Re: Am i missing something??
I took two years off a few years ago for various reasons. Dojo change over in leadership, my son being born, and burn ou and job issue.. I missed it, but made a choice, free and clear. I helped restart our dojo right before I left, and one of the "new" guys at the new location was now higher rank than I was! (Hi to Jim Singleton!) Jim is now a Shodan (maybe Nidan???) and I am still Kyu!
Anyway, I hold no regrets and resentment and actually I feel like I grew some during that time in other ways.
I now am stationed in an area where there is little aikido within a practical commuting distance to train, and I practice BJJ and Army Combatives, because that is part of my job. That said, I do practice the principles of aikido and do work with guys in my classes with AIkido concepts when appropriate.
I may not be progressing along the normal aiki way, I have been "studying" for about 10 years now, and I am not Dan rank...but I also realize that this is not what is always important.
Aikido should be a life long study, it is not like training for the olympics where you only have a few prime years to excel. Take your time, listen to your heart, and body. Be honest with yourself and study (or don't study) for the right reasons!
Good luck in your pursuit of harmony and peace!