Last night, I was glued to the tv watching Michael Jackson’s funeral.  He was such an awesome entertainer. I  remember hearing that he wrote down a goal to sell over 25 million records with Thriller and posted the note on his mirror so that he could see it daily. True or not, this really inspired me. We know that Thriller went on to be the best selling album in history and launched Michael into Super Stardom!! 

A mentor and friend of mine, Darlene, was laid off from her job as an engineer with an MBA several years ago.  She was introduced to a business a few months prior, but didn’t really take it seriously. When she got laid off, things changed. With only a little in savings, this smart classy woman decided to make the business work. It had to work! She stepped out, never looked back, and became a very successful insurance entrepreneur.  This week, Darlene passed away.

After high school, my younger brother Kevin, took a job as a night security guard. But he knew that he loved big trucks as a child and that God had a plan for his life. Kevin did something radical. With no money, he gathered his stereo equipment and sold it all to get tuition money for truck driving school. He graduated the top driver in his class, with many accolades and kudos from the instructors! Furthermore, God used his time on the road as a venue to inspire and encourage many people he met along the way. Kevin also became an ordained minister.  He passed away at the young age of 30.

Rev. Kevin A. Petitt Rev. Kevin A. Petitt

As I sit here and think about these wonderful inspirational people, I just wanted to spotlight each of them as an example to illustrate that life is precious and can be so short. They were each faced with a decision that propelled them to the next level in their lives.

Being on sabbatical is giving me an opportunity to really focus and gain clarity on things that are really important to me. Not that I didn’t know before, but to really take some time to be free of stress and the daily grind. Some people have a balance without leaving their jobs. I applaud them. For a long while, I would be at work dreaming that I was somewhere else. Finally, I was at a point wherein I was virtually compelled inside to leave. So, I left. This is so out of my comfort zone, but I know this is a defining moment in my life.

Inspiration– “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…What do people get for all their hard work? God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end…And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God…God’s purpose in this is that people should fear him.” Ecclesiates 3:1-14

Be blessed!

-A

Well thanks to hurricane Jemina, we won’t be going to Cabo. Last night a friend mentioned that Cabo was having bad weather. I checked a few sites that only mentioned rain. However, I went to tripadvisor.com to see if I could find any info on their forums. Sure enough, the hurricane information was there. To make a worse impact, the hurricane was rated a category 4 AND this time I didn’t get the travel insurance. What were we to do?? Luckily there was a hurricane policy that was in effect and we had options. We woke up early this morning to be first on the phones to see what other destinations were available. Bermuda, Costa Rica, Bahamas, and etc. were all either too expensive, not worth it, or booked. Our best option was to cancel and get a travel certificate to use later. I am so glad that we didn’t lose our money.

Inspiration – “Stay committed to your decision, but stay flexible in your approach.” Tony Robbins.

Be Blessed,

-A

Hi Everyone!

I thought this week would be kind of quiet after my Italian adventure.  However, that was certainly not the case. I have been so very busy. First, I was so excited and pleased to see my interview featured on http://yoursabbatical.com/blog/. Good stuff!!! Check it out if you haven’t dropped by yet.  Then, I had the pleasure of getting a quick introduction to volunteering at the food pantry. They do everything from giving food to providing job leads.  Prayer is even available if the individual wants it — truly an amazing place! I must say that another highlight of my week was helping my nephew get settled into the college dorms. He is attending school about an hour away. So, we have been busy getting things together. I must tell you that I am not much of a shopper. But, I have never been in Walmart so much in my life!!!  We were there at least 4 times this weekend!

Moving on to more news…I am packing for my trip to Cabo!!! We leave in the morning. I can’t wait. All I want to do is sit by the beach, relax, and see beautiful scenery. I am so ready to go. I will check in later for an update.

Inspiration – “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Be Blessed!

