Mayberry turned me onto The Family Sabbatical Handbook the other day and when it arrived today I immediately began devouring it. While the author had a bit more cash and a different sort of approach to a year abroad (one place rather than a few, a more methodical (smarter) approach than we've developed so far) it was her intro that grabbed me. I turned to J in the kitchen and read it aloud:
For as long as we've been a family, we've been trying to figure out how to live more intensely and creatively as a family and how to forge the kind of elusive, intimate bonds that seem to be the very essence of being a family. We had assumed this bonding would come naturally. But when we looked for role models we didn't find them. Amidst the corrosive effects of the hectic lives we all seemed to lead everyone we knew had similar complaints. There was a vague sense that the best of life was slipping away and we were powerless to do anything about it. There was simply never enough time or psychic space to savor the marriages, the children, the good lives we were all working so hard to make. It begun to sink in that we would never find this time unless we created it for ourselves.
And we looked at each other and we knew. This is exactly how we feel, and exactly the course of action we want to take. We know we don't know what we are doing or how it's going to unfold but we are going to try. For better or for worse. For joy, dumbassery and wrinkled clothes.
Many things depend on this, the next 12 months of our jobs most of all. Our plan is based on external factors, ones we can't quite control. So we'll hold the universe in question and challenge it to say yes to this, yes to this one small dream amidst so many other worthy and important dreams of so many others. So we've set out tonight with a simple yes and in turn, begin the ups and downs of the long journey to the tarmac.