Lisa, our Senior Pastor, is taking a three month sabbatical this summer to spend time with her young family, to finish the editing of a book about women’s struggles as clergy, and to begin another book on the same topic. Our congregation is paying her salary during this time. We appreciate our pastors and we want to nurture them. Local pastors and members of the congregation are going to give sermons and help out.

I always thought the concept of a sabbatical was wonderful. To spend time studying, resting, and getting ready for the next phase of life seems so positive. Husband says if he could have had a year sabbatical, he would gone to Halifax, Nova Scotia to study psychology at Dalhousie University, live in residence, and hang out with colleagues. I would spend time in Germany to learn the language in my maternal grandfather’s village in northern Germany, and study my family history. (I could justify that as a study of the intergenerational transmission of family mental health issues as influenced by economics, politics, and immigration.)

If you could have a paid for sabbatical year, where would you go and what would you study? How would you rest and rejuvenate? 

36 thoughts on “Sabbatical”

  1. I am essentially on sabbatical for the rest of my life. I work, if at all, only when I choose to. I have access to all the books I need to research whatever interests me. Social Security covers all our monthly expenses.

    Going away somewhere for a year would entail all sorts of special arrangements—what to do about the house, pets, etc.—and would entail being separated from friends and kids and grandkids for that period. That sounds more empty than pleasurable to me.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I like Bill’s “Permanent Sabbatical.” I am thinking of taking my permanent sabbatical in about 20 months, too. For the first time recently I find myself thinking, “I am ready to be done with work life.” It surprises me to think this way.

    If I could have a fantasy sabbatical it would be in Italy at a resort I follow there. I would eat and drink and walk places. Study? Not so much.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. My Bleeding Heart is up and looking incredibly vigorous. When I planted her, I named her Edith for LJB, who had her in her Minneapolis garden. Then Edith and I had a nice chat with this morning while I hung my sheets on the clothesline. Gorgeous day out there. Bootsy and I had a trip to the Dog Park so everyone here is happy today.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Some baboon, I don’t recall which one, gave me a clump of chives. If no one claims them, I’ll attribute them to ljb. No matter, they are planted in the raised bed she so diligently tended to when she was here. I think of her when I harvest anything in that bed.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. While a sabbatical sounds lovely, like Bill I wouldn’t want to be gone for long stretches – too many logistics and time away from the critters. That doesn’t preclude time off from daily work and several shorter trips: a cabin near a lake for awhile, trips to visit family in Idaho and California, some time at my friend’s mountain house in New York, a couple weeks to go back to Norway and find the family roots and places I didn’t get to the first time, perhaps a writer’s retreat somewhere… and days to sit by the creek here, to walk through the Woodlake Nature Center and the Arboretum, to spend a summer finding every independent ice cream shop in the seven county metro – and then come home to my own retreat here in South Minneapolis with its snuggly dogs and cozy living room.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Husband and I used to fantasize about this – I wouldn’t have minded a year in pretty much Anywhere, France, to study… French, and world religions and cultural anthropology. I keep telling myself I can just read/study these topics on my own, but I don’t. I would need to be removed from the other distractions in my life to really do this. Husband (and probably Bill) are more focused and can probably study like this with the distractions present.

    And since we have no pets or local grandchildren, I suppose we could take a sabbatical – how about Northern California, where we could see my sister’s family, and our newest grandbaby (now a year old +).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Interesting to note that the place you suggest for your sabbatical, Northern California, is a spot where you have distractions such as family and new grandchild already built into the equation. Maybe you don’t really want to study “French, and world religions and cultural anthropology,” but for some reason think you should?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Essentially, I have been on a sabbatical for almost fourteen years now, and I have no intention of ending it anytime soon. I also have no intention of spending my time doing what I think other people expect of me. I have no problem with others filling up their appointment calendars with stuff that’s important to them or that they think the should do, but I have finally figured out, that’s not what makes me tick.

    My working life spanned forty-eight years in pursuit of vaguely defined goals. I have never had a “calling,” a feeling that there was something that I was meant to do with my life. I have thrashed around in a pretty haphazard fashion, trying to figure out what I wanted to do next to pay the bills and keep a roof over my head.

    I’m doing retirement my way. I do what I want when inspiration, opportunity, and sufficient energy all converge. Some days that makes for a rewarding and fulfilling day, other days nothing much gets accomplished. Some days I’m joyful and content as can be, other days I wonder what’s the point of it all? That’s how it has been my whole life, and I don’t expect that to change much in the future, and I’m okay with that.

