The Necessity of Margin


“I need some space!”

A common statement by my eldest...especially in the morning and especially toward his younger brother. We all need a little space, some more than others. We need margin.

Art needs some space too. Have you noticed this? Without some white space around a picture, it is suffocated and you can’t really enjoy it. The items around it cause distraction. Same thing within a picture. There needs to be some space and margin so a viewer can navigate around the painting or the sculpture. Negative space in a work of art is sometimes even more crucial than the positive.

Margin. Space.

One of my goals this year is create more margin in my life. I’ve known that I’ve needed to do this for a couple years. I have a tendency to fill in every free moment of time I possess. I carry around a fifty pound purse filled with “possibilities” for those free moments….an unfinished fiber project, a file for a client, the book I’m currently trying to read, my planner (I’m sure there is something else I forgot to write down…), my Bible ( since I once again didn’t beat my kids out of bed this morning).

It’s absolutely exhausting. Suffocating. Addictive.

Living without margin causes one to react badly when the delicate balance of things and tasks are pushed upon by unexpected visits, phone calls, and surprise projects. Or, in my present time…”Mom, can you play trains with me? Mom, can you help me find a lego arm? Mom, mom, mom, mom….” I’ve left no margin, no space, for these precious little voices to pull me into their world and that just grieves me.

But it also pushes me to change things I can change. I can add space. I can say “no” so there IS room. If I create some negative space in the painting of my life, I can enjoy it more and the little people that are a crucial part of it. I can’t do it alone...I’m terrible at changing. But I don’t have to do it alone. I’m sure I’ve got Someone who will help me.

Ok….breathe….

It’s time to make some space...some margin.

How have you created margin in your life? How has your world been changed by this?

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