As women, it’s easy to find yourself living life more for other people rather than for yourself. Employers, family members, and friends demand your time or energy and the real “you” gets lost in the shuffle. Time goes by swiftly and suddenly you’re wondering why you haven’t accomplished everything you wanted to in your ideal time frame. That’s why setting boundaries are important in order to achieve balance so you can enjoy your life to the fullest.
I built a small business helping people build blogs. I taught myself how to set up WordPress sites starting in 2008. I was 55 at the time, and not a Spring chicken. I enjoy what I’m doing and it’s been good to me. The difference between building a business when you’re younger, as opposed to after 50, is that you come to the realization you must build time to enjoy other important aspects of your life rather than work constantly.
Sure, we want to have enough income to last us the rest of our lives.
For a Baby Boomer, like me, that’s a scary thought. However, I believe, many of us are finding that big houses, fancy cars, and other material possessions are not all that important. We can live very happily with fewer encumbrances. Give me a fabulous trip to Europe any day rather than a big old house that needs tons of maintenance. Even trips to Europe can be enjoyed on a small budget.
I received an email from a client this morning. It read, “If you’re game this weekend, can you put out a xxxxxx by Monday 7 am?” I looked at it and thought to myself, “No, I’m not game to put out your xxxxxx this weekend. The weekend is the time I either work on my own projects or simply go out and have fun.”
I’m 60 + and I actually have a life.
I’ve never had a regular 9-5 job in my life because for the last 40 years I’ve worked as an actress and supplemented with other freelance gigs on the side. Now I know what “Thank God it’s Friday!” really means.
Setting boundaries is especially important for entrepreneurs who are often insane workaholics
We and I’m saying we because I’m guilty sometimes, get so passionate about what we’re doing, we can’t take the time to stop and smell the roses. The client I referred to previously is a woman who is the same age as me. However, she’s not the only client who thinks I’ve available to work 24/7. I’m often either called or sent emails during the weekend or late in the evening on weekdays when I’m zoned out in front of the TV because certain clients can’t seem to stop working. They would work 24 hours a day if there wasn’t that “sleep” thing involved and some get very little of that.
I’m brain dead by 6 pm in the evening and if I work on a site after that time, the client is taking their chances that I don’t blow it up. I’ve also found that if I sit at a computer for too long, I start feeling altered and weird. Maybe I should be working as a gardener instead.
It’s important to stay busy and engaged as we grow older. Having a project or business keeps us on our toes. On the other hand, we don’t want to miss out on all the other joys of life; being with our family, traveling, having fun, or simply taking some “me time” to relax and reflect.
I’ve never been one to enjoy confrontation.
Some people live for it, but I avoid it like the Plague. Who needs their blood pressure to explode at our age? I’m thinking of just ignoring the email and pretending I didn’t check my account for the entire weekend. I posted my office hours in my email signature, but apparently, she didn’t get the hint.
It comes down to setting boundaries for ourselves and for others who want to monopolize our time, including family members. Each of us has our own unique situation.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about providing great customer service in my business Mon – Fri but you have to set limits. As much as we hate to admit it, our time is running out. Life over 50 is not all about work. Playtime, nurturing our relationships and our talents are all precious.
Are you good at setting boundaries? Please leave a comment below.