Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

My Sabbatical

Back in March when the first “lockdown” went into effect, I like many I am sure, thought we would be up and running by June at the very least. However, as the weeks tumbled along, it became clear to me that my industry was facing some real hard realities. It wasn’t just the remainder of the semester that was going to be affected, but the fall and into 2021. A reality that was just not in my boundary of thought. Offering voice lessons online during the summer brought little response and as the months progressed, I had to accept that I would not be doing in-person lessons anytime soon, including the upcoming fall semester. I discovered it is one thing to have this realization floating around in your head, another to actually wake up September 1st and understand that I am now in that moment.

Owning my own business, my employment status runs along a continuum – my schedule full a paucity of cliets. Unemployment for me is called retirement. So during those months when I was hovering around the last position, my brain tried to accommodate this situation with concepts like “I’ve always wanted a summer off” to “a little more than the semi-retirement I had planned”. Neither of which really alleviated the struggle I was having wondering how I was going to keep my studio going until a better future arrived. I attended conferences, finished off home projects,  chasing productivity. But alas, the nagging never completely disappeared.

And then one evening, a revelation shot out of the dark (literally, it was night and I was in bed). Why not a sabbatical? People take them all the time. I have always been jealous of Sabbaticalites, trotting around the world, taking photos and notes so they can regale their employer with a report to validate time away from the office. Sabbaticals are not really in the lexicon for self-employed people, but it then I thought, why not? It would establish this bumbling period with an intellectual and official stamp giving at least an outward appearance of respectability to my arm flapping and ggeneral floundering about even if failing to completely exonerate my anxiety. After all, I already had a mountain of notes from the conferences and seminars I Zoomed through. I even bought a book about a coaching method used to help musicians with performance anxiety and purchased a frame drum with the idea that I would invigorate my vibrational healing workshop with some earthly rhythms (I confess it is a lot harder to imitate the woman in the presentation than I had imagined – lots of practice practice ahead). So ideas have been abundant if not thoroughly investigated and “strategized” but that is what a sabbatical would render possible right? I could spend the next few months taking a “leave of absence” (not completely, but the idea that it would be ok if I did makes me feel so much better), to put all this into a workable new chapter that will get published as soon as there is a vaccine, or well, anything better than now.

I confess, I really like this idea. I already feel less anxious and stressed. And just maybe, this will help me become essential once again and be able to work without my endangering my life!

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