My own coach Gwen likes to say that these last six months have been a time of fermentation for me. The image fits. Yes I have had busy times more recently, but I also have more time on my hand than I have ever had in my life. I can’t remember a time when I was not working. Jobs at adolescence, attending university, stepping into a profession at a young age, mothering, becoming a consultant, starting my own firm. So these last six months have been a first in my life.

I have walked aimlessly or taken the infamous three-wheelers all over Colombo. I have bought tropical plants in all colours and shapes, just for the pleasure of it. I have spent hours drinking lime juice at Barefoot on Galle Road, and fell asleep in my garden with crows and parakeets making deafening noise overhead. I have read book after book, sometimes more than one at the same time. I have been bored!!

Why a sabbatical? The timing was right. Son is grown up, my parents are still in good health, plus my life partner got posted to the other side of the planet. Even before the stars all lined up, I felt a strong need to reorient myself and by extension my business, to better reflect the value I place on personal growth, on creativity and on a human focus in all endeavours.

I have had a hard time explaining why I left the federal public service, why I left my job in the private sector, why I set up my own business, or made important changes to my personal life. Every time I turned a page, I experienced a battle royal with myself. The outcome was never quite what I expected and the silver lining not obvious for a while. Once I reached my destinations, I did realize eventually that nothing can be rushed, not even oneself!

We grow at our own pace and should be thankful for not getting exactly what we want, when we want it. What does appear after fermentation is usually just what was called for.