That’s a popular word in counseling and therapy. Boundaries are important. I hear about them all the time, and I utilize them in many ways without even thinking about it. Boundaries come pretty naturally to me.
Until recently when a new challenge reminded me that boundaries are not always easy to set and often take conscious action.
When the High God gave the nations their stake, gave them their place on Earth, He put each of the peoples within boundaries under the care of divine guardians.” Deuteronomy 32:8-9
I started substitute teaching in January of 2016. On one particular week, we spent Wednesday buying a house and Thursday moving into it. I spent all day Friday with teenagers at a local high school and then headed home to do family night with my husband and kids. That Saturday was full of social interaction, and Sunday is always a bit crazy in our life. I spend it with people. Monday, I was back in a high school classroom, and when I got home, we had a leadership meeting at our house. Tuesday, I didn’t have to work, but my husband was home sick, so there was also no alone time to be had, and I took my oldest to an appointment where I sat in a waiting room with lots of people around me. Wednesday, I was back in a classroom at a school I’d never been to before. By Thursday, I was wrecked.
To sum up, I had no alone time for a week.
I’m an introvert. When you take away all of my down time, all of my time to just sit in an empty room and read and wear my pajamas and ignore the rest of creation, well, it ain’t pretty.
To put it mildly.
My husband was tired of getting snapped at. My kids were tired of my grouchy-pants.
On Thursday, I sat on my couch and cried.
I felt broken.I felt broken.Click To Tweet
It didn’t take very long for me to connect the dots of my schedule with the tears streaming down my cheeks.
I opened the software used for organizing sub jobs and looked at the days I was already scheduled to work. If I had two assignments on the calendar for a certain week, I marked myself unavailable every other day. If I had a job scheduled on a Monday, I went ahead and marked the Tuesday of that week as a non-workday, assigning myself one off-day in between workdays.
I am very intentionally setting boundaries around my days. I am fencing in my alone time.I am fencing in my alone time.Click To Tweet
And I feel better. I am happier. My mental state is healing.
As I adjust to my new job, I may loosen some of those belt buckles. I will look for ways to recharge while managing more than two days a week in the schools. We won’t always be in the middle of moving into a new house, and I won’t always be the only person trained to do my church job on Sundays, and every week won’t hold a meeting at my house or Saturday social events.
As life changes, I will change my boundaries, but I will not abandon them entirely.
Because I know myself. I know my own spirit. And I know no one benefits from my having a mental breakdown. No paycheck is worth making my family and myself miserable.No one benefits from my having a mental breakdown.Click To Tweet
Where are you struggling? Do you think setting new boundaries might bring about healing for your heart?
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