Intermission II

This short stretch between trips has been busy. I’ve been able to see and touch bases with several friends and family members in just a few days. I missed a couple on Friday. (Sorry Jim and Fernanda, totally spaced my appointments with you on that day. Hopefully we can find a way to catch up.) Last night I did get to spend some time with friends that I haven’t seen in way too long. This afternoon I’ll get to spend some more time with Loni and Sam, who won’t be living here when I get back. Things are changing, but people are growing and that’s what it’s all about.

Today I’m consumed by three things; making sure my house is in order before I leave, making sure I’ve packed appropriately, and trying to make sure I’m in the right mental state for this particular trip. This trip will be far different than Cabo. The intent is to reassemble my brain and maybe establish a foundation for a few improved habits.

On the habits front, the first set are the obvious ones; diet and exercise. We’ll see how that goes. I suspect I’ll get a lot of walking in, which I enjoy. Eating, we’ll see. I may try to pick up some yoga again as well. Primarily for the flexibility benefits.

On the reassemble my brain front; Oxford looks like it will be a terrific setting. Melody did some research for me and came up with a wonderful list. Lots of history and things to do, see and learn about that are very different from my regularly scheduled life. I’ve also been encouraged by a couple of people to try meditation as well. That’ll take some practice, but I’ll give it a shot.

I have a long flight between here and there. Shuttle leaves at 8am tomorrow morning.


The Intermission Begins

Home and settled. Everyone and everything seems to be safe and sound. I only have a few days before I’m off again. It’s going to be busy.

One of the things I did before I left for Cabo was to fill all the bird feeders and get a new hummingbird feeder. They’ve been neglected for quite awhile. Sitting here in my dining room I can see the feeders and they are very busy. It seems my back deck has been rediscovered.

Bird feeder on my back deck
Bird feeder on my back deck

My Blog

I’m entering into the world of blogging and this is my first (well, sort of first) post.  I’m two days into my 2013 sabbatical and this is one of the things that I wanted to do during this time.

I fully expect that not everyone will care about the things that I post here.  That’s for you to decide.  I will work on making it as easy as I can for you to find the content that you’re interested it.  As a blanket policy though, the reason I do a blog is to get feedback. Please post your thoughts and opinions and don’t just lurk.


2013 Sabbatical

Here’s the plan.  I’m taking two months off from work; August and September.  As I’ve mentioned to others for quite awhile I’ve been the poster child for why sabbaticals are a good idea.  I’m not likely to convince HP to actually institute a sabbatical program so, since the stars seem to be in relative alignment (there’s never a good time), I’m just giving myself one.

Last spring I gave my boss a heads up.  He’s grumpy, but OK with it.  That’s way better than having him be thrilled about me being gone, so it’s OK with me, too.  During that time I’ll be spending one week in Mexico with my daughter and her boyfriend and four weeks based in Oxford, England. The Mexico vacation was already in the works.  The two months off were wrapped around it later.  I’ll be spending the remainder of the time doing projects around the house or just enjoying the area where I live.

Putting it together has been interesting.  Generally, it’s covered by four weeks of vacation and four weeks of time off without pay. Airfare and lodging were paid last spring and my savings account and credit cards are still in reasonable shape, so funding doesn’t look too bad. Mexico is a timeshare, so the lodging there is just the annual maintenance fee. Airfare I paid cash for.  I might have done better there with a little more strategy, but keeping the flights coordinated reduces the flexibility a little.  I’m getting to England  on frequent flyer miles and staying in student housing in Oxford, so that’s not too bad.  There may have been ways to optimize it more, but this was a good balance between excessive research stress and just getting it done (thank you Melody for your help with this).