Maintaining Your Boundaries

It is important to not only set boundaries, but also to maintain them. Boundaries are important to have because otherwise we would not take time for Self. We would be constantly going about our day, accepting any tasks asked of us from whomever asked. We would not have time for Self. We would be too busy doing the bidding of others. Without boundaries, people will use you for whatever they want and then toss you to the side when they’re finished with you or when you are no longer usable.

I do a weekly in-person art journal workshop at the Art Journal Love Studio. Every Saturday, an intimate group of women gather with me in the Studio and we create. We begin at 11 a.m. with the intention of ending at 1 p.m.; however, we most often journal together far past the 1:00 hour… As a full-time employee outside of my home, a wife, a mother, an author and entrepreneur, my free time is precious. And it is sparse, making it even more precious. I allotted a 2 hour window for these women to teach them the healing power of art journaling and this is their time with me. This is my boundary…

This morning, however, there was an instance of attempted boundary-stealing. One of the ladies arrived at 10:00 a.m. — one hour early. When she arrived, I was in the middle of recording a video for the online art journaling workshop (free) that I will be offering starting October 1, 2012, at the online community site. I record from my webcam and there is no option to pause the recording and start it back up. In order for me to answer the door for her, I would have either had to stop recording and then record a “Part 2” to finish the initial recording, or walk away from the ongoing recording to answer the door, get her to be quiet before she came in because I was recording, and then get back to the recording. I would then have had to do major editing to remove the part where the camera is “staring at the blank page” because I’ve left the desk to get the door. Besides, she was stepping on my boundary and attempting to step over it.

So, I continued to record. I have specific slots of time where I have scheduled certain things to accomplish. My time from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturdays is earmarked for me to put in the work necessary to host a nice online art journaling workshop. Well, she also continued to knock on my door…for 30 minutes. A better description of what she did was bang on my door like she was the police for 30 minutes. She went from the front door to the back door banging on the door. Banging, banging, banging… And I continued to record. I refused to let her demolish the boundary I had set. Besides, I needed to get the video done so that it can be ready to post. I don’t want to be scrambling on September 30th recording hours of videos because I failed to prepare ahead of the launch date.

I was dumbfounded that someone would actually stand at someone else’s door for 30 minutes and knock. There is a reason the person inside is not answering, so why would you continue to do that for 30 minutes? Now I have a beautiful video for the workshop that has 30 minutes of door banging noise recorded. And I don’t want to re-record the video — it is 1 hour and 20 minutes long and it demonstrates me creating a page in one of my journals. To re-record means to recreate the page a second time. I don’t want 2 of the same pages in my journal and I cannot just create a different page because no matter the art on the page the topic of the page remains the same, thus rendering 2 of the same pages with different art in my journal. Unacceptable…

Once I finished the recording, I went upstairs and called my husband. And I screamed. And I screamed. And I screamed some more… Not AT him, but to vent the frustration of my destroyed video to him. And I left her outside still banging on my front door… As she was my husband’s friend from high school, thus how I met her, he hung up from me and called her and explained to her that I am recording a video and is why I didn’t answer the phone. I could hear her say “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” as she was walking away from the door… Why were you still banging 34 minutes after you started anyway?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I wish that was the end of the story, but alas there’s more banging coming…

At 11:00 on the nose, she came to the door and started banging AGAIN. I could not believe my ears! At that point, she had spoken to my husband who had told her I was pretty angry about my destroyed video due to her banging incessantly for 30 minutes and that I knew she was out there and would get to her when I was able to answer the door. He even told her I was going to have to re-record the video because she was banging on the door for 30 minutes. And she had the balls to come back and knock again at 11:00… Maybe it’s just me, but I would have sat in my car and waited until the person opened the door since I know that she knew I was sitting outside in the car. There would be no need for me to knock again — the person’s HUSBAND told me she knew I was out front. But again, maybe that’s just my logic…

I’ll skip the details of what happened when I opened the door at 11:10. We did art journal together today; however, the time that was stolen from me early was re-paid to me at that time. I setup my laptop and put her in front of various videos about creating backgrounds in your art journal. It was backgrounds that we were to work on today anyway. While she was watching HOURS of background videos learning new techniques, I did my personal art journaling… I reclaimed the time that should have been rightfully mine and completed all the tasks that would have been completed prior to 11 a.m. had I not had this interruption.

One of the things I needed to finish was my journal entry for today. I am sure you can guess what today’s entry is about, but here’s a picture for you. And by journaling the negative emotions out, I was able to calm myself down and was able to enjoy my art journaling session with my circle of sistahs. Through journaling I was healed of the negative emotions. What awesome power there is in art journaling. There’s nothing more to be said…

Boundaries (9-15-12 Entry in BOD)
Boundaries…
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