Tuesday, June 25, 2013


When I was in high school, we still wrote our papers by hand. On notebook paper.

I know. Craziness.

Being a writer and an editor--two things that I didn't really know I was when I was 16 and 17--my first drafts looked really, really rough.

I'd start out normal enough, writing my sentences on the college-ruled paper (never wide-ruled. Ew.). But then I'd realize I wanted to say something differently. And I wanted to add a new thought here. And delete this section entirely. And rearrange that sentence to be before this sentence, which was in a totally different paragraph.

So I'd cross out. I'd cram sentences into the tiny space of those college-ruled lines. But when there was no more space in the lines, or when the new thought needed more room, that's when I'd resort to filling in the margins. I'd start by drawing an asterisk in the body of the paper, then in the margins I'd draw a corresponding asterisk and start my new sentence or thought. It was like a footnote, except not at the foot. And I often ended up with dozens of these add-ins. I'd have asterisks, stars, hearts, swirls--anything I could think of to indicate to myself where on the now-full margins I needed to look.

And so, when I was done with my rough draft, it wasn't just the lines that were full of my chicken-scratch writing. The margins were also full.


When I was first diagnosed with mild depression a few years ago, my doctor, Jackson, who also happens to be a friend, talked with me about creating margins in my life.

At the time I was working full-time and going to school. Aaron was also going to school and working, and we had three kids. There were no margins.

But Jackson insisted that I needed to make some margins for myself. I needed to hang out with friends, or write, or read. I needed to intentionally create some space, somewhere, to allow myself to breathe.


This summer has been the busiest work summer I've had in 10 years. Normally May and June are down months, a nice break after the craziness of the spring. Not so this summer. Not only has my normal work not slowed down much, but our office was given some additional work to do, making June very busy and logistically difficult.

I've also been working to get our house ready to put on the market. Which means noticing every single thing that is wrong with our house and realizing that only about 10% of it is going to get fixed.

There always seem to be 47 things demanding my attention and concentration and energy, and on top of it all, I've been dealing with a heavy heart over some personal things.

So the margins lately have been full of stars and asterisks and hearts and swirls. There is not much room, and it's been a bit difficult to breathe.

Which is why there was no blogging in May. Eight-year streak broken. Hmph.

But we leave for vacation on Saturday. Two weeks wherein I do not have any obligations except to keep my children alive. I am praying for rest during this time, for some breathing room.

I'm praying for--and looking forward to--having some space in the margins.

1 comment:

Felicity said...

Naps! Books just for fun! Movies! May you have the best of vacation treats.