Thank you so much for all of the birthday love last week! I turned 34 last Monday and celebrated by spending the Sunday before relaxing at the spa with my mom, then meeting my dad, aunt, and Ellie for dinner on Sunday evening. Family + relaxation + good food = my kind of birthday.
Although I celebrated the day before my actual birthday, I was looking forward to having some “me” time on Monday. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do, but I’d told myself I was going to do activities that brought me joy that I wouldn’t normally allow myself to do during a week day.
What I did not anticipate, however, was the madness of a Monday.
I’m just going to go ahead and say Mondays are not the most ideal days to celebrate your birthday. I felt like I had 101 things piled on my plate that day, which made it really hard to be present and enjoy myself.
In fact, I ended up spending the majority of my time (with the exception of lunch with a dear friend) paying bills, running errands, and putting out fires.
On my drive to pick up my daughter from school that day, feeling a little disappointed by how the day went, I thought to myself, How did I let this day get so out of control?
Well, the answer, my friends, is clearly boundaries and the fact that I had none. Then I realized this is a pattern in my everyday life.
Here’s how it goes: I say to myself, “Self, I want to accomplish these specific tasks today,” and then, ring ring! goes the phone.
I pick it up and two hours later I’ve helped someone solve a problem, leaving me to not take care of my own set of problems, which is the problem of not putting boundaries in place so I can do the things I say I want to do.
By the end of the day I’m discouraged because I broke integrity with myself by not doing what I said I would do, leaving me frustrated and unhappy by the lack of results.
Can anyone relate? It’s a real challenge for me and it’s an area I want to overcome, yet when push comes to shove, I end up falling back into the same habits. I want to stand up for myself and for my time, because I know when I say “yes” to one thing, I’m saying “no” to something else. I wish I felt the weight of what I’m saying “no” to more, so that maybe I would have more chutzpah to set some boundaries.
I think the recovering people-pleaser inside of me, the girl who just wants to keep the peace and make people happy, worries if I stand up for my time then I won’t be liked or I’ll make someone upset.
Or maybe that’s not it at all.
Maybe it’s a defense mechanism or a form of procrastination because I’m afraid of following through on the actions I say I want to take in order to make my big dreams become reality.
Regardless of the reason, opportunities keep showing up in my life to create boundaries. Often, I wonder if I did create boundaries in order to make time for the things that are important to me, what would life be like then? What if a breakthrough in this area is the key to getting to the next step in my journey?
With awareness comes the responsibility to make conscious decisions and take ownership of the choices I make.
If you relate to this post at all, please chime in and let me know what you do to keep from doing everyone else’s To-Do list but your own. What thoughts keep you centered and focused when an opportunity to practice boundaries arises? Thank you so much for sharing.
Grateful for your time and connection. Love and Blessings.
Bailey, My trick is to never say “yes” at the mement asked. A simple reply of I will get back with you on that… I need to check my calendar, check Ellis’s calendar, etc. Don’t succumb to the immediate need and the face to face (or ear to mouth) pressure. Get away, think about what you would have to “trade” for the time of that commitment then make a decision without the pressure of the other person waiting on you right then. Also, if you have repeat offenders, I just say, I cannot help you do that today, but I could help if you could reschedule to …. whenever you can… next Tuesday (if you want to help). That way, you are still showing yoru willingness to help but being true to yourself and not allowing your schedule to be hijacked. Steven Covey says never let someone else’s urgent usurp your important. If you do, you are letting their procrastination or whatever affect (or sometimes control) your life. Think of it this way… Just say yes, but not now.
Just know I love you and think the world of you – but lying about your age (34 – no way!!!) is not good for either of us! 🙂