Sit up straight!

A long time ago, when I was in fifth grade, I had a terrific teacher. I mentioned her in a recent blog post about things I learned in school that had nothing to do with what I was supposed to be learning. She was an elderly lady with an honest to God beehive hairdo. I don’t think she’d ever married. Sadly, I can’t remember her name.

She was an old school teacher, who believed that students needed discipline and rules, not friends. She wasn’t wrong, I think. She taught us all to speak up when talking and would bring a trash basket back to you if you were chewing gum.

She also didn’t believe in slouching. She made every single student in her class sit up straight and never let us prop our chins up in our hands. If a student was caught in such a state, perhaps after lunch when the afternoon sleepies tend to attack, she would tell us, “I’m an old lady, and I can hold my head up just fine. You young things shouldn’t have any problems.”

As a student, I was a people pleaser, and so I did my best to sit up straight through her class. It was a habit that I lost, sadly, when I didn’t have her to remind me.

These days, I have back problems. My back hurts almost every day. Some days, the muscles in my hands and wrists hurt as well. These are all pretty simple pains, caused by spending too much time slouched over a keyboard both at home and at the day job. Eye fatigue is another issue, but I have solved that for the most party by switching to a blue light on my tablet and getting some non-glare lenses in my glasses.

And so I find myself doing something that I often do as an adult; relearn a lesson someone tried to teach me as a kid.

Sit up straight and pull your shoulders away from your ears. Don’t prop your chin up in your hand. It leads to chin acne anyway.

This dumb thing that I should have been doing anyway has helped my back issues. It’s also helped my energy level after lunch when the sleepies still come for me. Even the pain in my wrists has gone away.

This is a short post because it’s a short piece of advice. But it can mean a world of difference for back weary writers. Sit up, and pull your shoulders away from your ears!


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