My sabbatical officially ended January 2, and yesterday marked my first day back on the job. I did find my way back to the office. It was good to see colleagues and, most of all, my students, but most of the day found me behind closed doors working hard on a final report due to a sponsor. My mind felt sluggish, despite the double espresso, and despite my resolution to keep to healthy work habits, I found myself eating lunch at 2:45.
But the report got drafted.
That said, I am grateful for my sabbatical. And grateful for my job.
The six-month 'leave' provided me a proper focus for my life. It reminded me what was important, and how to prioritize these things. It requires a delicate balancing of competing interests--work, family, health, self--and, within each of these items, another rebalancing.
For example, my work priorities are my students and trainees, and my research. Luckily, those are intertwined. For family, it is about providing love and structure, about being available. For health, it is yoga and being mindful, and for self, it is (and likely always will be) writing and all that writing entails: reading, noticing, listening, engaging.
The nice thing about sabbatical is it lessened the number of balls in the air. I think, though, I am refreshed enough to add the work ball back more fully to my act, remembering my priorities: students and research. To keep those balls aloft will require concentration, mindfulness of my chosen priorities, and the courage to say NO when requests and temptation do not align.
School is two-hours delayed this morning due to frigid temperatures. It is time to rouse the chickies, throw another ball in the air. Peace...