If You're Running on Empty - Read This! May 22, 2012
I read this book several years ago. With five children and a business that we run from our home, our lives are on a 24-7 spin. There are very few boundaries - everything is happening all of the time. Every minute of everyday seems to be booked - either with activities, household responsibilities, work or just plain noise and chaos. There is so little room or time or rest - real rest - like totally check-out, shut off the phone, no email, "I don't give a rip what is happening in the world," - rest.
As a society we experience greater abundance than has ever been seen in history. Even the least among us, in many cases, experiences luxuries that the wealthiest in history could never have conceived - air conditioning, cheap safe food, clean water, television, video games and free education.
Yet we are fatter, sicker and more depressed than ever. Why? How can it be that we feel so bad - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - when we have so much?
These are the questions answered in Margin. What ails our society is that we are marginless. We provide no room in our days for error, for rest, for reflection or upset. We are living on the edge - everyday a blur of activity stretching endlessly to our last breath. It is killing us; one by one - cancer, heart disease, depression and anxiety - are products of modern living. The cure is not a new miracle drug or huge medical complex to treat these maladies and suck your wallet dry (creating anxiety over your new found financial worries). The cure is in rebuilding our lives with margin, as Swenson describes it:
* Marginless is fatigue; margin is energy.
* Marginless is red ink; margin is black ink.
* Marginless is hurry; margin is calm.
* Marginless is anxiety; margin is security.
* Marginless is culture; margin is counterculture.
* Marginless is the disease of modernity; margin is the cure.
The book is divided into three sections in which Swenson describes the problem, the solution and the benefits of seeking Margin in or lives. I, unfortunately, have not followed Swenson's advice in recent years. I rediscovered the book and am re-reading it and will re-apply its wisdom to my life.
If your life has no "off" button - this is a must read.