Boundaries Are a Gift

By Patrick McNerthney

Someone super smart who happens to be my boss (and whom I sincerely hope is reading this) told me to change my to-do list. 

When I asked why, she explained as follows: 

First, she pointed out, the world is secretly run by one gigantic to-do list. Or, more accurately, 7+ billion to-do lists (because every human has one, many of them created by spouses). 

Which is funny when you think about it…does everybody keep their lists on Post It Notes like me? Or on whiteboards in their kitchens? Or just on their phones?

(This is a totally overwhelming way to keep a to-do-list.You’re welcome…)

Second, my boss declared that in life, there are two options:

  • Option 1: Make your own to-do list. This is scary, requires energy, and puts us on the hook – which means we GET to own 100% of our resulting success and/or failure. It’s a gift to yourself to do this (as will be revealed shortly…) 
  • Option 2: Let someone else make your to-do list (i.e., surrender control). This is (theoretically) less scary, requires the same energy, and lets us off the hook – which means we SHARE success, and DEFINITELY share failure! So it’s kind of a cop out…(as will also be revealed shortly)

Third, she said, I started dividing my to-do list into:

1) things I have to do (I make the list/Option 1)

2) things I want to do (I make the list/Option 2)

3) things other people want me to do, i.e. things I ‘should do,’ (someone else makes the list/Option 3). 

Life changing (harp music here :)! 

I often don’t get to #3 and I finally realized… this is what it means to have “boundaries.”Aha! Try telling that to your wife! Okay, my wife. And yes, “Honey Do” lists are the exception…

(No boundary, no game).

What the heck does all this mean? It means: set some boundaries by making your own to-do list. Why? Because:

  • Boundaries are a form of self-care. By establishing what we stand for, what we’re willing to do, and when we’re going to do it, we’re stating our VALUE, and pointing out that we MATTER. 
  • Boundaries are generous. They allow others to see our limits clearly, and decide whether or not they want to work within those limits.
  • And most importantly, no boundary, no game. Tennis courts need lines. Football fields need end-zones. Businesses need limits on how many customers they can serve, how much product they can provide, ie, how much work they can actually accomplish. No boundary…no success, no more customers, no more projects, NO CHANGE. 

So, for example, on your quest to support the elderly, children with challenges, and anyone who needs help with parts of life we take for granted, you get to pick your approach:

  • You can push the envelope (i.e. make your own to-do list, create the boundaries to show what you stand for) and consider the massively helpful and beneficial tools that Fine Art Miracles (FAM) provides – which may feel a little left of center to your bosses and stuff (or maybe not) because these tools are NOT business as usual…
  • or you can just do what someone else tells you to do, and hope for the best.

BUT, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, Drumming Exercise Therapy, and Multi-Sensory Sessions are proven to help those suffering from depression and anxiety associated with social isolation FEEL BETTER. 

How? It turns out the act of participating in an art or music activity, connects your residents and loved ones with their confidence, self-worth, mastery, and potential to control their own lives. Which just so happen to be the perfect tools to mitigate, if not eradicate, anxiety and depression. Same with their Multi-Sensory sessions. Activity Directors report that participants transition more easily to their next purposeful activities with ease throughout the day after a Multi-Sensory Session. They eat better, sleep better (from burning off more energy) and show an overall appearance of increased wellbeing.

So what are you waiting for? Go! Contact FAM for more information, or to get started. PUT IT ON TOP OF YOUR TO-DO LIST.

Actually, you make the decision…but that would be a good one.

Well, I’d better go, my “honey do” list includes fixing this bush that fell across our sidewalk. By “fixing” I hope she (the boss) means “cut up with a saw.”




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