My sabbatical...

posted on: Monday, 4 February 2013

When I meet new people and they ask me what I do...I now pause and consider which of my professions I should divulge. Most commonly I say I 'do stuff' with employment law - as that is my profession; I work for a household -name, enormous, quite progressive, multi-national company where I provide advice and counsel.

But also I own a beauty company. I have my own business and we make fine beauty oils. It's new and it's growing.

I am also a mother and wife. I am also a friend, dog-owner, housewife, cook, sister, driver, shopper, daughter, blogger...



Then I explain that I have been on a sabbatical for the last six months and they usually ask...'why?' And I umm and err and say 'just because'! I took the time off for a variety of reasons, not least to see what it would be like to concentrate on the other areas of my life that weren't my profession. I'd worked and worked until it wasn't fun anymore and everything else was suffering. So I stopped, then I went back, then (and this is the important bit) I stopped again: but on my terms.

The only way I can describe time off is an adjustment of the head-space that one walks around with every day. For the first month I felt odd, slightly displaced. The second month I felt worried. The third and fourth I felt content and the fifth and sixth I felt downright happy. My mind had emptied out and realigned. What I don't know is whether it was all-the-sweeter because I knew it was temporary. Knowing me, if I had been looking at a long-lasting life choice I might have developed the usual Lou-esque existential panic that often appears on this blog. But as it was: I loved it.

Things I now know:

Yoga is the answer.
Owning a dog is good for your health.
No matter what the day holds, my first and waking thought is a cuppa tea.
Even without a steady income, my urge to shop has not abated (much).
Sometimes you have to do things that scare you.
Don't be frightened of feeling the judgement of others - if it's OK with you, that's what matters.
The urge to whitewash my entire home and only have white furnishings has not lessened yet.
Having coffee is the mainstay of most mornings.
Circuit training is good for me; doing it with my friends even better.
I live in a very beautiful part of the world.
Even when I am not working, I still snap at my kids.
Even when I have all the time in the world, I still don't always get stuff done.
I can actually cook.
I suspect even Mary Poppins has a messy house sometimes ;-)
Running your own business can actually be harder than working for someone else's
In the last six months, I have seen more rain than I can recall in my entire life.
I have never been so in touch, so aware, so grounded, so present before.
I really, really want, in fact I am determined to keep hold of this feeling...watch me try! :-)

15 comments:

  1. sounds like you are living my dream! I have struggled with the idea of leaving my job just to take a few weeks/ months to reflect on my next direction. But at the same time its never easy to walk away from good pay and benefits- no matter how miserable it makes you.

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  2. I will have fun watching you hold on to that feeling! I absolutely understand that transition. The first couple months were more difficult than I expected...not difficult, perhaps, but odd. I did feel off balance. But I'm now finding my rhythm and enjoying this time. And I do wonder if it's even better knowing that it's not forever. I'm not ready to go back just yet, but I know I'm learning a lot by taking this break. Good luck as you head back to work- I hope your first week is a good one!

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  3. Great post...I love the things you know now...I agree with you...yoga is the answer and owning a dog is good for your health and most certainly running your own business is harder than working for someone else...but so much more rewarding ;-) I've just ordered your fabulous facial oil again!
    Have a great week.
    Catherine
    xx

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  4. Goodness where did that six months go?! I hope the return to work goes well and that your gorgeous business continues to flourish and grow.

    xx

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  5. I know that this is not what you are meant to do but to most of the above - me too! I hope you find you love being back at work, being in work, your business and life generally - as you seem to do most days. I will be watching and reading with interest.

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  6. I wish I were on permanent sabbatical. I'm really meant to be a kept woman. Ha!

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  7. this is inspirational! i love it so much. P.S when should i come down and visit you :) xxx

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  8. Great list Lou.
    Perhaps an addition for you - keep doing what I'm doing cos I'm pretty good at it!
    Hope your return to work goes smoothly.
    Have a lovely day,
    Liz x

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  9. I love this post and the images. What you are really saying is I am lucky to be living my life to its full. Good luck back at work

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  10. What a lovely post. I really appreciate your list - inspirational!

    I received my bath oil -- thank you so very much. It is pure luxury and the smell - swoon! Your generosity and kindness is much appreciated!!

    Blessings to you..

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. I love reading your blog posts.
    I hope you keep hold of that feeling :)

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