Monday, August 26, 2013


This morning, the yellow buses lumbered down the road and took my children to their schools.

The day stretches before me, seven hours of uninterrupted quiet. It will take some time to get used to the peace--the summer was fun-filled, boisterous, the house often taken over by the kids and their friends.

I have been on sabbatical since July 1. But, what with the busy-ness and the occasional halcyon afternoons which find me in the hammock staring at clouds and day-dreaming, I have not accomplished so much in terms of my sabbatical goals.

And what are those goals? Mostly to continue research in policies regarding opioid analgesics that can disrupt--or equilibrate--the balance between medical access to pain medications and abuse of these same drugs. It is a passion I have explored for twenty years, starting with my dissertation. In addition to research, I have harbored an idea of writing a non-fiction book about the topic, one accessible to all, not ideas relegated only to academic medical and policy journals. So I will start outlining a book proposal, drawing on my decades (!) of experience in this area. As well, I will have more time to work on my novel, and more time to read.

I do not begrudge the last seven weeks of idle time. For it wasn't really idle. All the while, ideas and other stuff percolated on their own. For the first time in many years, I feel rested.

For sabbatical shares the same root as Shabbat (Hebrew), the Sabbath. The time of rest. And that is what sabbatical should do most of all--rest the worker, her body and mind, spirit and soul.

I am ready now. Ready--and excited--to see where my mind takes me.


  1. Linda,

    Sometimes the rest is the best time for marination.

    It's definitely an adjustment, all that time. I'm dealing with a similar thing for different reasons. I just finished up work for the summer, and don't have work or classes until Sept 29, so five weeks of free time (aside from a brief yearly training at my job).

    Which novel are you working on? I'd love to read some of your work again SOON.

    Live it up!


    1. Dear Emilia... ENJOY your month off. You have worked so hard these past few years. Of course, you could write, too :) My current WIP is THE MINISTER'S WIFE. It used to be a novel in linked stories, but I am finding that this structure is too contained, so TMW is morphing into a multiple POV novel. Lots of fun, and I am psyched to be in the thick of it. xoxoxo...

  2. May a sabbatical peace be with you, Linda.

    You seem to have the right idea - hammock-lying, cloud-staring, day-dreaming. Soak up the peace and quiet, and enjoy.

    There will be time enough to do the things you wish to do. And, if there isn't, you will have chosen the better part nonetheless.

    Peace - as you so often remind us.

    1. Hello dear Kevin! So good to hear from you. I agree--this doing 'nothing' is unexpectedly wonderful and fulfilling. Peace...

  3. I love, love, love that you are feeling rested. Such a simple concept - and too often so elusive.
    As a person with chronic pain (largely dealt without medication, though not always satifactorily) I would be very, very interested in the book you talked about here.

    1. If only I could spread this rested feeling to all I care about, including you, Miss Too-Much-On-Her-Plate :) I am happy to share my book as it evolves. It is still germinating... but taking shape. Peace to you, EC...

  4. Good for you having the summer "off"! It really helps recharge everything, especially our inner souls. Hammock time sounds especially wonderful!

  5. I'm sorry you haven't accomplished what you wanted in those seven weeks, Linda, but I think the book idea sounds wonderful. I wish the best of luck on pursuing it now that you feel ready. Please let me know if I can help.