Today is the first day of my first sabbatical. My company offers a paid month off every 5 years you're employed with them - an incredible benefit, and a bit overdue for me. I just celebrated my 7 year anniversary at the beginning of August, but while I've been eligible for some time... it was never the RIGHT time. Taking the sabbatical while moving from Phoenix to Denver didn't feel right. And then once we felt a little settled, we found out we were pregnant with Thomas - another less-than-ideal time.

So now... I'm in this wonderful space. We've moved into our new house, and time on this sabbatical will be put towards making it feel more like a home instead of a blank canvas.

I'm especially thankful for this sabbatical as a time to sort out self care - something I've put on the back burner for so long, I'm not even sure how to best take care of myself. I'm looking forward to figuring that out again.

Part of my needed self care is time to write, think, and process. With so many changes recently, and exactly NO time to process, I'm especially glad to finally reflect and process. My intent is for this practice to continue past the sabbatical to infuse my life with a feeling of being grounded.

This quote up above? Totally accurate, at least in my experience. With a big change there are plenty of positive feelings: excitement, anticipation, gratitude, etc. But there are also some uncomfortable feelings. Sadness. Reluctance. Grief. You're leaving a chapter and starting anew. You're moving away from your previous life and experiences toward something new and unknown.

A few weeks ago, the Xterra died. Catastrophic break. All of a sudden, we were scrambling to figure out how to navigate life with one vehicle. Not the end of the world, clearly. But there were many layers here. Stress, hassle, the financial hits, and yes - mourning the "death" of the Xterra.

Some folks don't relate to loving a vehicle. But... for me, it's part of the family. My family has a history of buying a vehicle and keeping it forever - we not only drive and do the day to day, but we go camping, do upgrades, perform maintenance, and make that vehicle one of us. It's a reflection of who we are and what we love. When my father sold our Suburban, I cried. When I sold my first-ever truck, I cried. And when I saw the Xterra loaded up on the tow truck... and finally drove away from it forever... I cried.

The X was Alan's truck originally. He bought it when he got out of the Army. It was the truck he picked me up in for our first date. Our first road trip. What we drove to my parent's in after he proposed. What we drove to our wedding. We took the truck to Colorado, drove the trails in Moab, and explored in Arizona. Zoey rode in pretty much every seat in that truck. It's been with us for 7 years.

Bye, Xterra. Thank you for all you gave and gave and gave.


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