Marginless living

Marginless living is an epidemic in our world today.  Marginless living is being thirty minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the bank because you were ten minutes late dropping the kids off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station – and you forgot your wallet.

Margin, on the other hand, is having breath left at the top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month and sanity left at the end of raising kids through adolescence.

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 the new millennium; margin is its cure. (pg. 13 Richard Swenson “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives“)

I have definitely been affected by marginless living.  Marginless living brought me to a medical leave in 2007.  Since then I have been making important changes in my life to bring in some margin.

I have made it a priority to be home more nights than I am out.
I am scheduling life around breaks instead of breaks around life.
I am taking a weekly sabbath.
I am learning to say “no.”

I am also constantly on the look out for good resources in the area of margin and self-care.  Recently, I came across Richard Swenson’s book “Margin.”  Over the next several months I want to work through the book chapter by chapter every Wednesday.    I would love for you to join me in this too!

Reading a book with a group of people is a great way to really dig into a book.  I have done this a few times and I have really enjoyed it!  All you need to do is read the book with me and write a post about the chapter for the week.  Each week I will have a Simply Linked widget where you can insert your link so that everyone can read what the group is writing.

Here are the chapters of the book:

1. Marginless living
2. The pain of progress
3. The pain of problems
4. The pain of stress
5. The pain of overload
6. Margin
7. Margin in emotional energy
8. Margin in physical energy
9. Margin in time
10. Margin in finances
11. Health through contentment
12. Health through simplicity
13. Health through balance
14. Health through rest
15. Pain, margin, health and relationship

I am really excited about digging into this book and I hope that you will join me!

What effects has marginless living had on you?

This is the beginning of my book club discussions of Richard Swenson’s book “Margin.” . This week I read Chapter 1: Marginless Living.  Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please share your thoughts!


  • Hello Kevin

    Great to see Richard Swenson address a situation that manifest because we allow the outside world to drive us. In my personal life I have experienced many of the chapter that are covered in the book. Looking forward to discovering more about marginless living.


    Perry A Davis Jr
    Music City

  • When I don’t make time for the margins, I get fatigued and weary. It leads to discouragement and frustration. No good! Not what I want. Have to build it in, like you said. Great stuff, Kevin.

  • Sue says:

    I think this book is going to be helpful…I am glad to learn….thanks

  • Sue says:

    Sounds like good info.

  • Jeri says:

    I fell ill in 2006 because of the marginless lifestyle I lived for so long. Happy to say I just turned 46 and am on an adventure with God in sress-less, slow-flow and refreshing living. Who knew slowing down would bring more adventures. Aaah balance.

  • Jilly Dobs says:

    I like the way you describe life – I think that there is hardly someone who has not (at least for a moment) lived marginless..

  • Oh I like your article Kevin. Yesterday I did a lot of online research and came across several articles on how important it is we not waste a single minute of any day. A couple included tips on things to do with “spare minutes.” I thought – oh my, how sad. I would like to declare a new holiday: “In praise of wasting time just to enjoy BEING” day. Hum … I may just write about that tomorrow!

    • We need to make the most of our time BUT that does not mean that it has to be filled to the max.

      I’m all for celebrating your new holiday! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing Marty!

  • Neil says:

    I understood the broad concept of what you are talking about, but I needed to go to the actual book title to find out what you meant by ‘margin’.

    “Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits.” Okay now I get it! 🙂

    Living in the margin reminds me of my school days when my teacher used to write in red ink, ‘Good effort, but must do better.’

    We’ve got to learn how to stay out of the red in all aspects of our life! 🙂

  • Aaron says:

    Another great talk thank you so much. marg-“In” In, go in and you will see with out in it’s infancy. Hard to solve a problem with the same thinking that created it, Einstein
    Are you enertaining ideas of lack? like there’s not enough time in the day which will be reflected throughout your life as margin less experiences. Turn in, tune up and turn on. Your actions can be traced back to thoughts you entertain most often. Which can form your belief system of how things are. Let’s give thanks in advance for our new belief system that reflects Gods eternal verities, rejoice you are a child of God growing into Gods highest idea. Patients, the breath, giving, receiving, knowing, realizing, trusting, loving, singing, smiling, shining, forgiving, taking that first step in faith. now is always a good time, forgiveness, compassion, God loves you so please love you be gentle 🙂

  • Felicia says:

    Hi Kevin,
    That really sounds like a good book. I might get it once I’m done with the marketing contracts I have as I probably bit more than I could chew this time around.

  • Lawrence says:

    This book Margin looks really good, and I’m wondering if you read it yet. I have a kindle and would like to read it there. And can you describe what this simply link thing is and what we need to do to share our thoughts?

    • This is an excellent book Lawrence and I highly recommend reading it.

      The Simply Linked widget is just a way for people to link their posts with their thoughts.

      Thanks for sharing!

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