-A

By Elizabeth Pagano (Aug. 27, 2009 yoursabbatical.com)  http://blog.yoursabbatical.com/2009/08/27/itll-be-no-small-sabbatical-for-angela-petitt/

It began in Italy a week ago. What’s to come: more travel; volunteer work, both locally and abroad; church mission work; and, possibly, starting up a business. At 41, Angela Petitt left her job as a business systems analyst with Waste Management’s corporate office in Houston, TX, to embark on a sabbatical. “I felt it was time to step out, take control, and do something different for a change,” she says. She had been with the company almost four years.

I remind her that we’re living in hard times, with the end (if you believe it) of the recession just a few days old. “Many of my colleagues and friends think I am crazy for resigning right now. I still have bills and a mortgage, and I help support my college-aged nephew,” Angela says. “But I don’t want to look back on my life and have regrets in the future. I like the saying ‘If not now, when?’ Thoughts of taking a sabbatical kept coming up in my mind so much that I had to take the leap to see what all is out there.”

She began saving a year ago for her sabbatical. “This was huge for me. I’ve very conservative and frugal.”

After six months, she intends to return to work, either to a new business or to another company. “I believe that the sabbatical will give me a different perspective on things and that new perspective will make me a better person,” Angela says. To follow Angela on her sabbatical, visit her blog on our site. We hope her time off creates new thinking and unexpected opportunities!

I am back from Italy and have been eagerly wanting to share with you the details about my Italian adventure. 

Here we go… 

Although we were running a few minutes behind schedule to the airport, we pumped up the tunes and jammed to BOOM-BOOM-POW to get us into high gear.  Kerri, Elaine, and yours truly (aka Team BOOM-BOOM-POW) were ready for Italy.  But, was Italy ready for Team BOOM-BOOM-POW??? 

Kerri, Angie (me), and Elaine
Kerri, Angie (me), and Elaine

After landing in  Roma, the Italian men were upon me. Italy loves Angie and Angie loves Italy!  Several guys quickly deemed themselves as my “boyfriend”.  We managed to sneak away from them and make it outside the terminal only to be greeted by Elaine’s handsome “young and fresh” friend, Nicola. He was every bit of an Italian that one could imagine. He gave us a tour of the stomping grounds near his job, took us to a cute coffee shop for a snack, and then generously drove us the train station. Thank you Nicola!!

Once again we were en route and on the go. We went from Roma to Positano via the trains — some with no air and it was hotter than Houston!! Finally making it to Positano and settling into our beautiful cliffside hotel, we couldn’t wait to explore the island and get some food. As we walked along the way to the boardwalk to the beach area, there were many boutiques for our shopping pleasure. I managed to keep my spending to only food and essentials. The Euro was still pounding at the USD, making things pretty expensive from our perspective. Okay – I did buy a cute swimsuit coverup that I couldn’t resist.

Positano

Positano turned out to be the highlight of this fabulous trip for me. One night while we were having dinner, a guy totally surprised me with the biggest most beautiful bouquet of flowers ever!!! They even matched my outfit!  Apparently, he saw me the day before and waved to me, but I didn’t think anything of it. He then saw us having dinner on the boardwalk, passed by a few times, and then returned with the flowers…Now that’s ITALY!!! 

Flowers from an admirer Flowers from an admirer

Our love for Positano continued by dancing the night away at Music on the Rocks, lounging on the beach, meeting wonderful people, eating great pasta, and hitching scooter rides. Kerri broke some guys heart and left him standing on the porch and Elaine –well, she just had a grand ole time.

Next, the star treatment continued as we ferried to the beautiful isle of Capri.  We were trying to go up to the top deck of the boat, but the Captain and his team beckoned us to come up to the command center for the remainder of the ride!!! It was great! We had a blast.

Capri

In Capri, we met up with a Billie and Ryan, Elaine’s friends. (As a travel aficionado, she has friends all over the world -LOL!!). Although we had the worst pizza ever in Capri, the day was salvaged by visiting the infamous Blue Grotto and taking the chairlift in Anacapri up to the highest point on the island for spectacular views of the Bay of Naples. AWESOME!!!!

