May 17, 2017

Margin - Revisiting my Word of the Year

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Margin – this is my word of the year – and I thought it was about time to revisit it, especially since I had been absent from this space for a few weeks.  You might say that I needed a little more margin in my life.

Starting this year with the word margin was a no-brainer, but actually putting this little word into practice and into my schedule has been a lot more difficult than I originally expected.



I mentioned on Monday that we finished up our homeschool year at the end of April, but what I didn’t mention was that we school right through from January to April, without breaks.  So while all of the kids’ friends in school are getting their lovely spring break time, we are still.doing.school.  And since we had the flu hit us incredibly hard for the month of March (and because we brought home our wonderful Great Pyrenees puppy Izzy), I may have been feeling a bit more frazzled than I should have been.

It is easy to let margin slip away in the busy day-to-day – I did not mean that to rhyme, but we will just go with it – and instead of scheduling in that white space, I saw the white space and decided to fill it with other things.

This past week when we were at our friends’ home celebrating Emma’s birthday, we were discussing how guilty we can feel when we say no to people who have asked for our help in doing something.

It reminded me of a quote from Lysa Terkeurst in her book TheBest Yes:

“Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else.  Make sure your yes is worth the less.”

That really got me thinking about how I have talked about sayingyes in the past.

My purpose for choosing margin as my word for this year was to give myself more room to say yes to what matters to me the most.  I don’t want to tell someone yes when I don’t really mean yes, because that means that I am saying no to something else, something important to me.

However, I also realize that we can’t all just live in lala land and not have any responsibilities, and only do the fun and entertaining things.  But, I have noticed that when I overcommit myself to outside obligations (that is the key word), I tend to rush around with chores and other essential parts of my daily life, and instead constantly say no when my kids want to play a game of Nintendo Monopoly (longest.game.ever) or edit a video with them, or sit and write a letter with my oldest. 

The past few weeks of not blogging has reminded me of how much I want and need to fit in writing time for myself in the midst of spending time with my kids, planning a new homeschool year, and all the normal day-to-day that is required of us.

What this means is that I need to be selective when I say yes to anything outside my immediate family.

Spending some time contemplating margin in the midst of several rainy weeks in spring is not what I expected to be doing.  I honestly thought that by now margin would be easy to come by, and it would be natural for me to cut out the unnecessary parts of my schedule, but that has not been the case.

As we move forward through spring, and into the summer, I need to be aware of this.  Taking a step back and re-evaluating the time I put into other projects and other people outside of my family. 

On Friday I will be talking about some tools that I will be using to work through some of this struggle going into the summer, and I hope you will join me back here then!


Do you easily fall back into old routines and bad habits that you thought would be easy to correct?

48 comments:

  1. I am the queen of making a change for a week and then going right back to my old ways. I like routine and hate change, so it's hard for me to make something stick.

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  2. I love how you prioritize on saying yes. I need to quote this to remind me to do the same. "give myself more room to say yes to what matters to me the most."

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  3. I love this positive word for the year. Saying yes is important we all need this reminder.

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  4. I love the idea of having a word for the year. Margin is such a great and unique one too!

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  5. I constantly fall into my "busy"... It is something I have been working on. Like when I'm feeling flustered and that nothing is getting done, I stop and consciously ask myself.."Is what I'm doing serving my ultimate goal for today?". That has helped so much!

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  6. Love the idea of having a word of the year! I may have to try this myself! And I agree it is so important to only say YES to things that matter most to YOU

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  7. Oh now this is so neat. I've never though to have a word of the year. I think anyone that homeschools are amazing BTW.

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  8. I love love love the idea of having a word of the year instead of resolutions. I think I will definitely be doing that next year. I too have been too crazy caught up in all the obligations I have instead of focusing on the moment and enjoying the time I'm in.

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  9. Thats such a cool concept about the word of the year, and the word you chose. It makes sense when you explain how you use that margin for more of yes or you time. Love that idea... and love being mindful of a word as a foundation!

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  10. Yes I can find myself falling back into old ways when trying to make a change. I literally get so busy or my brain keeps running non stop I forget all about it.

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  11. It is so easy to be swamped by the day to day duties in life. But it is vital that we make time to do the things we love and have an outlet.

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  12. I am glad you're giving yourself more room to say yes. We should all do that.

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  13. I'm also working on trying to say yes more often as well! I find I am happier that way.

