In Mark's world, going off the work grid for awhile is called a Sabbatical. He is always saying he's going to whisk me off to Portugal for a few months while he's there to work with a colleague. What a sweet deal I've always thought to myself. When you get sick of the people you work with every day, you pack up and go somewhere else for awhile and still have your job when you come back - refreshed and ready for new challenges.
I thought of calling my current stint many things (like Oh Shit Now What) but settled on the collegiate Sabbatical. It's got more of a professional ring to it and holds the promise of exciting things ahead instead of panic and self-loathing.
While I would have loved to have gone off to a beach on foreign soil where the port wine flows like water, my personal introspection and career refreshment must take place here in Kansas. While not totally undesirable....
Sheesh.....who am I kidding? The only people who choose to come to Kansas these days are the ones passing through on the way to Denver to legally buy some pot.
Anyhoodle, the 1st day of my Sabbatical was ripe with land mines. I was sad. I was bored. I was wallowing in a pity party of the largest magnitude. Hey, this is just like being at work! I took to my bed for an afternoon rest of my gurgling feelings but couldn't sleep.
"Buck up you Big Whiny Pants," the Sabbatical voice said. "Get a plan. Get something done."
And so I got up and got my creative juju ducks in a row and headed to the fabric store. Three fabric stores to be precise (Who cares? I've got nothing but time!) for some fresh, happy fabric to cover the patio chairs. That little field trip changed my perspective and the week has flown by with many, many Sabbatical activities. Activities like......
Every morning I head out the door like back in the day when Henry and I started each new day with a brisk walk.
Day 1: 4.5 miles
Day 2: 6.5 miles
Day 3: 2.0 miles (cuz my legs felt like noodles from Day #1 and Day #2)
Day 4: 2.6 miles
What have I learned while walking? I could use some new gym shoes and rich people in big houses don't pick up their dog's crap.
With more time on my hands I could try some new recipes like these pork chops which were easy peasy and a big Big Daddy pleaser. That wasn't the only new recipe. Tonight is Newness #3 thanks to my new BFF and Sabbatical partner, Pinterest.
What have I learned while cooking? That I could never, and I mean NEVER, write a cooking blog. The comment section was filled with these gems....
"My husband doesn't like spicy. Can I make these without the cayenne pepper?
"I made these and they were dry but I think my pork chops were thinner than yours. Should I cook them for less time?"
"In your breakdown of cost, you didn't include the 2T of olive oil."
Each question was met with a lovely reply explaining that you could omit the pepper, turn down the temp and oh-dear-how-could-I-have-forgotten-the-cost-breakdown-of-2T-of-olive-oil.
My standard reply if I were the blogger? How about you pour some gasoline into that noggin of yours, rev up the engine and see if you can get some cylinders to fire.
Aren't the kind you should go to if there's anything wrong with you. Dr. Oz had a woman on who did a juice cleanse for three days. Three meals and a snack for three days all in a glass. "I never had a craving," she said. "Not one single craving AND I lost four pounds." The audience cheered. Dr. Oz hugged her. I was highly skeptical.
What did I learn about watching daytime doctors? That sometimes you have to help a sister out and eat for her.
EATING MY FEELINGS
Though I had healthy options in the house to prevent going down the fat hole, I still succumbed once a day to one unhealthy alternative.
What did I learn about eating my feelings? All of my feelings all of the time like chips and salsa.
I went from cute work outfits with accessories to yoga pants, a hoodie and no makeup overnight. Mark came bursting in the door on Monday and said, "How was your first day of not..........." And I'm not entirely sure but I think it was my appearance that stopped him in his tracks. "Oh. Oh. You took it easy, I see."
What did I learn about looking like a slob? That a good pork chop recipe will compensate.
With my car in the driveway every day (because I spent all of my meager budget on the very first day), I had plenty of time to visit. Drive-bys, walkers and the mailman became my new friends. I showed them my pile of weeds, my mulch, my petunias, my recovered patio chairs and my soul.
What did I learn about company? That they sometimes look like they want to get away.
The breeder dog with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome had the place to himself most days and now has to deal with me. This is traumatic for him and he doesn't know what to do other than lift his leg and pee on everything. Then he goes and sits in the corner for doggie time out because he knows he's a little turd on a big chopping block.
What did I learn from Wrigley? That a dog from the shelter that's been marked down to a sale price is not a good deal.
For Sabbatical Week #2 I have plans to paint the bathroom, craft some macaroni necklaces for Mother's Day and and tool some leather.
And if nothing happens by Sabbatical Week #3? This turd and I are getting in the car and driving to Denver for a lookie loo.