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42 days…

So, for a few months I have been waiting… and waiting… and waiting… for today.  You know why?  Because today starts a six week break from working my day job.  Fortunately, I work for an organization that believes in giving employees short sabbaticals after reaching a certain level within the organization and holding those positions for a certain number of years.  For four years I’ve been trying to debate what I would do with the time off and figure out the logistics to leave my job for that long.

During that same four years, I’ve experienced some of the greatest personal losses I’ve ever had, I’ve struggled with the meaning of life and my purpose, I’ve wondered about what my future looks like now that plans haven’t worked out exactly as I thought.

As I’ve written about already, this last year has really been a recovery effort.  I have rehabilitated myself with counseling and going back to the things in my life that made me happy long ago.  One of those things was returning to my love of horses and joyfully, adopting one of my own to love and care for.  During the last couple of months it’s been difficult to put the time into this new family member that I had hoped and so it became clear fairly quickly as to what my sabbatical should be about.  I arranged for my work hiatus to center around time with my new girl, Dolly.

Of course, with six weeks off, I have other projects and small plans that I hope to accomplish, but there is no pressure.  I am a planner, a person who operates well under stress and deadlines… but I have made it a point to completely let it go.  Don’t stress.  Don’t worry.  Don’t plan.  Have general ideas and guidelines but don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t get done.  That will be the greatest challenge of this time off.  It will be a fight with myself I’m sure to control my urge to plan out every second and to kill myself while I try to insure everything gets finished.

But I’ve worked pretty much since I was about 14 years old, I’ve had some personal hardships along the way and I’ve never had a break, and so it’s time for a break.  It’s time to refresh and renew my spirit, to inspire my creativity, and to just stop and appreciate where I’ve been and where I’m going.

My plan is to document this experience along the way.  To write a little each day to keep my heart and soul engaged in this process by reflecting on the happenings that take place each of the 42 days I’ve been given to simply relax and enjoy life again.

So how am I spending my first of these days? By doing pretty much nothing.  My life lately has been one thing after another… going, going, going with barely time to stop and catch a few winks at night before I get up and do it all again.  So to do nothing felt like a perfect way to kickstart this break.

As I type this I’m surrounded by my furry friends that share the house with me, I’m still in my PJ’s at 1:00 pm in the afternoon and I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t have to return to work until mid-November… I’m sure I’ll get used to this pretty soon and then the time will fly by and I’ll be back at work before I know it.  But right now, I’m sipping some iced tea, curling up in the bed and taking a nap with a sweet little mutt named Monroe.  Sounds perfect to me…

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