Before I took my month-long sabbatical in October of 2017, I would grimace at the thought of taking time out from work to do anything that involved self-care. It didn’t matter if those things would make me feel better, more inspired, or happier, I had to eek every ounce of productivity I could from the small amount of time I had without my daughter.
I would literally find myself getting angry if the dog needed to go outside and pee. How DARE she interrupt me when I was working. Don’t even get me started at how I would feel when my daughter decided not to nap in the afternoon.
And then, I stopped working for a month and filled my hours and days with the most luxurious self-care that I could think of. I scheduled massages. I went in for Reiki. I went to the library and took home stacks of books at a time. I went for long, leisurely walks with my dog. I painted. I spent hours writing down every single thing I was grateful for.
Reading has always been one of my favorite past times. Okay, I take that back. It’s been a favorite past time since I haven’t been forced to read things for school. But even then, I have fond memories of reading books that were on our summer reading list. Books like The Things They Carried* and Siddhartha*.
When I lived London, I had a 45-minute commute to and from work to contend with, so reading became a way to transport myself to a more enjoyable place. I devoured everything Jane Green and Jennifer Weiner wrote, opting for easy reads to occupy my time.
When I had my daughter, reading became a little too difficult; the sleep deprivation and super early mornings made it hard for my brain to focus or retain information. So it fell by the wayside.
As my daughter got older and her sleep become more predictable, reading began to creep back into my life. First, as a thought — I wish I had the time to read and I really miss reading — then to a sporadic event, and finally to a beautiful reality during my month-long sabbatical. I’m pretty sure my soul was smiling when I picked up a stack of books at the library that first week I took off.
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