February 11, 2019

Time for a Sabbatical

A Sabbatical usually means a period of leave granted to a worker for study or travel. Lasting from a few months to a year, these are times when a lucky person gets to step away from normal responsibilities and routines. University professors or ministers who are granted an extended break don't usually spend it on a beach in Tahiti or perfecting skiing skills. Often, they use a sabbatical to work on research or finish a work for publication. They are still working but one something different enough to be refreshing. 

That description brings me to my point: I need to take a sabbatical, a break from regular blogging. What should be fun and creative has too often taken the form of an obligation. I look at my calendar each morning and see at least four or five things blog-related that should be accomplished to maintain the standards you and I expect.

I could cut back to one post a week or two, but there would still be an expectation of completing the research and coming up with topic ideas, just less so.

No, I think my mind needs a complete break.

What will I do during my time away from blogging? I have absolutely no idea at the moment. I have a few thoughts that might involve an in-depth re-study of my college major (International Relations) that I skated through with little actual learning, or a real focus on a new-found spiritual path, very different from the lifelong one that has become unfulfilling for me.

It will mean less structure to my days, more time to take a picnic with Betty and Bailey, spend more time plunking on the guitar or listening to music. It will mean time at the gym or on my bike won't have to be squeezed into slots on a calendar. I will mean more time with my new volunteer responsibilities at the library.

One important task will be to move this blog from Blogger to WordPress. The latter is a much more professional-looking, full-featured place to produce a blog. Google has done only the bare minimum to support and improve Blogger. It is time to move. Don't worry...it will be set up so you will automatically be directed to my new home, whenever that happens.

The time away from daily blog-focused tasks will allow me to discover new ways, new topics, and new approaches to dealing with retirement and this stage of life with replowing the same ground too often.

How long will the break last? I don't know. More than a few weeks, definitely. More than a few months, probably not.

The blog will remain right here. There are always people who stumble across it and may find stuff in the archives useful. Also, I am not willing to abandon the Satisfying Retirement name to someone else who may not treat it well. 

One thing I do encourage, is to email me if you'd like: to update me on your life, ask a question, or inquire about the status on my sabbatical progress. Maybe you will have a suggestion on what I could do next if I ultimately decide to not start blogging again. The Email Bob Directly link at the top of the page will remain active.

So, for now, thank you for all your support, comments, and good thoughts. With almost 3.2 million views, there have been a lot of new friends made and information shared. We will get together again after a period of refreshment and creative stimulation.



  1. Gonna miss your posts Bob, but I certainly understand the reasons behind a sabbatical. If you want any suggestions with the Wordpress themes I would be happy to help. The choices can be almost overwhelming at first glance.

    I will be looking to welcome you back with your enhanced website and a refreshed view of your spirituality.

  2. Bob, We'll miss you while you're gone, and will welcome you back when you're ready. And when the time comes, I'd like to hear your report on the wordpress experience. I hear it's more difficult to work with, but does offer more options, better presentation. Just one piece of advice about your sabbatical: At your age (our age), don't go skiing!

  3. Will miss your blog but nice to know you and Betty are right around the corner! Everyone needs a refreshing break now and again!!

  4. Enjoy your sabbatical Bob, I can only imagine how much turning out a new and interesting post every few days wears you down. Take care and whatever you decide to pursue I hope you find it engaging and fulfilling.

  5. Bob, I always admire someone who recognizes what he/she needs and acts on it. I will miss reading your blog while you are on sabbatical and look forward to its return. Refresh. Reboot. Renew.

  6. Thank you for all the work you've put into this blog. I have received so much information and am now getting ready to start my own retirement. Enjoy.

  7. Very nice that the blog is not something you're required to do, whether you feel like it or not. It's a great blog; we'll all welcome you back when you feel like coming back. Have a wonderful time away!

  8. I totally understand but your regular insights will certainly be missed Bob.

  9. Hi Bob
    Enjoy your sabbatical! You have helped many people adjust to their retirement years...I speak from the heart.
    Best to you and Betty!
    Robin T
    Ps...third attempt...I’m having problems with my iPad. To perhaps it’s the operator...delete the others. ;-)

    Sent from my iPad

  10. One of the best blogs out there, A Satisfying Retirement means you take the time to decide what the next step is.Hope you enjoy this next phase of retirement.
    My dad said, about the age of 75, that this was his favorite verse of any song:
    "If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack
    To sit in the synagogue and pray,
    And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall,
    And I'd discuss the learned books with the holy men
    Seven hours every day
    That would be the sweetest thing of all."

    May your time in study be a blessing to your heart, soul and family.

  11. You're a smart man, Bob. Good luck as you refresh yourself!

  12. I'll miss your blog, but I can only imagine the time and effort you have put into it. I applaud your taking time for yourself to pursue your interests without the pressure of writing and research deadlines. All the best, and I look forward to whatever you decide to share when you return.

  13. Bob,
    I can understand and hope that you will give yourself plenty of time to recharge those batteries. When a pleasant pastime becomes work, it ceases to be fun.

    Several years ago, I came across Satisfying Retirement and found it extremely worthwhile reading. At the time, I was several months into retirement and Easin' Along was just getting up and running. I asked you to look it over and, if you found it worthy, to consider adding it to your blog roll. I don't know if you found it worthy, but you were kind enough to list it and have sent many readers to our website. I remain very grateful.

