Living: Making Space

When I got to that place in my life where I was sitting in the shambles of what I had created, I felt really defeated. What a mess! It was all a shambles, and I had created it. The woman that told me that I could create something different gave me those words to live by. And, I set out to do that.

I’ve done a lot of things to put my life back on track. And, I promised in my first blog that I wanted to share that with others so that we can all have better lives. I’d like to set aside Friday to blog about things that give life, great fun things to do, great music, whatever I feel like sharing that’s inspiring and joyful. If I do this on every Friday, by the end of the year, we will have 52 things that we can use to make our lives better, happier, more fun, more fulfilling, or whatever else we decide we want them to be. This is my blog space, but I also want to invite you into this space. Ask me questions, share with each other, tell me I’m crazy (I’ve certainly heard that before), but talk to me. That’s what blogging is all about for me. I’m still building community. Somewhere out there in internet land, there are people on the same journey as I am, and I want to know you.

When I decided I needed to change my life, I had to create a sort of map to get where I wanted to go. I don’t think I’ll ever “arrive”. My life always changes. Every January for the past two years, I’ve taken some time to think about my priorities for the past year and make some decisions on whether or not I want to keep those priorities. In 2012, I realized that one of my main priorities for the past 2 years was running. I ran lots of races, traveled to races and spent quite a bit of time on that hobby. But, I wanted a change. No reason, I just wanted something different for awhile. So, I decided to take the spring off from racing. I’d still run for fun, but I’d free up some time for other things I like to do. I went to Hawaii on a retreat. I couldn’t have done that if I’d still been traveling for races all over. It was a trade. I also do this anytime it seems like there’s no joy in my life anymore. There’s not always fun everyday but there should always be joy.

The real issue is that my time is limited. I used to work all the time. I had no life. That’s one reason I ended up where I did. I finally made the decision one day that I was going to go home at 5 PM everyday and just leave the stuff for the next day. I just made the decision and stuck to it. And, you know what? I got promoted- twice. I doubled my salary in 6 months. I have a really satisfying career, but I can still work too much. I have a very firm boundary on my work hours. I get kidded about it all the time. “Don’t get in Sharon’s way at 5 o’clock.” It doesn’t bother me anymore. I am who I am, and my life is very full. I don’t want to look back at my life and wish that I’d done it differently. We only have 70 or 80 years in this place. The clock is ticking.

A real issue I had was that I didn’t know how to set boundaries. I couldn’t set boundaries on myself or on other people. My 5 PM departure time was a boundary I had to set with myself. Unless there is a really important reason to stay and work (and sometimes there is), I need to go home. It was not easy at first nor is it easy when people kid me about it because I want to be liked. I want to be respected. I want to fit in. But, sometimes, I have to set priorities. And, I can’t please everybody else. I have had numerous Senior Leaders come to me in private and tell me how much they admired the fact that I got out of there at a reasonable hour. I am actually MORE respected because I respect myself.

Below are some really good books I read to learn about boundaries. I had to practice. I had to have support from people to stick with my boundaries. I often have “after-burn” when I set boundaries. I feel guilty for saying no. I question myself. But, I have friends in my corner who assure me that the boundary was appropriate, and that I can make my own choices with my life.

Boundaries are critical. If I can’t set boundaries, I will never move forward in my life. I’m not exaggerating. There will always be other people or other causes that need my time and energy. The world is an incessantly needy place. I have to take charge of my time. And, it’s not easy.

Just to let you know, my boundary around writing is that I will publish Monday – Friday. Have a great weekend….

Posted by

50 Something single woman in Michigan who loves the outdoors, people, running and hiking.

12 thoughts on “Living: Making Space

  1. Great topic(s) – the crumbling of the (self-)created life AND the boundary issue. I’ve already had the crumbling but still working on the boundaries. Better with boundaries now but probably not still where I need to be. Thx for the inspiration.

  2. Boundaries are so important in people’s lives and can make such a difference in creating room for new things to appear. I ofent have to work on this with clients. As you identified, setting them is the easy part, sticking to them is the difficult part. It takes discipline and commitment. When you step over your boundary or let other step over it you do risk losing self respect and that of others and moving out of integrity with yourself.

  3. Lovely first Friday post :). I think boundaries are what I have to work on the most right now – I tend to overcommit….but if I can learn now, when I’m young (!) I’ll be much happier later! I’m trying to put myself first for this time in Austin and it’s strange, it can be very hard to do for a people-pleaser, but I’m trying!

    I heard this once and it’s helped me in all sorts of areas of life – “No” is a complete sentence.

    1. That’s a good one. Whenever I start explaining my no, I’m opening the door to get talked out of it. Another thing I’ve had to learn is that I don’t have to have approval that my boundary is acceptable. The rest of the world may not think it’s appropriate, but if that’s what I need, it’s what I need. I can always change it anytime I want. Have a great Austin day. Gonna read your foodie blog at lunch!

  4. iTS REALLY ASHAME THAT WE AS HUMAN BEING’S REALLY DONT UNDERSTAND BOUNDRIES UNTIL WE ARE USUALLY OLDER. WOULDNT IT BE NICE IF SOMEONE WOULD HAVE EXPLAINED THESE BOUNDRIES TO US BEFORE WE GOT OUR BUTTS TORE UP….LOL… NOW THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT OUR WORK AND LIFE WITH OUR PEERS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAUGHT SOMEWHERE IN SCHOOL INSTEAD OF LETTING OTHER PEOPLE WALK OVER US OR BULLY US. OH WELL, GUESS WE ALL LEARN AT SOME POINT IN LIFE. LIFE’S LESSONS…..BILLY

    1. Yeah…turn your caps lock off. It looks like you are yelling..oh, hell, maybe you are. πŸ˜‰ I don’t think there was very much knowledge about healthy living back then. We’re probably lucky that at least some of our lifetimes falls in the information age when we can get information like that.

  5. Boundaries…that invisible line so many people in my life want to cross! Why is that?
    What I learned is I allowed it!
    Thank God I live in a time where I can be taught to change it, if I want to.
    What I have also learned is I may not be the most popular person others’ lives but I am the most popular person in my own life today!
    It takes alot of commitment and I know I am worth it!
    You rock,

  6. I wish I’d learned to set boundaries when I was younger. It’s okay to simply say no. I can tell people that I can’t do something because I’m busy–even if being busy means taking a nap. If people are rude enough to question my reasons, I can be rude enough to say it’s none of their business.

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