Sunday, November 26, 2017

Permission to disconnect

It's Sunday afternoon as I write this, and as I sit on my back porch watching the squirrels play and the leaves fall, I am in awe of the beauty in front of me. I celebrate the past week of visiting with family and friends and having my college-age daughters home for a bit. 

It's hard to believe that the week is almost over... feeling so long at times and so short at others. I feel the Sunday angst and excitement creeping in, knowing that tomorrow is back to the place where lives have an opportunity to be changed for the better. 

I'm so grateful for the students and staff at Hoover High School. They make me a better person and educator each and every day. Last Monday, I sent an email to the staff and shared a recent blog post from David Geurin. I also emailed to simply say THANK YOU. 

In one of the responses I received, a colleague sent me the following words:
I hope you intentionally step away from all things "technology" - unless of course you need to google a recipe or do some online shopping! 
Invest in your beautiful girls and your hubby...and Mom and Dad and extended fam!! 
You work hard balancing so deserve a little break! 
Thank you for being faithful to care deeply and encourage much!   
Blessings abundantly!
It was at that moment that I made the intentional decision to step away from social media for a good part of the week. While I love technology and being a connected educator, I am grateful for my colleague who sent me the email and encouraged me to unplug for the week. 

I can't say that I completely unplugged, and during the week I read an article by Mike Ushakov titled, The Right to Stay Offline. Needless to say, the title caught my attention and the article resonated with me. As I read it, I thought about others who seem to be constantly "connected" on social media. Perhaps they need permission, too. 

It's in today's quiet time of reflecting about the past week that I go back to something my mom taught me a long time ago. 

She said this to me when I got my first retail job in college, 

"The person in front of you is always more important than the person at the end of the phone line." 

That phrase has stuck with me all these years, and I have told it to my daughters, too. 

While my mom could have never predicted then what our world of communication would look like today with cell phones, texting apps, and social media, I think her lesson still applies. 

We must connect with those that are "live and in person" with us. 

This week, I've done just that, and I am grateful for both my friends online and my friends and family that are in front of me.

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