Smell the Roses—To Creativity, Passion & Joy

Productive-Creative-MindMake that the cactus flowers, and they are GORGEOUS. It was an absolute joy to be surrounded by them when I was in the Sonoran Desert recently with my family, taking some time to relax and rejuvenate.

I crave more nourishment like this…open space that gives my mind and soul time to rest, reflect and recharge. But that opportunity is all too rare for me, and probably for you in our always-connected 21st century

That’s why I was particularly intrigued when my friend Sarah Durham, founder of Big Duck, suggested we focus our session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (#14NTC) on The Work Behind Your Work—the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barriers that keep you from getting there). And that’s why I extended the conversation as the topic of the Nonprofit Blog Carnival I recently hosted. Here’s my next step:

After many years of being my driven self—working hard build Getting Attention.org and serve client orgs, while trying to be the best mom, wife  daughter and friend I can, I took on managing my aging dad’s life. Now, several years later, he has dementia and it’s tough for all of us.

I have more responsibilities that I can handle right now, on all fronts, and I’m depleted. Frankly, no matter one’s personal life, a mid-career break is probably sorely needed by all of us, especially with the horizon of working till we’re 80.

And me? I’m taking what’s for me a radical action—I’m putting financial concerns aside to take a two-month sabbatical from work this July and August.

My self-definition has always been as a doer. In fact, I’m such a hard worker (grind?), that my goal with this sabbatical is to avoid  goals—to zig (NOT do), rather than zag. I know that’s my path to restoring my energy, passion and joy—and being able to share that in full once again with my family, friends plus colleagues like you and  other clients, coachees and folks I train.

Over the past few months, I’ve brought my family and closest friends into planning my sabbatical, to make sure I do it. Now I’m sharing my news with you. So I can’t turn back. Keep me honest, okay?

I’m hoping this experience will help me master the work behind my work. I’ll let you know—in September.

How do you grab nourishment, a small bite or a big gulp, to keep you strong, satisfied and productive in your work (and the rest of your life)? Please share your approach here.

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Nancy Schwartz in Professional Development | 40 comments
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