223: Juggling

One of the annoying things about being grownup is that you must learn to juggle. It is only one of the annoying things about being a grownup, but it is one of the most difficult parts of being grown up to master. By juggle, I do not mean actual juggling, the sort done in entertainment acts by people who juggle balls, flaming torches or swords. By juggling, I mean managing all the disparate parts of your life and all the attendant responsibilities that go with each sphere of your influence (I mentioned balls again, didn’t I?).

Most adults have several spheres of influence: their personal lives, their family lives (not the same thing), their spiritual lives, their work lives, perhaps their school lives, and lastly, their social lives. Did I forget any? Each of these spheres sometimes overlap others, but generally, we have different responsibilities for each one of them. I must bathe and care for myself and this body I live in, including periodic visits to medical professionals for checkups and repair. I also handle some of that for my family, too, at least while my children were little, until they matured enough to begin assuming that responsibility for themselves. There are also other family obligations, everything from Sunday dinner at mom’s, to which family member we will celebrate Thanksgiving with this year, to burial arrangements for my husband’s father. Then there are the spiritual and social responsibilities that go along with my faith and my church family, too – missions, offerings and gifts of materials and time, prayer and scripture study, and more. Then there is the sphere of work: not only the actual work part, but the social atmosphere and culture of work. Work would be enough all by itself without all that other crap, but there it is….some people don’t have enough of a life of their own, and must try to create their entire lives around their work, and get everyone at work to socialize as if we actually were a family and everybody liked everybody else, and not as if we were just thrown together by circumstance, which is actually a lot closer to the truth. Sheesh. And then, there are those of us who are enrolled in school, each of them with another culture and social obligations, not to mention the class work and due dates. Lastly, there is the social life – the recreation time we take with the people we actually like and WANT to spend time with, not the ones we are obligated to socialize with in the other spheres. THAT is the juggling act I am talking about; managing to keep all of these separate spheres of our influence in the air and functioning (at least to some degree) all at the same time.

Sometimes I manage that act pretty well, and then, at other times, one or more of these spheres hits the ground with a sickening thud as I “drop the ball.” This usually happens because another sphere is taking up far more time and energy that it deserves.

Here lately, I have had several spheres drop. Wobble, wobble, drop it like it’s hot, drop is what I am talking about. Drop and SPLAT. Spilled milk drop – no recovery possible. You know what, though? Life DOES go on….even if my grip is not too good these days!

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