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  14. I love that quote by Lysa. It is important to keep in mind and I am just as guilty about filling all my white space until I forget what the word margin even means anymore.

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  15. I try to make sure I really want to commit to something before I say yes. I have such little free time I want to be sure I can spend as much of it as I can on the things I love.

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  16. Summer is the toughest time for me to make time for myself. We are usually traveling a lot and my kids don't do summer activities. This means my whole day is revolved around them. I'm very careful about what I say yes to this time of year.

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  17. You sure put a great view on the "yes". I had never thought of it that way before. I'll certainly remember that from now on.

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  18. I definitely appreciated this post. I know I need to add more margin to my routine. I really like the quote you mentions and definitely need to write that down as a friendly reminder.

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  19. I love that quote. I feel like I am saying yes too much. I need to stop spreading myself too thin.

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  20. Its great to have a goal so that we can accomplish more. I love that you have humility in needing to use your word of the day.

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  21. When all you say is yes to someone, you are not free. It's the no's that define who were are as people and create the worlds that we live in.

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  22. That was very well said. We have to learn when to say yes and when to take a step back and say, wait I just need this time for myself first. It's a lesson that I have learned the hard way.

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  23. This is a wonderful realization. It's good to say no from time to time especially if you're losing that much needed time for you or your family. This is a good reminder for all of us.

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  24. I love this. I too always overschedule myself, then find myself stressed to the max and hustling to get everything done, but then I neglect the fun things in life. I need to make more time to relax and watch a movie with the kids, or build a blanket fort...or even time for me to be alone and take a bath.

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  25. I love that quote! I have been working hard on making sure my "yes" is worth it! Can you believe we are already 6 months into the year?! Looking forward to hearing a 2nd part of the year update!

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  26. Oh! Room for a yes! I think i should do this word of year, i think it will help my life change.

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  27. You seem like you and the kids worked hard this semester so you deserve a little break. I give you credit for home schooling I could never do it.

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  28. Guilt can really make those old habits come back into play. It's good to revisit your word of the year or gold for year throughout the year to make sure you are keeping up with them.

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  29. I was just thinking about revisiting my word of the year Fearless. I choose that word to encourage myself to take risks and while I've been doing pretty well, I know I could do better.

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  30. Every now and then, I have a yes day with my kids. Whatever they ask, I reply yes. They're some of my favourite days.

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  31. I need to do this. I need to have a word of the year. It would really help me to focus and stay motivated all year long.

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  32. Getting our priorities straight is really important when it comes to committing your time to other people. This is a reminder that we all need to keep in mind. We should learn how to say no to the things that will keep us from doing what's important to us and our loved ones.

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  33. I love reading about words of the year, I absolutely love the concept of it and REALLY love to word you've chosen. Very unusual but totally get the reasoning behind it x

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  34. What an awesome quote from Lysa! I also love the idea of having a yearly word to live by. I also agree that it's important to take time for yourself.

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  35. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the outside world. I find it interesting how you choose your word of the year. Love it! I hope you guys get to take a nice break and go on a fun family summer vacation.

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  36. Always have room for a yes - and know when to say no :)
    Katja xxx
    www.katnapped.com

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  37. This is great to have a word of the year to work on things. I know sometimes it's hard to get out of a rut and make a good change.

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  38. It's so wonderful and intriguing learning about how you make the "world of the year". I do not have a word of the year, but yet a phrase.

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  39. Its so great how you are able to go back to things like these. I'm hoping at some point I can think back to things like these.

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  40. I love you're word. It says so much without saying it all and I hope you're feeling more back on track.

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  41. Love this concept. And I agree on saying yes to new opportunities!

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  42. This is such a great, cool idea. Your choice of word is perfect too, because knowing when to say yes is important. Thanks for sharing

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  43. I believe we all fall back into old habits at one time or another in our life. It is what we do when this happens that counts. Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

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  44. This quote right here...Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less. Reminded me so much how our priorities and choices always give and take. So, Good!

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  45. I need to revisit my word of the year too! It's perseverence! I definitely need to since there are days.. it's difficult to keep going :) It's a great way to remind yourself of your future goals to get you moving towards it, no matter how small steps!

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  46. I like the idea of having margin so you can more room to say yes. Things take time to put into place and I find myself slipping too but it is perfectly normal. Good luck x

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  47. I need to build way more margin into my days...

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  48. Oh, this is a great reminder and something I really need to think about.

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