It has been an amazing five years riding the rocket ship here at W2O.  I’ve witnessed incredible growth, seen peers transform, and have learned so many wonderful new skills rooted in our integrated approach to communications. That’s all about to change for me… at least temporarily.

You see, tomorrow I will start a five week sabbatical.  It’s the first time I’ve ever taken a sabbatical.  In fact, it is the first time I’ve taken more than one week off at a time in over a decade.  Obviously this is very exciting – and an incredibly cool company perk.  As I’ve informed clients and contacts over the last few weeks, I’ve heard things like, “I thought they only did that in academia” and “I need one!”.  It is a special opportunity and this is a special place to work — in fact, Jim Weiss is coming up on his second sabbatical!

Along with all this excitement comes a bit of anxiety.


Why?  It isn’t that I can’t unplug and relax – although I do prefer to stay active versus, say, laying on the beach.  After some consideration, I think the answer may be most obvious when I look at my iPhone.

With the constant consumption of content – email/twitter/email/Facebook/email/repeat – I think I’m going to have a hard time adjusting my habits.  Sure, I will still use my phone and stay active online over the coming weeks, but the notion that I don’t have to – that there won’t be an email to reply to at 6:52am or a tweet to RT at 11:34pm is interesting if not daunting.  Having discussed this with Jim, Bob and a few others this week – and upon seeing this post via Greg Matthews, I’ve decided to temporarily remove twitter and (work) email from my phone just to avoid the temptation!

So as I reflect on the last five years and look ahead to the next, here’s my 5×5:

Five highlights from my first 5 years:

  1. Going to Van Halen with Jim during ASCO (bcc: Geoff Curtis)
  2. Crashing the all-staff Vegas off-site (while I was technically still a client)
  3. The day we acquired Common Sense Media
  4. Joining Jenn Gottlieb and team to launch Twist in 2011
  5. Partnering with Brian Reid and Greg Matthews (and others) to launch The Social Oncology Project at #ASCO13

Five things I’m going to do on sabbatical:

  1. Visit Yellowstone National Park and fly fish on Trout Lake
  2. Build a tree house
  3. Read actual books
  4. Help in the garden at Ambler Farm
  5. Start planning my next sabbatical

What would you do if you had 50,400 minutes of free time ahead of you?