Sabbatical Time = Think Time

As some of you know, earlier this year my husband and I were able to spend 5 months living and traveling around Australia. It was fantastic – truly a trip of a lifetime. I got to visit places and see things and meet people that I could have never imagined. We had a great time.

One of the best parts of all our time in Australia was the ability to take a break from our regular lives and our normal routines and be in a totally new environment. Of course, we used this time to travel and explore Australia, New Zealand. I even got to spend a day in Fiji (must get back there someday and really explore!). But more than the travel, being away for so long gave me the gift of time to think, to daydream, to meditate and to clear the clutter in my head. It felt freeing.

I view our time there as my “think time.” It allowed my thoughts to wonder, it allowed me to think longer and without interruptions or distractions. I admit I resisted the trip in the beginning. There was a tremendous amount of work to be done prior to leaving: rent out our home to strangers, find a place for our cats and then pack what we would need while away.

Once there it felt magical being away.  There was no pressure to see places and do things in a hurry. We had plenty of time. We made plans and then changed them on a dime, just because we could and were not in a rush.

While in Melbourne, our home base, I was able to explore the city as well as my inner thoughts and feelings—this was a true gift of our sabbatical time. I got to think about my early childhood, analyzed patterns in my relationships, thought about my adolescence, as well as my early adult life.  We also celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary there and so I spent time thinking about my life as a wife and as mother. As it so happens, we timed our trip to Australia as our youngest started her second semester at university. So it was the perfect time to take stock of my parenting tenure and to think about my new life without kids living at home.

When we returned back to the states in June, I thought it was time for me to begin my new life, whatever that meant. One promise I made to myself while away was that I would make plans for lunch and/or coffee with more girlfriends more often. I started to explore what the next phase of my life would look like, trying on ideas in my head, thinking of how I wanted to spend my time. I was just beginning to get into a routine that felt good for me when I fell, broke my leg and ankle, and all of my routines and plans flew out the window.

Before the fall, I had been wondering how I could find that solitary “think time” in my life in Northern California as I had in Melbourne. I had started to miss my time to daydream, to think, to wonder. And now, forced off my feet for six weeks, I have found it again.

How do you carve ‘think’ time into your life?

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6 thoughts on “Sabbatical Time = Think Time

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      I have no problem with time carving its way into my life, but I would like it to find a less intrusive way next time!

  1. Dawn

    This is something I’m really working on… slowing down to carve out that think time, grounding… I’m working with a really amazing PT who keeps telling me: our bodies want to heal. If we don’t listen, they keep injuring themselves, until we get the message. She recommends the book: Waking the Tiger: When we experience the same injuries over and over, it’s an interesting thing to look at… or “think” about. 😉

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Have you read the book? Is it helpful? I looked it up, but wasn’t sure if I could use it to help me understand how to change the pattern of ankle surgery every ten years. How did the book help you?

  2. Kim Acedo

    Loved reading about your trip to Australia! So glad to hear that you found your “Think Time” again while back at home. For me, I call it “Blue Sky” time and I have to make sure to schedule it in. I usually use Saturdays or Sundays for this because it’s less hectic and I’m more about to allow myself to “think” rather than “do” on the weekends. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Love the idea of Blue Sky time! Part of my problem with finding my think time or Blue Sky time is that I live with a man who loves his work and works every day. There is little or no down time for him by design. I have to figure out a way to have my think time without thinking I am being a slacker!


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