I love it when people bring their own books to share with me at book signings. This gem was given to me by author Nancy Bearg last May at BEA. She attended my signing because she is an avid horse lover and kindly gave me a copy of her book, Reboot Your Life. I love this book because Nancy and her co-authors really “get it”. Their book, which promises to help readers “Energize your career and life by taking a break,” is a handbook for how to reclaim and invigorate your life and your creativity.
When I say that the authors “get it,” I am referring to their understanding of three important things. These are the level of stress in the world today stemming from radical changes in the demands of work life, the fact that people at different stages of life have different needs and the importance of believing that a good game plan can make it possible for many people to make a break possible whatever their career, life stage or financial status.
The authors discuss the age old “sabbatical” which has always meant taking a time for rest and reflection as in the seventh day of rest on the Sabbath. They note that one needs to have a break in order to reset balance in life, follow a creative dream, try a different career path or heal from burnout or loss. They note that in our 24/7 world, this is becoming more and more of a necessity just as the demands of our lives make it feel increasingly impossible.
First and foremost they identify the importance of making an assessment of one’s own situation and setting goals. They discuss a broad range of situations including someone in her 20s and 30s who wants to start a family; someone in middle age who has been laid off or experienced a loss such as a divorce; and someone in his or her 60s and 70s who wants to explore a passion or second career or needs a break before entering retirement. They then provide a practical game plan with tasks such as identifying fears, doing a timeline and figuring out where to start at your place of work to discuss the options. Their section on how to plan financially to make it all possible is creative, comprehensive and sure to empower!
As I told Nancy when we spoke at BEA, I was intrigued by her book because I had gone through a “reboot” several years prior without the benefit of such a guide and I understood the need for this book from personal experience. I also related to the title because the whole idea of a reboot, with its computer metaphor, means turning things off! This was one of the scariest things I ever did; and for that reason I sort of backed into it.
I made a move to a new community with the plan of setting up a new psychotherapy practice and continuing a career of 30 years, but a log jam of demands in my personal life made me realize that I needed to take some time before forging ahead with the new practice. It was a process laden with guilt and anxiety and it was only after 4 months of procrastinating that I began to realize how much the time off was helping me to rejuvenate and reconnect with my creative side. As the time off progressed, I decided that I did not want to begin another practice, and instead wanted to embrace a new career as an author which I had only been doing part time. Once I realized this, I rethought some financial aspects and was able to devote myself full time to the dream of being an author.