Little Margin

I already know big margin. I wake early and pour half & half into my cold cup on coffee. I walk myself over to the living room to prop my feet up in the dark and read. And at the end of the day it's me tucking the kids in with prayers and kisses and all but wiping my hands clean of motherhood when I shut their door. 

Big margin and I go way back. We are kindred spirits. I like the big margin of Sundays, of trips away, and of two hours spent writing in Barnes & Noble. 

But lately, little margin has stepped onstage. 

Being off Facebook for Lent made me aware of all the other ways I cram noise into my small margin. With five minutes on a game, a few likes, retweets, this, that, and the other.  What does it matter? I'm with these kids all day every day all year forever. I've deleted apps. I've taken note of my habits. I've watched myself like an outsider reach for the phone because I'm more interested in what the outside world has to say than the things I need to do here. Of course, that's not really how I feel or what I think or what is at all important to me. And yet, I see the drops in the bucket all adding up to a general distraction from a work (vocation as mom) that is no cake walk despite a full day of reading books, tickle fights, funny antics, and sweet snuggles.

Small margin is that time in the car, the stolen moments in the bathroom, the transition between the last item of laundry put away and what's next?  Small margin is sneaky. Small margin is fuzzy. Small margin has no defined lines or bold halts. Small margin is supermodel thin.

While I'm grateful for social media and all the wonderful people shining their light in it, sometimes it's just too much. Instead of it being a well to draw inspiration, it can become just something to peer into and consume. 

And I don't want to consume. I want to create. 

I want to learn how to be uncomfortable. Quiet in the morning is easy. Looking at the whiny child, dealing with him, and then not stuffing my mouth with chocolate or my head with photos is more difficult. But I want to reclaim that discomfort. That's the work I've been doing here lately. Getting uncomfortable. Knowing that the things I haven't quite built up yet in my home (the green that hasn't yet pierced through the skin of the ground) is more important than anything else. 

This Lent is not long enough. That's the first time I've ever thought that. 

I need this lesson. I need this journey of stepping away, of missing out, of turning toward my kids and them staring back a bit blank, but smiling. 

Small margin. It's what I'm into right now even if we aren't kindred spirits or it doesn't by default fill me up with inspiration. I'm working on it.