Balancing personal time with the rest of the world’s “obligations”

I get tired.  I get really tired.  Of what, you might ask?  Getting my personal time pulled out from under me by the rest of the world’s “obligations”.  These obligations are entirely perceived.  They are a sense within a person’s imagination that they owe something to someone or something.  Social obligations are especially troublesome.  Yes, quid pro quo exists, but at the expense of a lot of happiness if you’re doing things for the wrong reasons or not taking care of yourself first.  I emphasize the latter phrase for a reason.  We take on too much for too many different people.  We think we have these obligations to people for various reasons.  Sure, if they help you out on a regular basis, a healthy relationship would call for you to help them in return.  Quid pro quo is okay there.  That’s not what I’m talking about, here.  What I’m talking about are those “obligations” masquerading as someone else’s expectations of you that get foisted upon you to relieve someone else of a responsibility or task that they would find more difficult than what suits them.  These are the obligations that you aren’t given a choice about and that rob you of your personal time, which everyone needs.  Instead of you continuing your own routine that keeps you happy and healthy, you are ensnared by “obligations” that give that happiness and health to others, leaving you tired, unhealthy, and possibly resentful.  That’s no way to live your life!  If this describes your situation, you need to set some boundaries.  Boundaries.  Yep.  Fences.  Walls.  Berms.  Moats.  Whatever you want to call them…  Defend yourself a little bit.  It’s hard.  I won’t lie to you about it being difficult.  Boundaries are something that have to be discovered and then made known to others.  Making them known to others is the part that may not go as planned.  People who like to manipulate and take advantage of you and/or your time, services, or something else that you currently offer them are not going to like it when you tell them that you aren’t going along with it any longer.  Their reactions may be calm or severe – it depends on the person.  Although it may be a painful thing to do that you are totally unsure of, you do have the right to happiness and health for yourself.  Period.  Every person has that right.  If someone is taking it away from you, then they need to stop, and that begins with you objecting to the current circumstances.  This is a really hard thing for me to do.  I have trouble with doubts, what-ifs, and guilt when I ask for things that should, in a fair world, be mine and shouldn’t have to be asked for, much less fought for.  The reality is that the world isn’t fair.  You have to defend your time, your health, and your happiness.  If someone is a negative influence on your routine, or just plain dismantles it, they have to be pushed back behind the boundaries that you set somehow.  That can get ugly, but it must be done.  You have to take care of yourself first, or you can’t take care of anyone or anything else.  REMEMBER THAT!!!

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