I’ve been feeling so tired, drained, grey and stressed. I know winter is never my best time as I’m an ‘outside in the sun’ kind of girl, but I know there’s more to than that….so I’ve made up my Energy Life Map to review 2015 and set me on track for 2016.
Today I am feeling so lucky. We are in Southern Spain for a few days and it is joyous to see the sun and walk barefoot on the beach. I feel so grateful that the boys can roll in the sand and play football with shoes as goals. What a gift for us all to have room to play and be.
Even our delayed flight at way too early in the morning was a gift as I read half of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic which has just been inspiring. I had time on the plane to reflect and to review the year so far.
I have had time and space to appreciate all that 2015 has brought us, whether a new puppy (who has been known to pee on the table – ew), Greece or just time to repaint the kitchen, stand at the side of football matches and spend whole days with my sister for the first time since childbearing years.
- What are all the good things 2015 brought you?
Last year we went through all out photos and made them into a photobook and we are doing the same again this year (and yes…the delayed flight gave us time for that too). Looking back on our photos we are reminded about youngest son’s cross country success, his brief but enjoyable flirtation with cubs and his puppy, oh, and more of his puppy. Eldest son has been football all the way. Football courses, more football teams, bigger matches, more kit and finally he’s finding his feet at secondary school.
I also made up a new measuring tool I’m going to call my ‘Energy Life Map’. I drew a line across the page with ‘Energising’ at one end and ‘Draining’ at the other and then plotted all the different ways I spent time in 2015 on there. I wasn’t surprised to see writing at the ‘energising’ end, nor that ‘reading, researching, interviewing’ near that end too.
Down the other end near ‘draining’ were things like ‘legal stuff’ and ‘money’ , which didn’t surprise me, but there were other aspects of my work which were further towards ‘Draining’ than I had thought they would be.
- Have a go at making your own Energy Life Map
So when I had completed my Energy Life Map…I could see clearly that I haven’t been spending as much time as I would like on things that energise me (which is why I felt so tired) and I have been spending too much time on things which drain me.
- How are you spending your time?
So, what to do because some of the drains are necessary; I need to keep an eye on the money and pay my bills. Some of the drains are one off and so when they are done, that’s it, done – relief. but others, like money are ongoing. So what will I change? I’m going to avoid taking on any more one off drains, and I’m going to finish off the drains I am currently involved in and step away. The things I can’t step away from I’m going to re-frame as the foundations for the creativity I want to increase in my life.
Then I’m going to boost my creativity. I love writing these blogs and I have loved writing the books. There are more books and articles in my head and Ms Gilbert has given me permission to just give birth to them, whether they are of interest to anyone else or not..just because I love writing.
I was surprised when I saw ‘interviews and research’ on my Energy Life Map, because I have done so little of those things, and yet I am a qualitative researcher, it is just part of me which has been asleep for what feels like too long and now I want it to WAKE UP!
What can you do so you spend 2016 doing more of what energises you and less of what drains you?
This map will be my map for 2016 because I want to spend as much of my life as possible feeling energised, inspired, curious, creative and in Flow. Life is short and I want to be absolutely ruthless with minimizing what drains me: whether that is people, places, thinking or what I spend my time doing.
Julie energised is fun, empathetic, loving, sexy, social and relaxed. Julie drained is crabby, insular, tearful, stressed, critical and tired. So I owe it the world, as well as myself to keep myself on the ‘energised’ side of the spectrum.