A monkey sits on a rock and ponders life

Figuring It Out

I haven’t typically shared deeply personal things on this blog. Sure, I offer goofy quips about myself and my family on my About page, and most of my posts have a personal slant to them. But I haven’t gotten truly personal. I think that’s going to change.

I mean, no, I’m not going to give away juicy details that will allow you to answer my bank’s challenge questions (Or will I? You’ll have to guess). But I am going to get a bit more personal. After all, it’s my party and I’ll share if I want to. One of the reasons I haven’t shared (overshared?) is because I’ve always felt like no one will care. And that’s a distinct possibility. Another reason is that someone may get angry or offended. One thing I need to start doing is not caring so much about that that I keep playing it safe. Safe is boring.

I do not want to be boring.

Photo of a sign that reads, "Live so that if your life was a book Florida would ban it."

A Sort-of Sabbatical

Jenni and I have both decided that this is our year to pause, take a look around, and figure out where we’re headed and what’s next on our little journey through the world. It’s been over 30 years of working, traveling, moving, diapers, teens, and driving together. Life is starting to move even faster and we don’t want to miss it, to paraphrase a famous school-skipper.

We’re skipping school. Or rather, quitting school and taking a gap year.

We’re both making a conscious decision to take some time to reflect and figure out what the next 30 years will look like. As much as we can, of course, because life is still happening. And we still have a teen to educate, feed, and make sure he gets enough social interaction. So it’s not all lazing about in a hammock and contemplating our belly buttons. I’m just talking about mindfully planning where we’re going. We’ve spent enough time plowing through our lives like we got a Fast Pass to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. It’s time to sit down watch a parade for a while.

For my part, I’ve already been working on a career change for some time. We shut down our screen printing business in February and I’ve been gathering web site rescue clients for a few years. I’ve also been doing a lot of writing for clients. Which is why it’s a “sort-of” sabbatical, because I’m still helping those people with their stuff. But I’m taking a more relaxed approach to it. I’m not “grinding” or hustling like I’ve done in the past. “No chaos!” as our son used to say as a toddler, with his arms crossed in an X.

I have a mental list of things I want to do and focus on during this half-attical.

  • Purge old things I never use and clothes I never wear
  • Start working on Helga again
  • Learning computer science and getting proficient in JavaScript
  • Creating new art
  • Learning to tattoo
  • Writing my novel
  • Figuring out what kind of work I want to be doing and where
  • Deciding where to take our first trip out of the country in 16 years

Hey, why not throw in “learning to speak Spanish (again)” while I’m at it? I know, the list seems long. The point isn’t to resolve all of these things and then smash back into the world like the Kool-Aid man (oh yeah!). It’s to reflect on them. Contemplate. Figger. Just that. No accomplishment required.

But of course I have a spreadsheet and multiple notes on this stuff because I am an incorrigibly analytical weirdo. That I can make a spreadsheet with a cocktail by my side should probably be on my resumé.

I’m conscious that even as I wade into Sabbatical River, I’m finding it hard not to plan, plan, plan. I need to think more Eat, Pray, Love and less From Good to Great. It’s not easy for me. Which is probably a tell-tale sign of needing to slow down and pick more flowers along the highway.

Oh! Wait! I could do that, press them, and start selling them on Etsy, and —

No. Somebody stop me.

This is going to be interesting.

Photo by Juan Rumimpunu on Unsplash


Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe privately in your favorite RSS reader!

Right-click the icon to copy the link to my feed.

RSS logo

Or, sign up below to get updates and exclusive content sent to your inbox:

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive new content in your inbox, at least every month. Maybe a couple of times.

I don’t spam! I’m vegan.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *