Day 10: What does taking a sabbatical mean?

I’m still working with two other clients so it was a busy day back at my desk, writing, editing and figuring out a Q4 content plan of attack.

Some say that a sabbatical should be a complete break but I enjoy my work and it keeps my hand in, as the phrase goes, as well as keeping me afloat financially. To get a bit more clarity on what taking a sabbatical can achieve, I’m hopefully meeting Sam Underwood this week. Sam inspired me with his sabbatical a few years ago, and I’ll be asking him questions like:

  • should I take new work on while on sabbatical?
  • how do I cope with all the change?
  • how do I avoid drifting and losing self-confidence?
  • should I be prescriptive and plan my time constructively or actually take a break and leave room for new things to happen?
  • how did his sabbatical plan work out for him and would he do anything differently now?

A while back I canvassed Facebook friends asking: Has anyone I know taken a sabbatical? What did you do/learn/gain? They had:

  • travelled
  • learnt a language
  • learnt to build dry stone walls (when else!)
  • wrote a book
  • ended a long-term relationship
  • more or less reinvented themselves

Despite some of the negatives, there didn’t seem to be any regrets.

A few months later, I also asked what friends would do if they had a few weeks’ free time in which to do something challenging. They said:

  • finish writing up research/book
  • organise the house
  • volunteer
  • take an iconic train journey or long boat ride (longboat ride?)
  • learn or do something new – yachting or gliding lessons, belly dancing or busking
  • long-distance hike or cycle
  • yoga retreat

In fact, I have plans for pretty much all of the above. And more. I’m not sure how to fit it all in or how to prioritise – or do I just make the sabbatical longer? Questions, questions, ideas, and more questions.

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