The third phase of life is filled with possibilities. After working long and hard to get to where you want to be, you now have time to do what you want to do. That may sound easy, but if you have a long-standing habit of placing other’s needs ahead of your own this can be a challenge.
When you are not working it is easy for others to find things to fill your time. After all, you have all the time in the world. Can you watch the kids? Can you run an errand for me? Can you help me with a project I’m working on? These seemingly innocent questions can divert you from your purpose and steal countless hours of your time.
There are many demands on my time these days and making my needs a priority takes more effort than I would like to admit. Yet, if I don’t I am the one who ends up resentful, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Part of that stems from the need to please others. It is long past time to give up that bad habit.
There are days that carving out time to accomplish what I want to do is like pushing the proverbial boulder up hill. The psychic energy involved is so enormous it feels physical – like I am moving in slow motion trying to break the suction that holds me back. Often I have to physically remove myself from my surroundings to be able to work uninterrupted. Some days that is easy and other days it is difficult.
However, what I want to accomplish in my third phase of life is important enough to make it my priority. If I want it to be, I must make it so. That sometimes means feeling uncomfortable when I stand my ground. More than anything, I don’t want to waste time or have others waste it for me. Through my actions, I am teaching others how to treat me. When I value my time, they value my time.
Are you willing to say “no” to requests that are not in your best interest? Do you need to work on standing your ground? Now is the time and only you can make it so.