School starts again in a few weeks. For me that usually means going into overdrive wrapping up summer projects and putting together materials for the new year. If I haven’t found vacation time yet, it probably isn’t going to happen. At least that’s my usual pattern, but a recent NY Times op-ed by Daniel J. Levitin, author of “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload,” explains why dodging vacation is a bad idea.
According to “Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain” (NY Times, Opinion, Aug. 9), there are two networks in my brain that take turns operating just like two kids going up and down on a seesaw. For my brain to be at its best, the so-called task-positive network, or central executive, needs to shut down periodically so that the task-negative network, or daydreaming mode, can have a chance to operate. More than that, I need to leave my daydreaming mode with unfettered control of my life for extended periods. Switching back and forth rapidly between the two modes just isn’t as beneficial as a good, old-fashioned, turn-the-cell/email-off vacation. Of course, what better way to take a break than sitting meditation for 30 minutes?