Halfway through my sabbatical

Can you believe it? We’re officially halfway through my sabbatical, and it’s really weird. I wanted to take a moment to check in and talk about the experience so far and where I’m at.

Seattle is still pretty overwhelming. It’s full of a bunch of amazing things! But I am a small city girl, largely, and it’s hard to feel so disconnected. It’s fair to say the homesickness is a serious thing two months into being gone, especially moving into fall. The weather here has been pretty crisp and lovely until this week, but I’m getting my first taste of what it would be like to be here in winter with the rain and it is certainly a lot. Give me Virginia’s winter any day over endless cold rain.

That said, there’s a lot I really love about Seattle. The museums are amazing, the parks are lovely, and people here really seem to earnestly want good things for other people. I’ve had relatively few experiences with rudeness, though those were somewhat memorable. Most everyone is pretty nice. I finally found some good food as well, which does wonders to alleviate my grumpiness levels since I’m largely in charge of cooking and meal planning while the S.O. works. The weather has been divine while we’ve been here — even the heat is mild compared to home, though I’m very aware many of the folks who live here have had a bad time of it this summer.

Since we’ve gotten here, we’ve explored the Hoh Rainforest and the Pacific coast, hiked around Mount Rainier, ascended the Space Needle, visited the MoPop (definitely recommended) and Chihuly Garden and Glass (which is super inspiring if you enjoy visual art), and spent a lot of time down on Alki Beach and any other beach I can find. Having the sea nearby is something I am going to miss desperately on my return to Virginia, since my own home in the mountains is pretty far from any saltwater to speak of. Yesterday we were on Vashon Island, a welcome escape from the bustle of the City, and we’re hoping to head up north to Bellingham sometime soon to check out that part of the state around the first of October. The pattern of my days has been more of a constant adventure, since the S.O.’s schedule dictates mine to some extent. He works three days a week, and for those three days I try to work on writing most of the day. The rest of the week is left to adventures or the occasional rest day.

Not having a set schedule is fun, but also means that it’s a lot harder to trick myself into productivity on a down day. Overall, however, I think I’ve been pretty productive over the past month and a half since we arrived, finishing a rewrite of a book I’ve been working on for some time, finishing a first edit read-through on my new manuscript and getting about a third of the way through typing that up, and writing a new short story. I’ve also made some good progress on my novella I’ve been chipping away at for the past year or so in between projects. So I have not been idle at all. The trickiest thing has been to keep up with administrative stuff like this blog since half the time I don’t know what day of the week it is.

Anyway, things are going well. I’m of mixed minds about being halfway through. I’m certainly excited to be home, but I’m not 100% ready for the adventure to end either. For now I’m just living in the moment, which is all we can ever do.

Until next week!


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