Back to ROMA

Team BOOM-BOOM-POW was now in Naples. We waited a few minutes at the bus station, but realized we needed a cab in order to get to the train station before dark. Kerri and Elaine were a bit apprehensive at the cab that stopped for us because it wasn’t in the best condition.  But, I was getting in the first thing moving…LOL!!!

We made it to the train station and back to Roma. Seems like we went from one questionable situation to another. The hotel was in a remote area of town and we had to walk under freeways and back streets to get there. I dare not mention the things we saw along the way. Here, we added Nicole, a model from Milan to our team. So now, we were BOOM-BOOM-POW plus One!! She was full of energy and being fluent in Italian was our “tour guide” for the must see sites of Rome.

It was sooo unbelieveably HOT in Rome! But we hydrated with water from the ancient Roman aquaduct fountains and cooled off with gelato and limoncello slushies–mmmmm good stuff! 

We actually did a lot in the short time we were in Rome. We were in awe of the Vatican, Coloseum, the Trevi Fountain, and all the ancient ruins. We marvelled at the magnificient works of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel….ahh ROMA!!! The only thing we missed were the catacombs. We got there too late to tour them. Oh well, just have to go back.


 

Those are the highlights and memories from the first trip of my sabbatical. Never did I imagine my dreams would start to come true so soon after leaving my job. I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful people, see some beatiful landscapes, and have awesome experiences. For that, I am thankful.

Inspiration – The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams (Eleanor Roosevelt).

Be Blessed,

-A

Italy is AWESOME!!! We are having a blast! We spent the first two nights in Positano and in a word – loved it!When I figure out this Italian keyboard, I will have so many exciting things to tell you. Til them…

Ciao!

-A

Just got word that the ticket was still available – I am on my way to Italy!!! WOO HOO!!! This marks the first trip of my sabbatical.  We leave in the morning. Actually, in a few hours. Gotta go pack. I am sure I will have a lot to report upon my return.

Ciao and Be blessed!!

Inspiration – “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”

-A

No alarm clock needed!!  Today is the first official day of my sabbatical and opportunities are already opening up. I have been talking to contacts regarding a potential business and participation in local volunteer organizations.  Even more exciting is that I was just interviewed about my sabbatical this morning! So stay tuned for more details.

Hmm…I believe this is the most productive morning I’ve had in a long while – and it is on my own time.

I am also planning my trips (anyone have ideas on South America?) and  getting things in gear for the awards ceremony…Oh, I must tell you that I was nominated and selected for my high school’s Wall of Honor. God is good! This honor recognizes individuals who have brought positive recognition to the school following their high school career.  This is like another dream come true.  WOO HOO!! Check out the details here – http://www.whswallofhonor.com/2009honor.htm.

Now, it is time for lunch. Nothing fancy of course, as I am watching my spending.

Inspiration – Yesterday at Lakewood Church,  we sang a song titled “Moving Forward.” It really encouraged me that my step of faith to resign my job and to take a sabbatical would be a time for me to learn, grow, give, and go on to the next level in my life.

Be Blessed!

-A

Laptop turned in – check.  Badge deactivated – check. Said my goodbyes – check. It is finished! Today was my last day at work and I feel GREAT! I believe exciting things are in store for me as I embark on this journey. Next step, researching travel destinations and formulating a strategy to ensure the best use of my time and money. I am so excited!

I really did it! As of Monday morning, I will no longer be an employee, but a citizen of “My Sabbatical” world. In this world, anything is possible. My decision to resign and take a sabbatical has generated mixed reactions from friends, colleagues, and family. But, this is something I must do. Most people do not understand…I may not fully understand, especially with today’s economic climate. But I tell them, “If not now, when?”

« Previous Page