This month, I’ve been thinking about . . . margin.
True confession: From the get-go this year, I knew that I would explore the concept of margin as part of my “space exploration” process. And so, when the seasonal May upheaval hit my everyday life . . . well, it seemed like the perfect time to bring the concept front-and-center.
What do I mean by margin? Oh, I’m talking about white space (the design concept). You know how uncomfortable and irritating it is to read something when the letters are all crammed on the page without breaks or interruptions? It’s much easier when there is . . . appropriate white space giving your eyes a place to rest, helping your brain know when to pause, allowing you to make sense of the words on the page so you can read them with ease.
Well, life is like that, too. We need . . . margin. The amount of margin, of course, varies by individual. Some of us are more comfortable when the words are all crammed on the page. And some of us need more white space between the paragraphs; we need bigger margins at the edges of our pages.
So. When spring finally arrives here in my corner of the world . . . everything changes for me. Life As I Know It . . . turns upside down for a while. This isn’t a bad thing at all. I look forward to it. I relish it. I mean . . . I’ve been dreaming about getting back into my garden or heading back up north for months by the time spring arrives.
There is an adjustment period!
At first, there are simply too many words too crammed together on my page, y’know?
Every single year, I try to squish everything together on my pages. I get angry and grumpy and frustrated – and feel like a failure – because I can’t fit everything in! All the things in my winter life AND all the things in my summer life! I want them all. But they just can’t all fit on the page, y’know?
This year, I was determined to allow myself . . . margin. To build white space into my days, into this season. To give my eyes a place to rest, to help my brain know when to pause, to allow me to make sense of the words on my page — and to read them with ease.
This allowing was the key. This month – as everything in the garden was exploding, and our place up north was beckoning, I’ve been working extra hard to remember to give myself space . . . to ebb and flow with the season, to breathe, to pause . . . AND to get stuff done (but not All the Stuff). It has meant giving myself more grace in the letting go of other stuff, of other commitments.
It’s not been easy, this building in margin.
But working on it . . . is helping.
“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.”