Starting a Sabbatical
I’ve dreamed about it many times. I know others have too. The premise is tempting, but is taking a sabbatical that straight-forward? I’m about to find out…
The idea is a simple one. Quit work and take an extended break to focus on personal projects, or simply have some time out. Firstly, I’m fortunate I’m even able to consider taking a sabbatical, let alone starting one. Not everyone has the luxury or circumstances to allow it.
Why are sabbticals and hammocks synoymous?
My long-term plan after starting my degree back in 2011 was to become a writer. After graduating in 2015, I planned to work for 6 or 7 months, build up some savings, then take the plunge. The six or seven months ended up being around eighteen months. Around February 2017, a series of projects were due to finish, so I bit the bullet and got ready to take some time out. Then a work opportunity too good to turn down presented itself. I was able to negotiate working 3 days a week, allowing 2 days to be spent writing – this worked out great until the project started demanding more of my time and my writing began building momentum. I realised I couldn’t do both things well.
After speaking with a really good friend (who also happens to be a qualified and excellent life coach), I re-evaluated what was important to me. I bit the bullet for the second time, put the arrangements in place and today, March
I have been
“I bit the bullet for the second time, put the arrangements in place and today, March
However, as I sit here on my first day, watching the snow fall and wondering how many layers I need to wear to keep warm, I can’t help feeling it’s all quite overwhelming. People have asked me if I’m nervous or excited. The answer is both. I expect the first few weeks will feel like a holiday. The truth right now is I look at my list of things to do and I’m not sure where to start. Admittedly, I’m still switching off from work mode – this will take a few days/weeks to get out of my system and I’ve so much admin to do that I’ll be busy for the next few days. I’ve even got to make sure my websites are updated and I’m writing regular blog posts (check).
Before I start writing, I should seriously consider switching this on…
Then it’s time to finish ‘The Occupant’ (working title), my Kafka-esque interpretation of the world, before working on my main project, a young adult fantasy novel. That’s in between more short-stories, advertising my Cyber Security eBook and running more Neighbourhood Watch sessions, seeing the excitement of my first short-story being published, and getting that handicap down.
Is it all feeling a bit too much at the moment? Yes. Do I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow, or in a few weeks? I think so. Was starting a sabbatical the right thing to do? Absolutely. As I said, I’m fortunate to have this opportunity, and I’m going to grab it with both hands.