Tide Pooling © lynette sheppard

“I’m taking myself on sabbatical.”

I trumpeted this to anyone who would listen (and many who wouldn’t.) I informed friends, clients, co-teachers and family that 2019 was the year that I would be unavailable for most anything save the minor tasks of eating and sleeping. OK, paying bills so we can keep the lights on. And posting to the Menopause Blog periodically.

“What does that even mean?” asked my husband. “You are already working for yourself, so you can structure your time however you wish.” Meaning I can make my own schedule and still accomplish SOMETHING.

I blathered through a long-winded answer that didn’t make sense even to me. “I’ll get back to you,” I told him.

So I looked it up. The first answer I found was this:

noun: sabbatical; plural noun: sabbaticals
a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.”she’s away on sabbatical”

Hmmmm. Okayyyyyyyy. Loving the one year for every seven – that means I’m owed multiple sabbaticals by my calculations.

Good old Wikipedia expanded on it:

“literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting from one month to a year. The concept of sabbatical has a source in shmita, described in several places in the Bible. For example, in Leviticus 25, there is a commandment to desist from working the fields during the seventh year. Strictly speaking, this means a sabbatical would last one year.

Finally, a commandment that I can get behind! Inside every lapsed Catholic schoolgirl lies a demure child, her hands clasped in prayer position, trying to please the nuns. Or at least avoid a stinging slap on the hand with a ruler.

While querying Google for the meaning of “sabbatical”, I came across a website with the promising name of “The Muse dot com.” The search engine linked to an article that chronicled three burned-out women and their sabbaticals.

Now we’re getting somewhere, I thought.

The first paragraph read:

Imagine exploring the Pacific Northwest and finding your way to Kurt Cobain’s house. Or taking a Trans Siberian train trip from Moscow to Bangkok. Or how about six months in nature hiking the Appalachian Trail?


Jeeeeesuuus. (Sorry, Sister Rose Olive. Ouch, that smarts.)

More doing, more goals, hardcore recreation were the antithesis of what I had in mind when I announced my sabbatical. I realized I wanted open-ended, unstructured time to write, make art, and stare out the window. I wanted a to-do list that contained two or three items instead of two or three pages. I wanted to do – mostly – nothing.

So far, my sabbatical has been a success. My shoulders have dropped from their habitual position up next to my ears and I am enjoying life. I have eased off Facebook posting and jettisoned time constraints for my “projects.” Like Theresa (previous post), I have found that I still accomplish plenty but I am not driven and approach everything with a more relaxed attitude. Even the taxes. Maybe sabbatical is really a state of mind. I’ll keep you all posted.


For those who wish information on menopause subjects, put your symptom or concern in the Search box on the right hand side of the blog home page. eg heavy bleeding, hot flashes, anxiety or what have you. It will come up with all related posts.  In the fifteen years of this blog, I can guarantee there is info on just about everything menopause. For now, we will focus on Aging Gracefully and Second Adulthood.