I am on a creative sabbatical. I realize it looks like I’m at the pool sunning myself behind a woman with some funky hair, but I assure you, it’s more than that. Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure what a creative sabbatical is, I stole the term from a friend, but that’s what I’m calling the place where I am. I don’t know how long I’m going to stay here. I didn’t make the reservation; the universe did. But I think it’s until I finally, finally learn my lesson.
I had a job for a long time that was not a super good fit, but I liked the people and it was more or less fine. Then when the parts that didn’t fit well went from rubbing blisters occasionally to causing actual damage, I left. It had a lot to do with strong personalities. I took about a year doing enough work to be credible, but not seriously committing to anything. Then I got mono, and I did a whole lotta nothing for several months.
When I was just at the point of feeling sorta healthy again, a job dropped into my lap. Seriously, an acquaintance contacted me out of the clear blue and asked if I’d be interested in a position. I said sure. It seemed so perfect. The corporate culture seemed like it was exactly what I needed. I was feeling good about my career for the first time in a long time.
About two months into it, it became clear I had put myself back in the same spot I’d been for so many years: in a job that wasn’t a super good fit, but I really liked the people. This week, they fired me. I won’t lie, it was a body blow to my ego. I’ve never been fired before, even when I worked in the kind of jobs people get fired from. Their reasons are their own, and you’d have to ask them if you want specifics as none were provided to me, but from my standpoint, it’s just as well.
I’ve spent a career just doing whatever came next. I did work. I like to think it was good work, but not the kind of great work I want to do. I was not gonna do the great work I want to at that job, and I knew it. I was willing to try for longer. They weren’t.
Baby Daddy could not have had a better reaction to his wife losing her job. He told me to just stop (yes, I see the pattern) and spend some time reading, writing, resting, doing yoga, working out, whatever I want to. He advised me to give the business plan I’ve been talking about for years, but never acting on, some serious consideration. Mostly he took the pressure off me to figure something out right away.
So I will. I’m gonna get the laundry caught up. I’m gonna clean the house. I’m gonna spend some time at the pool. I’m gonna read and write and do yoga and work out. I’m gonna put together my business plan, but with no immediate time line. I’m gonna take Monkey Boy to swimming lessons. I’m gonna cook and try not to kill my family doing it. I hope to do enough freelance work to earn my keep. But I’m not going to make any big moves for awhile. Big moves are not part of creative sabbaticals.
And I’ve already learned my first lesson of creative sabbatical: use sunscreen.