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. 😛

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. 😉

Bad things come in threes, right?

It’s been an eventful few weeks, and not necessarily in the best of ways. We got hit with a triple-whammy; a broken septic system, an annoying mosquito problem, and a head lice infestation.


I’m pretty sure the first two are related; backed up water in the pipes means breeding mosquitos, which meant a lot of me walking around and saying, “They’re coming from inside the house,” in a dramatic, grating whisper. We’ve been slapping ourselves silly; it’s like camping, but in our living room, and without all the fun parts that make camping worthwhile.

The septic system is no longer blocked, but it’s going to need a lot of work, involving local inspectors and possibly a new leech field. Thankfully my mom handled most of the back and forth with plumbers and contractors, because shortly after the septic system went on the fritz, the Great Head Lice Infestation of 2017 began.

The new showercap look, it’s all the rage.

We’ve never had lice before. It’s a milestone I’d hoped never to see, but Ellie kept complaining of an itchy head, until I brought her to the doctor and confirmed the presence of creepy crawly bugs. Of course, she has the thickest, most plentiful head of hair in the house, and de-lousing her has been an exercise in anger management. Many tears have been shed, not all of them hers.

After finding a stray louse in my own hair, I’m seriously contemplating a new hairstyle. Something involving a razor. I’m not going to rule it out just yet.

So, we washed all the bedding and towels and kids’ clothing (at the laundromat, because see the part about the broken septic system) and invested hundreds of dollars in lice removal shampoos and sprays and cremes and new hair brushes, and I think we nipped it in the bud. Half our bedding is still hanging out in quarantine aka garbage bags, and we’re still washing everything in hot water, but the last treatment seems to have worked.

Reliving our college years.Please let it have worked.

Beyond the less pleasant stuff, I’m trying to stay productive. I’m three weeks into the twelve-week sabbatical, and I’ve come to the point where this no longer feels like a summer vacation. I have nine weeks to go, which both seems like forever, and not nearly enough time to do all the things I want to do.

I’m drawing a lot. I’ve been studying French and meditating. I’ve done a few small organization projects around the house. I haven’t been as physically active as I’d like, but I’m spending some time outside, beating back the wilderness with a weed whacker and taking the dog for walks.

We’ve also trapped several squirrels that were wintering in our attic, and Tim has become quite adept at coaxing them out of the walls. Between the lice in our hair, the biting insects in our living room, and the rodents in the walls, I’ve had enough of nature’s pesky little wonders.

The kids are out of school as of today, so hopefully the rest of our summer is less exciting!