It's been a long time since I wrote about how I'm learning to live well. Those of you who are long-time Glam Fam will remember that in the beginning, when I had little to no margin to indulge my love of paper, we chatted about living well here regularly.
This morning I woke up at 5 AM craving candles, books, coffee, and reflection, so let's rock it old school and talk about life, shall we?
Last week I got a note from Elise, a long time member of the Paper & Glam community asking, "Would you talk in either a future vlog or blog post about your steps to create margin this year (what has or has not worked for you). I would love to hear if you have found anything that helped!"
At the outset of the year, I talked about my word for 2016: MARGIN. In my How To Set Goals & Reach Them video, I made a resolution for every area of my life, but the one that sits paramount above them all is my resolve to create more margin.
What is margin?
Margin refers to the space on the edge of a page where there is no text.
Dr. Richard Swenson, wrote an excellent book on margin called Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives as well as a devotional. He defines a marginless life as, “Marginless living is being 30 minutes late to the doctor's office because you were 20 minutes late to the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station — and you forgot your purse. Marginless is not having time to finish the book you're reading on stress: margin is having time to read it twice."
In my own words, a marginless life is a life without white space for leisure, rest, play, family, fitness, creating and hearing from God.
A prime example is how often I'm told someone wants to join our book club, but doesn't have the time or discipline to read. No one has the time or disciple to read (or insert your goal here), we either plan and execute something in our lives or not. And remember, there will not be more time in the future, don't take that bait.
This year, I'm planning and executing margin. Running late, overwhelm, and exhaustion are no longer permissible in my life. At times, exhaustion and the clock get the best of all of us, but those times will be the exception, not the rule. Those states of being don't allow me to soak in the blood and bones of my life. When I'm tired, late, and overwhelmed, I miss the moment entirely.
How am I creating margin?
I know plenty of people who give the very best of themselves to what they’re putting on the internet, and their church, their friends, and their family gets the scraps. I know that there is never enough time, never enough energy, never enough of everything to go around.
There’s only one way I’m going to make the math work in my life: IRL (In Real Life) above all else. If I can’t be present and available every second to the great and powerful vortex that is the internet, that’s going to have to be okay. You can trust that I’m [curled up with Sunday, a new book and a steaming mug or traipsing down an LA street with my mom or my cousins.] I’m with my family and my friends, people who know me well and keep my sane. When things get crazy, I’ve learned to dig even more deeply into IRL.
The best of me is not in my videos and not on my blog. My first priority is, and will always be, IRL.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing…no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. — 1 Corinthians 13:1,3, MSG
How are you creating more margin in your life or struggling to do so? I'd love to continue this dialogue in the comments.
Here's to taking life at our own pace, with peace, purpose, and joy.
With much love and gratitude for all the time you spend with me,