I Am Officially on Sabbatical

You might recall, that last year, I really wanted to rest.  What I didn’t tell you was that I also read, not one, but TWO books about taking a sabbatical:

I was craving a looooong break. I devoured these books and was inspired by the idea of a sabbatical, but I didn’t have the guts to actually take one (despite how the first book tried to make it simple for me).  I didn’t think I could leave my boss high and dry. I was afraid to walk away from gainful employment at the age of 50. What if I get sick? What if I run out of money? What if  I can never find a job again because I am so old? (If you have been listening to Cuomo’s daily briefings you may have heard that 51 is the new 81.)

So I kept working. And more work was piled on top of the work I already had. And I kept working.

Earlier this year, I wrote down some things that I really wanted but seemed out of reach. This sabbatical idea was still very much on my mind, because this was at the top of the list:

“Be free of my job and have time to rest and figure out what I really want to do with my life and not worry about money”

But was still too scared to actually DO anything about it.

When I was in my 20s I quit my job TWICE with no other job lined up.  I don’t remember what I was thinking or how I got the nerve to do that, but BOTH times, I found new jobs that led me in to new careers.  Clearly, as I have aged, I have become a chicken shit.

Fast forward to Spring 2020. My plans to re-enter the world, and interact with humans again were thwarted by a global pandemic.  I found myself hunkered down at home, feeling grateful that I still had a paycheck, but it was harder and harder to focus, because I was completely burned out and the world was on fire.

Then, not long after I wrote that last post, I found out that my company would be furloughing people.  One thing led to another, and on May 1st, I found myself on a four month sabbatical.

Whaaaaattt!!!!????

I wish I could tell you that I got the courage to make this happen for myself.  I did not put my hand up to volunteer. I was still clinging to the security of my job, certain that I was too important to be let go, even just temporarily. But the Universe knew better.  My ego was hurt for about 5 seconds, and then I quickly transitioned to being grateful that the Universe took over and forced the issue. (Excuse me, you said you wanted this. WTF. It’s go time!)

If you somehow still don’t now what a furlough is in the age of COVID-19, it is an up-paid leave of absence.  The company intends to bring you back after a period of time, but there are no guarantees.  You often still have health insurance (I do!) and you are eligible for employment. It is basically, a pretty suite sabbatical situation (aside from the whole quarantine/global pandemic thing.)  And assuming one has some savings, which I do and am very grateful for.

“Be free of my job and have time to rest and figure out what I really want to do with my life and not worry about money”

I manifested it!!!  Kind of amazing, right?

So here I am, with four months to do anything my heart desires, within the confines of my budget and my tiny NYC apartment (at least for a while). In week one, I have been full of energy and have worked through a long list of personal “to dos”.  Now I am feeling called to just chill out and rest. I need to create some space in my mind to see what is lurking under all of the “busy”.

I have no idea what will happen next. Four months is a looooong time. I have no idea whether I will still have a job in four months or whether I will want to go back to it or not. None of us has any idea what our lives will be like in four months.  I am feeling some internal pressure to do something AMAZING with this opportunity and come out the other end a whole new woman with a whole new life. That might happen. But I will start by just getting quiet, listening to my heart, and following it where ever it leads me.

Today, my heart wanted to take a Zoom yoga class with my dear friend Erica and she mentioned this quote by Dov Seidman which was absolutely perfect, not just for my sabbatical, but for all of us who’s lives are on pause right now:

“When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings they start. You start to reflect, you start to rethink your assumptions, to re-imagine what is possible, and reconnect with your most deeply held beliefs.”

Let’s get started….