Word of the Year: Margin

Making space for what matters most.

Shannon Hicks January 27, 2015
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We live in a world of too much.

Too much stuff. Too much noise. Too much rush, rush, rush.

Looking forward to the year ahead, I crave space.


This is our adoption theme word.

I can feel it in my body. The deep inhale of enough.

Margin is making space for what matters.

I am a single mama working full-time. There are plenty of things that must be done.

But I am tempted toward too much.

At first, I feel the urge to fill up the space. To strive frantically to make up for the time lost with this precious one.

My daughter.

I cannot rewrite the past. I cannot make up for lost time.

But I can embrace this day.

I can make space for what matters in this day.

I can say no to the tyranny of the urgent. And yes to the little girl who calls me mom.

I overhear another mama bragging that her second-grader is in soccer, piano and girl scouts. I wonder if I am robbing my girl of the opportunity to find “her thing.”

But then my eyes refocus and I know that this is her thing.

Family. Connection. Attachment. Relationship.

She may not grow up to be a professional soccer player. Or a concert pianist. Though I imagine that if this is her path, her thing, she will find a way.

But she will grow up knowing that she is loved. That her presence matters. That her voice is important.

I want to make room for the things that feel like a deep inhale.

Snuggling on the couch. Reading out loud to each other. Playing the silly board games that reduce us to a giggling heap on the floor. Looking at photographs, one thousand times, and telling the story of our grand family adventure.

There is beauty and meaning here too.

In the big brown recliner. At the dining room table. In the unscheduled, unhurried, unplanned moments and hours and days.

And so, this year, I want to say no to too much.

To the sharp, shallow breathing of frenzy.

This year I want to love with my time. With my eye contact. With my story.

This year, I want to widen the margins.

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Shannon Hicks

Shannon is mom to two amazing kids who joined her family through foster care adoption. She is passionate about advocating for children through her writing and her job as a kindergarten teacher. You can read more from her at Adoption, Grace and Life.

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