The Sunshine Sabbatical

Well, hi there folks!

First off, I would like to thank you for supporting me during my decision to take a few weeks off from blogging!

Second off, I want to thank you for coming back to read a fresh new post from yours truly!

Can you believe that the last time I wrote an official blog post was on the 11th of October?!

It has been 5 weeks!

Like, WHOA.

A lot can happen in 5 weeks.

And guess what?!

Ding! Ding!

You guessed it!

I’m going to tell you all about those 5 weeks and what I learned.

Are you ready?

Are you cuddled up with your favorite cozy blanket and warm beverage?

Although with the Summer-like weather we had this past week, we could trade that blanket in for a pina colada.

Anyway, I digress as per the usual.

5 week sabbatical.


Here we go.

I learned that I get incredible joy from performing on a stage in front of an audience unlike anything else in my life. After being away for almost two years, I can’t tell you how much excitement I had every night performing Something Rotten at the EPAC with a cast and crew of the most brilliant individuals. And for those who were so kind to come out and support it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The energy that cast gave each night was electrifying and contagious.

And it was just the jolt of joy humans in this world needed after COVID cancelled everything in 2020.

With this joy though, I also learned that the rehearsal process has become a bit too much for my body when also trying to work a full time and part time job.

I learned that I need to listen to my body when it is screaming at me.

And that was exactly what I did after Something Rotten closed. I had no down time as I went into stage managing a special two-night performance of Hedwig for Halloween weekend.

My body cried.

So, I listened.

I got off social media with the scrolling habit for several days and I coupled that with no work for four days straight.

I put my phone on DND and set no alarm to chime in the morning.




I didn’t realize how much my body needed that mental reset until I was in the moment resting it.

With this rest, I also learned that I can’t work on changing the world if I’m not taking care of myself.

I’ve always put others first in my life and set any needs of my own to the sidelines. It’s just who I am. And while I have loved working to fundraise for multiple facets of charities over the past couple of years, I’ve learned that I need to force myself to hit the brakes.

This year’s mission with Miles 4 Smiles—which has just under 50 days left—has definitely added some stress and anxiety to my daily life because of the thoughts that I will not reach my goals. And while I continue to be hopeful, there is still the small voice in my mind telling me we won’t make it.

And what has that taught me?

That I need to start learning to say “no” to things and saying “yes” to myself.

So, I’ll say this now because I want each and every one of you reading these words to hold me accountable.

2022 is going to be a year for me. To focus on me. So, while there might be times that I say “no” to you, I would ask that you don’t take it personally. That “no” is actually a “yes” for myself to keep me going and healthy—physically and mentally.

The pandemic really messed with my mind. I feel like I have lost part of my socialization skills with others and that makes me incredibly sad. Moments where there are lots of people that present an opportunity to socialize was something that I used to not bat an eye at with diving in and talking. But now, I have started to second guess my ability to carry conversations. And I want to try and find that part of me again.

I also want to work on my fitness and health. While I feel physically healthy for the most part (especially with running almost every day), I want to dig into the muscle building aspect of my body.

I find myself too often scrolling through the phone at social media wasting time when I could be investing time into myself.

And while I’m extremely proud of the progress I have made with my body over the years with my awesome trainer Zach, there is a craving for me to put in hard work even more so since I will have the time to focus on me when I say “yes” to myself.

And if you want to see a visual of my fitness body goal, just type in ‘Gregg Saulkin Pretty Smart” into the search bar and click the images option.

You’re welcome.

And last, bur certainly not least, I learned from my sunshine sabbatical that quality time with my family and friends (which I do hope to get more of in the new year) is something I cherish deeply as it gives me a rejuvenation of true happiness. On the flip side, I also equally cherish the moments of time by myself too.

I never thought myself to be someone who truly enjoyed being alone; however, after living through a pandemic, I truly have learned to appreciate the quiet time I have with just me and myself.

It is refreshing and reviving.

In these past five weeks, I have learned so much about what my body needs and how I need to execute things in my life to keep myself feeling well balanced.

I learned that taking time off and doing absolutely nothing is needed.

As my one colleague from work Kris reminded me…

a car needs gas to go. And if we don’t fill up that tank, it will just stop.

Our bodies are our car. And if we don’t learn to fill its tank up when needed, we will just stop, crash, and burn.

Fill up your tank ladies and gentlemen.

Take that sabbatical to recharge your body.

Give yourself grace.

And remember that we can’t continue to change the world with love, kindness, and other good things if we ourselves can’t give our bodies those very same entities.

Take the sabbatical.

Fill the tank.

Be love.

Sprinkle sunshine always,