Do you remember when you were first learning to write? I remember scrawling impossibly long sentences across my lined paper, from edge to edge and often wrapping to the next line with dashes and arrows. I remember my kind teacher showing me how hard that made it to read my writing.
Then as I began to learn to write for the internet I learned the value of white space. I learned to write shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs and leaving space in my writing to make things easier for you to read.
And, over time, I’ve learned that my life needs margin as well.
As wives and mothers we are impossibly hard on ourselves. We are even harder on each other.
Society tries to convince us that we can have it all. Our peers seem to be doing everything faster, and neater and healthier and raising more enriched children than we are.
I set plenty of goals for myself. I make them clear. I make them (sort of) achievable. I write them down. I tell other people about them.
And then. . .I fall flat on my face.
Because life happens.
Take this blog for example. I have every intention of giving you something to read every weekday. Some weeks I do pretty well. Some weeks I even schedule posts so that I can make up for busy days (though to me that always seems to take away from the timeliness of blogging.) But then, days like yesterday happen.
I drove four kids to three schools. Then, I spent a lovely morning with coffee and friends at our weekly Bible study. Back home to wash some dishes and watch a friend’s daughter for an hour. Then, we of course need to catch up over coffee. Then groceries, then picking up Dakotateen from school (which always takes a LONG time since he can’t seem to wait outside for me), then cooking dinner and cleaning up after dinner (we fired the kids), put the four littler ones to bed, and then I SHOULD have blogged.
But I did not have it in me.
I had no margin in my day.
By the time that last kid was tucked in, I was DONE.
So I sat in my recliner and vegged out. I had a glass of wine. I finally checked Facebook. I sent out a lame Tweet. And I knew that when I woke up this morning, the blog would still be here.
And it is. And here you are.
Maybe you had a busy day too. Maybe all of your days are too busy. Maybe you thrive on busy (I don’t).
If you are a person like me who needs a little more margin than the average person, let me share a trick with you.
I mentally divide my day into three parts, morning, afternoon and evening. When I am scheduling activities (outings, playdates, Bible Studies, meetings, book clubs etc.) I try to always leave one of those slots open. I need a little unscheduled time each day. Now, during that time I still DO stuff. . .I am a mom to six! But I need that time to wipe my counters, bake a loaf of bread, do laundry, play a game with the kids, read a book, take a walk, blog, just be me.
Eh, it works for me…most days!
Chime in! How do you create margin in your life? Are you good at it? Do you have a tip to share? You know I’d love to hear from you!