February was tough around these parts. Living in Philadelphia means that winter can be a daunting beast but this one was particularly difficult. We've had more than twice our annual snow fall, we've had ice storms with unprecidented power failures. It's been a doozy. But it's also been a difficult one personally for me. I felt for much of the month that the cold outside had settled into my bones and into my heart in a way that would never allow me to warm again.
On thing I have been sitting with and working through over the last little bit is what do I truly need? What will feed my mind, my body, my heart and my soul? What in my life currently feeds me well and what leaves me starving?
I have an incredibly rich and full life. While I don't have work that I love, I have friends and family that I do. I could very easily be busy every day of the week spending time with those in my life. I know what a blessing this truly is. I know that many have no one and some only a few....I have many. But sometimes that many feels overwhelming. I joked with a friend yesterday that I'm going to need to start firing friends because I just don't have time for everyone. And while I said it as a joke - there is some level of truth to it. Time is limited and one thing that I have learned over the last year is that when I overbook myself, I ignore myself and that begins to take a toll. I become tired, I become withdrawn and I wind up unhappy. I need time and space for me. I've been living alone since late in August and I truly love it. I love having people over, I love sharing my home with others but I truly love being able to come home to my place, all on my own. I've even been doing some sprucing up of this space, reclaming in a way and taking care of some things that haven't felt right here. I'd love to do more and I will over time. Of that I am sure.
I am not someone who is often good at setting boundaries. I have too often turned myself inside out to accommodate everyone else's needs. I have said yes when my body and mind screamed no. I have put up with people not making me a priority by being respectful of time and space. It is a practice and one that I am trying to exercise much more intentionally. What that will mean is that I will say no more often than I have in the past. What it means is that when someone doesn't treat me and my time with respect, I won't give them opportunities to do the same in the future. This is one of those things that I will work on and figure out the best way that it works in my life but just setting that intention already brings some calm to my often too busy brain.
*"Different Kind of Love" - Brandon James