Betsy's Pretty Good Blog

Thoughts on my sabbatical

June 2, 2014
Statue of Canadian Goose

I never thought a sabbatical would be so challenging. I’ve been working regularly since I was 12 years old (first job – detasseling corn) and the longest I ever vacationed was 2 weeks …and that happened once. So having 8 weeks off in a row was somewhat intimidating. I was completely cut off from work – no access to email, voicemail or the network. I couldn’t work even if I wanted to.

At first I thought I had to do something BIG, like a grand tour of Europe, or climbing Kilimanjaro or learning Italian. When you’re given that kind of huge gift, you think you have to have something huge to show for it. It took me a good week to ten days just to calm down enough to give myself permission to let things flow.

So the grand tour of Europe morphed into the Circle Tour around Lake Superior, something I have wanted to do since I moved to Minnesota thirteen years ago. I loved it! Lake Superior is beautiful and amazing in any season and from any viewpoint. And Canadians are wonderful people!

Climbing Kilimanjaro morphed into a lot of riding lessons on Elvis. I bought a new horse over a year ago and never had enough time to really concentrate on riding him enough to turn us into a copacetic pair. Still not completely there, but made some significant progress.

Learning Italian? Well, I did clean out every closet in my house and the garage. (Goodwill thought they had hit the jackpot!) And I did get the garden cleaned out and ready to go at the hobby farm as well as get a survey done, and arrange for carpentry work to be completed there.

It turned out for me that doing BIG things wasn’t really the answer. It was a lot of many not so big things that proved satisfying, including a fun day in Wawa, Ontario, home of a giant 4 ton statue of a Canadian Goose!


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