Who here feels they are always busy? Continually switched on? Constantly moving from one thing to the next?
I feel the same as you.
But recently I made a decision that changed the pace and has allowed me to reset. It is such a small thing really, but it feels so powerful to do.
What was it?
I found some margin.
What is the Margin?
You know the expression:
You can buy the whole seat but you’re only going to need the edge
It conjures excitement, drama and an eagerness to embrace what comes next.
I love that kind of energy and enthusiasm. But not all the time.
Particularly as an introvert, I really need the down time too. It is not living on the edge. It is finding some space, a border if you will, to give yourself a break from that ‘always on’ feeling.
It’s not just the space between the busyness and exciting times, it is the space when we allow ourselves to be free of commitments on our time and thoughts.
This is what I refer to as margin.
Giving Myself Some Margin
With our recent interstate move there was a lot of activity to prepare for the change.
This included saying bye to family, friends, our home and jobs in one city, then starting anew in another city.
A lot is changing, and it has been a particularly busy and chaotic time.
Before the move we had our schedule set out.
We would finish work one day, pack the car the next day, and leave the following day.
The night before we were due to leave I was feeling emotionally drained by all the recent activity and changes.
I don’t mind change, but I prefer when I am truly prepared and organised.
This time, things have felt slightly rushed – and rushing is one of my pet peeves.
So, we had an honest conversation. We realised we needed a day of rest and recovery.
Yes, moving on the day we had originally set out would mean I could see my family for a couple of days on our way to our final destination. Which is incredibly important to me. I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I miss my family, I love spending time with them.
However, our wellbeing must come first.
The idea swirled in my mind – should we, shouldn’t we? Will I feel bad if we do? Will I be riddled by guilt by not spending as much time with family as I could?
All these questions and more churned within. I was stewing. Deep down I knew the right thing to do.
As soon as we made the decision to postpone our departure by a day – for the sole purpose of resting, I instantly felt lighter.
I was able to relax and go to bed early, catching up on some much-needed sleep.
Importance of Finding the Margin
Our MO is usually rush, rush, rush. Against my better judgement.
We usually pack as much as we can into the time we have. We know we’re being a bit crazy or full on. Intense. But we work well as a team under this pressure and get things done.
Making a decision to deliberately go slow is not in my nature. Particularly when there are things to be done, family to see, miles to travel.
However, I felt so empowered by this decision.
It is important to highlight because it is recognising that our health and wellbeing is truly our number one priority.
It felt good to be honouring that.
After the decisions was made I knew that when I finally got to see my family I would be showing up as a gentler and kinder version of me. Not someone hardened and preoccupied by their own frazzle.
Internally, my body started thanking me for finding the margin. I felt less tension as I loosened the grip on my time. My mind was able to enjoy some calm and clarity that had been noticeably absent of late.
Sit Back and Relax
How often do we hear this expression – sit back and relax – and think – oh gosh, I can’t wait to do that?
What would you do with a free day? A day to sit back, relax and enjoy life?
So often we prioritise tasks and responsibilities to the top of our list.
The only trouble is that by doing this we get accustomed to putting our wellbeing and rest at the lower end of the list.
I encourage you to think about when you can next give yourself some margin.
It may not be a whole day, I get it – we’re busy and a whole day may be a bit much.
But can we find an afternoon, or even an hour to stop, rest, press ‘pause’ and just chill out.
Let’s sit down and have a cup of tea, and enjoy some peace and calm, living in the margin.
Your body and your mind may thank you for it.