I’m a big believer in taking breaks from work, research, and my mediated life to travel, trek, and explore. Years ago, I implemented email sabbaticals to give myself space to take time off without being overwhelmed by the ongoing flow of emails and expectations. I documented the process because too many people assumed that I just disappeared, unannounced, leaving my colleagues and friends in a lurch. Actually, email sabbaticals are a process because they have stages where I make sure that everyone who depends on me is taken care of before I disappear into the void. I typically announce them to colleagues 3-6 months ahead of time and give a public warning 6 weeks ahead of time. And then I have a process upon return where I check in with folks. When I disappear, my goal is to never leave people that depend on me faltering. This isn’t a perfect process, but I’ve found that letting people know well ahead of time guarantees that I finish out projects and account for commitments before taking time off without the lingering stress of unfinished business.
Normally, when I plan on taking a massive break, I know the dates well ahead of time and can help everyone plan and prepare. I’m now facing a different dilemma. I know that sometime in the next n weeks, I’m going to take some serious time off. The problem is that I’m not quite sure exactly when that will occur nor am I exactly sure how long I will be gone or how much I will want to be off email. Y’see, rather than taking a vacation this summer, I’m planning on having a baby.
As folks who have seen me in recent months know, I’m pregnant, due August 3. I look pretty silly, particularly given that I’m a klutz and managed to obtain a lisfranc injury on top of my bulging belly which means that I look like a whale on a scooter. But I’m still chugging along, finishing out writing projects (the book is in copyediting right now!) and starting new ones (nom nom trouble). I’m planning on taking parental leave when the kiddo arrives, but I’m not yet sure how long I’ll want to be focused solely on being a parent. Given my love of research, I expect that I’ll ease back in to email and projects throughout the fall. And I plan to start traveling again with a spectacular book tour when the book launches in early 2014. But I also know that I’m entering a world of uncertainty.
I don’t intend to detail my life as a mother on this blog because, frankly, I don’t want to. But I do want to give y’all a heads up that I intend to disappear for a bit when the time comes. So if there are things you need from me this summer or early fall, perhaps ping me sooner rather than later. And please understand that when I do get to finally meet the kiddo, I will probably be pretty inattentive to email and the internets for a while. I suspect that this will look and feel differently than my email sabbaticals, but I still don’t want to leave people in a lurch. So I wanted to give y’all a heads up.
A new adventure awaits! Thanks for your patience!