Have Heart, Will Travel


Finally learning the Lesson of Margin

Life lessonsNancy Powell3 Comments

Our current RV park was supposed to be a quick overnight stay. Yesterday, as we were leaving the mountains of the recently visited national parks and headed back toward the California coast, the wind really picked up and we decided to get off the road even though we had only traveled a couple hours toward our destination.

Our spot is right across from a small playground, and Petunia spent hours there yesterday evening playing with other kids and making new friends. Late last night she asked if we could stay another night so she could play with them today.

So, even though we are somewhere we never intended to go, and certainly never planned to stay, we are indeed staying here an extra night. And Petunia is happily playing with her new group. This is the beauty of margin in your life and schedule.

Margin is a funny word and concept at first. It's that part of the paper that is supposed to stay blank, in case a word runs long or so your eyes can rest on white space and make reading the rest easier.  In a life, margin is supposed to be that extra space we have between what we have scheduled that we have to do and what we ultimately have the capacity to do. 

That space is supposed to stay blank most of the time in case something important runs over or comes up unexpectedly. That margin also makes the rest of life run more smoothly. However, in our hyper-drive society we have filled up our schedules to our ultimate limits--right up to the boundaries that are only supposed to be touched in times of rare crisis or opportunity.

Even at the beginning of the Grand Adventure, we noticed we were moving quickly from one thing to the next and keeping to a tight schedule. I am grateful that this experience has been the time for learning all sorts of things like we hoped it would be.  As Petunia spends the day playing with a bunch of new friends, one of those things I am happy we are finally learning to embrace is margin.

If this is a concept that interests you, here are some good resources from those who can better speak about margin:

http://www.sean-johnson.com/why-you-need-more-margin-in-your-life/ (Really good insights into scheduling margin into your everyday life)

http://michaelhyatt.com/more-margin.html (Great tips for scheduling margin into your work life, as well as other areas)