As I continue to feel into 2017 and sit quietly, observing and listening for nuggets to play with this year, one of the words that keeps resonating with me is ‘boundaries’.
One of my vows to myself, every year, is ‘Be true to yourself, even if it means disappointing others’. This year, I realise that this does mean putting firmer boundaries in place in some areas of my life…again!
This could be an interesting challenge as I am naturally quite flexible (even though I can’t do the splits). I am flexible in my outlook on life and I am usually willing to listen and reflect upon the views offered by others. In the past, I have noticed that I often work so hard to accommodate others and please them that I do so at my own expense.
Oh golly, have I learned, over the years, just how complex the world of boundary setting can be…and anyone who is a parent, partner, employer, employee, freelancer, friend has probably learned the same…
I remember many years ago, a client phoning me on a sunny August bank holiday afternoon
wanting to discuss their accounts. Because I worked from home, their assumption was that I was available 24/7, unlike my office owning counterparts who worked Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
In that moment, I put down my gardening tools, turned my back on my family and accommodated the client’s wishes. The second I hung up the phone, I made the decision to set some clearly defined working hours – I created my boundaries so I could maintain a fair balance between family life and work!
Have you noticed that when you want to redress the balance in your life you can sometimes meet with resistance…and these are the times when boundaries are challenged, pushed, flexed and even destroyed…depending on how important they are!
And perhaps that is the key to boundary setting – evaluating their importance and choosing when to flex and redress the balance. Perhaps boundaries have boundaries too!