Teaching Profession Opinion

The Fine Art of Powering Down and Staying Present

By Starr Sackstein — April 13, 2017 2 min read
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Quiet. Peaceful moments. Present. The kind of silence you can hear and feel inside you as you center yourself with your surroundings and an inner calm.

Man, do I love the sound and idea of that.

And perhaps before all of this technology was so available, I may have been a little better at achieving those experiences.

Powering down and staying present are not skills that I’m completely masterful as of yet since I seem to have a love affair with social media and its attachment to my career.

After all, many folks do read and participate with my work and I feel some strange obligation to interact with people who are generous enough to reach out about it. However, there does need to be a balance so that my personal life doesn’t take a backseat to my career.

Logan, my only son, is the most important person in my life (and my own personal health and well-being right there too) and when he complains that I’m on my phone too much, I know I have to stop.

But it is a struggle. I’m not ashamed to admit that, but since I am a work in progress, I do make a concerted effort to really make the moments I’m with him count.

So this vacation, I’ve been trying something different. Each day, I make a conscious effort to be on my phone less, on my computer even less than that and really present with each moment as it happens.

Despite the routine and the extra “free” time, I’m truly living.

The emails will have to wait. The tweets will go unanswered. The blogs won’t be written and published on their usual schedule. They will happen, when they do.

So far this break, Logan and I took an impromptu road trip to Detroit from NY, driving nearly nine and half hours to catch an afternoon Tigers game so that Logan and I could add another ballpark to our collection of visited fields. It was a lot of fun to drive, sing along to music and take in the sights as we whizzed through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and into Michigan.

And since our return home, it’s all about recovering. Turns out that kind of drive took a lot more out of me than it would have 20 years ago, but it was still worth it.

Having the opportunity to be present in my own my life adds value and those moments are the memories I’ll take with me as I “grow up!”

So as I wrap up this little post, I’m going to wish everyone a little down time while I go and practice enjoying mine a little more.

How do you enjoy spending your down time?

Think I’m going to head out for a run.

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