2 weeks ago week I wasn’t here.
I mean I was ‘here’ in my house, but there were no blog posts going up here at Lemon and Raspberry. I gave myself a teeny tiny sabbatical. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because I am really working on NURTURing this year. Time off is totally part of that.
When I was in grad school I was fascinated by the idea of sabbaticals. One of my thesis advisers was on sabbatical the semester I graduated so I had to find someone to take her place on my thesis defense panel. She studied early American literature, material culture and women’s studies, primarily. If I remember correctly, she had gone to England for her sabbatical to do research for her next book Women and Things.
The idea of a sabbatical was totally new to me at that time. You’re telling me that you’re taking MONTHS off of your regular job to go do some side (work-related) project that interests you? And they’re paying you? I admit, I was definitely tempted to go into academia.
Unfortunately, working for yourself isn’t the same thing. I am slowly (slowly) building up my passive income so I can give myself mini-sabbaticals here and there, but for now just a week off has been so great! I was so ready to return and jump back in to the work I love.
So, what did I do when there weren’t posts going up on the blog? I … wrote blog posts for the following week. I finished brainstorming the BUILD virtual retreat. I wrote Andrew 33 love notes for his birthday present. I wrote an entire short story (in 1 afternoon). I read for fun. I chatted with my brother about self-publishing. I caught up on some (long-ish) videos I have been saving.
These are all things I would have done anyway, but not having to think about L&R posts gave me a little cushion of a few hours to focus on these other projects.
I feel so much more productive now that I’ve given myself that teeny tiny break!
It’s remarkable how much good a little bit of rest can do.
Coincidentally, that week happened to be the same time that all of Andrew’s work stress finally caught up with him and he spent hours in Urgent Care and a fancy schmancy chiropractor because he couldn’t move his shoulders or arms. I literally had to roll up his sleeves for him one of the days. He couldn’t shave because he hurt so bad. This isn’t a new phenomenon. 2 years ago he landed in the emergency room because of stress.
He was told to take time off to rest. Yea, like that is going to happen. He regularly works 90 hours each week and has some very stressful responsibilities. But! Saturday being his birthday, he actually got most of the day off work. He ….. well, he kind of rested. He spent a good portion of the day going through boxes of CDs deciding to get rid of some. But, for Andrew organizing like that IS relaxing.
And, what do you know? Just that Saturday afternoon and evening rest helped so much that Sunday morning he woke up and almost had full mobility of his shoulders again.
So, when are you going to take time off?
Take out your calendar. Block off a day. Or two. Or 7. Release yourself from your regular responsibilities. Just for a little while.
You’ll love it. And then you’ll be so energized to return.