Time for another Sabbatical?

Sep 22, 2015 | 2 comments

"Priswon Record Book Number One, Pacific County

Books to Read

During my career as an elementary school teacher, the one thing I envied about college professors was the whole sabbatical thing. The idea of taking a year away from the classroom (even at a lower rate of pay) to research and write or maybe even do some traveling (necessary, of course, to your field of endeavor) seemed, from my lowly vantage point, the epitome of Wonderful. Still does.

Now that I’m among the ranks of the retired, of course, I have put away that particular bit of unseemly covetousness. But, when I am in the throes of a new book-writing endeavor (as I am now), the desire to take “a break from work” (which is part of the definition of ‘sabbatical’) is almost overwhelming. But just what kind of ‘work’ do I want to be excused from now that I’m retired?

I’ve looked at this conundrum closely. It’s not housework or garden work or community endeavor. They can hardly be said to interfere with book-writing – not at the minimal buy-in level I already exhibit toward those sorts of day-to-day activities. No, it always comes down to reading. The research and reading (which, incidentally, I love) required when I’m in writing-mode suck up every bit of that sort of energy I have. And, so, I have a really hard time doing any of what I’ll call, for lack of a better term, “recreational reading.”

Documents to find

Documents to find

Which brings me to today. It’s the day our Mystery Book Club meets. Not only have I not read this month’s book, but I don’t even feel very guilty about it. Especially since I’ve had my name on the library’s wait list for these past four weeks to no avail. I know I’ve had other options – get a Kindle, for one. One of our reading group even offered to lend me her Kindle! But on a scale of one to ten, I’m not more than a two in the desire realm.

So, I’m thinking it may be time for a six-month sabbatical. Or at least a four-month one which would put me past my most immediate writing deadlines. Actually, it wouldn’t be the first time but the decision is no less difficult.  I always want to do it all.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I know that you love to read for please as well as research, but as lucky recepiant of your research and writing, I am excited about your current project. As it is, I don’t know how you find the time to do all you do!

    • Jayne

      Have you considered a month at Willapa Bay AiR?


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