I’m often asked that question by friends who know I’ve just started a sabbatical. My answer is this: my head is spinning like a top. I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. My children are happy. My husband is happy. After just four weeks, I feel so grateful to have made this dramatic change. I am grateful to have had the opportunity, and I challenge myself to see what I can do with it.
I don’t mean to imply that every second is rainbows and puppies. My three-year-old daughter clocked me in the face this morning. Nor am I implying that I was miserable before I started the sabbatical. I feel good about what I accomplished in my last eight years working in real estate development, and I certainly would trade the experience.
What has surprised me thus far is just how intellectually stimulated I feel even though I am not working for pay. Without intending to do so, I have sought and found new ways to stimulate my mind. I have traded one kind of learning for another. Before January 15th, I was learning how to raise debt to finance real estate developments. I was fulfilled by creating a spreadsheet or learning about banking regulation. Since January 15th, I am learning by reading and listening to poets and also by writing this blog. I am picking up the thread of an old passion that has laid dormant for years while I juggled my career and my family. It feels amazing and familiar. It feels just plain good.
I’ve also been asked what I will do upon the arrival of January 15th, 2014. Four weeks into the sabbatical, I have no idea. I don’t even want to guess. I just want to enjoy the ride.