What a Sabbatical Did for Me

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

What a 16 Day Sabbatical Did for Me


Beach 2019


Have you ever just escaped for no reason? I'm not talking about a vacation. What I am referring to as taking an intentional time away from work, family and everyday activities. For me, this was not a vacation or retreat rather, a very specific time away to tackle a project I had been putting off for way too long.


Let me just say it took a lot for me to allow myself to take this time. Emphasis on "allow myself". If you are like me, this is a big deal. As business owners, we push and push with very little time left for ourselves.


Finally, I took the plunge. I wanted to finish a book I had been working on. I knew in my heart, I would never finish this project while remaining in my current work and home environment. I needed a change of pace, a quiet place to think and to be miles away from the temptation to jump right back in to work.


Here are the main take-aways I gleaned:

  • Make a plan and stick to it.
  • Budget your trip. I found a place where I could cook my meals. This alone saved me a ton of money.
  • Determine what you want your outcome to be. *This is key as you plan your sabbatical. 
  • Spend time determining a day-by-day schedule. I did this and it served as a guide that allowed me to actually finish my project ahead of schedule.
  • Ask your spouse and co-workers for their support. I couldn't have pulled this off without the support I received while away.
  • Intersperse your time away with some relaxation. I ended up taking Sunday's off completely. This allowed me to re-set and to rest my mind. 
  • Go away to a place that inspires you. For me, it's the beach and the water.
  • Celebrate your success! No matter what the task is, take a moment to celebrate what you DID get done. Celebrate the time you were given and bask in giving yourself a pat on the back.


I came back feeling inspired and energized like never before! In my hands I held the 66,000+ words, 7 divisions with 43 chapters! An overwhelming sense of pride and relief flooded my emotions. Of course the editing now begins yet, the ideas are on paper and the bulk of the work is tangible.


No matter what your reason is, I highly recommend taking a sabbatical. I did find out the world survived without me! So did my family! :)


Now is the time! Your goals are important! Go and get them accomplished!


 "Have you fully LIVED today?"

Posted by

Beam & Branch Realty       

"Have you fully lived today?"

   Paula L. McDonald ~ REALTOR®

        Granbury, Texas 

 936-203-0279 Direct

Selling Hood County and surrounding areas!




 John Maxwell

Farm & Ranch


          ABR                 Institute for Luxury Marketing                Institute for Luxury Home Marketing



Copyright 2019 Paula McDonald


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 02/05/2019 01:38 PM
ActiveRain Community
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Inspiration Station
time off

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Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

That sounds wonderful. I'm so happy for you. I would love to do that. I have some personal projects I'd like to work on. This at least inspired me to make plans for it. Thank you! 

Feb 05, 2019 04:54 AM #12
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

A sabbatical sounds great although 16 days doesn't sound like nearly enough. However, it seems to have worked for you since you were able to finish a book and emerge refreshed. Congrats.

Feb 05, 2019 05:54 AM #13
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Paula, The dual career life makes it challenging for me to truly escape.  I did take a 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise with my mother last October and had a blast!  Other than writing a blog post a day and answering the occasional phone call/email, it was pretty much void of engineering and real estate work and a nice opportunity to see lots of places in a short amount of time.  Now I've got the itch to do something similar sooner rather than later :)  Bill

Feb 05, 2019 06:52 AM #14
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Mining the treasure stored within us so it can be spent is why we are here...

Feb 05, 2019 07:08 AM #15
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Paula,

A sabbatical is definitely more than 16 days in my book, but good that this was enough for you to do what needed doing. Is the book something you want to share, when it hits the market?

Feb 05, 2019 07:10 AM #16
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Unplugging from anything you have done for a while is a way to refresh and recharge.  More people should try it.  

Feb 05, 2019 09:42 AM #17
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Hi Paula! I recently took a "sabbatical" with my sister-in-law which was supposed to be a week of intense work on our businesses. Ended up being an intense week of much-needed extra sleep, relaxation, camaraderie, and good food. Still, good for the soul! Congratulations on your upcoming book!

Feb 05, 2019 09:52 AM #18
Lauren Williams, CPO
Casual Uncluttering LLC - Woodinville, WA
Professional Organizer: Puget Sound homes

Paula McDonald You might enjoy Marilyn Paul's book An Oasis in Time: How A Day Of Rest Can Save Your Life

Feb 05, 2019 11:17 AM #19
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Paula, I thought that beach looked familiar :) I am in Destin Florida! What is your book about? Have you authored other books?

Feb 05, 2019 11:52 AM #20
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

We had one of those year's last year where we did not go out of the country but we are correcting that this year for two pleasure trips.

Feb 05, 2019 12:02 PM #21
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

WE all need this.  Take it while you can.

Feb 05, 2019 01:39 PM #22
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Paula, I would sure like to do the same thing but too many strings attached right now.

Feb 05, 2019 02:48 PM #23
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Paula -- Good for you.  Too many people don't think enough about "me time" and too many others can't stop thinking about "me".   Congratulations on finding the balance and on the project.  

Feb 05, 2019 04:08 PM #24
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Paula, you are my hero! Congratulations on knowing what you needed, and then doing it.

I take little sabbaticals (3 days end of June and 3 end of December and 1 day at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters) to review the quarter or year, and to set forth the plans for the next period. Like you, I pick quiet places with kitchenettes. For me, it's near a trailhead or two where I always take an hour's break (longer if I'm ahead of schedule) to hike and think.  Yesterday I booked my June get-away; same place as last time; I wrote about my time away at Olema Cottages. These times are essential to me, to my happiness, and to my productivity.

Feb 05, 2019 07:15 PM #25
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Good for you Paula!  What a sense of accomplishment you must feel! Good luck with the book

Feb 06, 2019 07:20 AM #26
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good for you!  It takes a lot of courage, tenacity and support to do that.  Can't wait to hear about your book :) 

Feb 06, 2019 10:35 AM #27
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

That is so awesome and good for you.  Looking forward to hearing about your book.  Again, congrats and job well done.

Feb 06, 2019 04:15 PM #28
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Good for you.  Sounds like you organized your time well and still managed to relax.  

Feb 07, 2019 07:53 AM #29
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

God evening Paula McDonald ,

So glad to see your post featured and you took the necessary "Me" time to write your book. I may not be interested in writing a book but sometime soon I need some "Me" time too.

Feb 07, 2019 04:30 PM #30
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Great story & glad you set it as a priority. How many people would never do it? Very impressive.

Feb 08, 2019 01:45 PM #31
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Paula McDonald

Granbury, TX 936-203-0279
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