Late Night Musings on Boundaries and my Inner Bilbo

As I lay here trying to quiet my brain and go back to sleep at 3:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, there are two things swirling around my brain.  First is that I need my brain to shut off so I can go to sleep. I’ve got a full day of professional development ahead of me! How on earth am I going to concentrate and process what I imagine will be far too much information on just a few hours sleep?  Second, to quote Bilbo Baggins, I feel like butter scraped over too much bread. I feel like there are demands on my time and attention twenty-four hours a day. Like I have to be everywhere and do everything for everyone.

Looking back at those last few sentences, it’s no wonder I can’t sleep!  It’s also no wonder I’m craving carby comfort food. The little Bilbo inside my brain is seeking comfort the only way he knows how.  Typical hobbit! He thinks food will make it better and since I can’t eat much, thanks to my gastric sleeve, he is making all the noise he can and keeping me awake!

Now the question is how to fix this.  How do I bring comfort to my inner Bilbo, without food, so I can get some sleep and be an almost normal, functioning adult?  

The answer is setting boundaries.  Right now, I will do anything for anyone anytime they ask me.  Why? Because I want to be the best. The best daughter. The best sister.  The best friend. The best teacher. The best wife. My way of being the best is doing things for others and spending time with them.  But here’s the thing, can I be the best anything if I’m trying to be the best everything?

I think setting boundaries begins with knowing when to say no.  No, I can’t appear at an event for one job while I’m supposed to be planning lessons and organizing my classroom for another (even though both jobs share office space).  No, I can’t answer that call or read that email right now. No, I won’t proofread that assignment the night before it’s due when you’ve had two weeks to get it to me. No, I’m not going to change the way I teach because you think you know better (even though you’ve got no teaching experience and I’ve been doing this for the better part of a decade).

And with that, I think it’s time to close my computer and get some sleep.  It’s taken me an hour to write this, but getting that off my chest helped and now I’m sleepy.  Too bad my alarm is going off in an hour!

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