Everyone has been telling me that coming back from sabbatical is rough. Some have called it brutal. One colleague told me it is like slamming into a brick wall. Fun!
I hope that it isn’t going to be that bad for me. Then again, it may be worse for me since I really squeezed every ounce of goodness out of my sabbatical year. I traveled, I reflected, I wrote, I reflected, I drew, I reflected, I collaborated, I reflected, and then I reflected some more.
I returned to campus, officially, last week. There were meetings and more meetings. I taught a workshop for teachers. I sat in an workshop for administrators, I spent days in faculty orientation, I spent days looking for my office keys. Ok, that last one was really weeks, but it didn’t fit the flow, so forgive my abuse of the poetic license.
I was asked how it felt to be back, and often. I was told how much people missed me and were glad to have me back, more often than I ever could have imagined.
How does it feel?
It feels a little weird.
I feel a little disconnected.
I feel less stressed.
I feel like I am not quite back yet.
I keep wondering when it will hit. When will I slam into the brick wall?
Two nights ago, just after midnight, I found my office keys, cleverly stashed in my jewelry box for safe keeping. Of course, I have become accustomed to just wearing a few of my favorite pieces lately, so I hadn’t looked in the big box since I moved a month ago.
Why, you ask, am I telling you about my keys in the jewelry box? Well, it turns out that returning to my office was the smack in the face to bring me back to reality. It wasn’t all the meetings and contact with colleagues that did it. It was opening up my office door and being greeted by shelves of scholarly books, stacks of file folders, and way too many Writer’s Reference Guides.
Welcome back to reality!