While I made the decision to take a sabbatical in May 2015, I hadn’t realized this would in fact start a whole chain of events that I believe eventually saved my life.
Once I had uttered the words “I want a sabbatical” to my coach (not even to my husband yet!), I couldn’t take them back. It felt like my soul had spoken and it scared the buh-jeesus out of me! Taking a sabbatical meant that I would have to get rid of responsibilities. Since I was the main salesperson on the team, it meant business levels would go down and we’d have to let staff go. Once I contemplated that I realized that it couldn’t be a temporary layoff; this was for good.
My ever-so-patient husband had seen this coming. I broached the topic carefully at first (“Heinz, what would you think if…”); his response offered no hesitation. “Let’s do it,” he said. Which surprised me because I had been ready for objections of all kinds, most of them having to do with money and lack thereof! (More on that later).
We told our staff in early June. Their notice period depended on the years of service with us. At the same time we advised our landlord and started liquidating office equipment. By the end of summer, we were down to just two employees, plus Heinz and I, all working from home. We moved our office into our home basement basically as we were moving our daughter to university!
September and October were a blur. As I finished projects and trained our two remaining team members to handle things so I could be away for two whole months.
I can now say that I began my recovery on November 1, 2015. That’s when we boarded a plane for Europe, to visit with family in Germany and then for a blissful escape to the Canary Islands. We came back at Christmas rested, having switched off “regular life” long enough to realize we hadn’t been living, but only going through the motions.
Beyond just the physical rest, our relationship also got a boost. Heinz and I came back with a deeper understanding of each other, and yes, having fallen in love again. And we were determined to make the change last.
As it turns out, this sabbatical was the start of a new life for me.