Marie-Hélène Budworth

Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, specializing in learning, development & motivation.

Marie-Hélène Budworth

Starting…. NOW!

June 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I am about 36 hours away from my sabbatical.  It happens to coincide with the last day of school for my boys and the first day of our family vacation – a road trip to North Carolina.  I woke up this morning full of energy, excited about the next few days.  Two hours have passed and now I am exhausted, drained, and a little melancholic.  It could be the mountain of packing that is ahead of me.  It could be the traffic I anticipate we will hit tomorrow as we try to exit the city.  Or, it could be the ‘truth’ about what lies ahead in the coming year. 

A sabbatical is a real gift.  I feel privileged to have a career where I set my own agenda in terms of my interests and research and that every seventh year, I am given a full year to focus on these interests.  It is both invigorating and daunting.  It is an opportunity to complete all those projects that just need ‘a little more time’ and a chance to start new projects and possibly set a new course.  But I am fearful.  Fearful that the most productive part of my year will be my tennis game and that at the end, all that I will have to show for it will be a stronger backhand.  This fear is largely unfounded.  As a graduate student and a junior academic, my career has always been mainly self-initiated.  I know I will work during my sabbatical but the question remains as to whether I will produce anything of value.  Yikes.  I said it out loud.  I am questioning my own ability to have a ‘good idea.’ I will think, and write, and publish – but will people care?   

Okay, so that is all I need to say.  I have no punch line, no lessons learned and no desire to connect this to research (Although there are clear ties to self-efficacy and goal setting – doctor heal thyself?)  I am about to jump off of a cliff where I can no longer link my feelings of success and productivity to my teaching or administrative work.  For the next year it is just me and this laptop … and maybe you?  If you care enough to read.


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