Crochet, Other nutty stuff

What to do during a sabbatical?

Today is the last day of my seven-week sabbatical. I quit my job two months ago and although I already had a new one, I decided to take a break to get rid of all the stress in my body and mind.

I had only been working at my job for 5 months when I quit. It just didn’t work for me. It was a sales job and even though I loved visiting clients and finding out what their problems were and which of my products best fit their needs, I just didn’t want to play the financial poker game. I am not good at poker, so after 5 months I called it a day.

My new job is as a policy officer at a university of applied sciences where I am to be a consultant to advise the different education programs on internationalization of their curricula. This suits my background much better. 🙂 I have worked at a university of technology for 12 years doing similar things; consultancy I know and love. I love helping people, and as a consultant I get to do just that.

But what do you do when you suddenly have a sabbatical of 7 weeks on your hands! First of all, don’t panic 😀

Make a list of everything you want to do

I started by making a long list of all those things I wanted to do but somehow never got round to doing. I purposefully made a list because this helped me to clear my mind. I was continuously thinking ‘I need to do this’, ‘I need to do that’…. This way I was never at rest. By making the list it gave my mind rest. Plus it is o so satisfactory to tick things off that list! My list was very dynamic. Things got added and ticked off all the time, but at the end of the day there were about 120 items on my list. Not bad, huh? I’d like to share some of the things I did from my list.

Bake cakes

I love baking and making things that other enjoy. Somehow with all the stress of the last months I had stopped making delicious things. I started by making an incredibly good chocolate cake. You could only eat a small piece because if you had more it just dropped like a stone in your stomach. I backed a New York cheese cake and a wonderful carrot cake, off course with carrots from MyVegi garden. I baked banana bread and oatmeal muffins and warm puddings and lots of things that are generally not good for your weight. Mr. It’s all in a Nutshell said at a certain point ‘You’re back’, which made me feel real good.

CAL which from now on stands for Crochet A Lot 🙂

Obviously I did a LOT of crocheting. I made a granny square blanket for a lady who designed my new logo for my blog. I made the last of the Sophie’s Universe CAL videos. I made all the videos for the Scheepjes Flight of Fancy CAL. I made a cushion from my Ebony & Ivory Sophie’s Garden. I made a start on the videos for a new, still secret CAL that starts in August and I made the first video for the Circles of the Sun CAL. But I also crochet just for fun. I particularly like working on the T&J Dutch CAL 2015.

I also did some miscellaneous crochet stuff like FINALLY organizing my yarn labels and buying new yarn. And I wrote about all these things on my blog. I have really come to love blogging. It gives me such energy when I see that you love my work.


My husband and I took a long weekend of, had grandpa and grandma over to stay with the kids, and we went to visit Riga in Latvia. An absolutely lovely city. Seriously, if you are ever in that part of the world, it is an absolute must-visit. I will write you soon about my stay there. I bought some great yarn (of course) 😀

Wear no make-up

I know this sounds crazy, but I have not worn any make-up for the past 7 weeks (except for great grandma’s 90th birthday party), and it is awesome. My skin is in such great condition! I just felt that this was time for me and I couldn’t care less what people thought of my ‘natural’ appearance. I just didn’t feel like going through the hassle of getting foundation on, eye shadow, mascara, lip gloss, the works. It is strangely therapeutic. No make-up gives you a feeling of this-is-who-i-am-and-just-accept-me-as-i-am. No more pretending to be something you’re not.

Help out at my kids’ school

One thing that I really miss is that I usually cannot help out at my  kids’ school because I work a full time job. But in this 7 week break I could catch up. I helped out at various school activities and my boys loved it. During these activities I got confirmation that I am not made to be a primary school teacher. Being a primary school teacher is a calling in my opinion. I am not made to cope with 30 kids at the same time. Respect for all those teachers out there!

Help out at my local animal shelter

I had the great fortune that my sabbatical coincided with the start of kitten season. I was like stalking the shelter. I wanted foster kittens so badly because I had all the time in the world to cuddle and care for them. I was one of the first called when the first stray kittens were brought in. I have been caring for Aries and Juno with great pleasure over the past weeks. Will post you some pics soon!

Organize my administration

Something that I have been meaning to do for like a year is clear up my administration. I have bank statements and other paperwork going as far back as 1992. Seriously! It was time to clear them out. No way am I ever going to need them again. I spend days pushing everything through the shredder (no way is that personal stuff leaving my house readable) and threw away 8 big boxes stuffed with paper shreds. With all the room cleared up I should be able to store more yarn, right 😉

Work in MyVegi garden

Accidentally my sabbatical also coincided with strawberry season. You don’t wanna know how many pots of jam I made! Or how many buckets of weeds I removed from MyVegi garden. Sometimes my fingertips hurt from all the rummaging in the soil. But I love it! There is nothing like seeing the fruits of your labor, literally 😀

Bits and bobs

Looking back you could say that in general I just spend a lot of time rummaging through the house doing odd jobs, cleaning, doing the laundry. You know, house-stuff. And I loved every moment of it. There is nothing like organizing your house. An organized house is an organized mind I always say. 😀

So after all that doing ‘nothing’, I’m off to start a new adventure at my new job.

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10 thoughts on “What to do during a sabbatical?”

  1. I’m enjoying my first summer vacation in a long time. I think a list is a great way to clear the mind and reflect on all those things you put aside when swamped with work. I’m am media specialist at an elementary school so I had 450 kids during the school year. I, too, am crocheting a lot and am enjoying piddling around the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such and inspirational post, I thoroughly enjoyed the read! 🙂 But now I need a lay down, lol… you accomplished so much in the seven weeks! WOW!! Love all your video tutorials, especially the Sophie’s universe ones which have helped me so much. You are a very talented lady 😀 I wish you all the best in your new job.


  3. I stopped wearing makeup over a decade or more ago… just began to feel like war paint, and got tired of doing something to myself for the unnecessary sake of pleasing others who matter little to me all in all. Good for you liberating yourself…. It feels good for me I hope it will for you as well.
    Good luck in your new endeavors!!!!


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