I work for a pretty amazing company, automattic.com/work-with-us, that on your 5th anniversary you can take a 3 month paid sabbatical.
I have had some (I hesitate to call them epiphanies because they seem more like common sense that gets lost in the rhythm of a busy life)… moments where I realized what I needed to stop doing and what I needed to do more of.
1) Don’t worry about work – it goes on without you.
2) Life goes on without you too. There isn’t a magical Sabbatical switch that flips and everything turns into sunshine and daisies. If you want something to be different, you need to change it. If you want something to happen, you need to plan it out and do it.
3) Small, kind, daily gestures go a long way to feeding relationships that matter.
4) Time passes quickly when you’re wasting it.
5) Taking care of yourself should not be the last thing you do after everything and taking care of everyone else.
So after a month of winter cabin fever, taking care of sick kids and a dad with pneumonia (again), I realized I need to
- Get out of the house every day
- Exercise every day
- Create music
- Fuel my inner artist
What have I done with 2 months of sabbatical so far?
I have joined a welcoming, supportive Crossfit gym — walking distance from my house. Score!
I’ve crocheted a hat for my son and started a chevron blanket using the techniques my grandmother taught me when I was little. I made some Christmas ornaments from scratch with the kids.
I am taking piano lessons once a week to work on my technique. (Don’t judge this Schumann yet – it’s a work in progress, with the tempo and repeated switching between 5 flats and 6 sharps standing between me and calling it done.)
I make a point of playing outside for an hour as often as possible with my kids right after school.
We read knock-knock joke books together before bed, in addition to them reading me one story each, so we have some giggles to end the day.
I go for long walks just to see nature and get fresh air.
It hasn’t been perfect, but I’ve had time to remember what’s important and bring it back into my regular routine. With one month to go, I’m going to enjoy the trips I have planned and start figuring out how to maintain that balance once I go back to work.