Tell Me

March 24th, 2010

I read an intriguing post on The Improvised Life blog about taking sabbaticals and what (aside from jobs and money!) keeps us from taking time off to dream and imagine and explore other paths. She posed the question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”  Is it doable if we want it enough? I’ve always longed for a sabbatical that someone else paid for, but that has really gotten me no closer to time off, so now I’m thinking about how I can pay for my own sabbatical. A friend of mine suggested that society should start thinking of the first year of retirement as a sabbatical, a deliberate and planned pause instead of a full stop. A pause for renewal before starting the next phase of your intellectual life versus thinking you’re being put out to pasture. But I wish we could all, no matter where we are in life,  have periodic sabbaticals that are kairos intervals, in the sense of holy time or a special time of opportunity. Creating an inviolate, sacrosanct time for ourselves in which to reflect, read, walk, write, regenerate is just as important as taking the kids to Disneyworld, heading south for spring break or having a frantic, antic Christmas. Tell me: What would you do if you had a year off, where would you go and what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

6 Responses to “Tell Me”

  1. I’d love to spend a year taking art workshops, learning techniques, not just “inspirational” stuff. I’m interested in painting, printing, mixed media…I dabble in art now but I’m self-taught and really need a mentor–and a commitment.

  2. nikki says:

    me too…I feel like I should make a start at that here and now. It’s so frustrating not to know the techniques that would make it easier.

  3. katie says:

    If I could I would take a year and write and write and take writing seminars in relaxing places. Much as I love them, it sounds so luxurious to me to write without interruptions from my family. Funny thing is, I would probably write about them. I took some years off with my last baby, thinking I could also spend some time learning to write…better. It worked, I got better. But I really need to have spent the last 20 years writing instead of getting so darn good at accounting. Someday, maybe not too far off I will take some more time off and continue with that labor of love.
    Btw, I sent you a Frida package today. I hope you are going to work tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiring posts.

  4. nikki says:

    ooo thank you so much! Yes I’ll be at work tomorrow and I too need some writing time. The CA Nightwriters workshop seems a million years ago.

  5. Jen says:

    Love this post too Nikki! SO fitting to read after where my heads been lately.. I’ve been listening to the ‘Eat Pray Love’ audio book this week! I have a feeling you’ve read it but if not.. the author takes a year off to spend time in Italy, India and Bali studying food, meditation and love respectively. So all week I’ve been living vicariously through her story and also thinking of the same thing…. what would I do?

    When my husband and I were first married we took half a year to travel in a vw westfalia camper van around the country. We meandered. We met new people everyday and experienced new things constantly. Everyday was incredible and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Lately we’ve been talking about doing it again and I think for the moment that would have to be my choice.

    ps- I recently came across my ‘financial’ travel log from our trip. We wrote down every thing we spent and all of our expenses (with the exception of gas) were kept under $100 a week! Can you imagine?

  6. nikki says:

    Jen, aren’t you glad you did that? What a great experience to look back on.

Leave a Reply