Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wake up call...

This morning I followed my typical routine:  awake at 5:00AM - secure a hot cup of coffee before heading downstairs to let the dogs out of their crates - turn on the news (mostly for background noise and to notice the weather so that I know how to dress for the day) - and begin writing.

I usually start with my morning pages (750 words), move on to my devotion reading plans at You Version, and then proceed to the writing prompts of Project 137.  By this time it is usually time to return upstairs and prepare for the day.

This morning was typical is all those ways until....I read one of Patti Digh's prompts:
Capture six moments today when you felt fully alive
This may not be such a difficult writing assignment for many of you, but it stopped me in my tracks.  SIX?!  I'm not sure I could name one moment a day when I feel fully alive.  And that got me to thinking....

  • What does it mean to be "fully live"?
  • How long have I simply "existed" - going through the motions of the daily routines without really engaging in life?
  • Have I lived such a dormant lifestyle that revival to a "fully alive" is state possible --- I would settle for once a day, but is it really possible to achieve that status six times in a 24-hour period?
  • How can I begin to add "fully alive" activities to my day and/or change my attitude towards the mundane activities so that I fully engage in the moment?
I have not had time to answer any of these questions yet - but I plan to spend some serious time contemplating each one. In the mean time, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lessons from Unplugging...

I know that I can use the internet as a major time waster.

Oh, it is easy for me to rationalize my excessive use:

  • Facebook helps to keep me in touch with friends from far away and friends close by.
  • Pinterest can help inspire me to make cozy home crafts for the holidays and tasty treats for others.
  • Blogs can help educate me on photography techniques and books to read.
  • Listography can help me brainstorm what to write - and to let others know a bit more about myself.

But I learned something interesting this week when our cable was inadvertently disconnected for three days - I learned that I really don't need these distractions in my life.  I can easily find other ways to spend my time, like actually reading a book that has been suggested, or taking some pictures to hone those new skills, or sending a card to one of those close friends.  And word document programs - or even the old-fashioned pen and paper, work great to journal my thoughts and feelings.

And it was very eye-opening how I did not miss cable at all for viewing television.  I like to watch my morning news - and weather - but quite frankly, I can easily obtain that information from the internet, when available.

But the lesson I really learned over these past three days is that I am incredibly dependent upon the internet for basic communication.  Our school relies on the website to update grades, correspond with parents, write lesson plans and provide homework assignments.

Email is my primary form of communication with most people in life.  And if a student or a parent has a question or concern, I feel that it is my responsibility as a teacher to answer that note in a timely fashion.

I use the website, as my journal and have finally developed the habit of writing every morning.  I was nearly lost without access to this site.

And I have used YouVersion for my daily devotionals since February.   While I could access the devotion entries on my iPhone - the journaling was made more difficult because I couldn't just copy and paste specific text into my Day One app.

Yes, it has been an interesting three days and while I learned that unplugging can bring me back to a simpler, less distracting life....I also learned that I am completely dependent upon it for some basic communication.  It is incredibly hard to believe that 20 years ago, I had never heard of the "world wide web" ... and it makes me question what 20 years from now will look like.
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