Snow Days and a Digital Sabbatical

Who’s taking a digital sabbatical for the holidays? I am. Around Thanksgiving I saw tons of folks who took one like Elle, Tammy, Courtney, and Kellie to name a few. They made it sound so refreshing, so rejuvenating, a digital hibernation to replenish their souls.

I’ve never… and I mean never let myself been disconnected from my computer. If I go more than a 24 hours without powering up my baby I feel a little lost at sea.

Then just the other day I read Meg’s post at Minimalist Woman called Taking a Snow Day. It inspired me to take a long digital sabbatical (long for me!).

So this is going to be an interesting change. I’m going from today Wednesday December 15th all the way up to Monday Deceber 27th. Wowsa! Almost 2 whole weeks of digital sabbatical/snow days.

What am I going to be doing with my time? Well, the biggie is spending time with friends and family. There’s someone on the other coast of Florida I’ve been itching to get some face time with, an old friend of ours we haven’t seen in a while. We’re going to do a bit of visitin’, a bit of travelin’ and if we’re lucky we may even hit up Universal Studios for a day of roller coaster ridin’.

Plus, oh yeah, we’re going to be moving. Yep. We’re moving again. Lots of circumstances have conspired recently that means we’re packing up and shifting spots of ground. The big reason is that Patrick’s momma hasn’t been working this last year. She hasn’t been feeling well and the economy has been a drag for her. She’s getting some retirement money but it’s not quite enough to live on.

We’ve decided (taking a deep breath again to steady myself) to move in with her in the meantime so we can pay her extra bills that she just can’t cover on her own. We’ve been trying to give her money every month but with our cabin expenses in Arkansas (the cabin never sold so we’re paying on it too) and the rent/utilities at our place here we’re not making enough to cover her too.

You know what it’s like to hear your momma (or your honey’s momma) say she got her electric cut off because she couldn’t pay her bill? Not fun. So we’re shifting turf. I’m going to be taking a lot of pointers from Faith at Minimalist Moms because she knows what it’s like to be minimalist and live with multi-generations under one roof.

So for the next 2 weeks in addition to taking a digital sabbatical, visiting friends, and replenishing my soul I’m also going to be moving house. Lucky for us it’s easy because we’re minimalist!

The tricky part is going to be Patrick, me, the dog and the cat living in one bedroom of space. Oh, uh, and did I forget to mention that Patrick’s momma is a bit of a packrat? Guess what folks, you’re going to see some great motivational pictures of clutter messes in the future!

I’m actually really looking forward to the whole experience. One room living. It’ll be a sample of what that’s like! I’ve been intrigued to go really small like Tammy and Logan or like Kent. One room living, even if it’s temporary will let us know if we’re cut out for it, if we can handle it. Plus… of course there’s helping out Patrick’s momma, which is the most important thing of all.

How will I fare? Will I lose my sanity and start leaving garbled posts here on Minimalist Packrat? Posts like: Aaaaackha!! save me please….. im being eaten by clutter monsters… they’re creeping under the door. my serenity is fleeing me in the face of all those christmas trees in the front yard. who needs so many christmas trees? burn them! burn them all!

Let’s hope not! I’m looking at it as an adventure. And I have a feeling the adventure will end with us eventually moving back to our little cabin in the woods, the one where deer come to our front door and there are plenty of real snow days to be had.

In the meantime, I’m doing one big act of kindness and starting another grand journey, the journey of another day, and a few weeks of unplugging my soul from the internet. See you on the other side of the sabbatical.

Happy holidays everyone,



the minimalist packrat clutter bootcamp


18 Responses to “Snow Days and a Digital Sabbatical”

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  1. pamela says:

    Oh Tanja! so many big changes, I can relate to them all;) I wish you lots of love and luck for an enjoyable holiday and a peaceful transition to your new home situation.
    Thanks for all your inspirational posts sofar, I’ll be looking forward to your future ones:)
    with all best wishes
    pamela xxx

    • Hi Pamela,

      Thanks for the words of inspiration! My sabbatical was filled with action (moving and Christmas and all) but it was also soothing and nurturing for the soul. I’m glad to be back!

  2. Jill Foley says:

    I will miss your posts, but since I’m taking a bit of a sabbatical from blogging myself, I completely understand!

    And the move…can’t wait to hear more about that as it becomes a new reality for you.

    • Hi Jill,

      Good for you taking a sabbatical as well! I’m back now and over the next few weeks photos and more will be revealed about our new living situation and how we’re adapting to “one room living”.

  3. jaime says:

    i am so selfish. I’m totally bummed that youa re taking a digital sabbtical. Of course, I understand it and I think it is an awesome idea (in general and because you have so much going on), but I will miss reading your posts. Okay, no more selfish talk.

