Women Over Fifty—Success In ‘08, Part III
Although we boomers confess to our share of years and, therefore, have already learned some significant life lessons, we still have to guard against falling into old traps. As women, the familiar practice of people pleasing and over extending ourselves in service of being “nice” can still prove problematic.
In my post, “The Magic of Menopause,” I covered some of the physiological and psychological reasons we are changing and evolving. In many ways, we are now freed up to pursue our personal passions and follow our dreams. Nevertheless, in order to do so, we have to recognize once and for all that WE ARE WORTHY of our own time and attention.
So, in this segment of our goal setting series, let’s recognize the importance of establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries. In order to manifest our goals, we require time, energy, and focus. Now, more than ever before, we must learn to put our own needs first. We can no longer “give ourselves away” to constantly please and do for others.
It is true that some of us are constrained by obligations to aging parents, ailing family members, or those around us in need. Nevertheless, it is vital that you save substantial time and resources for you and you alone. Learn to prioritize and eliminate unnecessary or unwanted activities. Learn to say, “no” to commitments that are time wasters and of little value to you. Put yourself FIRST on your to-do list and calendar in time to spend pursuing your own aspirations, goals, and dreams.
There will always be time to care for others. We are, after all, women and that is part of our core make-up. Just don’t lose yourself in the process. That is a loss from which there is little chance of recovery.
I leave you with two quotes from the beloved and wise Erma Bombeck. For those who might be wrestling with the thought that putting yourself first is selfish, Ms. Bombeck quipped: “Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.” There are few who would argue this point. Letting go of unnecessary obligations and guilt are major steps towards creating a life of inner fulfillment, achievement, and joy.
For those who have any doubts that their own gifts are worthy of their time, Erma left us with another beautiful reminder. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”
I, for one, am certain that she did. Now, it’s up to us to follow her lead.