I am feeling very lucky to be able to take a six-month sabbatical from work. It starts July 1. I have been looking forward to this for a long 8 years at my current job. I deserve it (if I do say so myself)!
List of things to accomplish on sabbatical (besides the actual work/research I'm planning to do). You will note that most of these things are about "me"! Wow---this feels so strange.
- Exercise. This is far and away the most neglected and most missed aspect of my life-before-motherhood. After 3+ years without consistent exercise (aside from the lifting, running, and endurance needed to look after a toddler), I can definitely say that my body is feeling the lack...more aches and pains, and I "pull" things more easily (I recently pulled the cartilage in the middle of my rib cage---probably picking O up and twisting in the wrong way---and it felt like I was having a heart attack until I figured out what it was)! I worry about my overall health without exercise so this is my top priority.
- Eat better. In general, the problem of poor eating derives from the lack of adequate time to prepare meals from scratch. I eat as healthfully as possible for a full-time working single mom....but I still partake in far too many frozen prepared meals from Tr*der J*e's and not enough fresh vegetables and "whole" foods. I'm going to work on O's eating habits, too. Let's face it--he's 3. He's pretty picky at the moment. But I'd like to get his diet just a bit more varied.
- Minimize. YARD SALE anyone? I think it's time for the 20 year old television and desk chair in the basement to go....
- Browsing. Browsing? Single moms, when was the last time you went to a clothing store and took your time browsing through the sale racks? HAHAHAHA. A joke, right? I have fantasies about this. :) It's a guilty pleasure but I do SO look forward to it.
- Dating? Dare I try?
Goodness. Let's not put too much pressure on the situation. Really.
This is all to say: my complete lack of free/leisure/fun adult time has become very apparent of late--now that the total focus of the infant and early toddler years is waning. Thus this sabbatical could not come at a better time for my own mental health and well-being. Single moms: Do you also crave the above? Are "logistics" sometimes the most taxing part of your life, like mine? How do you integrate free time into your life? (I chuckle as I write this---aside from a sabbatical that includes full-time childcare, I have not found my own answer to this question).