The good news. The sabbatical is working. My brain is back online! I have so many new ideas and one of them is crystallizing pretty well. Younger me would be so excited to have multiple longform ideas to chose from.

The neutral news. It’s interesting being off schedule or having freedom over your day after feeling overworked for several years in a row. Sometimes I feel unmoored, which is not a feeling I love.

But nurturing my ideas (I have a composition book labeled Idea Farm) helps. I have to remind myself to be patient and to be okay with ambiguity. This is a major shift, after all.

Secret: I don’t crave the old work but I think about the old income. I know that I’m okay and will be okay. But I still think about it from time to time.

Other news. Some things have gone awry at the former gig. I felt bad about it and just learning that things weren’t going great triggered my anxiety. It was pretty interesting to watch my reaction unfold over a couple of days. My partner/boss has vowed to take full responsibility for getting things on the right track. I had the chance to review all of the transfer work that I did. I stand by it. It’s a high quality transition document. It took two full months of constant work to document processes. I did that!

Great news. After I really looked at it from the eyes of a new person, I was proud and calm and felt resolved in my current boundaries. Truth? I know I could get on payroll and fix things. But that would be pulling me away from where I want to be this year. Mired in details. Bogged down in minutia. No thank you. I choose my Idea Farm.

With these blogs, I’m documenting where I am with things, but it’s not with a heart of complaint. I’m very grateful to be fully present and have the space to figure things out.

So Far, So Good

It’s official. I’m on sabbatical from my job of a decade.

And I know because yesterday was my first day “at work” and I was like, I wonder what I’m supposed to be doing. Just kidding.

Sort of.

More on that in a bit.

In addition to working full time, in 2018 I added part-time author to the mix, which led to 7-day work weeks for months (years) at a time. Can you say burnout? I had it. Bad.

My day job was not time consuming or difficult, but for various reasons (COVID, alignment, household changes, etc.), in recent years I’ve I found it stressful and energy draining. I love the organization and the mission and my coworkers, too! But it was clearly time to step away to find and live my ikigai.

The day I put in my notice was not planned. One day, I really couldn’t take it any more. Between anxiety and extreme fatigue, I had to take immediate action. And I knew it had to be a complete break, not a stepping back or a slowing down.

So I crafted a message and stepped into my truth, fear and all. And after six weeks of knowledge transfer, I put on my out of office in late December, informing anyone who writes me there, that I’ll take a peek again in April (which may turn into… something else).

Before 2023 ended, I began working through the ikigai exercise. Generally understood as your reason for being, your ikigai is the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs and what you can get paid to do. Unsurprisingly, writing came up quite a bit (along with teaching and coaching – also not a surprise). As you might’ve guessed, my focus for the next few months will be writing, writing, writing. I will resume coaching (shout out to my newly earned credential!), but on a limited basis for now.

My third book (!) is due to publish in October 2024, and while the hard part is over, there are still a few more steps in the short term. Yesterday, I took the first one. I’m in copyedits, which means I’m polishing the manuscript.

I started with a baby step – one chapter – my favorite approach, just to make sure I knew what was I doing and also to ease myself back into this project that I haven’t seen in about two months. Today I had a bigger goal – five to seven chapters – and met it within two hours, which is great because I allocated four. So that’s my work for the next week – polishing the rest of my new book! I aim to finish this round by next Friday if all goes according to plan.

Soon I will tell you about my first bullet journal, which arrived today. I’ve never attempted this organization strategy, but I’m hoping it will be useful and fun. Have you ever used a bullet journal? How did it go for you?