Today’s Word: Sabbatical

1 Jan

I’m back from my sabbatical, well rested and ready for 2012. So what exactly is a sabbatical, you want to know? Sabbatical, derives from the Hebrew word sabbath, which means to rest and refers to the religious ceremony of observing certain days to refrain from work and other acts in order to focus on worship and connect with God. I’m sure you’re familiar with the quote “And on the seventh day He rested”. Sabbatical  means pertaining to the Sabbath and also pertaining to every seventh year.

Today, the word sabbatical refers to taking an extended leave of absence from work. A true sabbatical lasts one year, and is often earned after working a period of seven years. Sabbaticals are very common in some areas of work, especially higher education. And get this, there are even paid for.

But don’t mistake a sabbatical as a free pass to play hooky and loaf around. Not at all. True sabbaticals- and I keep referring to ‘true sabbaticals’ because sabbaticals have become watered down in some sectors and have different durations and different purposes- but a true sabbatical is about personal growth, learning, exploring and reconnecting. It’s a time for learning a new language, traveling, writing a book, learning a new trade or craft, etc.

So there you have it wordphiliacs, the definition(s) of sabbatical. And um, yeh, what I took was more like a vacation but doesn’t sabbatical sound so much cooler?

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