An Enforced Sabbatical


Most people who take a sabbatical have a plan and focus as well as a goal for the time they take away from their business or career.  The past year or so, I feel as though I have had an involuntary sabbatical and there has been no plan or goal – I didn’t realize it was happening until it was several months into it.  Last year I spent a lot of the first half dealing with a terrible sore neck and shoulder – difficult to do much in the way of work on the computer and not too swift in everyday tasks.  I did begin deep tissue massage which has helped me so much in mind, body and spirit.

As I was having a lot more relief from the pain, my Mom was getting more and more dependent until I couldn’t really leave her on her own.  I found my world narrowing so much that my business really suffered until there wasn’t a whole lot left.  By October I was overwhelmed but didn’t realize it until I went past it into in over my head.  I had thought it was time to regroup, refocus and decide where I want my business to go.  It seemed a good opportunity to think and meditate on what exactly I really want.  A great idea but I didn’t have time or energy to really sit down alone in a quiet place and listen.  I had to find caregivers for Mom and even 4 hours to myself wasn’t very much to accomplish the things I needed to do, much less contemplation about my future.  As I established some care givers – Bam, there I was on the hall floor with a broken hip.  I spent 4 or 5 days in the hospital after surgery, then 8 weeks of rehab.  Wow I thought, time alone to read, write meditate and ground myself.  I was so tired and depressed I had no interest in reading, much less writing.  That was frustrating because reading is one of my greatest pleasures.  Oddly enough, I had 2 orders for my promotional marketing business while in rehab – boy, was that unexpected!

To be honest, I still haven’t processed a lot of what has happened, especially from my hip.  I know I can no longer do all the things for my Mom that I did, so many people telling me I will end up back in rehab permanently if I do.  It has been hard to  not do things, though when I tell my Mom I can’t do something because I broke my hip, it seems to register with her.  I feel as if I am shirking responsibility but since my husband, my doctor and my therapists are all worried about me, I am getting better at being at peace with it.

Now that I am finally mobile again and can go places myself, I thought I would have time to find a quiet place by the water to write and just go within.  Now it seems there are so many things I need to do I couldn’t before but I keep running out of energy a lot sooner than I want.  As I write this, I am wondering if these are all just excuses because I am reluctant to actually sit down and just write whatever is ready to come out on paper.  I wonder if I would feel more ready of there was a step by step plan to follow, but then change it any way I want.  When it comes to writing, the hardest part is putting tush in chair – the rest happens even it is stupid, lousy or brilliant.  It is as if I am afraid to truly go within because I am worried there won’t be anything there.  Maybe I just prefer have the answers spelled out for me so I don’t have to do the work.

One thing I know, this is not the time to make any major decisions because I am bone weary physically and drag my ass tired emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Plus I am in the middle of dealing with Mom and the next project is to find a place for her to live where she is well taken care of and safe.  I have started by talking to a good friend who has done this for years, so I don’t feel I have to navigate through all of it by myself.  She has a possible place for Mom that sounds really good because she would have her medical care covered as well as a doctor, dentist, social worker, OT, PT, etc.  Plus, when she is not able to take care of herself  they would move her to a more nursing type place.  She is checking on it to see what it takes to qualify and I need to speak with my elder law attorney about some other things.  At least I have put things in motion, but it will take a while.  We need to have her on a waiting list now rather than wait until it is a crisis – it felt like a crisis back in November when I called the Alzheimer’s Association and I don’t want to do that again.

I keep wondering if this is my job, task or business for the moment, that once I take care of Mom I can start to concentrate on me and what I really want to do.  It feels as though I have been in transition the past few months – almost as if I am at a crossroads in my life.  I feel as though any time I wonder about what I want to do, what my purpose in life is or any other type question – there is a big fat question mark and all I hear myself say is “I don’t know”.  I have been so drag my ass tired for so long, I have forgotten how having energy feels.  Thank goodness I am not alone working on this and I am so looking forward to my deep tissue massage on Thursday – it has been 3 months since the last and I have missed it tremendously.

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