Monday, December 19, 2011

Vowing to Unplug

For Sunday, December 18, 2011

I was scolded by my husband last night. He looked over to my laptop’s computer screen at one point as I sat on the sofa, supposedly relaxing, and spotted that I was checking my school email. He had confronted me earlier in the weekend about doing the same thing. He knows that I regularly check in with my students, allowing them to submit late work or to ask a question as they are preparing the next assignment. I honestly try not to check my school email more than a few times a day on weekends, usually once in the morning and once at night, but I understood his concern and his scolding. Why was I checking it on a Saturday night?

The lines between work and home have become blurred with the ease of email. Gone are the days when we are truly separated from work between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Even vacations can be interrupted if we allow ourselves to check emails. There is often a satisfying feeling of checking it and seeing nothing needing a response, but often that isn’t the case. Yet rarely is there truly any dire need to respond to an inquiry, not often is there a situation that cannot wait.

It’s difficult yet most important to “unplug”. When the lines become blurred and work threatens true well being at home, it’s necessary to have boundaries established again. To this end I am vowing to check my school email only twice during my next vacation. I’ll check it once the night I return home on my last day of work this week and once the day before I return to work. Work needs not consume me. I need a true break from the workplace. If I don’t set appropriate boundaries to protect myself, no one will. Well, except for that sweet if grumpy husband of mine...

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