Everyone needs a break now and again…



I am finally ready to write again after three months of ‘work-detox’ period. This is the first entry since I went on my sabbatical, and I am writing solely because I feel like it, rather than seeing it as some kind of obligation.

After running the business for over six years (plus a year of preparation beforehand), I made a rather risky decision to close the e-shop and take six months off work. I did not take this decision lightly, and I even asked a few good friends for their advice. Why? The reasons were quite straight forward: I was losing my enthusiasm, passion, and I was getting bored. This is not a good sign when you are running your own business! I felt like I have devoted the last seven years to this business, and I felt stuck/ trapped… work became a drag, and I was quite unhappy for the last two years. I felt like I needed an adventure rather than routines. And I simply couldn’t carry on as usual anymore.

The word ‘sabbatical’ originates from the Greek word sabatikos, which means “of the Sabbath” – the day of rest that happens every seventh day. According to Oxford dictionary, it means: “A period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.” However, mine is neither one year nor paid; well, whatever you name it, it is a long break nonetheless.

In recent years, the word ‘sabbatical’ has become more ubiquitous because it is regarded as a positive act for both the worker/teacher and the company/university in the long run. Well-known designer Stefan Sagmeister is a forerunner in encouraging workers to take sabbaticals. Every seven years, he closes his NYC design studio for a one-year of ‘creative rejuvenation’, and he has been promoting this idea for years.




Of course not everyone is lucky enough to have a boss like him, or financially secured to do this. Nevertheless, I still believe that even if you can’t take six months or a year off, it would be beneficial to take short breaks now and again to revitalise yourself. We are living in a world that is obsessed with speed and productivity, and it is only by slowing down or stopping that we can feel what is missing and gain insights about our lives as well as the world around us. We are not robots, so don’t treat yourself as one.

I can safely say that after three months of traveling, learning new skills, and spending time with family and friends, I am already feeling more enthusiastic about returning to work, and have some new ideas for the future. I feel more relaxed, open, and most importantly – happier. Taking the sabbatical is not a step backwards, it is in fact, a step-or several steps- forward.


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