Circle of Life

I’m joining in with @kateab’s Life Circle on her FiveFs blog this week to see if it can kick-start some inspiration that I feel I’m lacking in some areas of my life at the moment.

If I understand this correctly, each week she sets a challenge for us to develop a specific area of our lives and then write a post about it. It’s kind of like Cyber LIfe Coaching.

Anyway, I’m going to give it a go to see what it reveals and where it takes me.

This week’s task is the WHEEL OF LIFE.

And here’s my post about it…

The task is straightforward enough: give yourself marks out of 10 for each of the sections, draw line across that mark and then see how your wheel looks at the end – or if it’s still even a wheel at all!

Mine most definitely wasn’t.

Here are my scores:

Fun and recreation…7
Cooking is my fun and recreation, and I do it every day, so a pretty decent score here. I also get a kick (most of the time) from playing with my kids. And I spend as much time as I want in the pub, which is where I’m writing this right now. But what is woefully lacking is holidays and time with my missus. Not just time, but quality time. We haven’t had a holiday since our honeymoon in August 2009 and there is little prospect of having one this year because of our financial situation. We had a weekend away last year, and a couple of decent nights out at decent restaurants, but not enough.
Action needed:  Well, we’re determined to have a holiday this year – if I can persuade my wife to take enough time off work – and we’ve got a night out booked at the end of the month with two dear friends, so it’s a start. I just wish babysitting wasn’t so bloody expensive!

I had one of these, and I was pretty good at it (I think) until I was made redundant 18 months ago. There is no prospect of another career looming, either in the same field as before (editing magazines) or in a completely different walk. At least not anything that would pay enough to fund childcare for our three young kids with a bit left over. So, inspiration needed.
Action needed: Spend the next few weeks researching and weighing up what I could do from home to earn a living as a Working-From-Home-Dad.

My health’s good, touch wood. It always has been. I haven’t had a single day in hospital in my life since a hernia operation when I was four years old. But my lifestyle is bound to catch up with me at some point. I drink far too much. My wife and I share a bottle of wine after the kids have gone to bed every night, and I go to the pub three or four times a week.
Action needed: I totally agree with the Government’s new guidelines of having two alcohol-free days a week.  I’m going to try to have at least three, and hopefully, four days off. I’m also going to cut down on the amount of meat I consume by dedicating Mondays to meat-free dishes.

Personal Development…7
I’ve learned a lot over the past year – about myself, about being a housedad, about properly connecting with my kids. But I’ve also learned about things I previously had no interest in: social media, blogging etc. If I learn as much in the next year as I have in the last, I’ll be a happy man.
Action needed: To keep acquiring new skills with my blog. I’m learning about vlogging, and I’ve signed up for the Britmums conference in June. I have little or no interest in Facebook and Google+ but I’m wondering if I should get with the programme. None

Friends and Family…10
I’ve got the best friends and the best family any man has the right to expect. Supportive, insightful, fun, challenging, loyal etc.
Action: None

I presume this means living space. Well, we five of us share a three bedroomed flat, with no garden (though a nice roof terrace), and at times we do get on top of each other. But we live in a nice part of London, with an amazing park nearby, and I’m not prepared to sacrifice London living for the suburbs. We tried it for a while – a six-month stint in Terry and June Land. It wasn’t for us, and we moved back.
Action needed: None

My wife earns a decent salary, but I make a pittance from freelance work and I’m in a constant state of anxiety about not ‘Earning My Keep.’ We don’t live in penury, and buy pretty much whatever we like, as long as what we like doesn’t stretch to fancy holidays, expensive clothes and back-of-the-cupboard gadgets. But the issue is not about wanting MORE; it’s about sustaining what we’ve got. Being made redundant was a huge blow to me – I thought I was financially immortal before then. But when the axe fell and I couldn’t find another job, I realised how mortal I really am. And realised how vulnerable we all are, as a family, especially in these straitened times.  Yes, my wife has a good job – but will it, CAN it, last forever? I know from experience that it won’t, so we need a Plan B.
Action needed:  Find a Plan B!

Romance/significant others…10
Sussed on this score. Thank God. No-one else would have me.
Action needed: None
Life Circle


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10 Responses to Circle of Life

  1. I read yours with particular interest – not to be nosy about the details of your life, but because mine is in draft atm and I keep adding details and then deleting them again. Not sure how much to share even though I’ve nothing extraordinary in the closet. Anyway, recipeshed gets tonight’s slot so I’ve another day to mull it over.

  2. I missed this and I think it’s an excellent idea, but I daren’t go there as I would have action points in every section!

  3. Hi there,
    I just wanted you to know that I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while, and really enjoy it. Hang in there.

  4. hello fellow circler! a very honest appraisal and great action points.

  5. Jenna

    Like the action points.
    I enjoy cooking for too. Its nice to try something different every now and again.

  6. I love you have written down actions already. What I want to do is work on those next! Totally understand where you are coming from on all of these, even if we have made different decisions. For instance, I could never live in London and I love where I live on the border between suburbia and the countryside. LifeCircle is about what makes you happy, not what makes me happy so I’m glad you feel you made the right one. Even making a wrong one isn’t bad because at least you learned it was wrong!

  7. Well done on the honest appraisal with actions points, looks like you know where you want to be going!

  8. dbaskls

    A really honest look at things there. Good luck with it all.

  9. Great action points, and a great life circle in general I’d say :) I love the idea of a meat-free Mondays, and well done with the plan to have 3 alcohol free days. I’m not sure I could vow to give up my vice (chocolate) for 3 days a week!

    Good luck!