taking a break

I was reading Arthur C. Brooks’ Lenten article, “What You Gain When You Give Things Up” without any premonition when suddenly I thought: I should give up blogging for a month or so. I was persuaded by Brooks’ argument that you shouldn’t just take breaks from things you regret or that cause you stress or other kinds of harm. From time to time, you should also stop doing things that you like and take pride in. He says, “sacrificing something for a short period effectively resets your senses to give you more pleasure from smaller servings of the things you love.” Even more strongly: “to enjoy [pleasures] optimally, we need time away from them.” (Note that he’s talking about activities, not people.)

I’ve been blogging here since 2002. Since about 2008, I’ve put all most posts on Facebook and then also tweeted them. For more than a decade, rather obsessively, I posted every single work day. I still enjoy blogging and get satisfaction from it. I don’t think I need a break from it. But Brooks’ argument applies, and I’m going to give it a try.

I don’t plan to post again until early April–with one likely exception. In my world, the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) National Forum on March 2, at which we will release our EAD Roadmap, is a big deal. I may post about that or participate in debates that come out of it. It’s a free, open event, so please register to attend, and I’ll see you there.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.