Experiential Science, 2nd Shifts & A New Book!

Posted on: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Blog | Leave a comment

DSC_0739The sabbatical inbox fills up so swiftly I sometimes long for the days of snail mail. Yet clearly people keep finding their way to the take-your-time movement. Fast Company has been particularly prolific with reports. Yet the drum beat also comes from the local paper, a new friend in Switzerland, and beyond.

  • Is that a “thing?” Then the thrill is gone…

In this case, “thing” is just that—an object (purchase), not a trend, though the two often intersect. Recent research from Cornell confirms that experiences trump stuff over time, every time. “New things are exciting to us for a while, but then we adapt to them,” reports Professor Thomas Gilovich. Conversely, “Our experiences are a higher part of ourselves than our material goods.” Advice: Sell the big car; take a big break.

  • New moms getting re-entry programs

Women are increasingly winning over the working world, the college world, and the ambition surveys. Yet they are also more likely to need career breaks—usually to have children and tend to family matters. Kudos to companies offering “Act 2,” “OnRamp,” and “Returnship” programs with clever names and win-win motives. A handful of books and thought leaders are also leading the charge—and not always just for family care. As Brigid Shulte, author of Overwhelmed, reflects, “The bottom line is that more and more people don’t want to work all the time.”

  • MN study shows big support for sick and family leave

A recent MN Department of Health study is providing a push for legislation mandating employee PTO for family matters. It’s no fun to go to work while ill due to fear of losing your job. But the state Health Commissioner is quick to point out the public-health risks—and has data to prove that illnesses spread quickly when sick staffers infect the workplace. Letting people stay home may ultimately improve attendance rates!

  • Take 6 months off?  Yes you can.

And finally, high 5s to Tomer Lanis, who hit my email box with a nice note and news of his new book, You Can Take Six Months Off. In an eerily similar scenario to my own family’s, he escaped his mortgage, schools, and pets and took wife and two kids sailing through the Caribbean. That picture of the Grenadines? I was right there, and took the exact same shot. And then we loaded onto a small “taxi” (fishing boat) for one of the strangest travel days ever that eventually landed us on our next island, even though various customs officers weren’t so sure about the idea.

Tomer’s family took six months; we took four; he wins. (We both win!) Tom HQs in Switzerland, and warns us on his website, “Caution: Living your dreams is addictive and contagious.” Now THAT is the kind of contagion (and family leave!) we can live with! My copy of the book is on its way, so I’ll report more soon.

Best of luck to Tomer Lanis and his book—and to all of us when we need sick leave, family leave, or (better yet), six months off.

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