I don’t write a lot about my personal life. Taking a sabbatical has been interesting on more than few levels. The last six months have been surreal. Kicking off the year with my father fatally colliding with a truck has been challenging.
Taking time out has been good. I’ve taken more than my fair share of deep breaths and continued to put one step in front of another :) I have the most amazing mum and sister, and best friends and family in the world to remind that it’s possible even when I haven’t felt that it has been! If death isn’t challenging enough, estates are the salt to the wound. It’s rough!
I’m pleased with myself for making the call to go back to uni full time. It’s not something I’ve ever really done. It’s given me the time I’ve need to stop and take stock of what’s been happening with the chaos my life was thrown into and given me time to think about what I really want to do when I grow up.
In many ways being back at uni has been SOOO much more challenging than what I thought it would be. And I’ve learnt there are names and models for things I’ve been doing for close to a decade?! Who would have thunk it? My bubble stakeholder maps are called…nope, I’ve forgotten but it sounded really good. Venn diagrams? What it’s really done is remind that I love what I do.
I’m so thankful to my clients who have stuck by me when I said I’m not going to work because I need time out; then they decided to find a way to make it work for both of us. Being able to maintain that sense of reality while still being able to retreat has been my sanity in so many ways (or caused further insanity, I’m not sure some days! And that’s only ever been a good thing.)
I promised myself at the end of the semester I’d take stock. I listened when people told me that since I had the option to take some time out, take the time. I did that for about three-quarters of the semester… the n I took on more clients and more work. You know, because a full time uni load got boring and I can’t sit still!
Taking the space has been amazing. I feel clearer about what I want to do (breathe, it’s still mar/comms) and set some new goals. While I’m not sure uni is teaching me new stuff, it’s reinforcing what I do know and making me think about what I know in different ways.
I will be staying at uni for the rest of the year… so I’m not strictly working full-time and I’m consulting with the most amazing clients who are making this work for all of us. And I’m even thinking about doing a Masters of Change Management with UNSW.
And before I sign-off—I’ve been getting a few questions about this. From Kumskov to Ross… hasn’t that caused confusion! LOL! I never took my ex-husband’s name when I married, so my name change has caused even more confusion!!! Ross is my mother’s maiden name. I’ve always been exceptionally close with my mother’s side of the family and with the earth shattering beneath me, having a name connection with my mum’s family is making this transition so much easier. (And secretly I’m hearing you all say Ross is easier to pronounce and spell!!!!)
I finished my final exams last week and treated myself to a new cut and colour today (see above thumbnail). I’ve had the most amazing strat planning sessions and I’m finally feeling like my old (new) self. Watch this space :)