Radical Sabbatical

As we enter the New Year, my wife and I are preparing to embark on what we are calling a “radical sabbatical.” What that means for us is a move toward concentrating on what feeds our souls as we strive to make a life and not merely a living. For example, we are conscientiously trying to say “no” to the good in order to say “yes” to the best, both personally and professionally.

For my part, I mean to gradually quit doing the type of work I don’t enjoy and more actively pursue work that adds meaning to my life and not merely money. Part of my plan includes creating a “life list” of activities to do before I die, including visiting places I’ve dreamt of.

Also on the agenda is quitting things that no longer make sense for us or that we’ve done simply out of a sense of obligation. For far too long we’ve both found ourselves guilty of doing stuff just to be doing it, usually because it was a pattern of behavior proscribed “by the book.”

The older we get the more we realize that life is too short to live according to other people’s prescriptions for living. We are each given one life to live and it is a shame when we squander ours trying to squeeze into a mold that doesn’t fit. Tragically, many of us are born originals but die copies instead.

A year from now I hope to be able to report that my life has radically changed to the point that I barely recognize the person I am today. To quote the immortal words of T.S. Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”