I probably couldn't say it any better than I did to my co-workers:
From: Kevin Fox Date: Aug 27, 2007 6:47 PM Subject: I'm taking a Q4 sabbatical
I'm planning a three month leave of absence starting in about a month, and running through the end of the year. It's been about 12 years (five jobs and two degrees) since I've taken a sabbatical and it's high time to remedy that.
Over the next four weeks I'll be wrapping up and transitioning off my current projects in preparation for my last day in the office on September 21st, just in time to finish my peer reviews. Accounting for the holidays, I'll be back on January 2nd, 2008.
While I'm out I plan on learning everything. I've got cooking lessons lined up, and a slew of books ranging from history, economics and political science to poker theory, mnemonics, python, and writing flash fiction. I even have a book on how to make the most of a leave of absence.
I plan on taking a few short road trips, continuing the year long wedding planning saga, getting sucked in to Halo 3, exploring the underground music scene, working towards my pilots license, kayaking in Arizona, getting my SCUBA credential, and shedding 20 pounds. I will accomplish my Q4 OKRs.
I plan on reviving long-dead personal projects like Randompixel and AOLiza, while giving life to a few that have been bouncing around inside my head for the last few years. I plan on becoming a pragmatic programmer and abstracting my functions.
I won't do everything that I plan, and I will do things I never would have imagined, and as the year closes and the next begins I'll be amazed by everything that's happened since I left, and wonder at how long and short a quarter can be.