58. overwhelmed? take actions, accept flaws and boundaries

December was stressy!

Overwhelmed about gift buying and applying to jobs and just collapsing

it helped to write a list of things to do. it helped to clean a bit. it helped to draw a bit.

I got through december a little worse for wear with less money and no spoons for new years eve but here I am. I got nice gifts and have ideas and plans for 2024. It’s scary but it always was. Nothing has changed.

Taking little actions makes me feel capable of handling life. Lowering the bar a little and appreciating that I can do laundry and spend time with friends.

This is really part of the problem — I get overwhelmed because I only see the problems. I think my gifts aren’t enough for people and they’ll be let down. I think my partner and friends need me desperately and I can’t please them all. I think I’m never gonna find the perfect job.

Well ya! I probably won’t because every job has drawbacks, every Christmas is a let down for someone and everything can’t be done perfectly! You will NEVER be 100% perfect.

But allowing these flaws to define me isn’t what anyone wants. healthy boundaries remind you to take care of your own acre of land.

Have you heard the emotional acre? It’s from Anne Lammott’s book Bird by Bird which is largely about being creative and managing overwhelm.

“Every single one of us at birth is given an emotional acre all our own. As long as you don’t hurt anyone, you really get to do with your acre as you please. You can plant fruit trees or flowers or alphabetized rows of vegetables, or nothing at all. If you want your acre to look like a giant garage sale, or an auto-wrecking yard that’s what you get to do with it. There’s a fence around your acre, though, with a gate, and if people keep coming onto your land and sliming it or trying to get you to do what they think is right, you get to ask them to leave. And they have to go, because this is your acre.”

I think my instinct is to open my acre to others. I give my time and energy freely, working on other people’s projects and taking care of them. Then I get upset that my needs aren’t being met, that my acre is being stepped on. I don’t feel right kicking people off but sometimes this leads to huge problems.

The most difficult conflicts in my life happened between myself and 2 friends during covid. I had over extended to be there for them until I pulled back. This hurt them.

If I were more comfortable setting my boundaries I could have avoided hurting them and myself.

So it’s December 1st and Christmas is coming. How do you manage? Making a list of people and gift ideas helps but more than that, I need to manage my boundaries. Let people know I may need time alone.

this is healthy and really more loving than overdelivering and suddenly yanking my care away.

that’s healthy and makes me feel grounded

© Jeremy Nir
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