It’s been one month since I decided to take one month off.

Ecotour on uninhabited Morris Island, South Carolina

Exactly a month ago today, I sat down at my computer and a personal reflection on resigning from my job sort of poured out of me. I didn’t plan to write it. Then I wrote it. I didn’t plan to publish it. Then I published it. I didn’t plan to share it. Then I shared it.

I thought maybe I’d regret it the decision. And I didn’t.

But…

Something happens when you “put something out there.” And maybe it’s that something that gave me the courage to push “publish” in the first place. Public sharing is in an open invitation for people to respond. And respond they did. The response to that little blog post took me totally by surprise — the number of readers and the number of people who reached out publicly and privately after reading it. It was the encouragement and strength I needed in my “what did I just do?” moments.

There is also the, ahem, accountability. A couple days after I wrote the post, I decided I’d report back at the end of my one month sabbatical. Today. So here it goes.

One month off by the numbers

Additional time with the kids since I pick them up from school now — 15 hours/week
Days spent on spontaneous family road trip — 9
Day spent as school field trip chaperone — 1
Day spent as Kindergarten classroom volunteer — 1
Days spent on the couch with a six year old with Strep Throat — 3
Hours spent sweating on a spinning bike at CycleBar or doing interval training at Orange Theory Fitness — 18
Hours spent in YogaGlo yoga or meditation sessions — 3
Audio Books listened to while folding laundry — 2
Hours spent with podcasts playing in the background — far too many to count
New recipes cooked — 3
Batches of homemade turmeric/ginger tea made — 4
Long lunch dates with friends — 2
Long lunch dates with my husband — 3
Coffee & conversation with new people just because they were interesting — 3
Hours spent organizing my home, office and life in general — about 20
Moments spent watching the birds in the backyard, taking the scenic route, playing with the dog, having a chat with a neighbor or stranger or doing absolutely nothing — enough to make a real difference
Phone calls or meetings with potential new employers — 6
Number of creative projects on the list I made that I’ve completed — 0
Number of creative projects on the list I made that I’ve started — 0
Number of home improvement projects that I’ve completed — 0
Number of home improvement projects that I’ve started — 0
Number of days until I return back to the workforce — Your guess is as good as mine, but I sure know it’s not tomorrow.

And then this happened.

I kid you not; I stopped this draft to have a phone conversation with someone who reached out after reading my first blog who had a good feeling that what she needed matched up pretty well to what I wanted. And after a short phone conversation, the path forward presented itself. Today I decided to pick this back up and hit publish.

I can’t wait to share more about the “pinch me” project it’s looking like I get to spend the next year (or more!) focusing on.

In the meantime, my month “off” pretty effortlessly evolved into two. And because I’ve never felt more “lit up” in my life (in the words of a favorite podcast host), I think I might just start referring to them as my months “on.”

In case you’re considering something similar…

There’s no such thing as time off. Also know that one month is no where near enough time for true soul-searching or self-discovery. Roughly, my month looked something like this. Week One: Dizzying shock & disorientation period. Week Two: Super sick kid. Week Three: Uh-oh, half way point, better at least get organized. Week Four: Let’s take a vacation! In other words, it felt like it took a whole month just to build the foundation for actually doing the work of “pausing and reflecting.” I’m grateful I had a few extra weeks to do that.

And seriously, thanks everyone. I’m happy to share more of this experience with others considering similar “leaps.” You know how to find me.