Summer break is supposed to be just that, a break, yet I take on stuff over the summer: curriculum planning, teaching, assessment review, data retreat, etc. When the time comes to get away, my brain has a hard time shutting down. For me, taking time away, slowing down my mind, and letting go are extremely difficult.Trying to make myself break, the first day of vacation I deleted the app on my phone and iPad for my work email. That has helped me avoid temptation (well, at least I don’t see a red number informing me of each email), yet I still find myself checking my email, looking at my Twitter feed and following what’s going on at the ISTE Conference and Boothbay Literacy Conference.
Here are some moments from my vacation that are helping guide me in the right direction and helping me do what I need to do in order to break and appreciate the world around me.
1. Play. Even if play involves a new app and some silly moments in the car, vacations should begin with play.
2. Appreciate beauty–what appears to be plain or dull on the outside has beauty and shines if you just look inside, beneath the surface.
2. Stop to look deeper. You never know what you’ll find.
3. Take a toe shot. Find the place where you can kick back relax and maybe even swing, and then, capture that moment.
4. Laugh with the girls. Take some girl time and have fun just being together.
5. If someone wants to pamper you, just let that happen.
6. Look through the trees and see all that you can see. Sometimes the moments of total strangers have profound meaning. Celebrate love. Celebrate each moment.
7.Take long walks and allow yourself to see the people, the small things, and the bigger picture.
8. Enjoy the view from your balcony. Don’t sit inside and miss the beauty of nature.
9. Pay attention to the details. Vibrant life and extraordinary things are in common places.
10. Take time to relax and read something fun.
11. Appreciate your children–even when they run from you, avoid you, and don’t cooperate. Enjoy the steps in the journey, and laugh at the little things.
12. Make time to play. Tic-tac-toe is not always about differentiation.
13. Celebrate family. Time together hanging out–these are precious moments.
14. Let strangers take your picture.
15. Celebrate quirkiness in the people you love.
16. Beauty is right in front of you. Don’t let anything obscure your vision.
17. Enjoy each moment. From dawn to dusk and beyond.
Taking time away is so good for gaining perspective. The small moments I have to myself as well as the moments with loved ones help me find that perspective. Vacation helps me slow down and limits my distractions. For me, this is the time I finally “break” from all the busyness in my life and in my mind. And then, finally my perspective is clear, I find time to break, and I truly get away.
Teacher writer friends, this summer I hope you all find time to break and time to gain perspective.