Sabbatical Planning: Found My Metaphor

“I don’t leap or jump for the landing. I leap for the experience in the air.” - Brene Brown

During a chaotic dinner (what dinner isn’t chaotic with a baby and a toddler?), I looked at my husband and said it.

 “Triple salchow.”

“That skating jump? What makes you think of that?”

“It’s what I’m trying to pull off with an unpaid sabbatical and kids under five. I’m trying to replace my income in one year exploring challenges I find meaningful. It’s a feat of strategic maneuvers, escalating to a point where you hold your breath and just have to leap.” 

According to Wiki, the triple salchow (searched frequently as the “triple sow cow”) is “usually the first jump that skaters learn to double, and the first or second to triple.”

Fly or Fall - Welcome Both

When the pain of not trying becomes greater than the pain of falling, you’ve found the next thing on your to do list. 

I put together a hefty grant proposal for the Savvy History songs. If that comes through, I easily know where to put 100% of my energy next year. If it doesn’t, I will still slowly work on the songs while getting my stability in place with Outschool and freelance writing.

I may or may not pull off my aim. There’s no guarantee I will organize it correctly or allocate appropriate energy at the correct time given all the interests I have.

Here to Learn

I love pursuits revealing odd fallacies about the human mind. 

Now that I have officially put in for a sabbatical, for some reason, I have been thinking of every time I have been criticized. How exciting?!

This is Steven Pressfield’s idea of Resistance - the scared corner of your brain that rears up trying to talk you out of bold creative decisions. 

That time I was a junior at the Young Americans competition in an ill-fitting purple sequin dress and I did my jazz scat and the bitter judge right out of college said I was pitchy? BOOM! Jumped into my mind today.

I am watching all of these thoughts in my head as I navigate the unknown. On a good day, I am absolutely amused. 

My years studying the creative process, stepping back to read other writers, and scientifically approaching creativity (as much as one can) have left me with a toolbox I didn’t have when I was younger and self-employed.

I have learned this about myself - I love living this way. I choose to put these challenges in place because I like what sludge it drags up about the human mind. I love the unpredictability just as much as I fear it.

Adam? He keeps it simple. 

He said, “You saved what you could to make this responsible, you have interesting and useful ideas (if you can figure out how to market them), so just do it. If you don’t like it, it’s only one year and back to a life you already enjoyed, plus the pandemic is hopefully over.”

Why Now? The “P” Word

I knew I was the type of person who was going to take a sabbatical at some point, but I didn’t think it would be this soon.

What is driving this choice? The plethora of ideas I would like to explore (teaching online, building courses, freelance writing, First Creative Dollar, Savvy History songs, etc.). I have no shortage of pursuits I’ve been longing to pour time into.

I am deeply in love with my work as a teacher too. This was not an easy choice. But I know I can go back.

The pandemic has us around our kids 24/7, except when at work. I realized I needed my work to be my creative ideas - for at least a year - or I will lose momentum.

I am so excited (along with scared).

I have more to say about taking a sabbatical (other than comparing it to a figure skating jump), but I will be pitching those ideas to editors!

Thank you for tuning in to my weekly journal.