No Loafing

Staycation is the new Vacation

Even though I know

I don't want to know

Yeah I guess I know

I just hate how it sounds

It's here! Sabbatical! I can barely believe it. I had a lovely time bumming about the house the first evening with my favourite Paul in the whole wide world, and I got to share an episode of The Scarlet Pimpernel with him for the first time. Oh, BBC, how I love your television. I am already mid-way through Season 3 of Downton Abbey, which is shocking because it means soon I'll have watched about a full 24 hour day of the series - and soon I'll come to the dreaded end where I must start waiting to see more. I watch that much TV of the same series often - just not usually within a couple of weeks since normally I have a life to attend to in a much bigger way than these last few weeks.

But for what has had to be done, it's been a great motivator for gettin' 'er done (a Jay-ism - one of my country-raised friends) whatever else you may say about it - withholding an episode from myself is a sure-fire way of getting something done! Wedding editing, for example. Just finished my last wedding of 2012 a few days ago, and one that went onto a USB drive instead of discs, and boy that feels good. Takes a good 3-4 hours of work off my plate from every wedding, at the least. And I have finished all 2012 loose ends now. But that's all just flotsam that I probably won't care about someday… Or maybe I will care. It's material because I am spending a lot of time on making my life easier. It's a big thing to consider, when looked at on the whole. I save myself a few hours here, a few hours there, and suddenly life is just easier.

In a whirlwind of emails, I have booked three new weddings just last week, which came as a bit of a shock after feeling like my year was quite empty, especially in summertime - now, including the two weddings I have already had the privilege to shoot this year, I have ten in 2013. Considering I was hoping for a dozen and cheering for 16 in total I am certainly going to be well on my way to achieving my goal, which makes me smile and feel secure. I am also hosting a wedding photography registry for one of the clients, whose wonderful Starbucks-themed Fall engagement session I shot about a year and a half ago. I was so excited when I heard from them - they were so much fun to work with for their Engagement. It's also a great example of the wedding shows sometimes paying off in future, as this couple was from the Fall show in 2011. Nevertheless, I feel that wedding shows may be behind me, though boudoir shows are not necessarily that unlikely as a future endeavour.

I spent a good deal of time in the past few days trying to close up some loose ends before starting my Sabbatical tonight. Now we are just finished a four day long stay-cation, since Paul took an extra day off on the long weekend. It was glorious! Our plans were to continue taking Murphy to the dog park for large chunks of the day, sit about and watch TV, enjoy some romance, and whatnot. We did some of those things. Mostly, we napped  - and watched TV. We finally did something that's been on our to-do list for ages - go to Canadian Tire and buy a proper outfit of cleaning supplies for our new house. Paul and I both chose and debated many different things, but the idea of the thing was that if we made it easier for ourselves to clean, the likelihood that we'd just do it when the time was right is a lot higher. So we spent a chunk of hard-earned cash on cleaning tools and solutions. That's just the beginning of the revolution we're planning around here. I finally dreamed up some solutions to keep the shoes away from the dog - not a substitute for proper training but good for now - having cheap plastic shoe drawers.

I went to Costco a few days ago and watched the cash register ring in obscene numbers - but we have been out of nearly everything around here in my defense (and I had to renew our membership). I was down to basic soups and pasta (most of which we inherited from my parents) and salad stuff in the fridge with a few random things we'd picked up… It's alright though, I'm getting several wedding downpayments in this week which should help cover things, so I'm not too worried about stocking the freezer with food that will make life happier over the sabbatical. I  had grand plans to try my hand at schlemari, or poor man's cabbage rolls a couple of days ago. It's one of my very favourite foods from growing up, so learning to make it myself was a necessary exercise - and to my great pleasure I made it myself and it tasted just like it always did at home. I was so pleased!

Today is my first day of Sabbatical apart from Paul. I am pretty tired, but also very focused. Murphy was sick and throwing up all last night, but he's fine now. Paul had nightmares last night too, so in the end nobody really let me get any sleep! Paul was kind enough to bring my computer upstairs this morning, which has allowed me hours of tinkering, fun, and organizing. I'm trying out two new Mac programs which are both definitely the greatest thing and combined cost only $30. One of them has to do with text selection options, and the other is an automator for Mac computers that allows you to create drop folders, auto delete things, and I'm also using it to autoselect items to archive. Those are all things I often spend a lot of time on, so that's a great bunch of possibility. So I've started cleaning things up, but inside my computer first… Translation: After four days couch potato-ing with Paul I've spent today as a very inert couch potato, with a side of dog. It's been glorious. Every time a "should be" comes up I crush it. I am vegging with all my might. It's a good thing for me. I am determined to fully learn to relax!

So far I have determined just a few Sabbatical Rules and a few Focus Points. Here's a sampler.

** Focus Points **


  • Theological Reading

  • Regular Spiritual Talks with Paul


  • Working Out

  • Walking and Dog Training

  • Improving my sometimes poor hygiene

  • Healthy eating and portion control

  • Keep normal hours

  • Get enough sleep


  • Target and Abolish Financial Fears

  • Create realistic plan for spending

  • Understand true "needs" vs. wants


  • Be less critical of Paul

  • Spend lots of time with family


  • Reach out to friends and make time for them

  • Have a fun party, or at least a Tea


  • Assess therapy points and continue with the next phase

  • Define the "ED" person and say no to them

  • Be mindful of decisions

Organization and Home/Workflow Improvements

  • Home Improvements

  • Sorting, Organizing, and Purging Stuff

  • Personal workflow improvements

  • Chore Division

Recreation and Creativity

  • Guitar

  • Embroidery

  • Projects

** Life Rules for the Sabbatical, or Things to Keep In Mind **

  1. Ask myself every day, what do I want more than anything?

  2. You have to change what you put in to change what you get out.

  3. The 80/20 Rule: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  4. Get connected.

  5. Be mindful. Stop to smell, examine, photograph, and write poetry about the roses. Or, to put it as Ferris did, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once and awhile you could miss it."

  6. Deconstruct your fears in a safe place

  7. Relax. Turn the lights down, light the scented candles, have a hot bath.

  8. Go outside - especially when you don't want to

  9. Nothing good ever happens after 2am

  10. I deserve good things.

Those sound like some great life rules! :) I'm happy that you're able to take some personal development time. Hugs! Happy Sabbatical! I pray that it will be a good rest for you.
Twyla - very motivating and inspirational. Sending quick prayer for you during this time!