Where does all that energy come from? How do we keep going when things are tough? A reflective blog on luck, volunteering and God (just a little bit, don’t worry).

Today is 100 years since the atrocities of war on the Somme.

Today is 37 years since the first Sony Walkman went on sale.

Today is 19 years since Hong Kong was returned to China.

Today is 16 years since the IPD became the CIPD, gaining Chartered status.

Today is 8 years since I gave birth to my youngest child.

Today is 2 years since I started Kairos Modern Learning.

All momentous occasions. All important in my life for one reason or another. It’s probably because I am married to a history teacher that I notice where we came from and how it impacts on us. Probably because that said history teacher woke the house at 3:30 this morning to take a coach load of pupils on a school trip to the French battlefields today, that I am tired and a little maudlin. Thus it is I am reflective on this celebratory birthday anniversary day. Remembering our past, my past, my history is so important for focusing my future goals. Just this week in a conversation recalling my corporate life I realised I really don’t have energy for that life again. I think it is only when we forget how we arrived here that we start to make mistakes, those same mistakes of the past.

I often hashtag my tweets with the motto of my company, #TimeWellSpent, which means on this anniversary day I can create my own equivalent of Facebook Memories, looking over the past year at Kairos Modern Learning. In looking through timeline this morning, I love that other people use the hashtag too. It reminds me I am not alone, that I am one of many people in the Twitterverse and on this planet. I love that we are connected by commonality of thought, by generosity of spirit and by focus of design. When I search through my own tweets on that hashtag, like last year, I am struck by luck. How lucky am I? I do a job I totally love. I am astounded by how fortunate I am to work with such amazing, interesting clients and colleagues. I enjoy helping people practically with their move to modern learning. I am really lucky. My history shows me that.

Or am I? Is it luck? Or is it just lots of hard work? Or is it all simply that I am blessed by God? I told you I was feeling reflective and thoughtful today; I rarely publically bring my God journey into my work, as I appreciate that many people do not share my beliefs and I never want anyone to feel uncomfortable (don’t worry I will not dwell here long). But I want to explore my thoughts, ‘Working Out Loud’ style, to prompt you to think where you get your energy, or luck, or blessings from. It may be from faith. Or from chocolate. Or from energy drinks! I am perhaps not talking about short sharp caffeine boosts, however. I am talking about what keeps you going, what fuels your desires, what picks you up when you are simply so shattered staying in bed is a favourable option – perhaps how many of us felt last Friday. I think knowing where that life source, that energy, that focus comes from is so important to help us to keep on keeping on.

I feel I am God blessed to do good works. Even when rushing around, busy with work, with my children, with everyday life, I seem to be able to find energy, less so time, but certainly energy. My career enables me to volunteer. A lot. It was one of the founding reasons I went self-employed so that I could give back to my community. I teach Sunday School to 2-4 year olds. I lead a Girlguiding Unit. I speak on behalf of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. All these things zap my time and energy. But all these things give me so so so much back. I love it when I persuade a room full of people to tell their friends about the fabulous work Hearing Dogs do to empower Deaf people to live confidently and independently. To have the opportunity to start tiny children on a journey of faith is so fun and joyful. And my Guides give me energy, colour, interest and learning opportunities every single week.

I am not surprised then as I look through my #TimeWellSpent timeline today, as I did on this day one year ago, over this past year I’ve recorded work and voluntary stuff in equal measure. I guess I am getting used to bringing my whole self to work. It took time to change habits of a corporate lifetime, This year I have seen time spent with my family, with my Guides, with my dogs, at conferences, at #LnDcowork, with clients, with Learning Now TV, lots of time with CIPD, time spent with my colleagues, my #PLN, my friends. Lots of time in conversations. It really has not felt like a year of work at all. Now how lucky is that?! Thanks be to God.

Energy rainbow