Friday, May 24, 2013

Pulling the Plug

As summer approaches, it's often the best time to reflect not only on the accomplishments of the passing school year, but to consider what it is that really matters most.  The UnPlug'd experience has always been about connecting in meaningful ways with co-learning teachers embroiled in a common lifelong mission as learner and leader.  And as much as that connecting with others does matter a whole lot, lately I've come to recognize the importance of connecting with my immediate world.

In the adrenalin rush that comes from being noticed, or from being invited to hang with the cool kids, or from having one's idea valued by others, we sometimes forget the reality that there are other people in our lives that are more important than those we may strive to impress with a witty tweet or an artful photograph, or a compelling blog post.  And even as surely as we treasure our daily lives with immediate family members, we won't be able to add full value to their lives, if we don't take care of ourselves first.

So, as summer approaches, I'm sensing the need to unplug... to go deeper, and to once again figure out who I am, and what I want to be when I grow up.  Seriously, having recently turned the page on 50 years, I can't help but wonder what else it is that I'm supposed to be doing, now that retirement from teaching is approaching like that stop sign just a few miles down the road.

It so happens that I'm also dealing with a mostly minor health issue that calls for me to 'stay out of the sun'.  As you might have guessed, I see hiding in the shade as a metaphor of sorts.  It will be a rare treat to be free from teaching online this summer, one that is calling me to be quiet on the social media front as well.  As one who commonly seeks distraction from distant folks I'm happy to call my friends, it will be no small feat.  Ironically, some of my shade will come from the withdrawal of what had been planned as this summer's UnPlugd13 summit.

In lieu of organizing an opportunity for others to forge deeper connections through, I'll be taking that time and attention to truly focus on my personal needs.  I'm going to spend a few months being still.  I will relish reading, in place of tweeting; thinking in lieu of blogging; meeting face to face instead of gathering in virtual spaces.

Before I take leave to my shaded hammock, I wonder:
What's your plan for rejuvenation this summer?