Sabbatical Recap

There’s only a few days left in my summer sabbatical! Where the heck did the time go?

I accomplished some of the things on my list of goals, although the more expensive activities (mostly travel) were dropped or cut short after working an unexpected septic system replacement into our budget. I made up for that by mapping out and budgeting for a family Disney vacation during the kids’ upcoming winter break, so we have some fun travel to look forward to. Knock on wood nothing else in this house explodes before then. πŸ˜›

Most of my time was focused on drawing or working on my print-on-demand shops; I’ll make a separate wrap-up post about drawing later. We took a fun trip to Freeport and Saco as a family. I tackled some minor organization projects that I’d been putting off for a while, decluttering and cleaning out closets that hadn’t been looked at since we moved in. I also continued practicing meditation and French, and caught up on reading and TV.

We spent a couple days at the lake with the kids, and Ellie had a fun week at camp (while Gwen enjoyed a fun week as an only child). After all the drama at the beginning of the summer, things calmed down a bit.

So, what have I learned over the last three months? I’d like to continue to make time for my hobbies (new and old) outside work, and that’s going to require rethinking my work/life balance. I could be better at taking time for myself and not waiting for a summer sabbatical to do All The Things.

Am I nervous about going back to work? You bet. I haven’t checked in beyond the absolute necessities for HR, so I have no idea what I’m coming back to. I’ll no longer be a manager; I’ll have to figure out how to be a regular worker bee. And I haven’t touched code since I logged off back in May, which should make for some “fun” theme bugs while I re-learn how to WordPress.

But I’m also looking forward to seeing my colleagues, and to our annual grand meetup next month. I’m eager to get back into the routine, back to some semblance of normalcy. I am so glad I had the chance to take the time off, though, and I already look forward to doing this again in five years…minus the head lice and septic system woes. πŸ˜‰

πŸ˜ƒ+

Sabbatical anxiety and a to-do list

In a weird twist that comes from enjoying my job, I’m having a little anxiety about the whole “not working for three months” thing.

I’ll also admit to a bit of guilt that I have this opportunity at all. To put it in perspective, the last time I took three months off, I had a baby. There was the sense of having “earned it” by virtue of growing another human being in my womb for forty weeks, enduring a painful labor, and slogging through weeks of sleep deprivation.

For this? All I had to do was work at my flexible nine-to-five for five years. From home. In my pajamas. And occasionally travel to places like Italy or Hawaii.

So I’m feeling pressure to be productive, to earn my keep as I join Tim in temporary stay-at-home-ness. I wouldn’t want to waste the time off by, you know, relaxing. Heaven forbid! πŸ˜›

(My therapist will hear all about this, at which point she’ll probably roll her eyes and ask where to send the bill for the next six years because we’ve obviously made no progress whatsoever.)

(I’m kidding. She’ll be sweet and understanding and remind me that I’ve earned this time off just as much as I did when I had Gwen or Ellie. She’s a professional, she’ll keep the eye roll to herself. And maybe book a vacation on my tab.)

In the meantime, enter my favorite coping mechanism: list-making! An attempt to organize my thoughts and make some semi-concrete plans for the next twelve weeks.

  • Read 5 books
  • Catch up on fanfic reading
  • Draw 36 things (that’s roughly three things per week)
  • Lake time!
  • Footlocker coffee table project
  • Paint kitchen island w/ chalkboard paint
  • Ceramics painting
  • Girls’ weekend in Portland
  • Visit Halifax
  • Visit Fredericton
  • Visit Quebec City
  • Massachusetts trip to visit friends
  • XF cast at Comic Con (?)
  • 10th wedding anniversary weekend somewhere…?
  • Finish watching Breaking Bad
  • Meditate every damn day
  • Refresh my long-lost French with Duolingo
  • Various house projects that have gone ignored for many months
πŸ˜ƒ+