Break the routine, focus on the present

What’s a sabbatical? A sustained break from routine life

Abstinence from work for rest and worship.

We are fortunate to live in a time when there is more and more value placed on experience rather than simply on material gain, and research is also proving its benefits towards happiness. Breaking your routine and focusing your mind towards the present is also important for happiness and life fulfilment. A sabbatical naturally brings these two together.

When I first started talking about taking a 6-month break from my working mom home and office life, I talked about a ‘mini-retirement’ (as captured by Tim Ferris in The 4-Hour Work Week). I then favoured the term ‘recess’ — a temporary cessation of customary activities. But whenever I explained the recess I was planning with my family, the first response was always ‘Oh! You mean a “sabbatical”’.

A rest from work, or a break, often lasting from two months to a year

To me, a sabbatical was exclusively used by academics who move to France for a year to write a book. But as I spoke to more people and read-up online, the term seems to have become more broadly applicable, making a sabbatical accessible to virtually anyone — ‘a rest from work, or a break, often lasting from two months to a year’.

What does sabbatical mean to me?

It means a break from the ordinary.
A change in my daily reality to explore different perspectives.
Escaping my routine to explore something else.

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