I'm closing in on ten months, and reflecting a bit on what I've learned so far. This certainly has been an interesting journey, so far, and it's far from over. Below are a few of my "lessons learned".
1. I had much grander plans for what I'd do during my year's sabbatical than I actually accomplished.
2. Some things that sounded good in theory, failed to motivate me. (for example: charitable work, starting a business).
3. I need friendships, and have always relied on work friendships to help me out. That's been tough -- I've needed to take responsibility for 80% of the contact. I guess I'm out of sight, hence out of mind.
4. A hobby has become my major source of fulfillment this last ten months -- writing. I call it a hobby because I've yet to sell anything.
5. Sitting still and reflecting on life, the universe and everything is hard work. I don't do it easily. I've developed this habit of wanting to be in constant motion. I have to schedule time for reflection.
6. Spending time with my kids has been rewarding, but it doesn't completely fulfill me. I want my future to contain much more time with the children, but maybe a little less than it's been these ten months.
7. I've still got a bit of business in my blood -- just on a much reduced scale (time and effort). I haven't figured out the magic formula to fit this in, but it doesn't appear to be consulting -- too much up front marketing work needed. I'd be okay with it if the jobs more or less drifted in of their own accord, but I'm not up for working hard at building a brand. At least not yet.
8. I don't miss travel at all. I guess I got my fill of that when I was working.
I continue to point the majority of my time toward writing -- four manuscripts either finished or drafted in the last ten months, and another new one already planned. I'm not running out of ideas for business thrillers, either. I've got more two ideas percolating in the back of my mind already.