As I was listening to a Christian ministry podcast in my van, attending Automobile University as Zig Ziglar calls it, in which the topic was on Balance and De-Stressing your life, I found myself wrapped in an AHA moment. One of the comments that speaker Joyce Meyers made was how we need to build in more margin into our schedules so that we’re not experiencing that frantic stress-inducing reaction-mode pace of life. Do you know the one I mean? Walk with me through my “normal” school day morning. 6:30am alarm goes off, time to get up. 6:45am time to really get up and wake the kids joyfully. 6:50am encourage the kids to get up and get dressed. 6:55am take a deep breath and strongly encourage the kids to get up NOW. Make breakfast, pack lunches, round up backpacks, find missing shoes, sign agenda books, do girls’ hair. 7:20am reminder alarm goes off to get out the door in time for the bus. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Clear the table. Put the dishes in the dishwasher. Rush! Rush! Rush! Pheeeeeeew! Made it one more day…
Sound familiar? How much better life would be by simply doing some things the night before like organizing backpacks, picking out clothes, setting the table and making lunches? How about being self-disciplined enough to get out of bed on time? Ouch! How about even a little early to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a few pages of a good book before everyone else wakes? That’s a good one, LOL!
Then Joyce explains that “life happens in the margins”. When we’ve built in some margin around the “deadlines”, like getting the kids off to school on time, then we can practice being calm, peaceful and rational. We can have real conversations around the breakfast table and think clearly about what is happening for the day. Life has a chance to happen and you can respond instead of react. Meaningful moments with my children and spouse don’t happen on-the-fly, but in the comfort of the margin.
That thought sure motivates me to plan out my day the night before and start my day earlier so that I can anticipate the magic margin moments instead of settling for marginal mayhem. Thoughts?