I’m on day three of my sabbatical and I can feel Restlessness peering its head out waiting to see if it’s safe to come bounding into my brain. It’s holding back for now but my fingers long to type and my brain itches for something to dig into. Instead, I write longer than necessary emails and texts to friends. I’ve started doing a daily note reflection and am accumulating more books than I know I can reasonably read. Thank god I travel light and have only so much space for books. I managed to shove three into my bag home but had to leave behind two more. The three books only fit because I finally threw away my old, torn apart pair of sambas! A great reminder that what you leave behind often leaves space for something new. I have a feeling that will be a theme for my sabbatical (the importance of leaving space combined with restlessness).
This year’s company meetup was helpful in this regard. It’s a very intense week full of 12-14 hours of social interaction and usually includes tons of meetings for me. I purposefully went into the week with very little organized. Each day I woke up and made plans on the fly. This allowed me to meet with people I likely would have hardly had the time to catch up with otherwise. It caught folks by surprise when they’d find me, express wanting to get together to chat, and me responding with “pick a time and I’m there” essentially. Tied to this, I challenged myself to observe rather than engage fully. I normally ask tons of questions particularly at our company wide townhall. For the first time, I didn’t ask a single one and I mentally sat back. It was glorious and freeing. I could sit and talk with someone for 2.5 hours and not have a care in the world about meeting with someone next. To continue my last post’s analogy, it felt like running a fitness test in preparation for game time. The company meetup proved I was ready for sabbatical and, as the days go on, I feel the mental/emotional work I’ve done paying off.
The only pain point I’m already feeling is that I genuinely enjoy talking with my coworkers and I think 3 months not being able to do so will be quite hard. I will miss solving problems, reading their interesting thoughts, and hearing about their lives. Thankfully, a few have already reached out which tells me it just might be mutual :).