Reclaiming My Time!
-Sister-Mother Maxine Waters
If you make it your business to pursue purpose by any means necessary, you will realize that balancing the many responsibilities that come with this path is a consistent mind game. It is as if the moment you establish a routine, another perfect opportunity appears, a relationship needs you, or a problem arises that demands your immediate attention. What’s interesting is that even though you asked to be “booked and busy,” you get overwhelmed just like anybody else. You wish there were more hours in a day; more days added to the weekend, and less people who need you. You daydream about a day where you can simply cuddle on the couch with a bag of Doritos and watch Girlfriends without having to be anywhere or do anything. Even when you actually enjoy the things you’re doing and the people in your life, it is normal too long for time that is just for and about you.
This is all the more reason why we should not tolerate people, places, or things that cannot or will not reciprocate what we want or need in return for what we are currently or willing to give them. You’re busy all week, your days end past regular office hours, you spend your spare time investing in your body, brain, and brand; and your weekends have you on tight rope like a circus clown.
Why waste time opening up your calendar for mediocre opportunities that aren’t in alignment with your purpose? Why give all the good energy that you’ve worked diligently to maintain on people that you have to question where you stand with them? Why give your mind, will, and emotions to habits or activities that seek to
drain your vibrancy, clarity, and poise? These are questions that we can only answer for ourselves, but we must ask them frequently and answer them honestly.
A Woman’s Wounds...
... I Mean Womb.
It is the average woman’s greatest feat to overcome the need to please, the fear of being wrong, and the need to be liked. In our arrogance, we may hear someone say this and think, “well that ain’t me, I don’t care what a b*tch think,” but you lie. To yourself that is. We do care, we are wired to care. We are built to be in, sustain, and grow relationships- it’s our most dominate trait. We are innately skilled at multiplying whatever we are given (we have a womb for heavens sake)! We were made to create- to cultivate a full garden from one seed, and to be invested in the health and beauty of what we’ve produced. In short, we can not help but to give a dang and to give a dang about a lot. We care when someone we call goes days without calling us back and doesn’t provide a valid excuse for their neglect. We care when we seem to be the only one not invited to the outing and consistently left out of the inside jokes. We care when our best friendships began to feel distant and unfamiliar. We care when we didn’t get the opportunity we wanted. We care when we are misjudged or not understood. We care when people we don’t even care about don’t see us in the light we want. WE CARE and that’s just what it is.
This is important to understand and accept because the outside world is on a mission to make women less of a woman. Less soft, vulnerable, understanding, interdependent and receptive.To in turn become more hard, cold, confrontational, independent, and resistant. In consequence we grow numb to the pain that comes from tolerating inconsistent, unfulfilling, and nonreciprocal relationships and opportunities. We chase the approval and attention of people who demonstrate a consistent carelessness of our time, efforts, and feelings. We overly assert our “can do” attitude to the point that we hesitate asking for or allowing help when we really need it. We put up with people disrespecting our boundaries by remaining silent or apologizing for having a standard in which we operate. We give generously yet require nothing for our investment as if we have time, love, or resources to throw away.
Look at you! No, like really, look... at ...you. Look at the way you wake up every single day and get to it despite you wanting, needing a break. Look at the way you continue to invest your own time and money into building a life that you love. Look at your dedication to breaking generational patterns even when you feel you’re not making progress. Look at how you’ve overcome your own fears to relentlessly pursue your dreams and reach your goals. Look how you put yourself out there even when you didn’t feel ready. Look at how you’re working on your insecurities and doubts so that you can believe in real love again. Look at how you’re intentionally becoming a better friend so that you can have quality relationships in your life. Look how you can now apologize and be accountable for your actions especially if it means saving a relationship you care about.
Look at how dang F I O N E you are! You worked your ass off, or should I say on! Ha ha! Look at how you are showing up for life, just for you! You mean to tell me, you’re willing to give You up for little to nothing?
No more! Reclaim your time. Don’t get all hype and sit in the amen section of this saying while really planning to do or be the same. Establish boundaries around your life so that anyone and everyone who enters your experience can readily identify your limits. They know your no go zones and understand the rules required to be able to play with you. Have consequences that you consistently enforce every time someone dishonors these guidelines. Become intolerant of people being able to do whatever they want however they want when they enter your life. Refuse to consume crumbs or get excited at second hand opportunities. Understand what you bring to the table. Stop playing with yourself and get serious about protecting and uplifting your value.
3 Ways to Actively Reclaim Your Time & Value
Have boundaries with work. Have a deadline for when you stop looking at and replying to emails. If you have a job where you work with students or some type of service position where relationships lines can easily be blurred and/or if people from work have your personal number or email, began to practice the same protocol of cut off times where they can no longer reach you. If the subject is work related, make yourself unavailable outside of your required or self established work hours. Communicate this to your team, students, administrators/management, turn on your email auto reply, hell- put a sign on the wall, or send a letter by an owl, but by all means do it! This applies even if you own your own business or work for yourself, the principal is valid.
Have boundaries with close friends and family. Now I know that I’ve overstayed my welcome many times with friends and family who graciously accepted me. Being back in my own space, I fully understand the space a woman needs to just be alone and how much better she can show up for others when she can plan for entertaining other people (including phone calls), no matter how long or short. Don’t be afraid to say, “that time, day, or plan doesn’t work for me right now.” “I can’t help in that way, but is there anything else I can do for you?” “I’m sorry to hear that, but right now I don’t want to talk about this.” Don’t hesitate ending a phone call or changing the subject if a conversation is turning negative or becoming too much complaining or gossiping, especially when you’re working hard just to keep your own mind positive. This is critical! The relationships we care for the most are the hardest to maintain boundaries with because we often feel bad or beat ourselves up thinking that we owe them more than we are mentally, physically, or emotionally able to give at that point. If they really love you, it might make them upset or uncomfortable, but they’ll come around if you make it a point to show up in ways that feel good to you and benefit them.
Have boundaries with social media. Well, all media that is. We are being thrown images, messages, and news at an unprecedented rate ever recorded in history. There once was a time where you had to wait weeks, even months to hear the breaking news in another states or countries, now we see it on these apps in seconds without even seeking it. We were never meant to consume so much heartbreaking news this consistently. We use to only see the lives of the people we interact with in our daily routines, now we are exposed to people’s lifestyles from all over the world. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but without parameters, it puts undue stress and anxiety on our minds and bodies as we put pressure on ourselves to become or achieve certain things too fast. Remember, as women, WE CARE. It is our responsibility to protect our sensitive vessels or we will become an unbothered shell of ourselves when we were intended to be the light and joy of the human species.
Look, I can’t tell you what to do, nor do I want to. I am simply sharing my thoughts and experiences with the hope that if something resonates, you take the action necessary for you. This is your life and it is your responsibility to do with it as you wish.
I affirm that you have the understanding to discern your next right step, the wisdom to apply it, and the immediate obedience to do it without delay. Ase’. Ase’. Ase’.
Peace. Love. & Soul Glow Grease.
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