So what has been happening in my life this week?
I have been feeling a little bit sorry for myself, and also getting angry that I am feeling this way. I have these moments from time to time. I feel lethargic and tired and there is no real physical reason why. My liver cleanse diet is going amazingly well and I have been exercising and meditating daily. I am working really hard but I am working on projects that really excite and interest me.
So what’s going wrong?
For the most part I am an extremely upbeat and positive person, but there are times that I really have to kick myself in the rear end to get things done. These are my mini episodes of depression that I think most people suffer from time to time. In the past, this has not been much of a problem because I would have to wake up and travel to a workplace. At this workplace I would be presented with a series of problems and would interact with a number of different characters. But when you are a writer you lead a very solitary life. It needs to be that way otherwise you would never get any creativity flowing. But the solitary lifestyle can also lead to a feeling of isolation, sadness and worry.
Here is an example of my life
1. I wake up and check my messages
2. I go for a run and return to the house to finish exercising and stretching
3. I complete the many writing tasks and other work related activities that I have scheduled for the day
4. I will either spend a short time speaking to my Mum, Dad, Sister; or calling a friend on the phone
5. I take breaks in between my writing to make myself food
6. I finish work and read
7. I watch at least one episode of a television programme I am following
8. I meditate for 20-minutes and say a prayer for someone who needs it
9. I go to bed
10. On weekends I have no plan and just relax
I plan my week in meticulous fashion, and as each week passes I review and create positive change. As the weeks pass by my plan gains a better balance as I continually assess and improve the areas that are not working for me.
I believe that I feel lonely because I am not having enough human connection. I was married for 20-years, living in a house with an 11-year old boy and was employed in a business where I was responsible for the safety and well-being of over a hundred employees. Every day was an interactive day. I realise that it is important to connect with people, and have included time to do this in my weekly plan. Unfortunately, the odd phone call or 30-minutes sitting with my family is not supplying the connection I ultimately need.
I need to get out and spread my wings. My balance needs to be better and the added weights must include interacting with other human beings. When I lived with my son my joy and happiness came when we were messing about, laughing and having fun. We were playing. I need to learn how to play again. I need a hobby that is fun, interesting and not related to work; that allows me to interact with other people and makes me laugh. If I find these extra weights, and even up the scales, then I am sure that my episodes of loneliness will start to decrease.
The biggest problem that I – and many others face – is that our self worth is connected to our net worth. The ‘to-do list’ is a very important part of every day life, but it cannot take the place of play. When you choose to create a career that is aligned with your life purpose it is too easy to get sucked into the chase for instant gratification. As difficult as it may sound, you need to start pushing playtime into the blender with all of the other ingredients of life. You need to stop thinking that playtime is purposeless and instead make it purposeful.
In my blog post entitled Why am I Here? I wrote about the important stage in my life when I started to learn about life purpose. I was advised, at the time, to write a list of activities that made me happy with a view to creating a career that contained those activities. The blog post worked for me, because I did create a job that contained so many of the things on that list, but there are so many of those things that are not covered in my current roles and responsibilities statement. So until I am capable of including them into my daily list of activities, I guess I am going to have to create a way of incorporating them into my life.
In the great book The Gifts of Imperfection by Bréne Brown she suggests creating a “Joy and Meaning,” list. This is a list of all of the ingredients that need to be in place so everything feels good in your life. In order to try and alleviate my bouts of loneliness I am going to take Brown’s advice and will update you on progress, starting in my next blog post where I will share my list with you and my plans for introducing changes into my life.
Postnote: Here is that blog post entitled: Joy and Meaning
Photo Courtesty of H.Koppdelaney (CC @ Flickr.com)