Today marks the 6 month anniversary of my sabbatical. That makes me want to squeal with excitement and cry with gratitude at the exact same time. I packed up what I didn’t sell or give away, shoved it into a storage unit on South Lamar, dropped my car off at my mom’s house, and took off on an adventure of growth.
Everyday I wake up and cannot believe that I do not have to be stressed out to make a paycheck to pay for my bills, bills, bills. I was already in a bit of a “downsizing of life” phase, and this experience has solidified my new approach to living.
Less is far more.
I realize that is easier for me to do than most due to seasons of life. For example, I do not have mouths to feed and provide shelter for everyday. But I don’t think this way of living and raising a family are mutually exclusive.
Big sea change occurs with small daily steps.
Have you looked at your closest lately? What percentage do you actually wear? Further, what percentage do you actually need?
How about the number of TVs in your house? Do you really need one in every room including the kitchen? I haven’t watched TV for over two and a half years (outside of the occasional sporting event), and I seriously miss it 0%.
What about your spare closet of junk? What is actually in there? Why does it plague you, “I have GOT to clean out that junk closet, drawer, garage…” I am convinced that the more STUFF we have, the less PEACE we have. It messes with your balance. It messes with your mind. It occupies you in ways you didn’t know it did until you are separate from it.
I know that not everyone has a desire to sell everything and travel with a backpack and a laptop. This post is more about awareness: listening to what you need and following through with it. If you have a family, you obviously need a wonderful house and home to raise them up in.
I needed space from stress.
From material stuff taking up my brain space.
From the non-authentic life.
I needed time to literally do nothing for a day and not have a wave of guilt crash over me about it.
Six months is a long time away for someone who is a worker-bee. I battle constantly the feeling that I’m not “doing anything.” What does that even mean? Where does that come from? I have the Western capitalism (and genetics) programing of work work work work maybe sleep if you don’t have a deadline work work work work.
Sabbatical has been liberating, balancing, and intense at times. I know I will always be a worker bee. I don’t mind it, and I thrive in environments of productivity and getting shit done…but BALANCE is the key take away!
There are no words to express how thankful I am.
I hope I have the courage to continue onward with this balance and space I’ve found, even when I return to the States for “normal life”.
What I’ve learned is that normal life doesn’t have to fit in a mold. It just has to fit you. And if yours doesn’t look like everyone else’s around you, you’re probably doing something authentically right.
More soon! Island life is coming to an end…