Sunday, January 17, 2010


A couple days ago, I attended Friday Forum with the Leadership Development Program of the Community Colleges of Spokane. This is the third or fourth monthly forum I've attended.

The guest speaker addressed a topic that he called "margin." In short, he defined "margin" as the space between our emotional, physical, and spiritual reserves and the demands placed upon us. If we possess sufficient margin, we are more likely to lead happy, fulfilled lives. However, if the margin is depleted, we are more likely to suffer burnout, depression, and exhaustion.

The speaker suggested that we can increase margin by allowing more intentional spaces in our lives. It can be as simple as allowing ten extra minutes to get to work, or blocking in time for personal exercise.

As he spoke to us, I began to reflect on my own feelings of exhaustion. In my case, I don't always known when to say no. I agree to projects, when I should refuse. I allow students to turn in late work or change our agreements. In order to prevent my own burnout, I'm needing to remind myself of healthy boundaries that should be honored. In addition, I've been forgetting to do things that make me happy. When was the last time that I even went for a walk in nature? When was the last time that I blogged just for the joy of blogging?

Restoring my own sense of margin has got to be a higher priority.

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