I woke up at 8:05 am, I had intended to be up at 7:30, to post a reminder and kick it off, but an extra few minutes, toast warm under the covers proved irresistible. So the challenge began, well, extremely challenging for me, as I sat in my room, phone in hand, debating. I found the will power to resist, gathered my things, and started my day. At 9:15 I was in the car, heading to practice, the draw to check my twitter for player messages was strong, I did not realize the car was such a trigger. I got to school uneventfully though, perhaps there is something to this distracted driving thing.
My first order of business once I arrived at the gym, was to gather the sweaty uniforms from our game the night before, and head to the laundromat, as we needed them for the game that night as well. Have you ever sat in a laundromat.......for an hour.....with no pandora, and no games, and no twitter, and no facebook, and no...... I have never been chatty, I like my space, but I was getting desperate only 10 minutes in. I managed to grab some eye contact, and a few nods, but everyone else had a comfortable device barrier to hide behind, so I found no reprieve. Next time I'll have to set up a recruiting table at likely spots, so I won't be so alone. I ended up sitting by the window out to Broad St. watching the traffic and passersby, and after a while, I actually relaxed, and found the people watching very interesting. You wouldn't believe how many people stop in the middle of the street to let someone in, or out of the car, and how few people consider waving someone out of a side street. It is amazing there are not more accidents.
By the time I was through washing the uniforms, and an hour of practice, I was starting to feel better about my challenge, human connection is underrated. I fielded a couple of phone calls, which was fine, but even that felt like an invasion of my connectedness, so I kept the conversations to a minimum. I ran a few errands, by this time, the phone was turned off, in my glove compartment, and I was feeling pretty good about it, but the toughest part of the challenge was yet to come.
On my way home from the Seekonk Lowe's, I noticed that the alignment on my truck was seriously off. In order to drive straight, I had to hold the steering wheel at 45 degrees left. There are some interesting noises that accompany this phenomenon, and the appearance is that of my truck hurtling down the road at a slanty angle. I'll admit, it was kind of nice to get so much space from the other drivers on the road, especially on a busy Saturday afternoon, but long-term, it was probably not a good idea to keep driving like that, so I high-tailed it to my mechanic, who took my key, and said "I'll get back to you on Monday." Surely there must be an app to let me know how big of a loan I will need to address this problem, but no... not for me... no apps.
So we played our game, won, and I was not able to debrief with my players through direct messages, which is my routine, so I talked to my wife, and my son, and my mom, and let my players have a night free from after-coaching, at least from me.
It just so happened that my 12-year-old daughter was having a birthday sleepover at our house that night, so when I got home, I was pleasantly surprised to see her and her friends watching a movie, and talking to each other while demolishing a ridiculous quantity of Chinese food. She had spread the word, and unlike the last time they were together, each with phone in hand, this time, they were laughing and singing impromptu songs, and sharing a real moment. It was very nice, I wanted to tweet it, oh well. We all took the dog for a walk around 10, to the park behind the school, and watched the meteor shower, it was awfully cool, I wish I could have googled it to be able to explain it better to the girls, but, instead, we just looked and wondered, and that was good too.
Around 11, with no post to read or write, and no tiles to slide or poker hands to play, I went to bed, 3 hours before my norm, and at the same time as my Bride. We watched the news, and fell asleep during SNL, and when I woke up, the SMS Challenge was over. I'm glad to be back on the blog, and to clear my emails and messages, and to see what everyone is up to, but maybe just maybe, I'll miss the serene driving, eye contact, and 12-year-old girl movie reviews when life gets back to "normal."
I want to thank all of you who participated, and gave so generously, my world was changed. I can't wait to talk to my students about it on Monday. Please take a minute, and use the comment section to write a quick detail about your SMS day.