As they say: all good things must come to an end. Better put, all things come to an end, considering the sun is going to obliterate the earth in a couple of billion years, wiping out everything humans have ever done. This is getting way too deep though. More immediately, after 16,000 miles driving, 680 miles of hiking, 6 countries and 8 states our sabbatical journey came to an end today with my re-entry into normal American life. Yes, today, I went back to work, and Lauren will be back next week.

This may come as a bit of a surprise to some of you. We had planned to be on sabbatical through the end of August, and I imagine some of you may have believed that we were never going back. Being the complete networking professional (read: I show up at happy hours), I had been in touch with those at Lutjen on and off throughout this last year. I talked to Scott, the President, in mid June about whether they would need my help again this fall. Turns out, they needed some help a little sooner--like by today. I reflected on the last year and thought--Ok, I've had it way too good, and Lutjen has been too good to me--how can I turn the offer down for a few extra weeks of time off? In a similar turn of fate, Lauren's company asked her back as well starting next week.

I've been thinking for a while about our re-introduction to Corporate America. I had some plan a while back to shave my head, burn my clothes and emerge from the ashes wearing a polo shirt and khakis--a born-again engineer after our year off. However, the closer the time came to the date, the more I realized that there is no such thing as being reborn in the span of a few minutes in some sort of ritual. Much like at the end of the Camino, lots of us said--well, so what? We all thought that upon arrival in front of the cathedral in Santiago we would have some sort of moment where some great epiphany of thought or feeling would shine upon us. The moment was rather anti-climactic though. How can the experience of 500 miles of walking be condensed into an instant? It was only through a long process of reflection afterwards that we were able to see the ways the Camino had changed our lives.

I feel the same way about the rest of the sabbatical. I came back to work--it was as if I had never left. Nothing had changed, save for a few new employees and some new projects. I fell back into the rhythm of work immediately as if I had just taken a week vacation. On the flip side, it's as if our sabbatical hasn't ended. We're going to be back at Lake Kahola this weekend, and most likely the rest of the weekends this year. I'll be back to brewing beer and making cheese. We've got plans to do more camping, and backpacking--being out in nature and being more active as we were on our sabbatical.

However, I can already start to see the ways in which this year has changed me. The biggest change must be that I don't have the same cynical and fatalist mindset that most corporate worker-bees have--what I used to have. I've always liked the work that I do, and I like the company I work for. I've been lucky in that regard. However, if I didn't like it here, I wouldn't be back. Some people are stuck in their position in life, due to unfortunate circumstances or poor decisions. However, I believe that most people have much more control over their destiny than they believe.

Sabbaticals should take place every seven years (its a corollary to the Sabbath day every 7 days). What the year 2020 will bring, I know not. I do know that we will still be blogging. There are exciting things on the horizon, which we will be updating everyone on shortly!

1 comment:

  1. We'd love to camp with you guys sometime! You'll have to teach us the ways of backpacking.