Raise your hand if you’re overwhelmed. Raise your hand if you think you might finally get down to just whelmed sometime after the second zombie apocalypse. Raise your hand if you’d like a break. Raise your hand if you think that break is just never going to come. Now raise your hand if all the chainsaws you were juggling just took turns slicing off your earlobes because you had your hands in the air waving at me.
I can relate.
Several weeks ago something came through my Facebook feed and of course I can’t find it now. Not for lack of trying, mind you, but because it is well hidden and I gave it longer than the five minutes I intended and eventually it just became, “Screw it, I’ll vamp on the theme and call it done.” It went a little something like this:
Everything in your life is a ball. Some are rubber balls, and some are glass balls. It’s your job to determine which are which and handle them as such. Rubber balls, if dropped, will bounce right back up, none the worse for wear. Glass balls, however, will shatter if dropped. So you need to figure out which balls you’re juggling, and how many of each, and make damned sure that if you’re going to drop a ball, that it bounces back up to you and not shatter instead.
Of course, I went on a little mental tangent with that analogy and noted that even rubber balls eventually get brittle with time and excessive use, and will crack open slowly and painfully. I didn’t like the way that brain game was going, so I filled my brain with something else. I can’t remember what. Maybe irritation over the state of my floors or the fact that I haven’t had carryout Chinese food in over two years or why my sons insist on life-ending hunger just as I’m herding them to bed.
But the mental image of life balls has been bouncing around in my head every since. Not like I have a whole lot of room up there, but it’s pinging around nonetheless.
I have a lot of balls. (Also, hi there to the unsuspecting Google searchers who didn’t exactly find what they were looking for here!) My balls are large and unwieldy. (This analogy is really not getting any better). And all of them, save one, are rubber. The one glass ball is the largest and most unwieldy of them all, and I’m sure it doesn’t take a lot of effort to figure out my big glass ball is my family. It’s the most difficult to juggle, it’s the most fragile, and it’s the one most precious to me. If that one gets dropped, it’s all over, so that one should take the most focus, no?
Every other ball is rubber. They’re all in varying states of disrepair, but they still have some bounce in them. They’re somewhat lighter, of various sizes, and they all have a mind of their own, making it a crazy-making challenge to juggle them with that large and unwieldy glass orb known as my family. Again, I’m sure it doesn’t take a lot of effort to figure out my rubber balls. It’s everything else in my life: projects I’m working on, my flute, volunteering, continually trying to improve something about my life, running a household, making myself follow through on things that do not matter to anyone but me yet sit there and make me feel guilty until they’re done, writing, and maintaining this blog.
My arms are tired. Because one ball is so heavy and so precious, I can never set it down. Trying to juggle it with all the minds-of-their-own rubber balls is nearly impossible; I cannot find a steady cadence. So instead of getting into a groove and setting it all on mental cruise control to enjoy the process, I have to constantly readjust and be prepared for any possible interruption to the juggling, and frankly it just can’t be done. The increased forced-DIY of nearly every single thing in my life, in my family’s life, has just added a steady gale-force wind to the scene. My arms need a rest. My mind needs a rest.
I’m letting some rubber balls bounce. I hope and pray they can bounce near me for awhile, and not roll away under brambles or something. This site is a rubber ball I need to let bounce for a bit. I’ll come back from time to time and give it a tap to keep it bouncing (I’ve committed to a couple of upcoming blog hops), but I need to give myself permission to set this down. Same with heavy self-inflicted guilt, a volunteer commitment or two, and probably some projects I’ve started. I’m doing too much right now, and none of it well. None of it. I’m tired of juggling all day, falling into bed at night exhausted (then staring at the ceiling hearing the gremlins growl at me), and hating myself for juggling so poorly. Hating myself for cursing the weight and unwieldiness of the glass ball.
I’m ready for Less is More in my life, and hope that less ball-juggling will surely bring me a whole lot more.