Friday, February 10, 2017

Margins

A dear friend of mine has taught me the importance of margins. It's a tricky concept really. Margins too wide = selfish laziness. Margins too narrow = unsustainable. I tend to swing from one extreme to another, often in reaction to where I've just found myself. Burnout, retreat, burnout, retreat, etc.


A part of the reason we put our oldest two in school this year was to provide me some much-needed margin. As the year has progressed, I've found my brain working again in ways that are exciting but also raise red flags that scream "Warning! Margins narrowing ahead!"


There are difficult questions of priority that I face, having been refreshed by this season, and knowing I am entering a season of significantly narrower margins. A new baby, the how/who/where of the next school year, concerns about our kids' activities that I feel need addressing, a new service opportunity alongside Mark...


All of those practical items vie for my energy and attention, while lingering in the shadows of my consciousness is the realization that I've neglected the fostering of kindred spirits. Years of little or no margin meant that I didn't seek them out, or attend to those I had. Anything that required more of me was too much. It was simply my reality: close friendships were a perk my energy bank couldn't afford. You might say I spent unwisely. I wouldn't disagree.  



 As I live through these remaining months of wider margin, I look ahead and wonder how best to use my resources. What are my goals and how can I count the cost before I set about building the tower, to be sure that I have what it takes to complete the tasks I begin?


I'm excited about what's ahead. I look forward to snuggling a newborn, to maybe again being the teacher of my children, to serving along with Mark, and to spending myself on others in friendship.  ...and somehow doing it all within margins that keep life sustainable.




1 comment:

Reenie said...

Beautifully said. And of course, the beautiful pictures make it even better :D
I do think that it isn't about spending "unwisely" in our past but more about moving forward having gained knowledge about what we have done and what has or has not worked. No beating yourself up about what you haven't done because you were in survival mode ;) I think going forward into a season of narrowing margins and seeing it coming is SO VERY WISE to plan for the inevitable. I'm proud of you :) And hey, BLOG POSTS! Love it!