It’s crazy how fast time has been going by – my last post here was in December 2016?! Perhaps that means my day-to-day was too busy to take time out of my day to write. I’m not one to write in the evenings – that’s “zone out and relax” time for me. 😀
What’s different now? Well, this week is my first week of a three month sabbatical from work! Automattic, the company I work for, has the option to take a three month sabbatical after you’ve been at the company for five years. Since my five year anniversary was at the end of February, I decided to wait until the weather was nicer so I’ll be out May through July.
The most common question I get when people find out about my sabbatical is “any big trips planned?”
I know a lot of my colleagues took some amazing, multi-week trips while on their sabbaticals, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do with my time. Additionally, with Pixel being 18 years old now, it’s more difficult for us to both be away from home for any length of time. Between her twice-daily thyroid medicine and the fact that she gets crazy stressed out when we’re gone for more than a day or two, we’re not going to put her through that just for a trip.
But what I really wanted to do is work on projects around the house – stuff that I don’t want to spend nights and weekends doing.
The last time I took any substantial time off do to home improvement projects was back in 2012 when I took three weeks off when we first moved into that particular house to unpack and paint 70% of the rooms in the house. Satisfying stuff.
So what’s on deck for my next three months? A rough list:
- Major tree and shrub removal
- Replacing the last two sets of windows on the house
- Constructing a garden shed
- Painting: kitchen, master bedroom, Tim’s studio, guest bedroom, and possibly my office
- Having my mom stay with me for a week
- Electrical work: fixing some issues with switches, installing new lights, new outlets, etc.
- Designing Tim’s studio space
- Dialing in my nutrition/exercise plan
- A few day/overnight trips?
All in all, not a bad list.
Monday we had the tree and shrub removal done. We had a giant cedar tree in the front of the house along with a big spruce on the side of the garage that were long overdue for removal. We also had a birch in the front yard that was encroaching on the roof of our house that they trimmed back. But the biggest project for them was our silver maple in the back yard. They took down two huge branches (one was a foot in diameter) and trimmed back anything that was overhanging the roof. It was wild watching them at work – they use a series of ropes and wear climbing harnesses to scale up in the tree with their saws and chainsaws to take stuff down. Very glad I paid someone else to do it.
After seeing the amazing results (I really should have taken before and after shots) we bought an electric chainsaw (the Ryobi 40v one) mainly to cut up the big branches I had them leave behind for firewood – they had a wood chipper and took care of the smaller stuff. We also have been obliterating the smaller overgrown and half-dead cedar and rhododendron shrubs I hated from around the house. Looks SO much better now. 😀
The shed was on low my list, but after finding a killer deal for one at Costco, that plan got advanced a bit and I’ll probably get that done this month.
My mom coming to visit for a week is because my sister needs a break. Since my dad died almost two years ago, my sister and her husband have been living with my mom out at the family farm. My sister is the one that would have eventually gotten the farmhouse anyway, so being there now gives my mom a bit of security too. But with anything, one needs a break so I’m happy to do that for her. Plus it’ll be fun to have Mom around when I don’t have to work. 🙂
The whole nutrition/exercise thing is more of a “build a habit” goal. I already exercise regularly by going to CrossFit and using the rower we bought around Christmas, but I need to get my cooking game back on point. I love cooking, I just need to get my meal planning back on track. I’m going to meal plan and make sure I have all the stuff I need on hand to make dinner without it being a big production, otherwise I’ll just say “fuck it” and order takeout or pizza. Since I’ll have all the time in the world and can grocery shop and prep ingredients, I can get into that routine then once I go back to work in August, it’ll be muscle memory at that point.
All in all, I’m going to enjoy the house we work so hard for and enjoy the time off to rest and recharge.
Also, expect me to write more than once every 18 months. 😀