To conclude this sabbatical I am going back to its beginning with some goals laid out on May 29th before it began to take a look to see if I actually accomplished what I set out to accomplish when this things started or did it turn into something else. In order to be fair I am going to quote myself from May 29th so that I can see if what I said I wanted to happen actually happened. I am going to rate all of them one of the following: Positive – I made good and significant progress toward this goal. Neutral – mixed on progress toward the goal. Negative – No progress or regression.
The Final Sabbatical Rundown:
- To find out what I feel I might be missing or at least get some idea what it might be if anything at all. There is a restlessness to my spirit and I want to find out what the cause is or if I might just be imagining it. – I have had two major thoughts while meditating and praying on this 1) That I need to be more honest with myself about my situation in life and 2) I need to be more assertive if I am going to have an impact positively influencing things to a better end than what the truth shows. I don’t know if this is all of it, but it seems to be the path I am walking down which is further than I was before because I now have a direction. Positive.
- I don’t want to think about the church too much. It will probably happen but I want to minimize it as much as possible. – I was mostly successful on this except as the sabbatical came to a close. Its kind of like everyone experiences when a vacation comes to a close and work gets thrust back upon you like it or not. For most of us the middle of a vacation is the most relaxing and that was true of this sabbatical as well. Positive.
- Try to have a better understanding of what I am doing pursuing this Political Science degree and if I should add some sort of minor. – I actually finished this one pretty early in the sabbatical. I feel my best bet is to look long term at building on this degree with a master’s degree and a doctorate so that I can enter the world as a professor. Along the way the degrees could parlay into other jobs. I have also felt the concentration in Television and Digital Media I need for the degree could be turned into an actual minor and I think I have the time for it so that is what I am going to do. That said, if some other option comes along that fits me even better I will probably take it. Positive.
- I want to get my book outline finished and have the first two or three chapters written. – I have really good outline but didn’t get any actual writing on chapters done. I am going to have some time once I get back to work because of something else happening that is going to put me sort of out of the loop. I also need to look at how blogging might be taking away from writing time that might be more productive. That said, Blogging has been my mainstay and a great writing exercise and at times inexpensive therapy. Neutral.
- From a physical standpoint if I keep pursuing being a beast in fitness I should come back to church in five Sundays and be in really good shape. I have a consultation on June 30th about my hernia and I have my diabetes to beat. – I have definitely returned to beast mode as I love to lift again. I have lost most of my angst about working out in a gym and the hiking has really become part of my life. I don’t know how much weight I have lost but it has been some, more importantly I look better in the mirror. The only problem on the horizon is that I know that I will be having surgery sometime in mid July for my hernia. The surgery is no biggie as it is outpatient with a local. However it is the recovery that will put me at a 15 pound weight limit for fur weeks and that means my weight lifting will go on hold for a bit. The nice thing is the doctor says I can walk all I want and can so I might simply replace it temporarily with more hiking but without the backpack. I will also have to tighten up my diet a bit but then again I already have to do that because of being diabetic. Positive.
- I want to plan out the rest of the year’s hiking schedule and start acquiring equipment for that schedule. I also want to look at next year’s plan to hike the North Country Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with my son and perhaps others. This is going to require some planning and practice along with all the other hikes I am going to try to do solo next year. – The plan is to hit the North Country Trail next summer and I need to simply save up twenty bucks a week and buy the equipment I need. With the month off surgery I might be able to get at least the backpack which will be waiting for me when I get done with recovery. I might be able to get a day hike in after my recovery but then school will be upon me and I will have to spend more time on that. Positive.
- Rest – I need a break from it all and I would also like to do some ‘resting’ with my wife on the weekend that we have our anniversary. If I have to explain why the ‘resting’ is in quotes, well you need to spend more time with your significant other than I do. – I will talk about our anniversary later but the idea here was to rest and clear my mind and that was accomplished. It might be said I rested a little too much as I didn’t accomplish some of the things I wanted to accomplish but it was a restful time. Positive.
- Cleaning and Dejunking. I need to get the garage re-cleaned which should not take as much time and then I need to go through ALL my stuff and get rid of that which I do not need anymore. I haven’t done this personally in about three years so I am overdue. – I did get the garage re-cleaned. However I ran into he same problem I ran into last time which was a desire to get rid of the big stuff to make room for stuff inside the house. The plan is to rent a dumpster for a year (the cheapest option actually) and dejunk the house and get back to a more simple and minimalist feeling in the house. Neutral.
- I want this blog to have its normal run of posts but also add some things so I am in good position to hit 500 posts for the year. – I am getting better at this but to be where I want to be I need be at 2300-2350 posts by the end of summer to make the 2500 at the end of the year. I need something that I can write well, quickly and everyday. Neutral.
- I have of course a graduation open house to attend with some friends to , my anniversary to celebrate and my son’s wedding to attend as well. Life is nothing but interesting. – Did the open house and it was a good time to connect with an old friend. The anniversary was a good time with my wife in many ways including ‘resting’ Finally, it was great to watch my oldest son finally marry my second daughter and the new Mrs. Raby. It was a great celebration of love and life and I enjoyed every minute of it. Positive.
Well, If my Math is good that is 7 – Positive, 3 – Neutral and 0-Negatives. If I were to put it in other terms my sabbatical record was 7-0-3. No losses equals a Good Sabbatical and I will definitively think about doing one again in five years or so. The only thing that was truly negative the entire month was having to put down my dog. In many ways, that and other things mark this month as the end of one era of my life and the beginning of a new one. I have school to finish, a church to run and some writing, dejunking and blogging to work on but for the most part I am in good shape coming out of this.
That said, I am have mixed feelings about going back to work. There are issues to confront and I have a stack of stuff sitting on the table that over the next week I will have to work though and sometimes in the next few weeks I will go under the knife and that will take wind out of my sails that I really can’t afford to lose at this time but I will find a way to get through it. In any case, I will be much happier and hopefully healthier once the summer is over.
Well, time to put the sabbatical to the rudder and get back to leading, preaching and loving.
Blessings and Cheers!!!