Live with more white space

?Half an hour?s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.? ?St. Frances de Salas

In print ad design, the goal is to get the point across with a creative layout and minimal words. The natural tendency is to fill every inch of free space with some kind of detail because to the seller, the product is worth paying to promote and every feature should be highlighted.

But the reality is, if a small box is crammed too full, it all gets lost. There has to be white space.

Which leads me to confession No. 1. I like white space. In ad design sure, but especially on my calendars. I intentionally try to leave it there. Honestly, I?m just not crazy busy. My fingers hesitated and I momentarily felt like a slacker as I typed those words. But I had to type them because they?re true. And I?m working on self-acceptance about that fact.

It?s not about being lazy. I don?t think I?m that. I have kids, I work, I have tasks and sometimes I let all of this overwhelm me. So I?m working hard to be more possessive about my calendar white space. That?s where the magic happens.

Confession No. 2: That?s not true. It?s not magic that flows through the white spaces so much as guilt. Guilt from not doing. Guilt from not being.

I like to think this is a transition phase as I work on what Natalie MacNeil from shetakesontheworld.com calls ?living on purpose,? which just means managing and spending your time with intention. I may be fooling myself even suggesting that guilt will subside. It remains to be seen.

?Unknown? once wisely said, most likely with an ominous tone, ?don?t compare your inside to someone else?s outside.?

Confession No. 3: I do this, knowing full well I shouldn?t. But we live in a culture where people tend to one-up each other on the busy scale. If words were tallied, ?I?m so busy? would top the charts. (With ?I?m so busier? running a close second.)

Against my better judgment, not to mention my entire focus here, I?m going to compare myself to someone, just this once again. I choose my mother, 37 years ago. She was around my age, a wife, raising kids. We have asked her how she did it, being at home full-time with eight kids running in different directions, and somehow managing to come out on the other side in one whole piece.

?I don?t know, I just did it….?

She made that statement. With a period. I added the ellipses because the unspoken ending to that sentence could easily have been ?…without all the input and support from social media, parenting books, groups, magazines and websites.?

So, if I am going to compare myself?or more particularly my busy schedule?with anyone, I choose her. Because that?s the kind of perspective that makes me realize my idea of busy may be slightly distorted.

It reminds me that no matter how stretched out I feel at times, I always have a choice of what is written into my calendar. And I need to be honest as I consider just how intense my ?busy-ness? is.

Would I want to face the reality of how many hours I waste on the Internet?

Confession No. 4: No, I would not. It?s a lot.

I think we all need more white space. I just don?t buy the idea that all of our and everyone else?s pieces need to be crammed in to every available inch. Something?s going to get lost.

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