Take a Happiness Sabbatical

Posted on Apr 20, 2021 by 1 Comment

“The baby across from me is clapping to the soundtrack in my earphones,” my friend writes. She’s in a cafe working, or should I say absorbing the present around her. And twittering.

It reminds me of an article I read recently about sabbaticals and the power of removing yourself from your daily routine in order to appreciate your daily routine. Funny how you have to disengage to re-engage.

But who has 4-12 months to take off on a sabbatical?!? Not your average joe…

Or do we? OK, maybe not a sabbatical of 6 months off in the rolling hills of Tuscany. Oooh, wouldn’t that be nice! But you can take a mental sabbatical to reconnect with your own present.

A breathing sabbatical. A walking in the trees sabbatical. A sitting in a quiet house alone sabbatical. And I promise I won’t turn the TV on. It’ll be my effort to stop the barrage of stimulation rushing into me so that I can just be. Want to join me?

Because the funny thing about the present is that it’s all around you all the time. If you go to Tuscany, there it is. If you are in your kitchen washing dishes - presto! Present.

Have you noticed that there is a groundswell of striving for happiness lately? I think we, as a society, are feeling disconnected amidst all this connectedness. We are looking for what is still missing. Why else would we check our phones so incessantly?!?

I’ve seen a couple of books lately on happiness: Raising Happiness, The Happiness Project…Also, there are a number of good TED talks on it, too. And being connected. And being alive.

(I’m going to see Brene Brown - who gave the connectedness talk - in Miami for a conference and I can’t wait to hear her in person!)

A friend told me the other day that we fill ourselves when we are not fulfilled. That took me by surprise because, even though I don’t consider myself materialistic, I like stuff. I buy things. In fact, I buy things I think will make me happy. And sometimes those things make me happy. But sometimes they don’t.

Hmmmm. She may have a point.

So back to sabbaticals. What would you do if you had 15 minutes? 15 minutes where you didn’t pick up your phone, touch your computer, do chores or inhabit your parental role. Just you, yourself and time.

If you, like me, are stumped for an answer, maybe you need to join my weekly mental sabbatical habit!

photo credit: bingeing

Posted in: Health, Parenting

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  • http://busykidshappymom.org busy kids=happy mom

    Make your happiness list and swap it with your spouse. That way they can encourage you to get out and do some of those things! When you’re a mom with young ones, a quiet house can be an amazing gift!