My not-so-fascinating life (part II)

A personal story…

Last year, I experienced a brutal period of time. 😔

My mom was in the ICU.
I lived in airports and hospitals.
Didn’t see my kids for weeks.
Started having crippling daily migraines.
Oh, then I was diagnosed with a brain tumor (which we later learned is benign – whew).

I remember walking in circles around my bedroom carpet, in a daze. By December, I’d practically worn a hole in that carpet.

(I hinted about this in an earlier post: my not-so-fascinating life.)

My husband said… “What if you took a break, to get back to yourself?”

I thought about his words… “get back to yourself.”

At first I thought, “There’s NO WAY I can take a break. My business can’t keep running without constant attention.” I was struggling just to get up in the morning, so how could I take time off??

For the next 6 months, we planned each step so I could step away. Friends and family were on board to help. My team was extraordinarily supportive.

And on April 26th, my sabbatical officially kicked off.

We called it… the sallybatical.  🙌 

The sallybatical would be 100 days off the grid… no meetings, no client calls, no business trips. Zip. Zero. Nada. At first, I was itchy to not constantly check my phone. So I uninstalled email, Slack and Skype. (Gulp.)

Slowly my creativity started growing back. I think my bedroom carpet started growing back too.  😊

What happened in those 100 days? They say a picture says 1,000 words…

BEFORE: This was my last keynote speech a day before my sabbatical began. The speech itself went well and I looked fine on the outside. But the photo reveals a split-second glimpse of how I felt inside.

AFTER: A little different, right?  😊

How about you? Ever feel so overwhelmed that you can’t put one foot in front of the other?

Yes? Then consider a sabbatical… of sorts.

I’m lucky to have the option to structure 100 days away. But now that I’m “back,” I can see that a sabbatical isn’t a vacation. It’s crucial space to regenerate. Here’s the thing… it’s not necessarily a block of time, but a mindset.

What could YOUR version of a sabbatical look like? How would your life change with a fresh burst of inspiration and energy? Your change could be small, like eliminating email in the evenings or establishing sacred boundaries around family time. Me, I took a long walk around the lake early in the morning, feeding my brain with audiobooks, non-work podcasts, and conversations with my parents.

Give yourself space, even when you feel overwhelmed (especially then). to breathe life into your work, your relationships, and your future. Feeling fascinated by your own life is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. So imagine this…

Today, is your “before.”

What does your “after” look like?

I can’t wait to find out. Have you ever felt dead inside, and changed your life as a result? Or do you know someone who did? I’d love to hear about it here, in the comments, below.  🙌 🙌 🙌 

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About the author

Sally Hogshead

Sally skyrocketed to the top of the advertising world in her early 20s, fascinating millions of consumers for clients such as MINI Cooper and Coca-Cola. Since then, she’s published two New York Times bestsellers on the science of fascination, and is one of only 172 living members in the Speaker Hall of Fame. Over a million professionals have taken the Fascination Advantage® personality test to discover how others perceive their communication.

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