The Juggling Act


We all juggle many roles. Mother, friend, sister, daughter, writer, student, teacher, housekeeper, publicity hound, artist, negotiator, cook. We do the best we can with what we have, but as I get older I realize the importance of slowing down, taking a little time to smell the proverbial roses.

There's always going to be something that needs to be done, errands to run, clothes to be washed, homework to be checked. It's so easy to get caught up in ticking off the boxes on the 'to do' list, getting from point A to point B. And the goal? Too many times it's to simply get through the day, the reward being...sleep, the closest we come to death while our hearts beat in our chests.

But is that living? Or just existing?

To quote Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!" It's all going by too fast! My life is half over yet it's just beginning in so many ways. Will there be enough time to enjoy the fruits of my labor? To stop and smell the roses? Only if I make the time. Those are the memories we leave with our family and friends, the ones we take with us to our graves. On my deathbed I'm pretty sure I won't say 'I wish I'd taken the time to vacuum more, or work longer hours, or fold that last batch of laundry!' Neither will you.

In the past I've been a horrible juggler, trying to keep too many balls in the air at the same time. Inevitably, I drop them all and have to start all over again.  But I've been working on my juggling act this year, trying to take things at a moderate pace which enables me to keep a few balls in the air at a time, slowing down to alternate, without dropping them all. I've gotten pretty good at it, but I'll admit, it's gotten a bit hairy lately.

My latest 'act' involves publicizing my first book, writing my second book, attending graduate school, raising my three children, and stopping to smell the roses (in no particular order). It's a lot. The ball I'm close to dropping is the publicity for my first book, and I don't want that happen. I've poured too much of myself into it to just drop it at this point. Which leaves the roses. But I can't drop the roses. They're what makes the difference between living and existing.

I guess I'm going to have to keep practicing my act.