Living Like a Royal

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really care all that much about the royals. They are fascinating in a way…but I could take them or leave them. Which is why I wasn’t going to watch the royal wedding. I mean, why would I wake up that early on my day off just to give these people attention?

But then, the evening after the wedding, I was home alone and bored, and I ended up watching the replay (with generous fast forwarding). Sure I enjoyed the celeb-spotting before the ceremony, but all I could think during the actual ceremony is how miserable it must have been to be there. The seats looked uncomfortable, half the audience couldn’t see anything at all and the whole affair was looooong. Sure, Indian people have long weddings, but we have snacks and drinks and plenty of moving about. The guests at the royal wedding couldn’t even get up to pee!

Could they?

No they couldn’t. I Googled it. And I learned in my Googling that there are all sorts of other rules that guests had to abide by in order to attend the wedding. Seven pages of rules and “guidance” to be exact.

And then it dawned on me. The royals are fantastic at setting boundaries!

Boundaries are a tricky topic. A lot of people get uncomfortable around the ideas of boundaries. But as I’ve learned over and over (and over and over and over) again, setting your own boundaries is an essential part of living happier and stressing less.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Well, Jesal, the royal family is a political, economic and historical institution, so of course it makes sense for them to have rules. But why do I need to set boundaries? And what gives me the right to do so?”

Well, everyone has the right to be treated with respect. And you don’t have to send seven pages of rules to all your friends and family to get the respect you deserve. What I’ve learned over the past three decades of doing-it-all-wrong is that boundaries are really just about knowing yourself well and clearly communicating your needs with those around you.

For example, I am a serious homebody. I need to spend a good amount of time at home each week, especially during my time off. If I don’t, I feel off-balance and get cranky or overwhelmed. I expect my friends and family to respect that about me. I’ve learned over time that I can communicate that need with the people in my life. That I can say “no” to invitations in order to take care of myself or excuse myself from social situations to have some "me time." But I’ve also learned that I don’t need to spend time with people who don’t respect my boundaries. Like I used to have friends who would call me “lame” when I would stay home instead of going to a party with them. “Used to” being the key words. Over time, I stopped spending time and effort to be around people who didn’t respect my boundaries.

And it feels absolutely regal.


I can't meditate