    I think that it is really great that you and Patrick are able to help out his mother this way. I do know how it feels to hear your own and your loved one’s mama say she can;t pay her bills. It is something we struggle with all the time. We live so far away, all we can do is hope that one day we will be able to move them to us. I hope the transition goes as smoothly as possible for you, Patrick and his mother. I am sure it will be difficult to live in an environment that you have struggled to move away from, but you will likely learn a lot from the process as well. I can;t wait to hear about this new adventure.

    And the cabin….awesome! I will forward to your return in a few weeks.

    • Hi Jaime,

      It will definitely be a big transition for us…. all of us! But I think it’s going to be great and we just couldn’t sit back and see what was going on with his momma financially and not do anything to help out. Right now we’re getting used to our family of 4 (me, Patrick, dog, cat) turning into a family of 12 (3 humans, 4 dogs, and 5 cats) not counting fish and birds. Whew! It makes my head spin. Pets can be clutter too!

  4. Enjoy your break and the move! That is wonderful you are willing & able to help out your mother-in-law. I wish you all the best & look forward to your return.

    • Hi Elle,

      Yep, it’s a sabbatical that was long overdue for me. I really needed to step back and take a break from the whole cyber-world. Now after a week and a half I’m refreshed and ready for more! Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Laura :) says:

    Tanja, have a wonderful sabbatical!! I think it is a great idea. On the random days when I’ve made myself not check email, blogs or FB I’ve gotten so much done!! I think 2 weeks is going to feel so refreshing!! You will be missed I can assure you!! :)

    Congrats to you and your sweetie for deciding to help his mom out. You all will gain from the experience no matter what. I’m excited to hear what the reduced living space with reduces items will be like!! Will you convince her to declutter?? It will be an exciting adventure!! :)

    Have a wonderful and beautiful Holiday time!!! :D

  6. Have fun on your sabbatical, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. As for me, I’m actually cranking it up over the holidays. I have some time off after Christmas and I have some blogging and writing that I want to get done. It’s stuff that just requires a few days of concentrated effort, and I can’t seem to come up with that time during the week or on my family filled busy weekends.

  7. Tanja,
    Yeah, I would say that moving is a reason for taking a digital sabbatical!
    I myself will take a short one, but since I am in the process of building my blog, and possibly launching a big challenge for January, I won’t be off completely!
    Have fun during your time off, although you may not even see this message until you return!

    • Hey Bernice,

      Hope you managed to take a “wee bit of a sabbatical”. It was tough for me to disconnect from the computer for a week and a half but in retrospect it was definitely worth it! I’ll be swinging by soon to see what you’ve been up to during my sabbatical.


  8. jenny smythe says:

    Tanja wow moving in with your mother in law? I commend you! And you say she is a packrat? well, don’t worry we are here to support you. Sending some virtual love and hugs to you ! Can’t wait for you to sign back on!

    • Loving the virtual hugs jenny! Thanks. Yep. Moving in with my packrat mother in law. What an experience! Life is a series of adventures and I’m looking at this one as the next great adventure! Great things will come of it, I know, at least I believe which is sometimes more important than knowing!


  9. Carwin Young says:

    Yep, I too will be out for a few days come the 23rd! Enjoy your time away from The Great Connector.

    • Hey Carwin,

      Hope you enoyed your digital sabbatical! I did. I completely disconnected from as you put it, The Great Connector. Now I’m refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for a new year of blogging. I’ll stop by and see if you’re back from your sabbatical yet!

  10. ...Bliss says:

    I wish you the absolute best and applaud the love and self-sacrifice this decision involves. These are decisions that many, many people are having to face in these tough economic times or because of aging loved ones. I think it’s great it will give you the chance to experience your minimalist living to the maximum. As long as you can have “room of your own” or a nook or somewhere to unwind, plug in, read (drink vodka martinis and slip some Xanax from a Pez dispenser), you will manage. There may be untold blessings waiting from this arrangement. Not to mention the masses of inspiration for future blogs! Best wishes~~Bliss

    • hi Bliss,

      I love the idea of vodka martinis and Xanax! Well, I could drink those vodka martinis with my mother in law because she likes vodka. (Hee, hee, I actually don’t drink much anymore. I had enough of that in my teens and twenties for a lifetime). We’re very lucky in that she was willing to completely (I mean completely) clear the room for us. It was soooo full as a guest bedroom that it was hard to walk between the furniture and the bed. So we will have our private sanctuary in the midsts of clutter-ville.

      I think the arrangement will be a blessing for all of us. She will get the chance to have her beloved son underfoot and she’ll be free of the big, big money worries she was facing. It feels great to be able to help her while she needs it. And I think we’re all going to learn a lot about human nature and how dynamically different people can come together and work together to make a situation not only succeed but thrive. And yes… there will be tons of inspiration for future blog posts! I’ll be skulking around the house with camera in hand at all moments! I’ve already planned a continuing retrospective of porch clutter. It’s always cluttered but always with different clutter! Perhaps a one year retrospective with shots from each month of the year. Hmmmm.

      Hope your holidays were great,

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