So is this what a sabbatical is like?

When week-1 of funemployment began, I dreamed of immediately diving into the depths of the quintessential life, one imagines writers have. Devoid of routine, full of inspiration, and giving in to fits of furious writing at any point of time. Penning the gazillion thoughts that swim through my brain is something I have not mastered yet, simply because I didn’t have the time to keep up. Finally, I can, I thought to myself last week. But you know how it is. The minute your life feels like it’s opening up a bit, like you have some time, something new swoops in. And suddenly I found myself catching up on little things around the house that I have ignored for want of more time, for months now.

One would think a free rein to freedom would have me running out the door and into the wild open, the first chance I got. But nope. In true Revati-style I began my stint of funemployment indoors. Right here at home. Cleaning up, if you please.

I’ve come to realise that the first signs of disarray in my life, are most distinctly reflected in and around my home. When my living area and environment is not in check, one can tell immediately that I am not in a happy state of mind. It’s when piles of clothes collect in various corners and I have no will to put them away, when furniture remains dusty for days, when the kitchen is missing several core ingredients that I couldn’t be bothered replenishing. That’s when I know its time to reboot. And it seems my mind is trained to stop functioning at home, until I have rebooted.

I’ve written before about how the chaos in my mind immediately shows around me, and right before I finally quit work, my home and my daily routine was probably the messiest it has been in a while. Meals eaten out were a fast recurring phenomenon, so much so that I hadn’t stocked up on veggies in weeks. I hadn’t visited the parlour in too many weeks to mention here. My hair was disheveled and I didn’t have the slightest will to do anything about it. And I began avoiding my kitchen — my usual sanctum of solace. Because when things are not in order about the kitchen, I know I cannot function normally, forget get myself to cook meal after meal.

So funemployment began with restoring some order again. Amidst entertaining the sister who is visiting, loafing around, eating-veating, drinking-shinking and the like, I embarked on massive spring cleaning. Then a wine bottle de-labelling exercise. The spike in my love for wine has been going strong and I’ve collected a whole lot of bottles to line up on my sideboard that goes alongside the dining table. I had them there, labels and all, with a string of fairy lights lazily draped over. But now, with the labels off, they look that much nicer.

This week, I made a loaf of bread, a honey and beer spiced cake with walnuts, and yesterday I made a leek, mushroom and spinach quiche. This, in addition to cooking two fresh meals a every day (a refreshing break from my days of one-time cooking and making do with surpluses!). So its been a hectic kitchen comeback.

As if all that food wasn’t enough, we’ve also been out sampling some new finds — a steak place by the river amongst other things, and treated ourselves to some good old girly pampering at the parlour. Our feet soaking in hot water, side by side, we giggled and chit-chatted our way through our pedicures, and emerged with shiny, happy feet. Today, we even got haircuts together, and I finally feel that sense of order coming back. It’s amazing how being busy and preoccupied can creep into every aspect of your life.

All of this hasn’t left me with much time to ramble on here. Perhaps it is also the fact that a distinct feeling of peace has enveloped me since last weekend, and as I sink deeper into this new found liberation, at some level, I feel there isn’t much left to agonise over. Since there’s only so much I can gush about where I am in life right now, and how awesome waking up and going back to sleep because you have nowhere to report to feels, I haven’t been babbling on this blog as much as I imagined.

Alas, no quintessential writers life for me, as yet. When people ask me how my days of doing nothing are going, my response has been I’ve actually been too busy to realise. The husband laughed, calling me the first person he knows who quit her job to take a sabbatical and still feels busy. The good news is, its not about to change any time soon. With some other foodie plans bubbling under, I think it will be a while before I can devour the nothingness that comes with a sabbatical. The life of abandon that I imagined I find myself in.

There’s time yet. For the nothingness, the empty daydreaming, the days caving into the nights, the life of no routine. There’s time yet, for all that and more.

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10 Replies to “So is this what a sabbatical is like?”

  1. You know how when you finish a project at work that has been going on forever, people make plans to celebrate? I make plans to clean and pretty- up my place, so I totally get what you are saying. Tonight, I go home to raid Pinterest for some ideas I am looking for – all home decor ones. Will pass on some links (I am sure to find happy, pretty, colorful ones). Yay to you and the sabbatical.

  2. I can identify with that girl who hasn’t had a proper home-cooked meal in what seems like ages, who hasn’t had the time to do up her house though she has wanted to, who hasn’t got her eyebrows plucked for a while, who doesn’t realise when day ends and night begins. :(

    1. OMG yes, the lack of home-cooked meals and the unplucked eyebrows were really the worst bits for me. The sight of myself in the mirror (and not just for vanity’s sake) made me so ugghh at myself.

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