Living In The Margins


It was an average Tuesday morning in our house.  My husband was sitting in our breakfast nook with his headphones in getting some work done on his lap top and absentmindedly tapping his pen on the table.  I was frantically dashing around the house, tidying up while making a grocery list on my phone and running through the points in my head that I wanted to remember to bring up at a meeting I had scheduled later that day.  I dashed into the kitchen, wiping down counters and opening the mail that was sitting in a pile while I dearly hoped that there was nothing too important or pressing in it because I couldn’t add another thing to my to-do list for that day.

That’s when it happened.

It was the soft but incessant pen-tapping that sent me off my rocker and I yelled ‘oh my gosh Justin you have got to stop tapping your pen or I am going to lose my ever loving mind!’ as if I still had some left to lose.  He looked up, startled and surprised, set the pen down, pulled his headphones out and said ‘Mer, are you ok?’  Such a wise man, he knew it wasn’t the pen-tapping that made me lose it.

We stood there in the kitchen and he listened to patiently as I rambled about this and that, externally processing everything in my crazy brain until I could get to the point.

I’m so tired of trying to live in the margins of my life.

That’s how I have been living for far too long.

I’ve been living in the margins, adding three more items to the mile-long to-do list, cramming in a few more errands between meetings and appointments and work, saying yes to one more person, one more project, one more thing.

Going to bed exhausted at night to wake up and feel frantic in the morning instead of rested has begun to take its toll.

I’m not living the way I want a lot of days.  

I’m not offering the best version of myself to the people who matter most.

I’m not able to offer the energy and brain space to the things in life that give me great purpose and bring the most joy.

Standing there in the kitchen that day I realized this isn’t a matter of better time management or prioritization.  It’s a matter of rewiring my brain, fundamentally changing the way I operate and recreating my life as a whole.

I have long been the go-to girl to get stuff done, hence the reason this is not a time management or prioritization issue.  I had been capable and dependable in almost every area of my life and I have liked it that way.  I have been the reliable one, the one who you can ask and will likely get a ‘yes’ for an answer.

But what I’ve done in the meantime is forced into the margins all those tiny moments that make this life so beautiful. 

I’ve shoved my life it into tiny spaces where it will doesn’t fit and where it will never have room to grow and evolve and become all that I hope for and dream of.

I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to force my life, the life that I want to live, that I enjoy living, and life that I wake up to every day that I am so grateful to have been given, into the margins.

I don’t have a three-step process to offer, I don’t even have much insight, just experience of what I no longer want.  What I do know is that I don’t want to keep trying to live in the margins because this life is too beautiful. In a world that is bursting with the boldest colors, glimmering with hope and redemption, squeezing my life into the margins is not that way I want to live it.