When you think of boundaries, what comes to mind? Do you set boundaries for yourself and do you modify them as needed? Boundaries can change based on different settings. For example, friend/family boundaries might look very different than work boundaries.
What happens when you set different work boundaries and people start to notice?
The 2020-2021 school year, I walked away from my position. I spent a year focusing on my family and myself. I was more involved in my kids school work as they were completing at home learning for about half of the year due to the districts pandemic plan. I took time to learn about the writing/publishing process and am so proud of what I was able to do with The Kindness Machine…turning a dream into a reality. But, I missed teaching so much. I love teaching. I love reading to students and getting them excited about books and math. I love seeing the lightbulb moments and the change that happens over the course of nine months. I knew I wanted to go back to the classroom….but I also knew I needed to set more boundaries.
I made strict goals for myself upon returning to work:
1. Do not run around like a crazy person trying to get out of the house in the morning
2. Do the absolute best I can each day
3. Leave work on time to get my own children off the bus
4. Do not take a ton of work home…that’s family time
5. Saying no to committees or other asks is fine, I can’t do it all
This year I feel closer to some of my coworkers and more distant to others. I am so proud of what my team and I are able to do this year. When I say my team, I do not mean only my two other amazing second grade teacher teammates. I am fortunate to work with two INCREDIBLE reading teachers this year, who put so much heart into each day. I know that every single day I can count on a “Good morning, Christina!” from my delightful, cheery classroom neighbor. I know I will be greeted with a smile or expressive eyebrows from another first grade teacher who stays focused and works hard. I know that for a good laugh and sarcasm I can head down to the 5th grade wing and chat with my twin at heart. When they say that the secretaries run a school building, they aren’t kidding. Our secretaries are exceptional and can do anything! I’m thinking they must have a magic wand hidden somewhere in that office. The list goes on and I am continuing to learn from so many amazing coworkers.
This year, the biggest change is that I do not have the time or the energy for negativity or for things that waste my time. Listening to someone talk poorly about their partner or a student, gets me nothing other than high blood pressure. I know who I can count on at work and I sure hope, people know they can count on me.
So what does this have to do with kindness? Being kind to ourselves is the first step. Setting boundaries that work for you and sticking to them is key. When we are first kind to ourselves, it then allows us more space to be kind to others. Today I’m using this writing as a release for myself, a reminder of the goals I set and to not deviate from those goals just because it bothers or is confusing to others.
A younger version of myself would be very bothered that I was being talked about. The older I get, the less I care. The more I realize what is truly important and where my time and energy need to be placed to feel happy and complete.
I am wishing you a happy Monday filled with positivity, kindness, and boundaries.