“Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.” Edwin Louis Cole
I’m returning from my adventures, refreshed and renewed. I’ve picked up a few lessons along the way and expanded my horizons.
No, I didn’t actually go anywhere, but I had some other aspects of life that were demanding attention. They are still demanding, but I’m working out how to fit it all in. Which sounds good and admirable, until you remember that the holidays are coming. …
With their endless visits and parties and people and commitments.
Shopping and cooking and gift making.
Remember when we were young and talking about the holidays made us bright eyed and bushy tailed? Eager for lights and parties and gifts? What happened to that feeling? That anticipation? That excitement!
It’s easy to blame it on the ever earlier proliferation of holidays in the stores, especially big chain stores. It’s easy to blame work functions, school functions, community functions.
It’s easy to blame.
How many of us actually look within ourselves though. For the source, and the solution, of the angst. Allowing ourselves to become over-committed. With our time, our money, our emotional resources.
“The need itself is not the call” Charles E Hummel
We’ve become so afraid to let someone else down that we accept everything that comes our way. Every party, every festival, every bake-off and cook out and get together…
This year, I challenge each of you to give yourself the gift of time.
Consider skipping one event from each of your roles or areas of focus in your life – school, home, work, church, community, etc. I mean full stop. Complete break. And don’t help coordinate it if you aren’t going to be there – unless you REALLY want to.
Don’t allow someone else take your time and energy through guilt and manipulation.
Learn to say no.
I have added a new quote to my library: ”No” is a complete sentence.” (Anne Lamont)
It’s true. No, is a complete sentence.
But there is an art to saying no. You don’t have to be harsh or forceful. No need for negativity. You also don’t need to provide explanations for your “no.” It really isn’t necessary, despite having been cultured to think it has. And there is no need to lie.
But if you say no, you need to stick to the no. As one of my coaches says “Let your No be your No.”
If you get wishy-washy and go back and forth, other people won’t take your “no” seriously. If you need (or want) to say no, say no. Stick with it.
So say no to any commitment – time, financial, emotive, etc. – that does not resonate with you; does not bring you joy, peace, or some sort of satisfaction.
Instead, use that time to do something for yourself.
I am in much need of some rest and relaxation. I will be abstaining from the family Thanksgiving meal this year. I will be firmly planted on my couch and in my bed reading books, watching a movie or two, and enjoying some much sought after down time. Maybe writing a blog post or two so that I can get back on the schedule to which I committed months ago…. We’ll see. As someone close to me likes to say: “As the spirit moves me”.
**If this sounds lonely to you, remember – lonely is a state of mind. Lonely is a feeling that we choose to feel.
Wishing you all well this holiday season. Relax, enjoy.
In Light & Love ~
*This post is dedicated to one of my best friends. Peanut Butter, thank you for the idea! ~ And I’m glad you’re developing your own boundaries, even with me. I’ll miss seeing you at Thanksgiving, but I think we both need the break that we’ll get…. I’ll get over there soon enough!