07 February 2012

the value of margin

Hello to all my new friends from Frugal Living Northwest!  Welcome!

If you popped over to see how I incorporate margin into my life, I wish I could tell you that I've got it nailed, but the truth is I am still working on it. Our family needs more space between our commitments and our capacity.  Make that my capacity.

A recent change in my health has forced me to slow down, to let go, to create margin.  Surprisingly, letting go hasn't killed me! (I felt sure it would.) I am ever tempted to push myself to my limits, to give up my margin, but I almost always regret the cost.  Sometimes, it is "only" harsh words spoken to my loved ones in a moment of haste.  Sometimes, it is days lost to an illness that my stressed body couldn't fight off. Sometimes, it is simply the bad habit of a rushed life.

Around here, our family size plus those pesky health issues dictate what activities we are able to take part in.  For example, putting our kids in sports would push me, screaming, off the Cliffs of Insanity.   Two practices and a game each week for each of our 5 school aged children with 2 preschoolers in tow?  Not within my current capacity. Certainly not a lifestyle that leaves me with any margin. Are team sports bad?  Of course not.  Would my children enjoy playing sports?  Probably.  Is it the best lifestyle choice for our family in this season of life?  No.

Don't compare your capacity to the capacity of others.  There are too many factors that differ between families -season of life, family size, health, finances- to name a few.

There is a difference between the urgent and the important, between what is good and what is best, between a full life and a fulfilling life.

You follow Frugal Living NW to learn frugality with your money, let me encourage you to practice frugality with your commitments. Spend your time wisely and don't spend it all in busyness. Leave some time, some margin, for smoothing out the inevitable bumps in life's road. Invest in your margin and reap the rewards in your relationships and your health.

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