Do you feel overwhelmed at the thought of January’s resolutions adding one more thing to your plate? February could be the perfect month to start working on margins instead.
Guest post by Megan Vowell
It’s a new year, a fresh slate, a new chance to tackle _______. If you are like me, you have the same resolutions as last year. I’m willing to bet that at least one these is on your list:
Get out of debt.
Be more _______. Gentle? Kind? Mindful?
Live more ____. Fully? Simply? Frugally? Generously?
Noble aspirations all, and yet… how much resolve do you have and how much margin? Is there space in your life to change all these things at once? Probably not. After all, who doesn’t want to change all these things at once!
Resolve: the willpower to affect a solution.
Margin: the space between ourselves and our limits*.
(*a phrase that caught my eye. I didn’t even read the article, just happened upon the phrase in a search engine and was instantly enchanted with its simplicity.)
If you are already at the end of yourself, a list of resolutions will do little more than emphasize your desperation. May I gently suggest that you drop everything else and create some margin in your life?
Sit down with a cup of something comforting. Take a deep breath and write down everything unrelated to feeding, sheltering, and clothing your family. This is your list of extras, the margin-eaters of your life.
Accept, for a moment, that you are not obligated to any of these other activities. Imagine NOT living at the end of your rope and what a gift that will be to you and your family. Keeping that gift in mind, evaluate your list of extras.
Weigh each one against the costs. Is this oh-so-important thing more important than gaining some margin? The best results will require ruthless honesty.
Remember, you aren’t signing a contract; no one is forcing you to make forever changes. If a change doesn’t bless your family, change it back.
This may seem like an odd exercise- give up something “important” and replace it with nothing more than an idea. But I encourage you to give up the frantic pace of normal life and learn to protect and enjoy the margin.
Are you craving margin in your life? What is one thing you would cut? Leave a comment!
Megan Vowell is a busy mother of eight children who is striving to create margin in her own life. She blogs about her large family life at shoeprints.blogspot.com.
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