The picture above doesn't look like much, in fact, it doesn't look like anything at all! Garbled, unreadable, cluttered, stressful it just doesn't make sense. So, why the picture?
The picture is significant because it's this entire post without any space. Without space the message is unclear at best, unreadable at worst. Words on a page need space in order to make sense. We really don't notice when space is there, but when it isn't, we can tell. Without space words loose their meaning and, you can see where I am going with this, without space, people loose their meaning too.
Without space our overscheduled and unchecked lives become garbled, unreadable, cluttered, stressful and it just doesn't make sense.
How do we create space around our work and family life?
It honestly comes down to healthy boundaries and healthy awareness. At times I schedule appointments and things I need to get done back to back to back. 8:00-9:00 then 9:00-10:00 then 10:00-11:00 and it allows me to accomplish more because the "get it done gene" inside me likes the feeling of accomplishment. This "lack of space" in my day also allows me to be less tolerant toward others (usually toward the ones I love) , and give me a sense of accomplishment buy staying "busy."
We all need to create a little space in our lives. Call it what you want, wiggle room, balance, margin, me time, whatever you call it, "it" won't work unless you practice it. I will be the first to NOT point a finger. The picture here is a screen shot right from my calendar.
Clearly I'm a work in progress. I will tell you that my schedule rarely looks like this anymore and it's an exception rather than the rule however, occasionally, I fall back in to old habits and bump things right up against each other with no space. And, on occasion, I actually overlap things hoping the "time fairy" will actually give me more time.
So, I'm writing this post for me...and you!
Let's think about creating some space. Let's think about setting a few healthy boundaries or borders or margins or limits so life makes sense!
Creating Some Space For A Healthy Pace
1. Create Space For YOUR Family
Creating space for your family takes one thing into consideration...YOUR family. It's not being selfish it's being real. For instance, a healthy no for your family could be another family’s healthy yes. Space within your family's schedule needs to make sense for your family not the family at church or down the street.
2. Create Space You Can See
A calendar is a great place to see open space. Without a few lines between sentences a paragraph looses meaning and the same is true with family. Without a few moments between appointments or after school activities life becomes a grind filled with hurry not joy. You will often hear the phrase, "happy and healthy." You never hear, "hurried and healthy."
3. Create Space For Face to Face
When you are running from here to there with no margin or space life feels like one big hamster wheel. You are doing a lot of work but to no end. Get some face time with your spouse and talk about ways to loosen up your schedule and create space so life doesn't feel so rushed and non-stop.
Once you create some space, you will notice things begin to change. Please understand, things won’t change overnight; they will change over time. You will most likely experience a bit of negative feedback from your children, whose lives are suddenly altered with "down time." However, after the initial shock has worn off, you will all experience a less rushed and more healthy family life.