Monday, June 26, 2006

Well now, here's a thing

Sometimes I am very slow to catch on. The background is this. Next school year is the long-suffering spouse's year for a sabbatical. He made some career sacrifices in order to get our children through school without student loans. Now that's done, and he can get back to teaching and research -and he's counting the hours. He really needs the freedom to hit the ground running with this sabbatical year.

The other part of this family drama would be... you know... ME! Obviously, I could go with him. But, I would have to leave my friends, the parish, my job, and my support system to just hang out for a year. Andrea with nothing to do is not a pretty sight. He would have traded dependent children for a dependent wife -not an attractive trade for him and certainly not an attractive proposition for me to consider. I've done a certain amount of ranting about the essentially sexist nature of sabbaticals. The thinking seems to be that the non-sabbatical partner can uproot herself while the sabbatical-ing partner is free to think great thoughts. (I do see that the genders could be reversed; this affects my rants not in the slightest.)

Last Sunday, I had the brainstorm that this could be a transformative year for me as well. What if I slipped away for a year of service somewhere? Internationally... domestically... it makes no difference to me. For that matter, I could stay in the house and do some work in Chicago, while still taking the year to re-envision my life's mission. OK, "re-envisioning mission" is a little grandiose, I suppose, but it's close to the point.

I mentioned this to the spousal unit, and his comment was "I was wondering why you weren't thinking of this." Ummmm.... say something????? The light was a little slow in dawning, I have to say. But now, there's the possibility of an interesting year all my very own.

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