Dear Precious BB’s and other friends whom I adore!!!
(Above was written by John Ellis over 10 years ago to poke a little fun at my ridiculous lack of margin in my life)
First of all let me explain!!!!!!! Yes this is silly but the problem with it, besides being silly, it is how my friends saw me, with slight exaggeration mind you but this in essence was me. Which is why many of my friends wondered how in the world that sweet turtle man could handle this 4 foot 9 crazy!!! A life of busy, busy, busy!!!! A life of doing, going, going, gone and NEXT!!!! A life of pushing, pulling, doing, lots and lots of doing. But short on the just BEING side.
So let me give you a little background on why this slide and why it outlined my schedule. We were studying a bible study from Andy Stanley on the importance of margin in our lives. It was a study that I remember above all other studies! I think it was at least 10 years ago or more. It was before I had Beachy Beach and was most certainly before I took a moment to breathe and think…. Is this really the life that God wants me to lead? Do I know what all this busy is about? Do I have a purpose? Do I have a plan other than to fill up my day to the very edge of the brim of the day? Can I really be all that God has called me to be if I don’t slow down and listen?
Also need to note that I did not have the kiddos and I still had my sweet husband so I did not really see too much need for margin. I thought that those 80 hour weeks were the price tp pay for success. Now all these years later I know that margin, that quiet space, that white space at the beginning of the day AND if you are lucky at day’s end too, is vitally important for a healthy life.
My problem was like so many other high achievers is that I loved what I was doing, I really love to work. Work is not work for me so therein lies the issue. I loved what I did and I did not know how to answer people when they would ask nonsensical questions like, “What do you do for fun?” Why I work, I love to work. “ No seriously, what do you do in your down time your quiet time? ” I could not answer that question, for the life of me….. I could not answer it other than the way I answered at the time with more doing and striving.
I love what Shauna Neiquest said in her book that I am still in Intensive Care program with, Present over Perfect. “Loving ones work is a gift. And loving ones work makes it really easy to neglect other parts of life. “
Today now that I am raising two little ones without my sweet husband, I wish I could go back and grab that quiet space and just sit and be with him and with myself. I can not go backwards as life has not rewind button but thankfully there is a reset. I am more aware of life and the reason for white space. I know to those that watch me work and live, I am still the Karen of that crazy over the top schedule. I am more than that now or a better way to say it, I am less than that.
I know now that sitting and thinking is an activity to be cherished. I know that reading at least 2 books per week is JOY over the top JOY. I know that playing games with littles and camping trips, Disney trips and sitting and just being is OKAY. It is better than okay it is a spiritual experience. I know that cooking dinner on a Sunday night and talking to my family for a few hours is a great living in the margins activity. I know that I don’t get extra credit in heaven for staying at work just one more hour. I know that writing in my blog for nothing more than the love of sharing and laughing at myself and taking myself not serious at all is so much fun. So I guess I can answer that question if people ask me what I do for fun. I still love to work but I love to do many other things as well. And yes I am even working on doing Nothing!!!! That may take some doing, but I think I can one day achieve that!!!
I sure wish I had done more than laugh at John when he wrote this all those years ago. If this is you, please take my oh so humble advice and slow your roll, find some margin. Just sit. Sit. Enjoy. Breathe in. Love. Be Thankful. Breath out.
Loving you and so thankful to share my margins with you!!!
Ka-not always running anymore
Ps. I know I have a long way to go but at least I know what margin is now or at least how to spell it!!
Pps. I still need to read Present Over Perfect at least 4 more times and I think I will have it figured out.