Tool For Tuesday: Find The Line

My friend Lily (I’ve written about her here) reminded me that during stressful holiday times, it’s important to find the line.

Set your boundary. Where does your lawn end? Where does someone else’s territory begin? Don’t trespass into someone else’s backyard, either by word or action. As I’ve written before, don’t do unto others what they can do unto themselves. Don’t say unto others what they can say unto themselves. That means, don’t remind the adult people you love to get up, wash up, eat up, work up. Don’t cover up for someone else’s mistakes.

Lily said that her mother is always trying to get her adult sister to eat a healthy dinner. Lily reminds her, “Find the line! What you eat is your business, what she eats is hers. Take care of your own plate, leave her plate to hers.” And, as Lily says with her usual wit and finesse: “Presto, one less area of fighting!”

So how do you find the line? Very simple. Stand up. Raise your arms to shoulder level. Circle around slowly. That is your space. There’s the line. Anything else beyond the circumference of your arms is someone else’s territory. Stay out!

This suggestion is vital during December holidays when, ironically, so many people are under stress. (For an interesting look at how to de-stress your holidays, there’s an article by Arianna Huffington here.)

To make this day a page in your best chapter, find the line.

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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2 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: Find The Line

  1. Another great post, Diana! I can see it now–in prisons, schools, houses of worship, everywhere– everyone with arms raised shoulder-high, turning in circles: “This is my circle of space, that is yours. No crossing the line.” It could become a musical!
    But seriously, Diana, this is practical, visual…and very helpful. Especially during all the family gatherings. Oh, yeah, especially during all the crowded, intense gatherings.
    Thank you.

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