I can use the problematic areas of my life to teach from. This is something I have learned well over the years. Expose your strengths for value… expose your weaknesses for value. One of my biggest weaknesses, is my desire to be busy. That desire, which is well serving at times, is also poorly serving at others.
Margin – the amount by which a thing is won, or falls short. Gap, amount, difference.
The margin in our lives is that gap by which we win the day. The time that is afforded us once we have accomplished the tasks of the day, and that time which we can put our feet up. As I said, I have a desire to be busy. But, when you are busy, and there is no margin in your life. What do you do when suddenly something occupies that tiny bit of margin, and then that thing overflows and completely engulfs that little margin? Life gets a bit crazy in these situations.
I am also, and I am not saying this is a healthy choice, an individual who can exist on minimal sleep. Which is where I go for margin when things get tight.
That is why things are tight now, the effort of training a puppy. Its funny how we can plan, and expect to lose time, but we often really don’t know how demanding something will be until we are in it. I expected to wake up in the middle of the night, spend a decent amount of time with her outside. But I wasn’t thinking about how much time might add up cleaning floors, shampooing rugs and washing anything that might get in her way. When we got home tonight after a weekend in Blue Ridge, followed by moving CrossFit Bridgemill to a new home, followed by a birthday dinner for Dr. Mark’s daughter Ayva. I was thinking “get the kids to bed, get the laptop up and get some work done for tomorrow”.
Instead, “what is that? Is that poop? Oh man, is there more? What is it doing under here? How old is this, she was just with us over the weekend… how did this happen? Where is the rug shampooer?”
When we lack margin, and life gets tight, the worst problem is stress. This event hasn’t stressed me, this puppy hasn’t stressed me. I have been given so much joy from her and my kids interaction with her, that is totally worth it. But if you lose the little bit of margin that you have, and end up in a situation where there is nothing but stress. Having your joy stolen from you. What is the damage?
Stress is a killer. Shown to lead to diseases of many different types. Cancer, heart, increased inflammatory responses. Problems that develop slowly.
Margin is something that takes effort to work towards. I have been working to get more back over the last couple of years and indeed, there is value to having some room to fit the unexpected in. I hope you can put your life under a microscope and find some more time.
Be well and Be blessed! Dr. E