This morning started out like weekdays usually do – we got Willa ready for school and I dropped her off. The only difference was, I didn’t rush back home to start my work day. I won’t do that again until July 1, three months from now.
My employer, Automattic, has some pretty awesome benefits and other perks of the job – but one of the best is a 3 month paid sabbatical that is awarded after 5 years of employment. If that appeals to you, then consider coming to work with us.
I reached that milestone back in July 2021, but in 2020 as I began to make sabbatical plans I wasn’t too eager to take the time off due to Covid. See, my ideal plan for a sabbatical would be to travel many places, see tons of people, and soak up all of the experiences possible. Which is the complete opposite to how we’ve been handling Covid in our household of course.
So, I did what a some of my peers have done and delayed my sabbatical almost an entire year in hopes that we could have the experience that we had dreamed of.
Fast forward to today and depending on who you are and where you live, things are either back to normal or they’re not. Each family and country is at a different place with this pandemic and currently it seems that we’re being more cautious than most. Our family is still masking (with KN95 masks), avoiding large gatherings, and being cautious about the situations we put Willa in (including the school she attends) as she has not yet been able to get vaccinated for Covid.
So where does that leave my sabbatical plans? I’ve been asked countless times this week from my well-meaning coworkers “What plans do you have during your sabbatical?!”, something I myself have asked others countless times of course. I have to admit, it stings a bit because I would love to say that we are throwing caution to the wind, traveling anywhere our heart desires, and getting in all of those experiences that I’d dreamt of over the last almost 6 years.
But instead the answer is a bit more underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I know that this time will be enjoyable but I don’t think what I do over the next 3 months will blow anyone’s socks off.
This morning after dropping Willa off at school, Anthony and I continued up the road to a 821 Cafe for brunch. We’ve been going to this little cafe for years but had not been able to visit recently for the aforementioned reasons. The cafe was rather empty, just how we like it these days. They brought out my coffee in a “Crazy Cat Lady” mug and around that same time a Taylor Swift song began to play – it’s like they knew me (well, somehow the waitress did remember our old orders).
After brunch, we stopped next door at the Tech Exchange, a great shop with all sorts of electronics, games, and collectibles. Anthony found a Banjo Kazooie figure that he and Willa had to have, of course. Then we decided to stop by the Short Pump Town Center mall for a quick visit to the Apple Store. I wanted to see the colorful iMacs once again. We didn’t buy anything, somehow.
After that we headed home to prepare for a big first for our household – we’d scheduled house cleaners to come pay our home some attention. We keep a pretty clean house, in fact we each have recurring task lists for the house cleaning chores we are assigned. So hiring a house cleaning company to help us out was primarily about buying some of our free time back.
They arrived this afternoon and got to work as the animals and us adults hung out in rooms they were not meant to clean. I have to admit I was pretty anxious about having someone else come and clean our home. In the end they were friendly and quick, it was a pretty chill experience.
With that said, I don’t think we will be hiring them again. It may just be that I am too picky with my cleaning, but I feel that we do a better job when we clean the house. They didn’t do a particularly bad job, just not exactly up to my standards. I had to go after them and right a few things which was unfortunate.
Anthony insisted that we try out another company and see if the experience is any better. I’m skeptical that it will work out, and if it doesn’t we will get back to our regularly scheduled cleaning tasks as a family.
After the house cleaning situation was over, I headed out to go shopping for some shoes. I found some new sneakers that fit well, which is not the easiest for me for whatever reason.
Then from there I headed over to Willa’s school for pickup! She was so excited to see me at pickup (usually Anthony does pickup) and on the way home we stopped to pick up some tater tots for a snack.
The rest of the evening was textbook, we fed the gremlin, bathed her, got her down, and now I’m here relaxing with Anthony and pets while I watch TV and write this blog post.
Look, the irony is not lost on me that I’m writing a blog post on WordPress.com, the very company that has given me this time off from work to get away from things and relax/do whatever I want. I don’t anticipate that I’ll be blogging every day of this sabbatical, but I did want to throw something together about my first day.
Anyways, if you are still wondering what I’m going to do with the rest of my sabbatical, well it really is still TBD.
I have a cabin trip to Luray, VA scheduled for June with 2 of my friends (NO KIDS!!). My mom is going to come visit later this month. I’ve just reopened my YMCA membership, I *think* I’m ready to go back to the gym (unless cases start going back up…) for group exercise classes as opposed to only working out at home. We plan to take a trip to Washington, D.C. to (safely) see friends and show Willa the city a bit. During April I’m participating in Richmond Animal League’s Strut Your Mutt challenge, and you can go here to read about that/donate. And who knows, maybe we will take a few trips to the beach… OK that last one is a given!
Aside from that, I will be spending a lot of my time at home working on all of the tasks that I normally don’t have time for – painting rooms and touchups, selling a bunch of things and giving away others, some scrapbooking, and catching up on our family video compilations.
Regardless of how I spend the time, I’m certain the next 3 months will fly by and I’ll be back to my team at work before I know it! At least, that’s what all my peers have told me will happen. I’ll be sure to share a few updates as the time goes on so consider subscribing if you’re interested in that sort of thing.