Dolly Henry is a sewing and design blog for the creative wanderer, where style meets play and making is a lifestyle.

Hi, I'm Megan - owner, designer and writer at Dolly Henry! Join me here as I explore the ins and outs of creativity, dabble in dollmaking and raise my voice on issues facing creative entrepreneurs.

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Creating Blank Space in Your Life

"....I've got a blank space, baby, and I'll write your name...."

Before I go all Taylor Swift on you, let me explain a little bit! I want to talk about why creating 'blank space' or 'white space' in your diary, and in your life is so important.

Life is a little bit like a glass of water - no, this isn't the positivity analogy, this is the space analogy.

Let's say your glass is 95% full. What happens if someone needs to add another 20% to that glass? It spills over and makes a bit of a mess, doesn't?

The thing is, sometimes somebody comes along and just adds to the volume of your glass, whether you like it or not. You can't control the excess amount that is about to be added to your tumbler of water, you just have to frantically reach for a cloth and try and mop up the spillage as quickly as you can.

The only thing you can control is how much water you have in that glass to start with so that when it rains, you have minimal overflow.

I have had that experience this week. It has been one of those weeks. Where the unexpected happens, and it comes in pairs. When the days are longer and more stressful and stuff is happening that you didn't plan for. That's life, and it happens.

What I have been grateful for this week, is that I had a smidgen of blank space there that helped me cope with the situation a lot more easily than if my glass had already been 99% full. This was coincidental and I have been so thankful that for some reason, organisation had been on my side before the week got tipped upside down.

Which makes me think, perhaps we all need a little more white space in our diaries to allow for the unexpected.

Stressful situations occur periodically throughout life, however, often I find these situations easier to deal with if I haven't already got a jam-packed schedule to start with.

Allowing myself 'nothing' space is like creating time between appointments - you can allow time for potential traffic delays, an unexpected phone call or a flat tyre. These things are all a complete nuisance but it is ten times more stressful if your time is stacked so tightly, it only takes one tile to fall before you are in full domino mode.

I feel like creating blank space is as simple as taking a deep breath, and allowing some time in each day to stop and enjoy a cup of tea or something that helps you relax - preferably away from a screen, social media in itself can feel quite 'hectic'.

This definitely helps reduce feeling flustered, and if something arises (and it will!) that takes you by surprise, then you have already created a bit of wiggle room in your schedule.

Life is a little bit like a journey, that you have a partially filled out map to. You have enough of the pieces to know which direction you will most likely go, but sometimes things take an unexpected turn and it helps if you are already prepared for such things.

Creating the space isn't always easy, because whenever you don't say no to something, you are saying yes to it. Did I just state the obvious? For me creating space has never been easy. I always want to be there for everyone, and do everything. It's not physically possible. And it's even more impossible when things aren't going to plan.

The trick is, to not keep your day or week SO FULL. This can mean saying no to a friend, or rescheduling your weekend plans. This can mean allowing yourself more time for tasks than you usually would - so you at least have the ability to add to your list if you need to. So often, I think I can complete certain tasks in half the time than I really do - which just makes me feel stressed. Learning to appreciate that each day only has 24 hours and of that, a good part needs to be left for sleep, has really helped me make more space in my life, and become more patient.

Blank space, that I am very grateful for when something occurs that takes up any extra room in my glass. The overflow is minimal, and when it does happen, at least I am standing by with my mop!

Megan xx

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