I was reminded by a comment overheard during an online meeting just how delicate the balance can be between being too busy and having too much space. Traditionally I think instead of space, we say too much time on our hands but for now, I’m sticking with the idea of space.

 I confess that I rarely struggle with this second issue – I am always wishing for more space or more time.


But I grapple with feeling too busy. One person at the meeting commented they liked looking at their calendar when it didn’t have too many activities marked on it – in other words when what they saw was space, not entries. I remembered the relief I have felt when noticing open space in my 2-Page-Per-Week Datebook calendar.

But here’s where the delicate balance comes in. Last year when social events were canceled, the space on my calendar looked empty. Empty in this case wasn’t a good thing for a few weeks – I felt lonely. As the months sped by, I started to appreciate the vacant spots. There was more time it seemed. More time to do things I wanted to do.

But here’s the paradoxical part: now that we are scheduling more things, things I really want to do, if there are too many wonderful activities, I begin to feel cramped. If there’s not enough space on my calendar, I don’t have enough space in my life to feel the way I like to feel. I like to feel relaxed and like I am flowing through my days with time to exercise, do Tai Chi Chih, meditate, read books and the newspaper. These are the things that get pushed out when there isn’t enough space.

I’m working to find a delicate balance that gives me just the right amount of space. Do you err towards feeling too busy or too empty?


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