Thursday, June 15, 2017

Joanne Guidoccio talks Boundaries

Carly's View welcomes author and guest blogger, Joanne Guidoccio. Today Joanne talks of setting boundaries and how they can be beneficial not only on our time, but our health and wellness. 

Make sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the blog!

Thank you for joining us Joanne. 

On Setting Boundaries by: Joanne Guidoccio

Many positive traits have been associated with Sir Winston Churchill, among them the ability to set effective boundaries. Whenever I struggle with this essential life skill, I recall the following anecdote:

Sir Winston hired a young aide to be his gatekeeper. On the young man’s first day, Sir Winston said: “Occasionally, I like to take a brief nap to rejuvenate myself. It’s never more than fifteen or twenty minutes. While I am napping, I am not to be disturbed unless there is a crisis.”

Eager to please, the young man nodded. “Very good, sir.”

Sir Winston persisted. “No, not very good. Everyone who comes to you will say they have a potential crisis and I must be awakened. To avoid any confusion, I will tell you what I consider to be a crisis. It is an armed invasion of the British Isles. Anything less than that can wait.”

No other particulars were given, but I’m certain that Sir Winston enjoyed many undisturbed naps.

Several years ago, I witnessed another example of effective boundary setting, this one much closer to home.

On a cold, blustery January evening, I dawdled and took my time, hoping for a cancellation of the monthly meeting. The roads were treacherous and ten more centimeters of snow were expected before midnight. The cancellation didn’t arrive, so I ventured out. I drove slowly and arrived at the same time as Sarah, another executive member. While struggling to find parking spots, we grumbled about the weather conditions.

Once inside, we found the meeting in full swing. The other members were drinking tea while listening to a lengthy report. We took our places and sat through a poorly organized meeting that accomplished nothing. As for the teapot, it was nowhere in sight. Seething inwardly, I decided to resign at the end of my term—five months away.

When the Chairperson asked if there was any further business, Sarah put up her hand and said: “In the interest of self-care, I have decided to resign my position. I’m giving two weeks’ notice.”

The chairperson nodded and thanked Sarah for all her contributions.

I alternated between admiration and envy. While I admired Sarah for her forthrightness, I wished that I had been able to resign so elegantly. Her example inspired me and I ended up leaving six weeks later, instead of waiting out the five-month term.

Lessons learned...

Be Clear and Concise

There is no need for long, drawn-out explanations. When Sarah said “In the interest of self-care,” everyone in the room knew exactly what she was talking about. As a stay-at-home mother who was home-schooling four children and trying to launch a new business, she couldn’t afford any energy drains. As for Sir Winston, I can’t imagine any visitor coming up with a counter-excuse to “an invasion of the British Isles.”

Trust Your Instincts

Certain people and situations can be toxic to our health and well-being. We cannot and should not ignore that persistent headache, nausea, or feeling of discomfort that seems to come out of nowhere. Our bodies are attuned to all vibrations and will send messages if there are any perceived threats. When discomfort or resentment arises, someone is either taking advantage or not appreciating us. Since Sarah and I were volunteering our time, it was much easier to resign from our roles. In some cases, it may be necessary to take distance while slowly disengaging.

Be Calm

There is nothing more powerful than a definitive No delivered in a calm manner. In full control of her emotions, Sarah didn’t shake or tremble when resigning her position. And I don’t think Sir Winston shouted any of his concerns.

Blurb from Joanne's latest book, TOO MANY WOMEN IN THE ROOM

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.
Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?


“I’m a nobody here,” David said, glancing down at his plate. “And with my credit rating, none of the banks would endorse a loan. I’m screwed.”
“What if I backed you?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking so casually, all the while my heart beat at an alarming rate.
David rubbed a hand over his chin and flashed a grin at me. “Gilda, darling, you’re sweet to offer, but I don’t think you know what’s involved here.”
Susan nodded in agreement.
Were they playing me, I wondered. Since winning nineteen million dollars in Lotto649, I had encountered many sharks who hoped to prey on my easy-going nature. A quick Google search would have revealed my three-year-old lottery win. Old news, but still there on the second and third pages.
“Would one hundred thousand dollars be enough?” I asked. “In case you don’t know, I won a major lottery several years ago.” Since winning, I had received many proposals from across the province and had backed three local ventures. In each case, I had chosen to remain a silent partner.
David’s right hand trembled as he poured himself another glass of wine. Susan’s mouth dropped open, and she gave a little gasp.
“I take it that’s a yes,” I said.
More mild protests followed, and another bottle of wine disappeared. We were all a bit tipsy when we shook on the agreement. And so Xenia was born.



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Bio of Joanne Guidoccio

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne...


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