Yesterday after class I walked out to the parking lot with one of my students. She’s a really chirpy, chatty girl, very sweet, and she was telling me to come watch her in the play she’s in, and then I could interview her and write about it for my magazine.
We got to our vehicles, which were parked next to each other, parted, and got in. As I started my car, I looked over and saw the student slumped over her steering wheel, with her head on the wheel. Her hair fell down across her face, her arms hung down, and she wasn’t moving.
I watched her for a moment. I was a bit worried that she seemed to be not merely resting but actually flinging herself down in despair. She had been so chatty a moment before!
I continued to watch and she continued not to move. I stepped up my worry from fear that she was upset to fear that she had had a heart attack. A freak drug-related accident, perhaps, or one of those sudden heart things people get in movies.
I jumped out of the car and ran over to her vehicle — where I could see that she was, below the edge of the window, briskly texting somebody.
Fortunately, I hadn’t yet done the whole pounding on the window shouting, “Ashley!” thing that I had been planning on.
I crept away unnoticed and drove home. It was quite a relief.
Last night I read the section on Financial Wellbeing. I’m thriving, according to the test, in social and career wellbeing, the first two sections, but need to improve my score on financial wellbeing, so I read the section closely.
There really weren’t any new conclusions. We know that people who don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs aren’t as happy as those who do, and that people who worry about money are less happy than those who don’t, regardless of how much they actually have. People who “poor mouth,” or feel as though they’re underpaid, don’t have enough to do what they want to do, or compare themselves with others and think they have less are also less happy. I’m inclined to worry.
The book suggests improving your money management skills so that you can feel confident. It also points out that improving your career satisfaction (people who are happy at work are usually happier with their pay than those who aren’t happy, regardless of actual pay) and social wellbeing (hang out with people who make you feel good rather than those of whom you’re jealous) can improve your financial wellbeing.
They also report that spending money on other people and on experiences improves people’s sense of wellbeing more than buying material goods does. So go to a movie, buy yarn and knit, or give to charity instead of buying a new pair of shoes.
I’m pretty good about all those things, actually. Today, having received a direct deposit from the school, I will be paying workers and making the first installment of #2 son’s tuition. No shoes here.