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9.03.2020

Margins


Do you know why there are margins on printed paper, books and even in digital print? It's fascinating, really. You may even want to jot down a note or two in the margin!

Dating back to when important things were contextualized on scrolls, space was allotted between the rolls/sections to show a pause, a new thought, and even just to create protection between scrolls. Margins carried onward when the printing press was invented around 1436. Mass printing utilized margins for a myriad of reasons including; greater ease of reading, space for scribbling notes, a place for hands to hold and not cover the text and not the least, protection against critters [more prevalent in a considerably more rodent filled societal way of life] that might chew the edges. 

Jump to the the digital print era. You will still see margins around digital print to enhance brain and eye communication. It seems white space allows our brain to process things faster. I'm married to a marketing guru who would say that white space accentuates the text clearer and with great stand outability. White space is used in all digital print and advertising - a visual margin of sorts designed to help you gulp down faster, entice you to buy a product, return to a web page, etc.

I am far better when I live a life with margins. Far better!! To do so goes against the chaos of our fast society, how our synapses are bombarded daily, and my constantly shove ahead Enneagram 8 Type A personality. Regularly, and relatively easily, without my margin in place, I can feel like I didn't get enough accomplished. But, if I redesign my pages with margins I can more clearly view the frenzied accomplishing hamster wheel with accurate disdain and perspective. Developing margins makes me healther on so many levels! They develop the environment to a temperature that grows a more sustainable existence of peace and right priorities. Without margins, I feel like I'm running with scissors. Our health also takes a hit in a life without margins. All things connect.

I am a hare by nature - constantly restless and a bit unrelenting. Those form the basis for my operating system. I have come to know I need margins in life even more critically just to combat myself! No matter your operating system, we all need to develop margins in life . . . Enough money saved that if we had a car accident, a tragedy, lost a job we would be ok until we could find life's rhythm again. Enough time built into our day to spend time daily with God/meditating/praying or just in solitude, free thinking not on a timetable, to at times just me, exercising our body with some sort of movement and creating clean meals that feed us well. 

We also need margins to make room for unforeseeable interactions with people - surprise people moments. Far too often I can view those as inconvenient blips that suck time from my frenzied schedule or checklist living. Giving someone our present self instead of brushing them off, being open to the universe as people flow to you is part of how we connect with all of humanity. It is no doubt part of what is missing greatly in our culture.

Margins also create space between things in our schedules as a buffer zone. None of us like to go to a doctor's appointment only to find they have not allowed space for running behind. Stuff always takes longer than we think. My husband is notorious for saying a small home improvement fix will take "10 minutes". Never ever ever is that accurate. Without margins we set ourselves up to feel rushed when things don't go as planned. Margins allow breath, stillness, realistic expectations and responses. Life does not need to be gulped and sprinted though I do more times than I don't. My sisters still call me guzzler:)

I explained to my five year old granddaughter recently, in reference to her being in kindergarten, there is never a day that you quit learning stuff - learning is part of life like breathing. I told her that her Nana constantly learns new things. Margins allow for notes - the space to constantly learn and reflect, to not rush, be present, and create. She has a current love affair with three ring binders, which by the way need margins to work well.

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