Sabbatical Reflection

I’ve been reflecting on my sabbatical as I’ve been finishing up the 10-week break from work. Going into it, I was grateful to have this opportunity. I also realized I may never have another one this long, so I wanted it to count.

What does it mean to count? I wasn’t sure, but I wanted to avoid the cliché “write a book” or another similar large project. Yes, it’d be great to have an impressive thing to point to when I think back on my sabbatical. Still, I hesitated to trade one form of work for another.

This doesn’t mean I had no goals. I set out to rest, write regularly, stay physically active, read, and pursue a nontechnical hobby. Looking back, I’m proud I accomplished nearly all of them.

Resting was my main goal. I welcomed disconnecting (almost) entirely from work. While I’d love to continue the break, I recognize the need and am grateful for the soft reset.

Though I kept my writing pace for myself, I didn’t write as much external work as I expected. I thought I’d publish at least a few blog posts, but I only cleaned up one existing draft.

I had an active sabbatical, including a good mix of indoor and outdoor workouts. I hiked over 10 miles daily in Yosemite and played pickleball nearly every day for a few weeks. I started doing yoga more regularly, which has been fun.

I read a lot. There was a good mix of poetry, philosophical essays, and news. This was a wonderful source of contentment, and I loved the opportunity to discover and rediscover some interests.

It’s been a challenging year with grieving and stress. The sabbatical’s timing became a blessing, and I’ll cherish the memories with my friends, family, and partner.