thinking ahead

Hello to the week’s-end.  At the sawmill we called this week “work-week sixteen.”  Well good riddance to work-week sixteen, says I.  Bring on work-week seventeen; I take all comers.

Long-time readers may recall that the sawmill gives us worker-bees an extended piece of paid vacation every so often.  The suits call this a “sabbatical” and it amounts to a three month paid leave, during which you’re free to do what you want.  I had my first sabbatical a few years ago, and think our family did a great job maximizing my time away from work.  In fact, the image accompanying today’s post is a screen-capture of the spreadsheet I used way back then to map and budget our sabbatical goings-on.

The other day at work I spent some time thinking way ahead.  It’s something I do every once in a while.  Try and think five or so years into the future, figure out what major things will happen.  It’s my way of trying to anticipate, any maybe even make plans around, large milestones I know I’ll face way down the road.  Normally, I limit this kind of crystal ball stuff to work or financial subjects… for instance, the project I’m working on now at the sawmill will end in a couple years.  I’ve spent time considering what I’ll do then, and what, if anything, I should be doing now to position myself correctly.  Or maybe I’ll re-run a retirement-readiness check on my investments… something boring and grown-up like that.

Maybe it’s the coming baby, but this time around I also started day-dreaming about far-off family happenings.  Once on the subject my mind turned to thoughts of a second sabbatical.  After some quick (OK not so quick) mental math, I figured our kids will be eight and four when this magical time rolls around again. Eight and four; holy crap.  Keaton twice as old as she is now and in 3rd grade.  Baby #2 as old as Keaton is now and about to start preschool.  A smile came to my face: This could be a magical time for a sabbatical.

One could argue, however, that any time when you’re paid to stay away from work for months on a stretch is “magical.”  Yeah, true.  But I’m talking about the relative ages of the kids.  Having a four year old now I understand what things she’s capable of enjoying, so I have a point of reference I can use in dreaming up travel or activities. I can see our family tromping around the world, stopping in all manner of tropical or exotic locales.

Man, I think I’ll start a new spreadsheet right now.  Never too early to think ahead.


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One Reply to “thinking ahead”

  1. We have a plan to take a trip around the world for a whole year when Lexi is about 7 or 8. (That puts T.Jay at 17 or 18! Holy Cow!) Trip discussions occupy many family discussions. When you think of all that has to happen in just a short 8 years to make it happen, it feels like we should have started planning when we were 12!

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