How I Spent My Sabbatical

An image taken of the caverns in Luray, Virginia. The image shows stalactites reflecting on water below.

My sabbatical ends today, boo hoo. (If you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out this post.)

I had a nice 3 months off, but to be honest I spent my sabbatical different than I had ever planned to. I had always dreamed of traveling a ton during my sabbatical, but the pandemic really put a damper on that. Even though I postponed for a year (I qualified in June of last year at my 5 year anniversary with Automattic) thinking that the pandemic would be mostly settled by this point, unfortunately that’s not the case. Traveling was mostly out off the table, but I still managed to disconnect from work, rest, relax, and get some stuff done at home.

Anyways, if you’re at all interested, here’s a pretty exhausting list of all the things I did over the last three months (in addition to taking a bajillion naps). They’re in absolutely no particular order. When I say “we”, I mean either Willa and I, or Willa, Anthony and I.

I watched 317 episodes of TV which totals to about 177 hours of television. This included a rewatch of all 6 seasons of the original Sex and the City (I also re-watched the movies but I didn’t count in this total), WandaVision, the first few seasons of The Office which I’d not seen before, the new season of Floor Is Lava, the final season of This is Us, and obviously a ton more. Link to my Trakt history here for the doubters.

We hired house cleaners, then fired them. We are looking to hire house cleaners again now but going to be a bit more direct about what we want them to clean.

Anthony and I went to see movies a few times: Spider-Man: No Way Home during the day when no one was there and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness late at night when no one was there (my mom stayed home with Willa as she slept).

I had reproductive rights stripped away from me. See my thoughts here.

I exercised 51 times for a total of 47.33 hours and approximately 18,713 calories burned. Most of my workouts took place at the YMCA in group exercise classes which motivate me the most. My most frequented classes were Barre, BODYPUMP, Step, and Yoga.

Willa dropped a 10 lb weight on her big toe and had to have stitches. We had a handful of appointments for that. Her toe has healed SO well and the toenail is almost completely grown back in already! Story here.

We went to the YMCA pool twice. Pics here and here.

I met with my counselor 3 times.

I got my eyes checked, LASIK is holding up decently. I could get some glasses if I wanted them, but I do not.

Grandma came to visit twice. Pics here and here.

I got a manicure and pedicure. Usually I treat myself to one before I travel but that’s not happening lately so I went sometime in early April just cause. They give me a neck and shoulder massage with the package and it’s legit. Escape Nails & Spa in Midlothian is where I go.

Willa’s toe injury set us back a little with potty training but we wrapped up potty training finally, she’s 100% day and night now. Story here.

We went to Woofstock 2022, a fundraiser for Richmond Animal League. Pics here.

We ate on the patio at our favorite restaurant, Chuy’s, many times. Proof here.

I painted behind our guest room toilet. When the toilet was replaced earlier this year it exposed a lot of unpainted wall, yuck!

I turned 32 and Anthony turned 33 in May, we celebrated at home.

We had very low-key celebrations for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well.

I got my hair cut, nothing drastic.

I celebrated my birthday by doing an escape room with two great friends, Julie and Lynsey. We escaped with 1 second to spare, phew! Victory pic here.

I cleaned up our lounge (the screen-less room) by giving a way a lot of things, selling others, and general tidying up. That room becomes a catch-all as it’s near the front door, so it’s a constant struggle.

Willa got her first COVID shot! She did so well and had 0 side effects (seriously Anthony is a bigger baby about vaccines than she is). See pics here.

We took Willa to a birthday party at the Maymont Farm.

I scanned in hundreds of old photos of my little sister, Loretta, so that I could send those to her digitally.

I went on a trip with my friends Lynsey and Julie. We stayed in a home on a mountain in New Market, VA and ventured into Luray and other neighboring cities. We stopped at Torchy’s Tacos in Charlottesville on the way there and it was everything I remembered and more. The featured image on this post is from our self-guided tour of the caverns. Pics and more detail about what we did here.

I had a doctor’s appointment, just a checkup. Bloodwork and everything else looked fine, yay!

Anthony and I got a couples massage, something we used to do more regularly but due to being new parents and then the pandemic kicking in we had put it off. It was amazing, exactly what we needed! We went to Nimbus Massage on Main Street in Richmond.

I watched the January 6 House Committee hearings that have aired so far. Holy shit is all I can say. If you didn’t watch them, you missed out.

We went to an Earth Day event on the lawn at our local library. It was a bilingual reading and they gave us crafts to take home, a very pleasant start to that day.

I scrapbooked about 20 years worth of stuff (my scrapbooks are literally scraps and such, no pictures).

I got the oil changed on our car. But I changed both air filters by myself! My dad would be proud, I think.

We went to my cousin’s house to swim in their pool, had a water balloon fight, and ate lunch. It was such a lovely time together, Willa really enjoyed hanging out with the older kiddos as they doted on her. I even got to finally meet the new baby and hold him! (PS I do not remember how to hold infants, it appears.)

A few weeks ago I booked travel to Madrid for mid-July. I’ll be attending a meetup with other leads for WordPress.com support! (And the week after that I’ll be traveling to Nashville to meet up with my team.)

I went back to Nimbus Massage for a hot stone massage by myself, no Anthony this time.

I tried to install new air dampers and diffusers in three rooms. One I was successful on, one I was half way successful on (damper installed, diffuser not), and the third room I did not attempt as it’s clear I will need the handy person service to finish the task (it will require drilling into metal, and I do not do that).

Anthony and I got our second COVID boosters!

I listened to 197 podcast episodes. The main podcasts I listen to are NPR Politics, The Daily, Maintenance Phase, and Short Wave by NPR.

I organized and deep cleaned my office. It wasn’t a mess but I love a good opportunity to purge stuff I don’t need.

I helped Anthony organize and deep clean his office. He does not like to purge stuff he doesn’t need, so this is constantly a work in progress.

I started reading book by Jasmine Guillory called The Wedding Date then realized too late that it is actually a series of books – whoops!

I got back on top of our yearly family videos, so I now have one for 2019, 2020, and 2021 (and a process in place for future years that is making things easier!).

Wow. When I list things out like this, it sure seems like I had plenty to do and enjoy these last 3 months – that gives me something to be grateful for. I’m excited to reconnect with my team tomorrow and catch up with everything that’s been going on with them and WordPress.com in general. I can’t wait to see my team (and others) in person soon, that will be so much fun after 3 years apart.

But of course I’m also looking forward to my next sabbatical a few years from now. 😉

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