In my last post, I wrote about trying to figure out when to apply for a sabbatical. Originally, I said that I was going to wait until Da Man and I moved to a bigger place even though we aren't sure when that will happen. Since this might be the last move we ever make, we have a very specific list of demands, and we aren't moving until they are all met. But then I started thinking, and that always creates trouble.
Seriously, I was thinking much along the lines of what Susan commented to that post. Why not grab the opportunity when I can? Yes, there's a financial considerations because the year-long one comes with a paycut down to 60%. But I then thought, quite obviously, of spending the next year living on 80% of my salary, banking 20% so that, if the sabbatical works out, I've got enough to raise it to 80%, which I would already have been living on. And I've got to become more conscious of my spending.
We are true GA-DINKs (gay, double-income, no kids). We've spent the last few years getting our bills to a place where we can pay them without a lot of stress or thought. It's true that things can change in this economy, but things have been looking good for us, and I'm really grateful for that. I should be able to bank 20% each month if I watch what I spend at Amazon and out to eat and all that. Yes, the bills get paid. Yes, I don't go wild with the credit card. But I'm not that conscious of a spender after that.
I feel like I need to make the conscious choice about when I'm applying so that I can make other choices about next year, too. For example, I now think I will not be going to any conferences next year. There were a couple I was thinking about, but there are none that are pivotal to my professional development right now. And even with my professional development money, conferences cost a fair amount out-of-pocket. I'll be thinking about other things like that, too.
I know someone else who has a sabbatical who has comfortably taken the attitude that it will all work out and that hir family and kids will all be fine. But I did want to talk to Da Man about it and make sure he's on board, and it would really stress me out if I didn't have some kind of general plan to follow. I'm not a seat-of-my-pants kinds of guy, in case you haven't noticed. And if the sabbatical doesn't work out, then I've got more in savings for when we apply for the next mortgage and/or for the move itself.
This may all sound like a lot of silly mental hoopla. It's a sabbatical, so go for it! But the anal-retentive Virgo needs some structure. And then I can get excited. My project will build on the work I've been doing on Wojnarowicz, and it's fun to develop those ideas and make those plans.
So let's go for it.