Margin is the empty space in books–the gap between the words and end of the page. Margins provide readers with the freedom to hold a book without covering up the words. For college students, margins are the perfect place for jotting down notes. Could you imagine what it would feel like to open a book, only to discover the margins missing? With words running from one end of the page to the other, books would feel crowded and look jumbled.
Margin is also a great word for describing the blank spaces in life. Margins are those glorious, empty spaces that allow us to breathe. They give us time to recharge. Margins allow us to evaluate so that we can invest time into things that matter. Like margins in books, margins in life keep us looking neat, clean, and unfrazzled. Life without margin becomes an exhausting flow of endless activity.
Currently, I’m in an exceptionally busy season of life. If my life were a book, the words would be falling off the page. For a therapist who coaches others in healthy self-care, this is not a good thing. Over the past few months, my family and I have weathered a typhoon of events that have come our way. Jenny and I have frequently found ourselves saying, “I’m glad that’s over. Now we will finally be able to slow down.” Of course–unbeknownst to us–another wave of activity would already be swelling out of sight.
Last month, Jenny and I realized that “busy” had become our new normal. As a result, our family has set out on a mission to create more margin. For me personally, this means transitioning out of being the communications writer on the Adam Smith Blog. In fact, you are reading my transitional post right now.
Years ago, I worked in children’s ministry with a close friend. When this friend was hired for a new position, I remember him saying, “This isn’t goodbye, I’m simply expanding my circle of influence.” I love this pastor’s view of change, which is why I’m referring to this as my “transition post.” I am not leaving–I have developed too many friends to do that. Instead, I am taking the opportunity to add margin to my life and expanding my circle of influence.
In the future, you will find me cheering on the team in the comments. I’ll be increasing the activity on my own blog as well. In fact, this busy season of life has been an awesome growing experience. Like many bloggers, I discovered that posting consistently is not easy. At first, I posted sporadically. Then, Adam invited me to join his team. The accountability of six other team members was a huge support and kept me on track.
Over the past few months, I learned how to write consistently and even resumed posting on my own blog. The support, encouragement, and growth that occurred from being a part of this dynamic team has been incredible! As I transition to a new phase in life, I want to be sure to say a huge thank you to you, too! Thank you for cheering me on. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and for sharing these posts with others.
Finally, if you find yourself in an exceptionally busy season, here are four strategies for creating margin in life:
- Know that busy seasons can also be times of growth. Perhaps you are exactly where you need to be.
- When life gets busy, be sure to surround yourself with a good team. Not only are teams vital for support, life is much more fun when it’s shared with others.
- Be aware that persistently living without margin will lead to burnout. So keep evaluating as you press forward.
- If you need to give up something you love in order to increase the margin in your life, know that transitions don’t have to be goodbyes. It is perfectly acceptable to move from one stage of life to another, and expand your circle of influence.
Thank you for an incredible eight months here! It has been a fantastic journey of friendship, networking, and growth.
Sincerely, Jed Jurchenko