Everyone at Automattic is eligible for a two to three-month sabbatical once they’ve been an employee of the company for five years. On February 6th, I reached this milestone and on the 7th I took off for three glorious months of travel and relaxation.
Ever since this employee benefit was announced I’ve been planning what I would do on my sabbatical. It’s been, oh, probably about two years or so? I knew right away the main thing I wanted was to do mostly nothing.
No projects, no assignments, no deadlines.
I also knew I wanted to travel someplace and have the freedom to not be on the constant lookout for free wifi, coffee shops, quiet places to have a team meeting, etc etc. Basically, freedom from all the things. In a way, to go back to the way things used to be before I had a full-time job.
I love my job. I really do. I am so fortunate to be able to work on a great project with a great team. But sometimes I feel so close to burn out (maybe even a little bit beyond burnout 🙂 ) and I knew this time off would be a perfect reset for me.
My work in the WordPress universe began incrementally and before I knew it I was working full-time. One day I was a stay-at-home-mom playing around with CSS and HTML when my kids were napping or otherwise occupied. Then I was dabbling with WordPress for my own hobbies. Before long I was making sites for friends and family, then I had a client or two. Then I had a full-fledged business with real clients, monthly maintenance packages, the occasionally side job for another company. And before I knew it, I was a Happiness Engineer for WordPress.com at Automattic. It’s been a wild ride and it’s super great to have this little pause in the chaos, a rest from the roller coaster.
So what am I doing for my sabbatical to rest and refresh? We’re trying to do things we don’t get to do when I’m working. So traveling, for starters, but in airplanes outside of the US instead of in our motor home. We’re exploring Costa Rica, something we’ve wanted to do for some time. Then we’ll hang out in Panama for a while. After some weeks on the road, I’m planning to knock out some house projects I’ve had on my mind. Yeah, I know I said no projects, but I want to do some things like, clean my garage out and de-clutter. It all fits in the concept of resetting so don’t judge.
So far I’m only a few days in and still missing the busy-ness and craziness and excitement of work. But I am sure enjoying sleeping in and hanging out with the family. Stay tuned!