What is a spark anyway? It is a tiny bundle of energy that can light a candle or start a fire.
I don’t know about you but only a few weeks into the first term of this year and I am sadly lacking in energy, I feel like I don’t have enough even to summon a small spark. And yet that’s not true, for I do have those more volatile sparks, the ones of impatience and frustration that quickly flare.
Because that’s the thing about a spark, it can be contained and controlled, or it can be unpredictable and explosive. And what I have discovered lately is if I don’t take the time both to kindle and control my own sparks of energy, I end up with the sparks I don’t want. And these sparks then do damage to relationships with those closest to me.
I have found I have to be intentional about rekindling my energy and containing those damaging sparks. So here are four areas that I am working on this term.
Distraction is a real trap for me when I am lacking in energy. It is easier to sit and scroll through my phone than to engage in conversation. But I am often energised by a good conversation.
So to allow these opportunities to arise, I am practising being present in the moment. Practically this means I have deleted Facebook from my phone. I carry a book in the car for school pick up time. And I am making a point of not taking photos at every event but instead just enjoying the experience.
Finding time for fun
It is amazing how I need very little in my day to make me happy, and these little things can boost my energy very quickly. So on a hard day I make a point of cutting roses from my garden to put in the house. Their beauty and fragrance make me smile every time I pass them.
In the car, a play list of happy songs does wonders to my energy levels. As does a little red lipstick on a busy day.
And, if I am low in energy by this time in the term, so are my girls. So, we make a small celebrations out of days like Valentine’s with corny jokes in their lunchboxes and heart-shaped ice blocks for their drinks.
In these upper primary years we are managing four people going in a number of different directions. So on Sunday afternoon we have a chat with the family about the week ahead, as it helps if everyone knows the plan.
I also meal plan with the week’s activities in mind. Cooking something quick on a Tuesday when we are out all afternoon with activities and something easy on a Friday when we are all worn out from the week.
As a writer, I need time for deep thinking and contemplation. The image of a writer spending most of their time staring out the window is true!
So I make space in my days to cultivate my creativity. Sometimes that requires times with no noise, yes, not even the dishwasher or washing machine. At other times I read books or listen to podcasts that will grow my writing. Or I take a break and bake, as doing something with my hands often helps me process an idea I am wrestling with.
Through these four intentions I am slowly regathering my energy and as I feed my soul with these simple steps I am finding that the more volatile sparks of impatience and frustration are getting contained and controlled.
What simple steps can you take today to rekindle your energy?