As a self-proclaimed explorer I am always drawn to boundaries, precious things lie within man-made boundaries and that is why signs are posted to protect them.
So, if I know that precious things that need to be protected lie within boundaries, why do I have such a hard time creating boundaries to protect myself and my work?
"How can we expect people to put value on our work when we don't value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries?"
~Brene Brown, Rising Strong
Most of my struggles with boundaries are related to protecting my time. Most people naturally assume that because I don't work I have lots of time on my hands, and that I would be delighted to help them with their projects, because I most certainly must be bored, and they are doing me a favor by giving me something to do. I, in turn, feel guilty because I don't have to work, and I should have the time to help them with their projects. Some truly are worthy projects, and I am delighted to help, making use of the photography and writing skills that God has given me. Other times though, helping out suddenly turns into me being in charge of the project, and way more time consuming than I signed up for.
Once again my work, which I don't paid for, so it isn't really work - it's just a hobby, gets pushed to the far back burner. Once again I have let someone take advantage of my time.
I have tried setting designated work days for myself in the past, and I usually hold to them for a month or two. Until there is a doctor's appointment that needs to be made, and their first available opening is on my work day, if I don't take that one how long will I have to wait for the next one. Or I set a date for lunch with a friend and the only day she can make it the whole month is on one of my work days. These little hiccups in the schedule seem innocent enough, but over time they keep adding up, and pretty soon I am not holding myself to any work days at all.
Well, beginning January 5, 2016 this is all going to change. I am setting boundaries. I am going to have two designated work days per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. No more appointments, no more lunches with friends on those days. Whether those days are spent writing, out on an adventure photographing, or processing photos from those adventures, that doesn't matter. What matters is that I am finally taking myself and my work seriously.
I am setting the necessary boundaries so that I can open the Etsy shop I have always talked about opening, so that I can start and finish writing pieces that I want to submit to various publications, so that I can process the hundreds of photos on my computer, and even get some printed to hang on my walls.
Maybe someday I will get paid for my work, but then again maybe I won't, that doesn't make my work any less important than anybody else's work. If what I write or what I photograph makes a difference in even one person's life, I consider myself paid and paid richly.