The last few weeks have brought home to me the fact that I am now more than half way through my sabbatical. The end is in sight so am I starting to feel the blues?
The honest answer is no. It has been great to pack so many things in – and there is a lot more I want to do too in the remaining time.
My debut novel has been written, reviewed, edited and is on its way to a set of literary agents. I await their response and have already started work on the sequel.
A few weeks ago I completed one of my “about time you did this” items – attending my first cricket Test Match – England v Sri Lanka at Headingley in Leeds. The weather held out and it was really good fun with good cricket and a great atmosphere in the ground. On a musical note I went home to Wales last week to see the Manic Street Preachers play in Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium and they were great. Two events I’ll remember for a long time.
Lots of fun but it is important not to totally forget about work during your time away… You need to keep up to date and maintain contact with people – remind them you’re still around and importantly when you’re coming back.
Recently I was asked to support a major IBM education event for client facing technical leaders across Europe. This was held in Lisbon in Portugal at the end of May. I took time out of my sabbatical to co-create and lead one of the main sessions. It was hard work guiding 400 people from many different countries through a set of highly interactive and challenging exercises using Innovation, IBM Design Thinking and other techniques but fun and interesting too – and I did get to see a bit of this great city.
I met a many colleagues and friends and made some new ones – and had a number of initial conversations around specific job roles to return into. This will be something I will be focusing on more during the second half of my sabbatical.
In the meantime I will also be walking, spending time in the garden, attending a few more music, comedy and sporting events, celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with the long-suffering Mrs M, hopefully making strong progress on the second novel and definitely continuing to work with academia, particularly the great team at the University of Leeds.
So it’s a busy few months ahead… and the only blues should be of the musical variety…