One week into the Sabbatical

It’s been one week since my sabbatical began, and a lovely week it has been.

Daniel and I hiked up Mt Townsend, went to the Queen Anne farmers market in the middle of the afternoon, watched the Fremont solstice parade, completed some odds and ends around the house, and picnicked at Greenlake. I slept in and woke up without an alarm every day (albeit usually only until 6a, but that’s still 1 to 1.5 hours later than I usually got up), went to the gym and worked out as long as I wanted to, bought a road bike and went for a trail ride, read a couple of books, and researched an impending trip to Europe in September (likely Germany and Prague).

Most importantly: at the end of the week I finally stopped thinking about work.

This past week has mostly been about decompression and finding my way through days without a rigid schedule — I look forward to more of it!

My longest vacation yet

15 years ago today I started work at IBM in Austin. Between then and now my life has revolved around my job. In fact, the longest time I’ve ever had off from work was around 12 days traveling overseas or driving across the country with Daniel. When I changed jobs from IBM to Isilon, I took zero days off in-between. Zero.

All that to say I’m very much looking forward to having some time off of work.

I’m also scared shitless.

One week from today I’ll start my sabbatical and have a year off from working. In many ways I consider this a retirement trial run: can I keep myself active, engaged, and happy without of a job? Do I have an identity outside of work?

I can’t wait to find out.

My year-long sabbatical

That’s right, I’m going to be very intentionally not going to work for a year. While it’s technically a leave of absence, I’ve been calling it my sabbatical. The best news of all: Daniel is going to join me!

Everyone at work keeps asking where I’m traveling on sabbatical. I find it amusing that the assumption is that I’m going somewhere besides Seattle1. While it’s true we will be doing some of that, we’ll be here in Seattle for the next several months enjoying the beautiful PNW summer.

The brainstorming list Daniel and I have come up for the sabbatical would take far, far more than a year so there’s no worry about finding things to do. That list includes a ton of local things like glassblowing, pottery, SANCA (ie: circus school), kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, running, reading, lounging in the parks, trips out to Alki, gardening, canning, game nights, and Sonic runs2; as well as some travel to places like Denver, the bay area, Austin/San Antonio, Washington DC area, RTP, among others. There’s at least one international trip on our docket as well — the problem is just deciding where and when!

I intend to use some of the time for personal projects that have been either neglected or abandoned, including some Distributed Proofreaders tasks. I hope to pick up some new skills like knitting and re-learning how to play the piano. I have a small list of personal growth goals to work towards as well.

Here’s to new adventures!

1 This tells me that most people would opt to get away from where they live with time off of work. Or that they are all independently wealthy and could afford to travel the globe for an entire year.

2 You totally saw that coming.