It’s confession time.
Have you ever felt like life is flying by so quickly that you’re just hanging on for dear life? Or, to put it another way, do the pages of your life ever feel like there are no margins? That’s how I feel today, and that’s where I’ve been for a while now. Life at work and at home has become so hurried and frantic that every moment seems like a chore, and I stay up too late at night trying to get things done. Christmas vacation was a nice break, but now I find myself right back in the middle of all the rush.
The worst thing about living this way is that the things that are most important tend to get the least amount of attention. For instance, this week, Keri and I celebrated nine years of marriage, and I’ve been so consumed with everything else, that I didn’t focus any creative attention on her and showing her how much I love her. We went to dinner, saw a movie, and spent some time together, but I didn’t carve out any time to really express my love for her in a lavish way. I hate that.
When life gets this way, I feel like I lose some of my ability to cope. I become more irritable, more distractible, and easily discouraged. The most frustrating part is that, for the most part, I’ve brought this upon myself by the choices I’ve made.
I’ve also discovered that when I operate without margins, the little joys of life – like going to the park with my family or reading a book to my daughter or even reading the Bible – become an unwanted distraction from the tyranny of the urgent. And when joy becomes a distraction, you know you’ve worked yourself into a bad situation.
So in light of the New Year, I’m committing once again to reestablish daily and weekly margins into my life. I recommit to the daily practice of solitude and silence and working towards the elimination of hurry from my life.
Given my personality and current responsibilities, I’m not exactly sure how to get there. Any advice?
And how about you? How are you doing with the margins of your life? What practices have you established to keep things in check?