Boundaries. They are an issue that we menopausal goddesses have dealt with all our lives. We’ve explored our boundary problems over and over again at our Venus meetings. Years of excessive pleasing, helping, and giving have made us all too permeable and eventually just plain exhausted. And at no time is this more apparent than around the holidays.
We baby boomers, heck just women in general, bought into the Superwoman myth in our youth – and now we’re trying to be Supercrones. We could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never never let him forget he’s a man. (As if he ever could!) Now at holiday time, we can work, craft, cook for our extending family, and be the best grandparents/aunts/elders the younger generation has ever seen. Yikes! A sure recipe for hapless holidays.
So it is with great joy that I can report at least one Venus-in-training has gently and successfully bolstered her boundaries. My daughter-in-law to be, Shana, and my son, Brian, invited us (and much more family) for Thanksgiving. I wondered how Shana would cope with all the stress of having way too many family members, cooking, and entertaining, since she has been working nonstop on editing the feature film she wrote and directed. I needn’t have worried – she is WAY smarter than I ever was.
She bought dinner – all cooked to perfection, by experts. My son and she set the table the day before – and – it was truly one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember. (The others were choreographed by Bobbi-Venus).
We actually visited and hung out together. We took the dogs for a walk. We watched a cheesy, fun movie. No one was sweaty, stressed, cranky, or tired. There was no clusterfunk in the kitchen. And the meal? Simply fantastic.
As the Venuses dissected, probed, and analyzed our all too feminine loose boundaries, we came up with advice for our daughters and the young Venuses in training. (Excerpted from The Big M).
"Set Appropriate Boundaries
Whew! This is a hard one since we are still learning how to manage this task ourselves. (Just read the first half of this chapter if you want to know how hard.) In order to have clear boundaries, you must know yourself. What are your values, beliefs, and break points? You must know how to care for yourself as well as you care for others. Start with self-knowledge, acceptance, and compassion and you will be well on the way to knowing your boundaries.
Watch for unconscious patterns such as wanting everyone to like you, pleasing everyone but yourself, minimizing your own accomplishments, and putting yourself last. Awareness is the key to breaking the hold of such habits.
One last word about boundaries – awareness must extend to others’ boundaries. While that may seem contradictory, appropriate boundary setting involves not only recognizing your own boundaries but honoring others as well. Unfortunately we’ve known (and been) too many women who finally discover their boundaries only to bludgeon others around them with their newfound discovery."
As for Shana? She could teach us menopausal goddesses a thing or two. And I’m so ready to learn.
(Only 6 more shopping days til Christmas – click below to order The Big M – and don’t forget our girlfriend’s special – buy one at full price and get the second at half price! Merry Christmas! the Big M