Don’t Call It A Sabbatical
I’m not calling it a sabbatical. Too many people think a sabbatical is a holiday, something offered to folks who are burnt out
Sabbaticals used to be about work. In the academic world, they were a perk earned through years of service – an opportunity to work somewhere else, to have fresh ideas, to do new research.
And, often most importantly, to develop or build upon collaborations.
Sabbaticals were about working in a different way, in a different place, often with different people.
If I’d stayed in Tokyo, I would’ve taken a sabbatical anyway. After all, it would’ve been my seventh year in Japan. And the word ‘sabbatical’ comes from the number seven, like the sabbath, as the seventh day of the week.
But now I’m in London, without my stuff, my studio, or my settled and familiar routines. It’s a good chance to rethink; well, to rethink pretty much everything.
But I’m not calling it a sabbatical. That involves too much explanation. And this year I don’t want to explain myself all the time. And I’m also resisting the urge to go all post-modern and call it a mind(re)set or some kind of buzzword-worthy name. It’s simply a few months of experimentation.
I’m just going to try some ideas I’ve seen and been interested in. And write about the results. I’m going to work every day, but in different ways, and with a much smaller and simpler set of tools. I’m going to explore this new place and see what stands out. What seems weird. What feels inspiring. And I’m going to meet new people and see what possibilities arise from the conversations with them.
Kind of like what you’re supposed to do during a sabbatical.