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Taking an Entire Month Off

a woman reflecting on her last women's leadership coaching session

Think you can’t do that?

That is what I believed when the idea first entered my mind. My sister called to say she had finished her teaching year as she had done many times before. While I know that teachers have little flexibility during the year and need the summer off – I still felt a pang of jealousy.

I work full-time and cannot take the summer off – right?” I started to question myself when I thought that. I have worked to create freedom in my business and I make my own schedule. The only issue was my private coaching clients. “What would they think?” My head or ego said that they would not like me taking a month off, and they would leave me. My fear said they would be disappointed in my lack of work ethic, or that they would feel ignored or unimportant. My heart and spirit said – “you are not as important as you think you are; they will be fine; they may even be inspired to find their own break and more importantly – give yourself this gift.”

I choose to listen to my heart.

In reflecting, I can’t remember a time that I was off for a month. There was childbirth – but that is not a break. There was the month between jobs one time years ago, but I was looking for a job every day. Still not a break.

After I made my choice, the anxiety began to kick in – there is freedom in this idea; but what would I do with all my free time? I came up with a menu idea. I made a list of things I would like to do if I had the time. This list included books I wanted to read, movies I wanted to watch, and friends I would love to visit with. Date nights with my husband would be fun too. The list has grown, and there are now over 25 entries ranging anywhere from buying ice cream from the ice cream truck that rides by daily to taking a course to deepen my understanding of the Enneagram.

I chose July as my month off. I will be posting my journey on Facebook. I have told all of my clients, and this is the perfect month for them too, as most of them go on vacation, or have kids at home that month anyway. They were happy for me, congratulating me for taking such a bold step, and jealous that they didn’t have a month off too. They all agreed to postpone calls for one month.

My sense is that after my sabbatical, I will be rested, enthusiastic and excited by August 1 to resume my work. Creativity comes from making space. Most of us do not allow much unstructured space in our days. What would your month off look like? What would be on your menu?

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