I must have interacted with over 500 – 600 students in that span.  I believe taking some time to be alone with my thoughts is simply a case of sensory overload.    

Therefore I fully embraced my time before, during and after the movie.  I went out for a steak dinner, enjoyed the movie and after I went home to write and reflect on the events of the day.  For it felt like all the noise of the day had been wiped away to reveal thoughts of clarity and tranquility that I haven’t experienced in quite some time.  The best way to describe it is like I was on an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos.  

Sometimes we all need that island of tranquility.

‘In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you’. Deepak Chopra

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Friday Two Cents: It Is Within Me


 

This past week has been a busy one to say the least. It started with 100 days in school celebrations and activities with the students, then Pancake Tuesday, Valentines Day on Wednesday and then finally the Lunar Parade on Thursday with the Dragon I created. (Below are links to pages to see how I made the dragon.)  Oh yes added on top of everything else the report cards had to be handed out to the parents, parent teacher interviews and then filing of the reports.

Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 1

Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 2

Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 3

Yes this was a busy week if I do say so myself, yet through all this excitement I had prepared a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the activities. On Friday I went to Niagara Falls for an overnight trip to see Wayne Brady live. Wayne Brady is a fantastic entertainer whom you may have seen on “Who’s Line is it anyway” or “Lets Make a Deal”. The show was amazing and my stay at the Falls was quit relaxing.

I went alone and many people made a big deal about this. They could not understand that I needed some alone time away from everything. Just some time to clear my head and maybe do some art, have some fun and enjoy some entertainment. I guess they do not understand that I am happy when I do these things, either with someone or alone. Just as Marcus Aurelius once said …

 

‘Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.’ Marcus Aurelius

 

Many people say they are happy but are not open to the idea that others may have a different way of being happy. I know I am happy because it is within me.

Friday Two Cents: Some Alone Time Please


 

twoCentsOldNew

 

‘Never having alone time is real tough on people’. Yakov Smirnoff

‘I tend to stay up late, not because I’m partying but because it’s the only time of the day when I’m alone.’ Jim Carrey

 

Last week’s post touched on the idea of respect. I saw the students showing a lack of respect to their peers as we tried to practice our play. This was a monthly virtue for the month of September yet it seems that not only the students are having a difficult time with respect but adults too.

Outside the school environment I have begun to notice a lack of respect for others. From people cutting off others while driving, a lack of social manners when I open the door for people and even from a person I know and called friend. I am not sure if it’s me and that I am overly sensitive to what people say or do, however I have come to my wit’s end with people not respecting my privacy and what I do in my personal time. Simply put, respect my desire to spend some time alone.

It is not as if I do not wish to be with people, far from it, it’s just that I need some personal time to myself to recharge my batteries.   Yet many people simply dismiss this idea as being antisocial or see it as something alien as having green skin. I feel that they are not taking my feelings to be important, only theirs are.
Perhaps it is a product of our society or the fact that I live in a large city. People expect me to always be with someone. But maybe that is the reason I need to have some alone time because there are so many people in my life. I teach, work and interact with at least 100+ people in one day and to be honest, it can be exhausting; both mentally and physically. I look forward to the time I have alone, to do something I truly enjoy such as read, write, create some art or just to watch a movie.
So to all those people out there who do not understand the value of alone time; you don’t have to understand it, just respect it if someone asks for it. And to those of you who are like me and value your alone time, enjoy it and protect it. Sometimes you need to spend some quality time with the most important person in your life. You.

Alone time Quote - Oprah

Alone time Quote – Oprah

Friday Two Cents: Bowling Alone


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This past week I was reading a chapter for my religious studies class that I have to present next week. It analyses different factors that we as educators need to be aware of in the cultural landscape in Canada. There are many different issues such as Anxiety, Diversity, Family, Consumerism, Media and so on. Yet one concept made me stop and think about what I do and how maybe I do the exact same thing. It is called “Bowling Alone”.

‘Bowling Alone’

‘Bowling alone’ came from a political scientist named Robert Pullnam who wrote a book called Bowling Alone. It is a commentary about the lack of social engagement and interaction in North American society. He indicates that in the past 50 years, North Americans are dropping out of group activities at an alarming rate. The metaphor come from the fact that in the United States more than ever before people are going out and play bowling, yet leagues and teams have declined by 75%. People are deciding to ‘bowl alone’ or in groups of twos or threes. Pullman claims that this lack of community and care for each other has created a society that is disconnected with one another. That this is increasing the individual’s unhappiness, physical illness and could even lead to suicide.  

This simple passage made me think of a friend of mine who felt alone and detached from society. He was a nice person, genius level intelligence, interacted with me, his brother and other friends well, but he looked as if he felt like an outsider. Unfortunately, his isolation was so great in his mind that he took his own life. It has been years since he died but after reading this passage  I though of him and how even in a group of guys he felt alone. That moment truly made me think about what is important in my life. I have been trying to live every moment with a positive attitude and enjoy everyone who crosses my path. But this idea of ‘bowling alone’ made me think that there are times when I too want to be alone and do things alone.

This past week I went to see Dracula Untold in the theatres. I did ask a fiend or two if they wanted to see the movie but understandably they were busy with housework or other activities. I went alone and enjoyed the movie but in truth I would have enjoyed it more if I saw it with someone else.

Socializing is good for you.

This is very similar when I go to the pub and watch football. Most of my friends are busy and I do not want to take them from their families, so I go alone. Yet when I do go, I do engage in conversations with others; the servers, managers, bartenders or other customers. 

To further the idea of social interactions, I took a friend down to watch the World Cup games at the pub but she never was into the World Cup or thought about going to a pub to watch it. After her first experience she wanted to go back. I asked why because I truly was curious on what changed her mind. She said that she loved the shared experience with other people. During the game we talked to one another but we also engaged in conversations with other people in the pub. This shared group activity connected to her and I had to think that this is the reason why I enjoy going out to these events too.

 I guess this notion of ‘bowling alone’ is very present in our society, yet now that I am aware if this cultural issue what am I going to do about it. I cannot make people go out and interact with other people, but I can change my own thinking. I think when someone says if I want to go somewhere, instead of being standoffish, I’ll smile and say, “Yes I’d love to.” For Helen Keller said it best, “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

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