Know Your Boundaries

Week 127 – August 20, 2022 – Restarting and Excited

Welcome back to the weekly pandemic reflection and now introducing a biweekly blog post on teaching, learning, and leading. In the pandemic reflection, I am focused on self and in the pedagogical journey posts I am focussing on my teaching practice. It’s not that I am separating self from my work, but what I am doing is increasing the frequency of my writing practice and redirecting what I choose to write about.

I cannot believe it’s August 20th. Time is flying by as the fall term approaches. I admit that I continued to work through summer intersession. I was at my fullest capacity during the spring intersession and took the time to engage in deliberate rest and redirecting the ship, shall we say, during the summer months. I needed to notice and acknowledge that I was transitioning, personally and professionally. Again, I’m not try trying to separate the to selves, but I am defining my positionality and place.

My position has shifted at work and I am creating a new self at home. I have a new home and new way of being. I am letting go of so much and as of this week I am saying no to things that I cannot do and do not want to do. This boundary is blurry but what I have learned at a recent workshop at work is that there are different boundaries that we have to wrestle with: the self, others, and the environment.

I love this idea that there are different contexts to boundaries. I struggled with the idea of boundaries, but realized that I was only focused on creating boundaries with others. It seemed arbitrary and I have grieved and questioned many times. The idea of creating boundaries with and for self and the environment is refreshing. I have clarity and I can see that I need to create these boundaries in all three contexts.

Patience is key. I am learning. I can see myself seeing what’s possible and what’s not feasible. I am starting to prioritize and making space for myself to thrive. These boundaries are not limitations, but rather a deeper understanding of self such that I am able to recognize what I want to do, what I’m willing to do, and what I can do.

Creating boundaries is a form of respect for myself, others, and the environment. I’m not going to spend anymore time trying to impress, pretend, or sacrifice who I am. I’ve done that for so many years, trying to predict what people want from me. I am furthering my understanding of “being selfish” as I am learning to respect who I am and give myself the compassion and kindness I need to move forward and thrive.

I am working with people I want to work with and finding more to collaborate and connect with. I am also ok working alone and being alone. I enjoy my company. I am engaging in life’s activities that make me happy and I am not living up to anyone else’s expectations but my own. I like to blog, I like food pics, and I love to learn. I have given myself the space and time to do this personal work and I’m happy.

Now that I have mapped out my 5 courses that I am teaching and supervising for the fall term, I can see what I have created for myself and students. I have a tonne of work this upcoming term, but I can see now the value of my time, I am focused on my courses, and I am learning how to embed writing as part of my daily practice. Service is never a problem, but I am super stoked for the upcoming years and I’m ready.