This couldn’t be a worse time to be on a self-funded sabbatical! Or could it? Last year I quit my long-term full-time career to begin my second year-long sabbatical. After many years of planning and saving to take a year off, I took the plunge and quit my job! It felt great! My bosses were not surprised since this is the second time, I have done this. My first sabbatical was in 2012-2013. What a difference seven years makes!
When I returned back to work from my second sabbatical, I informed my bosses that my plan was to take the next sabbatical in five years. It took me seven years, but who is counting. The point is, I had a plan, I wrote it down and I told everyone what my bold plan was and when it would happen. Being transparent is important to me and I wanted to make sure that my employer also had time to plan for my replacement. It worked great and allowed me to be open with my intentions. It also kept me in good standing with my employer and gave me time to train my replacement. A win/win situation.
Fast forward to March of 2020 and the world is in a global pandemic, the stock market is crazy and many companies are shutting down as the state governments enforce stay at home plans and social distancing! Many countries and are also in lockdown and borders are shut, keeping folks from being able to return to their homes. I am just grateful that I was home in Richmond when all the lockdowns started and I did not get stuck in a foreign country with no way to get home. This is obviously not the best time to be traveling the world as I planned for this year! It is also hard to feel so out of control and watch my hard-earned savings fly out the window!
Did I make a mistake? Could I have predicted this would happen? I don’t think so. I was prepared and still am for the stock market to drop some (that was not a surprise) but never did I anticipate the impact of what is happening today. Our entire world has changed in the last 2 months and COV-19 is a larger foe than most people realized.
If I had a crystal ball, I think I still would have taken my sabbatical. It is nice to be home and not have to stress about selling or managing projects remotely. My goals for my sabbatical were simple, travel (which is on hold), read, write, organize my life, spend time with family and exercise more. All of my goals are still valid except for the travel goal.
Each day I have plenty of time to read and exercise. In fact, my Garmin application tells me that so far this year I have walked 2,273,714 Steps/1,020 miles! I feel like I am in better shape than ever. This is a good thing in case I do get the COV-19.
Even though I can’t travel right now, I have plenty of time to review my photos of all my trips and write up my notes and stories about those trips. My sister pointed out, that this is the first time in my adult life I do NOT have a trip planned! We both have the travel bug and have taken many trips together. Hopefully, we will be back to planning more trips later in 2020.
No matter how carefully we plan, we can never predict exactly what is going to happen. I am just grateful that I am safe and healthy. My family is safe and healthy and I get to spend more time with them (via Facetime and Zoom) and I have plenty of time to read.
Please stay safe and healthy!