    Best wishes in whatever you do to enjoy your Golden Years over the next few months. A "Satisfying Retirement" is still the best gig going. If you come back to us, I heartily endorse Wordpress for blogging. Although I'm still learning, I have found it to be great for what I want to do.

    If you make it to Tennessee, I would love to meet you.

    Easin' Along

  14. I've never commented except once or twice but I always look forward to reading your blog. Not sure how I originally found it but I have been a loyal reader since about the start I think. The oldest blogs I can remember off the top of my head were when you were still involved in prison ministry.

    Since I live in Phoenix - Anthem in the North Valley - I always hoped to see your face sometime and introduce myself. In some ways our lives had parallel tracks. I think I recall that you lived at one time in West Chester PA? I grew up very near to there. I also devoted too much of my career to traveling on the road - in my case steel industry - to the detriment of family. Realized it too late but trying now to make up for lost time.

    Enjoy your sabbatical but hopefully not for too long

  15. I'm a "don't miss" reader of your blog but I think this might be my first message back. Your insights, your topics, your style have all been of value to me. I will miss you while I totally support your wish for a break. I will await your return.

  16. We hope you enjoy your time away from the blogging life.

    Looking forward to your return.

    All the best to you and Betty.

  17. Well, Bob, you will be missed here in R.I. I have looked forward to your posts. I usually read them out loud to my husband and we usually have plenty to discuss regarding the topic. Everyone deserves a break. Enjoy your time off.

  18. Having spent most of my adult life in academia, I am well aware of the value of a sabbatical. I wish you a time that is refreshing, productive, relaxing, and invigorating. I'll look forward to seeing you back in the blogosphere when the time is right.

  19. As I have struggled to adjust during my five years of retirement, your blog has been an important read for me. But your sabbatical, well deserved I am sure, points out what you have posted so many times, retirement is an ever changing journey. Your blogs have been informative, inspirational, and interesting, yet despite a successful blog, your retirement is taking a detour. Best wishes and be well. Will look forward to your return if it's meant to be.

  20. I'll echo others, Bob; refresh, smell the roses, whatever you feel you need to do. Quite frankly you don't owe anything to any of us; your own life is most important. We'll be waiting if and when you decide to continue, my friend, so take your sweet time.

  21. I will miss you, Bob, but taking a break is important. Take care, be refreshed, and don't forget to come back!
    Jeff in OK

  22. I think I've been with you almost from the beginning, and I will surely miss you, but I wish you well in your sabbatical. Looking forward to your return.

  23. Enjoy your sabbatical! Please do come back though...

  24. Good for you. You are practicing what you preach. If you force yourself through a sense of obligation to write about a "satisfying retirement," you are at odds with your own message. So now your task is to really do what you say -- allow yourself some free, unstructured time. Try to tolerate any discomfort and be patient. See what happens! I'm sure Betty will have some great ideas!

  25. Bob,

    Thanks so much for this blog... may it return. You are making an important contribution.

    As a retired academic who took several sabbaticals during my career.... I support and honor your decision. I always returned from my time away renewed and refreshed-- full of new ideas, goals and perspectives.

    Enjoy the time... deeply.

    Rick in Oregon

  26. I remember when you last left your blog. You weren't gone for long. Just enjoy your time away. Lots of other things readers can catch up with including the blogs on the side of your page. Dee

  27. Do enjoy yourself. Rest. Get away from the "have-to" of this blog responsibility. Thank you so much for fine writing and interesting topics that have drawn together an interesting and insightful community. May we have a chance to gather together again...

  28. Take your sabbatical, Bob, and don't look back. If a return to the blogging world feels right to you, you'll know it and I'd be thrilled to see you back in the saddle. If not, rest assured that the information and advice you've shared over the years has positively impacted my life and, without a doubt, the lives of many others. Your posts have always been thought provoking and the community you've built here is an absolutely delightful one.

    I'll echo Joe's thanks for including my blog on your blog roll - and for making Satisfying Retirement a bright spot in my day over the past several years.

    Wherever your sabbatical takes you, I trust that you'll relish the time spent with family and friends, and enjoy the rewards and blessings that your favorite activities will bring. Please be sure to thank Betty for her gracious generosity in sharing you with all of us during these past years - she's a sweetheart. Wishing both of you all of life's best!

  29. As a long-time blogger I completely understand and support your decision to take some time off. Sometimes the muse leaves us for a while, and there is nothing worth thinking you *have to* write something based on some arbitrary schedule we give to ourselves. Every writer needs time off now and again to reevaluate what they are doing and why they are doing it, and to figure out the purpose for their writing, both for their readers and for themselves. Enjoy the time away from the computer and with Betty and Bailey, and come back when you're ready. I'm pretty sure that after a while away you'll be filled once again with new ideas and purpose!

  30. Awww, I’ll miss you! Enjoy your well-deserved break.


  31. Enjoy your time off. Thank you for all these years of good information. Putting yourself on a blog schedule seems like a job to me. Wouldn't it be more fun if you just write when you feel like it? Feels like you were putting pressure on yourself. Just my thoughts on this - I really don't like being on a schedule since I retired.