Posts Tagged With: busy


Going for the Juggler

No, you didn’t read that wrong and I didn’t write it wrong.

You thought I meant to say going for the JUGULAR. That idea: “to finish off your opponent quickly and decisively by cutting the jugular vein, a direct connection to the heart,” is a cruel and ruthless thought.

Going for the JUGGLER sounds similar but isn’t heartless. It’s an innocent thing others do to us, or we unwittingly do to ourselves

Let me explain.

Photo by  Baikonur Juggle these.

Photo by Baikonur
Juggle these.

I juggle. You juggle. We all juggle.

We try to keep lots of things midair in our lives. Work, family, spouses, finances, housework, yard work, gardening, errands, volunteer work, meals, recreation, sports, lessons, extended family, appointments, workouts, goals, car repairs, mental health, hobbies, dreams, friendships, hopes, sleep, relaxation.

The list of juggled items often fills a page or two in our heads, and in our hearts.

How do we decide which things get our time and attention? How do we keep each ball hovering? And are some of the balls actually swords, or flaming batons? Maybe we’ve taken on a running chainsaw and tossed it into the mix of juggling knives and bowling pins.

If we take our eyes off the stuff in the air in order to pick up or add in another item we risk dropping something, or hurting ourselves or someone else.

Then we go for the juggler, which means the busiest person seems to willingly take on the most. The one with dozens of things hovering midair says “yes” to more, thinking that one more small thing won’t create a problem. We think we can pick up a tiny hacky sack and add it to the fray. Admit it, you’ve done it.

I get tired just thinking about it, don’t you?

And then the rhythm gets out of whack and it all starts to come crashing down around me.

So then I drop it all and sit in front of the TV “eating bonbons” into the wee hours of the night. Or I take a guilt-riddled day off and sleep hoping to somehow fill an empty reservoir so I can pick it all up again and start juggling again the next day.

The Big Secret

Here’s a not so very secret detail that I’m still trying to deal with: There are only twenty-four hours in a day.

Don’t you just hate that?

And almost a third of those hours should involve sleeping. That leaves sixteen hours for every other thing I need to juggle.

No matter how organized or prioritized, somethings on my list will never, ever get done.

It’s true.

I try to accept it. Embrace it. Give up. Well, I don’t exactly give up. But I try to embrace reality.

Once in a while I add a number to each item on my to-do list. The number represents how much time this item will take up in my day. I add up the numbers and always realize it exceeds the number of hours I have available in the day.

I have two choices at that point. I can either eliminate some items so it all fits, or I can attempt to shorten the amount of time each item takes to complete. Or, in my alternate universe, I can conjure up a third option: magically make the day longer.

Unfortunately, I haven’t quite mastered the third option.

Jugglers Circus Amok photo by David Shankbone.jpg CC BY 2.5

Jugglers Circus Amok photo by David Shankbone.jpg CC BY 2.5

Honestly, I’m not as busy as I once was when my kids all lived at home. But somehow, my life has managed to fill up with more to do than three women with super powers could get done in a day, or a week, or a month. Makes me wonder how I ever managed when I had a house filled with little and medium and big people to take care of. I suppose I became a Master Juggler Extraordinaire! The word Circus best describes how it got to play out some days. In fact there were whole years that fit into a three-ring fully tented circus at our house.

Sometimes I just have to let it go, drop a few balls, bowling pins, chainsaws, flaming batons, and swords, and admit some of those things aren’t as important or vital as I once thought they were


Pass me some chocolate, then you have some, too.

Categories: Priorities | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can We Just Call It a Forfeit?

I stopped looking at my to-do list last week.

It wasn’t really a cognitive decision.  It was more like throwing my hands in the air and surrendering.

White flag waving.

I give up, you win.  I lose.  Whatever.

College football's 2007 Holiday Bowl: This pla...

College football’s 2007 Holiday Bowl: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My days are like an American football game, where the team with the highest score has the ball and there’s only a minute left on the clock.  They go through the motions.  Put the ball into play, pretend to shove and jostle each other, let the clock run.  They do it again, pretending at playing the rest of the game, but really only letting the clock run out until the game is officially over.

Clearly, obviously, the game was really over when the score was so out of balance it was pointless to keep playing.  No way the other team could catch up, even with a miracle pass or two. The fans in the stands have been leaving since that last big score, maybe sooner than that.  Kind of pointless.

That’s how it seems.

Unfortunately, I’m not one of the fans, I can’t simply leave the stadium and go home.  I’m one of the players.  Pretending at the game, but my heart isn’t in it. And, guess what? I’m not on the winning team, either.

My to-do list is the opponent in the football game.  No matter how hard I try, how many hours I work at it, I will never catch up to the other team.  They have the ball.

I’m not normally winning this to-do list game, but this one, the Women’s Holiday Bowl is always a blowout. The clock runs out on December 25.

I’ve put up and decorated a tree.  There are bright shiny lights outside on the house.  I’ve bought a few gifts.

Three points for me. Yay!

Now the winning team’s score: They are ahead by an obscene amount of points. Add to the other team’s score everyone else’s expectations and my own expectations. The cluttered house is points against me.  The piled up mountain of clean, but wrinkling, unfolded laundry puts me further behind the game.  The neglected plants, the science experiments in the refrigerator, the overflowing garbage, the avalanching desk are more points for the other team. Add in the points of undone Holiday tasks, errands, baking, mailing, wrapping, shopping, decorating and the game is a rout.

White Flag on top of a snowy mountain and in f...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

White flag, I surrender.  I won’t play the game anymore. The to-do list team has won.

So I stopped looking at the to-do list.

Instead, I listen to relaxing, no lyrics, seasonal music.  I smile at the pretty glowing lights on the tree.  I anticipate seeing my daughter who is flying in from out-of-state for a week-long visit.  My heart warms to the thought of my sister who’s planning a trip here.

I put away the boxes of decorations that won’t go up this year. I go to bed at a reasonable hour, no late nights for me.   I read a book, a tangible, in the hands hard copy, turning pages slowly, savoring the words, rereading sentences that resonate.

I wake up without feeling panicked.  I stick to my usual routine.

The to-do list team builds, grows, looms, plays the game, racking up points, while I go about my life humming and attempting an aura of obliviousness.  I want to feel happy about things, not let it bother me. I want to emit a sense of carefree abandon.

I don’t think anyone is buying it.

The severely out of balance game is humiliating to watch and even worse to participate in.

I’m ready for the locker room.

Or the padded room.

Categories: Humor, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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