The team at Blanc media set a great deal of store by the concept of margin. We all need time in our schedule to give us some flexibility - for those moments when life happens. Of late, I’ve been reminded of the importance of checking in with my schedule to verify that I haven’t eaten all that margin.

My priority this year is health. One of the keystone habits that I’m building is to play more walking golf. Tough, I know, but someone has to do it. I have written before how an early morning round of golf is fantastic exercise, but also tires me out. I need to build in some time to rest before taking on work. So, I’d scheduled golf, then rest, then work. Boom.

Life happened.

Chicago, is a cute-faced domestic terrorist. Left to her own devices, she enjoys dismantling furniture, remodelling the garden, escaping the garden or indeed chewing anything and everything. I’m trying to get her to accept walking on a lead, which goes fundamentally against her nomadic principles. Every day, there’s a game of strategy between us, as I find ways to get close enough to her to get a lead on. Sort of Benny Hill v Black Beauty. Look, it’s not scaling the Eiger, but it is time-consuming and energy-sapping.

Dog number one; Spice, is not well. She’s struggling to jump, or climb stairs. We think she attempted a standing jump into the back of the SUV and didn’t quite make it, landing badly. She was prescribed pain relief and ten days rest before an MRI examination. The next day, she had lost her appetite and was throwing up. Back to the vets we went. Blood tests, an ultrasound and a pancreatic test ensued, all with no real outcome. Pain meds were changed and chicken breast purchased. I’m effectively brewing up a chicken soup for her twice a day, and I’m relieved to report that she’s eating again. I also carry her around, discouraging her from doing herself any more damage. She’s definitely not right, but she’s eating. In fact, I’m about to leave drafting this post to take her back to the vet. Progress report: I’m to keep going as I am, with the “light” pain meds and chicken soup. After a few days, I’m to try to the heavier medications again. Spice is booked for the MRI next week, if required.

All that to say, that without margin, life gobbles up time. I didn’t do a stroke of the work that I’d planned last week. I dealt with things as they came up, but in terms of the important, if not urgent, tasks nada, zip, nothing got done. This week therefore is all about catching up and building some margin into my schedule.

Another lesson learned - one that will doubtless be soon forgotten.