September 22nd is my last day of work before I embark on 6 months of paternity leave. Only 15 more working days left. The thought fills me with excitement as this may be the only time in my life I will be able to have such a big role in the upbringing of my children. It also fills me with dread as I still haven’t decided what I am going to do with myself during that time. Not that there aren’t a million potential projects I could work on, I am just feeling ambivalent about which one to pursue.
Obviously most of my day will be occupied with the role of Mr. Mom. I will start just after the baby turns two months old until she is eight months old. Lots of stuff happens during that time including: teething, solid food and crawling. It is not like my schedule is going to be completely free for six months.
However, I figure I will have enough time to turn over one largish project or a couple of smallish projects during that time. My concern is: do I do something to further my career? Or do I do something completely creative because this will be the last oasis of “me time” for the foreseeable future?
I like the current company I work for. I want to continue working for them, and they know that. When I return to work next year I want to be in a new position. The powers that be said they will do everything they can to facilitate that. Should I spend my time preparing myself for the change? I.e. do a course on statistical analysis? Write daily on marketing strategies? Learn some new skill that will make me more marketable?
Even though I like my company, it isn’t in the field I thought I would be working once I completed my graduate degree. During my time off I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for other opportunities. Maybe I should use this time as a last ditch effort to gain the career I thought I wanted all those years ago. I have yet to have my thesis published, which would be a viable project.
Then of course I could use my energy to finally do something creative. For example, Naniwrimo is coming up. I also thought about doing a short-run podcast on the technology industry in Japan.
I am sure you will all say: Well, what do you want to do? The problem is, I want to do it all! That not being realistic, I thought I would try crowdsourcing an answer, or at least some advice. Got any?