    Today is one glorious spring day. My back yard clothesline is full of freshly laundered laundry, and I’m a happy camper. Getting ready for my second Pfizer shot at 7:30 PM. In the interim, I’m soaking up some rays.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Two more weeks and I’ll be bulletproof, metaphorically speaking. I was impressed by how this particular vaccination site (Roy Wilkins Auditorium) was organized and run. Lots of very nice an cheerful young folks; all in all, a positive experience.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. i’m ready to start book club back up with vaccinated baboons present
        1st sunday in may
        11695 mount curve road
        eden prairie 55347

        any seth godin book you care to read will be discussed between catching up and eating a picnic lunch

        hope you can make it

        Liked by 2 people

        1. tim, I get my second shot April 30, so 2 days later on the first May Sunday, I may still be recovering depending on my immune response.


  6. Hello all. Sorry I was quiet today, it was Ukrainian Egg teaching day. It went really well and I had a good time. Anyway for my fantasy sabbatical I think I’d like to go to South Africa and do safari camps for a year. Not the same safari camp for the whole year but kind of move around every couple of months. Maybe actually get some kind of a gig, not as an actual driver or ranger but maybe someone who goes along with the driver/ranger to help serve the tea and biscuits while on safari.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. i think it’s so interesting that when presented with the option of doing anything imaginable for a year so many choose to continue their everyday routine.
    all the keys of the kingdom and there’s no place like home
    i’d like to hit my bucket list locations and spend 10 days at 36 locations that include nepal new zealand mumbai macha pichu the fjords of scandinavia during northern light season the amazon greek islands antarctic kilamanjaro before the snow melts the pyramids easter island the vatican honduras and visit some of the places i have loved so far ireland the canadian rockies florence and lake como paris london nyc san francisco and indonesia hong kong bangkok turkey milan prague maui sausalito and places i’m intrigued by columbia patagonia cannes havana nova scotia manchuria the arabian desert the great barrier reef mississippi portugal
    i just counted and that’s 39 do maybe an ongoing trip to places of interest would be the way to go
    i love travel and new fresh perspectives and cultures and could continue on until i’m dead but i would like to have access to my grandsons and kids and dogs as well so it’s a conundrum isn’t it?
    good question renee
    questions that sprout questions
    i love it

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’ll admit that if I had been asked what I’d do with a one year paid sabbatical twenty years ago, my answer would have been different than it is today, and for good reason. Twenty years ago I was still working, and had little control over how I spent the majority of my time. But I think it’s a mistake to assume that those of us who would opt for something less exhausting than to “spend 10 days at 36 locations” all over the globe, are settling for something so dull as “daily routines.”

      There’s something deeply satisfying in having reached a point in your life where you have the freedom to spend your time doing whatever you feel like doing, limited only by your health, an on-going pandemic, and possibly financial resources.

      It’s really a matter of balance and priorities. Every choice we make excludes some other possibility. I know for certain that I’ve made some choices in my life that were not wise, some that I might have made differently had I thought more about it. When the future ahead of you is shorter than the time behind you, it behooves you to give some thought to the choices you make. Is the moment’s pleasure worth the sacrifices you make? Do your choices spark joy or cause pain? For yourself or someone else, or both?

      I think my second shot of Pfizer is causing me to be philosophical, perhaps a long soak in the tub will cure it. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Assuming the sabbatical is to improve my skills in the floor covering trade, I choose a year in Europe studying ancient tile work. Some mosaics in Italy look as good today as when they were first installed centuries ago.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The Pantheon had really interesting mosaics, as well as a mysterious existence. When a luminary person died, they would dig up the floor to bury him and someone would lay down a different tile and lay in a brass plaque. If I recall correctly Galileo is laid to rest there, after having gotten in big trouble with the church for science theory about gravity, the “fake news” of the time, then imprisoned. I don’t remember why he is interred there.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. He’s not, he’s interred in Santa Croce in Florence. Perhaps you’re thinking of Voltaire who was also in trouble with the Catholic church?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Galileo’s argument with the church was over heliocentrism—that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

        Fabulous mosaics in Ravenna.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. OT – As Bill reported a few days ago, asparagus season is upon. This afternoon I tried a new (to me) recipe: Asparagus and Brie Soup. I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand; it was easy, quick, and delicious. I used chicken broth, but I see no reason why you couldn’t make this vegetarian. Here’s the recipe:

    Served with a fresh baguette and a nice side salad, a very satisfying meal.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. For awhile after the shutdown last year, I thought of 2020 as a sort of sabbatical summer. I had some work, still, but less than a normal year, and my volunteer work ceased for awhile. I’d like to do something similar again, but under less anxiety-provoking circumstances. I would also like to do my sabbatical at home. I don’t think it’s required that you have to travel, is it?

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.