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Unplug to Become the “Summer You” All Year Round

 
Summer You
 
Last month I wrote an article exposing some of the less-than-perfect parts of my life. This article is about one of the most perfect parts of my life… my family.
 
I love being an art teacher. It is one of the greatest jobs in the world. It is hard work. It is under-appreciated work, but it is good. From August to May my school life gets a lot of me. It gets the extra hours on the weekends and the late nights working on grading or lesson plans. It is always on my mind.
 
I love being a mom. It is the greatest job in the world. It is hard work. It is under-appreciated work, but it is great. From August to May my home life has to share me. My kids (and hubby) get the stressed out, tired, thinking-about-school-stuff version of me. My kids get lectured about what to do and what not to do based on what my school kids did during the day. My husband gets to be my sounding board for all things school-related.
 
This may sound like some horrible version of me, but I promise, it’s not. I like to think it is the version of me that my family would always have if I didn’t have my summer time off. This had me thinking about the summer me vs. the school-year me. The summer me reads books that have nothing to do with education. The summer me says yes to a lot more stuff. The summer me is outside. The summer me is unplugged from the online world.

The last thought really got me thinking about unplugging. During the school year, I am on the computer every single day. I am checking email, creating documents, updating my blog, tweeting, etc.
 
unplugging
 
During the summer, I can go days and even weeks without reading a blog, tweeting or checking email.

A quick google search lead to 297,000 articles on the “benefits of unplugging” and while I didn’t read them all,7 Important Reasons to Unplug by Joshua Becker and Taking a Technology Sabbath by Ken Lane really stood out to me. Then there was this youtube video.
 

 
Finally, there was the 23 Bad Habits Moms Can Break article with #2 hitting a little close to home.
 
My hubby and I talked about it and agreed that we have a short amount of time with our kids and plenty of time to return phone calls, send emails or connect with people online.
 

We have started choosing one weekend a month to unplug.

 
We turn off the computers, the iPads, the t.v.’s and we put our phones on silent. We spend time together playing games, working on projects, and just being. It is like when I was growing up… and it is awesome.

We use Sunday night when the kids are in bed to catch up on the happenings of the weekend. Sure we have one or two more things to do during the following week but they seem easier to do after having a restful weekend. My favorite part has been the time spent together and the memories made.
 
 

When was the last time you unplugged?

What is your favorite offline thing to do?

 
 
 

Jennifer Carlisle

Contributor

Jen is a middle school art teacher from Norfolk, NE who loves exploring and teaching art through traditional and digital art mediums.

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