Why Nine?

As I indicated in my initial post (really – test post from the iPod), this is a blog intended to help chronicle my *year*.  So why call it Nine Wandering Weeks?

Well, basically, I am taking nine weeks of unpaid leave from my job so that I can do a number of things without needing nine weeks of vacation (which I don’t have).  It is a latitude that my job allows, unlike many other places.  Also, they have agreed to “average” the remaining 80% of my annual salary over this entire year so I will still receive pay-cheques while I’m technically on unpaid leave.  I wish everyone had this sort of flexibility with their employers.

How I’m measuring a year will be difficult – do I measure it from January, when a major life event suddenly gave me the energy to put all these simmering plans in place?  Or do I count from when my employer began my “averaging” (which, for the record, was last week).  Or do I count from today, my first posts?

Really, if I was to count personally when the adventure year began, it would be from the life event in January.  It was basically a hitting of the reset button, the taking of a decision long fretted over which, in retrospect, was probably the best (or only) option.  It may or may not matter what this life event was, only what it jiggled loose.  Perspective was gained, energy was redirected, emotional maelstroms were exited and other decisions cascaded from that one event that shaped what this year would look like.  I characterised it to one friend as having had the dam that I had so carefully (and frantically) invested in break and, after the first wave of stale, stagnant water, a rush of fresh, clean water washing over me.

The perspective gained has also allowed a rapprochement in recent weeks.  And that has lead to a new beginning, a new chapter in that story.  I think I like where that story is going.  It makes me happy.

Through January and February, there was planning, there were applications, monies paid. Calendars filled in with key dates and more planning.  A spreadsheet was started to drive home the realities of this year.  And then, a purchase.

A plane ticket.  Return, direct to Heathrow.

There’s no turning back now.

More planning, researching, and then booking, glorious booking.

The calendar page turned yesterday, and suddenly I could see my leaving date – the day that I will have to set all sorts of ‘away from my desk’ messages.  I automated a reminder in my email program.  I have four work weeks left before I start my wandering.  Those weeks will go by quickly, I know.  March sure did.

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