When I was growing up, my father had a paid sabbatical every seven years. This is common in academic and religious professions but less so in other careers. In those careers, it is provided as a time to study, travel, and reflect so that you can return refreshed.
In the community industry, our superpower and our Achilles heel is the ability to connect, emphasize, and collaborate. It empowers others, helps our organizations thrive, and allows us to see potential in everyone. It is also emotionally tiring work and because funding and resources are still a fight, it leaves many of us exhausted. Half of community professionals are burnt out according to our research. We are fine but not thriving ourselves. That is not so different for us at The Community Roundtable – we do an enormous amount with a small team.
I’ve been running The Community Roundtable with Jim Storer for ten years now and am feeling the accumulated strain those years. I sometimes feel like there is nothing much left for me to say. I know this isn’t true, which means it is time for a break.
I will be taking a three-month sabbatical starting November 15th. During that time I will write, reflect, and recharge. For me, that means time to disconnect from the digital world for a bit, prioritize my health and my family, and wander through books, nature, and the world without feeling the pressing need to DO something. I can’t wait.
Of course, this would be impossible without the support of TheCR team so I will preemptively thank them.
I’ll see the rest of you in 2020!