My Ode to the Margin

Margins are the most under-estimated spaces on a page. I often find myself figuring out, my attempts to maximize each sheet of paper, exactly how close to the edge of a page my printer will print. I try to eliminate margins. Most all of us concern ourselves more with the content than the space around it.

In graphic design, the “white space” on the page is as important as the colored space. In public speaking, silent pauses can be more important for your audience than the things you say. Silent space forces you to think, to reflect. Margins give emphasis to the content that is there.

silent space

A few years ago I was without a car for a month, giving me the opportunity to take the 20 minute walk to and from work each day. This “margin” time gave me a chance to take a deep breath, enjoy some sunshine, and reflect on the day. This silent space became the favorite part of my day, and cut against my natural grain of packing as much activity into each day as possible.

A couple weeks ago my work responsibilities came to an end. That combined with the late arrival of our daughter, gave Anna and I three amazing unexpected days in the margin, in between two significant seasons of life to relax, connect, and gain some perspective.

Enjoy some time in the margins. Whether you have three minutes or three months to do it, enjoy the space, and don’t be afraid to “waste” some valuable paper real estate.

Thanks to Chris for introducing me the the “margin” as a metaphor for life.

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2 Comments

  1. nice reflection! I always try to fill up my support mailing all the way to the edges. Write enough articles to tell my supporters everything about my life. Maybe “more is better” doesn’t apply anymore…

  2. Great post! I saw the word “margin” and checked it out immediately- thanks for the shout out ;). This last month it feels like the only margin I’ve had is driving from Thornton to Arvada. Definitely not what I’m used to, and although its been great here it’ll be nice to get some breathing room back in China.

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