Saturday, July 16, 2011

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

My vacation plans fell through for this summer. Usually I go to the Neshoba County Fair, spending a couple of days with extended family in ridiculously hot conditions, having some beers, watching people and catching up on cousins, aunt, uncles, that sort of thing. This year I was planning on going to Atlanta during that time with Erin to spend a couple of days away, but that plan was put on hold because she couldn't get out of work (two experienced co-workers left, leaving her as the most senior employee). I then started looking into doing a soccer trip, either to the East Coast to see Juventus, Manchester United and FC Barcelona on tour, or to the Pacific Northwest to check out the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and maybe the Vancouver Whitecaps. Between money and time, that trip never came together. It's something I definitely want to investigate for next summer.

So an extended trip away is probably not going to happen this summer, which is fine. But what to do what my vacation days from work? I've decided to try to attempt a practice sabbatical. Written into our employee handbook itstates:

After every five years of full time service, full time employees will be eligible for a three month paid leave of absence.

Guess what? On January 2nd, 2012 I will have put five years in, and I have already put together a tentative schedule.

Possible Sabbatical Schedule (sometime in May through end of July):

Euro 2012
June 8 - July 1
Site: the bar(s)

MLS trip?
Pacific NW

Neshoba County Fair
July 27- August 3
Site: Neshoba County, MS

So come back from the Fair and back to work just in time for the Annual Franchisee Meeting.

Besides watching soccer, what else am I going to do? I plan to finally sit down and write, type up and edit all the crap I've been jotting down over the years. I have an idea for a second story, but first I need to edit and post the first one. That will be job one. Job two, will be to assemble the raw materials for my next whatever it is I do. This is all assuming that I edit and finish all previous materials over the winter. To prepare for all of this, I plan to take long weekends, four to five days, where I simulate what this might look like. You have to practice? Absolutely. If I have time off with no plan, ie nothing to do, I will do nothing. I mean I'll play FIFA and read and watch TV and sit around but I won't get to this stuff sitting in the corner of my closet.

I plan to use these days to help set habits to be the most effective. I start this weekend, taking Thursday and Friday off, plus having Saturday mostly to myself, to get my new soccer blog ready. I have been wanting do this for a while and things came together to launch it in anticipation of the upcoming season. I want to have a lot of new material ready ahead of time to supplement some older posts and the new posts that will be generated from the events of the season. Discipline is the only way the blog will be dynamic. If I wait until the mood hits, the blog will be boring (even more boring that it may be) and will die a slow death. So Thursday morning I am going to get up and hit the ground running, and this will be the first day of a ten month process to get me ready for my sabbatical next summer.


  1. Is this for real? Russ has to work 5 years just to get another week of vacation, much less 3 months paid sabbatical!!! Are you afraid of getting replaced in that time? Did you work the plan and begin "practicing"?

  2. it's for real. we just had a guy take 6wks.

    am i afraid of being replaced? no. i know i can be replaced.

    as for the practicing, i did a practice day a couple of weeks ago and hope to a long weekend in sept and october.