Don’t Fence Me into Your Routine

INTRO: As the end of the day approached, I kicked myself again for denying myself the time and energy needed to work on my goal of poetry. I had to learn how to set boundaries on my time, take back my overextended and misplaced energy and invest it in my own goal. I needed to bring my goal up front and centre in my daily life and stop ignoring and denying it.

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But the thought of taking this action made me feel guilty and selfish. Isn’t it a good thing to help others? This line of thinking was not easy for me to accept. I struggled to convince myself that it was not selfish, but healthy to set boundaries around my time and energy and live a balanced life that includes my creative goal.

One of the first tasks I did was to re-read the classic book Boundaries by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend, When to say yes, How to say No to take control of your life.

As I’m writing my poems, I often think of songs whose lyrics reflect the theme of the poem. So I include a link to the song purely for entertainment value. I am fascinated by how a photograph can tell a story in one still frame and how a song can tell a story that compliments a few words of a poem. Beverley Joy


PODCAST Don’t Fence Me Into Your Routine

Does your paintbrush sit dormant on the canvas with no scene?

Does the ink of your pen still hold unwritten words?

The glue remains disconnected from the craft pieces?

The camera lens shut off from flowers and faces?


The people we help throughout the day

Feel good and are thankful, and rightly so

But why the feeling of frustration and stress?

These situations call for a better life balance.


I’d feel the muscles in my shoulders tighten

As I lay awake thinking up a plan

How I can work two days into the next

I sobbed “What about me, it isn’t fair?


We need to listen to these strong emotions

That overwhelm us from the demands of others

It’s not in our, or their best interest

To be thinking these negative thoughts toward them.


I love helping family, friends and colleagues

But I needed to learn moderation and balance

The best gift I could give the people in my life

Was to stop talking and start working with focus.


I stopped saying “I’m going to do this or that.”

Like listening to a broken record

Sick and tired of my own voice

Just do it for them and for myself.


I would see people’s eyes roll in disbelief

Not convinced, “Ya, right, I’d like to see that.”

No one took me seriously, including myself

ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. It was time to get tough.


I no longer defend my goal as a poet

I stopped fighting for my right to talk about it

I stopped interrupting face-2-face conversations

To urge people ‘Follow me, take action.”


I stopped trying to help people do their thing

Offering help, though uninvited

Using busyness as an excuse

To not engage or stay focused.


As long as I’m healthy in my mind and body

I believe I have a responsibility

To develop and use my talents and gifts

And prove to all my accountability.


It’s not selfish to meet your own needs

It’s right and healthy to set boundaries

And live a balanced life, giving and receiving

From a heart that beats honest and sincere.

Beverley Joy © 2022 of Simply Story Poetry All Rights Reserved.

You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here

You may also enjoy my articles that inspired this poem: Get Out of the Way of Your Creative Flow and Beware of Crazymakers at Simply Create 2 Share.

Photo by W W from Pexels

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