Everyone Builds Fences
Everyone sets boundaries (or fences) in their personal relationships, even if it's as simple as silencing notifications from people who drain our energy.
A neighbor sent me a letter a couple of years ago saying she planned to install a privacy fence. She invited feedback or concerns from any of the neighbors who would be impacted by the installation. I thought that was pretty classy.
And as someone whose house feels like it sits down inside a fishbowl (several houses surround mine and sit on top of a hill while mine sits at the bottom of the hill), I can appreciate the need or desire for a privacy fence. Unfortunately, to solve my fishbowl problem, I’d have to build a privacy fence that’s far taller than the city would probably allow.
Anyway, this morning, I stared out my window at the privacy fence across the way and it made me think. Privacy fences are good at both keeping unwanted people (and prying eyes) out while keeping the things we want to protect (children, pets, possessions) in. In this interesting essay, writer Jennifer Dukes Lee connects the dots between physical boundaries and boundaries within relationships.
Everyone sets boundaries (or fences) in their personal relationships, even if it's as simple as silencing notifications from people who drain our energy. That’s a way to build a privacy fence, so to speak. And as we do so, it’ll not only serve as protection from the outside but it’ll also protect what we already have.
I’m fifty-six years old. Some of my friends are retired or are eyeing retirement. I will probably never fully retire, but I look forward to lazy Tuesday mornings at Village Inn, sharing old stories with friends and sipping coffee. I will make this a priority, even if I’m still working, as I build a fence of protection around that time.
The good news is, we don’t have to wait for retirement. I had lunch with one of those friends this week in the middle of my work day and the conversation hit the spot. I met an author friend for coffee this week and we went deep. Really deep. I’ll talk to another friend on the phone and we’ll compare notes about our week. I really look forward to those weekly calls.
Did I let some points of contact slide a little? Yeah, because something has to give. We’re all in the construction business. We just need to know where to build the fences.
You never know where God might show up. In this collection of personal essays, you’ll read about him showing up in a nursing home during a Christmas caroling excursion, in a bowling alley during a rock concert, in the contents of a family Bible, in a restaurant as two elderly people seek the company of strangers, and so much more.
Here are some tidbits you might find interesting this week:
Somebody taught this squirrel to ring a bell when he wanted snacks. How cute is that?
If you’re impressed by that squirrel, these ants might really wow you. Apparently, they infested this woman’s Kindle and began buying e-books.
“The devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. He will not allow quietness.” -Elisabeth Elliot
Need some new journaling prompts. How about 550 more?
Back in the day, I had a blog called Little Nuances. Yes, I wrote eight posts, sharing ALF quotes.
When Lee isn’t writing essays, devotional books, or Christmas novellas, he is a freelance editor, as well as a freelance journalist who has written hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines. He’s also a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.
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Great post, Lee.