Sabbatical - Time away from your normal routine - a time to immerse yourself in a different environment, a chance to see your life from a different perspective.
That has been my life for the past year. I wasn't thrilled when my position was eliminated from the non-profit where I worked however, looking back, I know now it was the right decision for my health. For 16 years I had been working in stressful environments plagued by conflict at every turn and always wondering where the funding was going to come from for my salary. When you are in the helping profession, consistently working under those conditions, after awhile burnout sets in. That state of mind had become my normal.
So why not just call this blog "Grandma is unemployed - Now what"? Because being unemployed sounds boring for one thing, but mostly because, I chose to use the time to my advantage. I had become a grandma for the first time a year before so not working allowed me to spend more time with her. Avery and I spend every Saturday (or more) together. I had forgotten how funny, honest, determined, and literal toddlers could be. This past year with her has been rewarding and more fun than I could ever have hoped for. She and I are developing a special relationship that only Grandmas and granddaughters can share and what has contributed to that has been time.
I also decided to clean my house. I mean REALLY clean it. I downsized clutter and threw away things I had no idea why I still had. I have read more books in the past year than I read my whole life prior to that. I also used the time to become healthy again. And cooked. I love cooking again! I even enjoy baking! I am constantly inspired by Martha Stewart, Ree Drummond, Sandra Lee, and Ina Garten. Who knew I would finally be able to say - I baked 2 dozen cookies and could eat all 24 because I didn't burn 18?! Certainly not my sons and husband!
I also became an exercise guru. Okay not guru but advocate. I do some sort of exercise every day. Mainly because of all the cooking I am now doing, but also because I feel better when I move more. I even have a goal of entering a 5K. More on that in posts to come.
While cleaning, healing, and exercising I started to reflect about my career choices and the new direction I wanted to take. As the days go on, I will report on that progress but right now, I have a date with a very important toddler.