About a month ago, I was meeting up with the beau for coffee as I was getting off work and he was heading into his new job as an RN working night shift in the Trauma unit at our University hospital. We have been navigating night shift since mid-December and after about 6 or so weeks have gotten the hang of it. This particular day was still in that “what have we signed up for?” stage. My calendar has been extra full for the past several months. Between a major career shift for the beau, my mom’s surgery this summer and a change in her living environment, an absolutely insane fall semester for me at work, leading our women’s missional community at church, hosting an IF: Local gathering AND adding on an additional side hustle, I was tired this day at Starbucks. And most days I was tired.
I looked at my calendar for February in that moment which was free (other than the IF Gathering) and declared “oh how nice it would be if it could only stay this way.”
“Why can’t it?” exclaimed the beau.
Why can’t it?
After some intentional conversations with the side hustle folks, my closest friends and ministry leaders, more convos with the beau and much prayer, I decided to take a sabbatical in February. I’m not taking a month off of my job. Just a month off of everything else. In explaining it to a friend, I feel as if I have a million apps running in the background of my operating system. I need to slow down and take the time to evaluate which ones still need to be there, which ones can be deleted and which ones I need to adjust some settings on for optimal effectiveness.
What does this mean practically, you ask? Well, from February 8th to March 8th:
- I’ll be stepping back from all social media (except Pinterest–more on this in a moment). Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will all be deleted off my phone and cleared from my bookmarks at work. I do manage a twitter account for our office so I’ll still do that, but no more media from @FaithieNic until March. I’ll use Pinterest as a way to catalog ideas and things I want to come back to and also a way to curate some ideas for this space.
- I’ll be taking a full sabbatical from my personal email. All emails during this time will be archived so that I’ll return on March 8th without thousands of emails to weed through. You are welcome to mail me things (or send them to me via Pinterest) or just hold off on the email until March 9th. Just know that if you send me an email, I will. not. see. it.
- There is nothing scheduled on my calendar other than work commitments. I am planning on staying close to home and not filling my calendar with appointments. Even good things and appointments will be held off until March so that I can take this time to work on the operating system.
- No more Netflix. It was a good run Gilmore Girls. I’ll finish you one day.
So what will I actually be doing?
- Getting lots of sleep. I’ve realized that I need 7 hours of sleep a night to operate a maximum capacity. Without a LOT of intention, I typically get 5-6.
- Walking and doing Yoga. I have put my health completely OFF of any burner that might exist. I want to start simple and walk and do yoga 5 days a week. I’ve realized that I cannot work toward the good of others if my own physical health is failing.
- Reading actual books. I have a shelf of books that I want to read this year. And some of them have been there for a couple years. This is the month (which will led to the year) of reading.
- Being intentional with my family. With the beau on night shift and my mom’s health, I want to live into those relationships. I’ll also be spending time with my framily–quite important as an only child living in another state from the extended family on some of the night’s he’s working.
- Cooking. I love to cook and be creative in the kitchen, but busy-ness of life has left me exhausted and therefore not in the kitchen much at all.
- Creating the White-Space necessary to be spontaneous. I have learned to embrace and love spontaneity and want to intentionally create more room for it.
Some inspiration on my venture into a sabbatical:
Joy Eggerich’s last video on her own time away check out the 10:00 minute mark until about 15:00 minutes.
The Whole 9’s Unplug the Noise Sharpen the Signal
I’m excited friends. It’s gonna be a great month.