Juggling and Dancing

 


I learned how to juggle when I was in my twenties.  I learned using Koosh balls (does anyone remember those) which were easy to grab.  I was never very good at it, but I COULD do it.  And I still can (sort of).  I still need to use Koosh balls and can only do so for a few seconds of time, but I CAN to it.

I am much better at juggling many tasks in my life.  I'm not saying that I'm great at it.  I don't think you necessarily CAN be great.  Maybe you shouldn't because you are not truly focused on one thing.  Being truly focused on one this can be very important. (You definitely want your surgeon to be hyper focused and NOT juggling.)  However, sometimes life requires that you juggle.  

Right now I'm juggling a lot.  (Which you may know if you've been reading anything I've posted recently.)  I've metaphorically got a LOT of balls in the air and doing my best not to drop them!  As I write this I am:

  • Ball #1 Working remotely (as I have been since March 2020).  The fourth quarter is always the busiest time of year.  I have time off, but there is so much to do that I am guilty of checking in when I am away.  (I did when I was physically away at Skytop, but thankfully there wasn't that much that needed to be taken care of.)  I was off yesterday and checked in late in the afternoon.  I think I had more requests yesterday than I did for all of the previous days of the week.  It figures right.
  • Ball #2:  Monitoring my parents.  My mom is home, but both my parents could use (need) extra care.  I'm here to provide some of that as my dad learns to take care of more things around the house (within reason) and mom tries to get stronger.  She's definitely not where she was earlier in the year, but I also do think that a lot of her forgetfulness and unsteadiness has to do with being in the hospital.  While she will never be at the same place she was five years ago, or even a year ago, with time (and care) she will get to a place that is more "normal." I came down on Monday (to look after my dad) while she was in the hospital.  I went home mid-day Wednesday (to get my Covid booster and flu shot, among other things) and she came home Wednesday night.  I came back down yesterday afternoon (after watching my son and his fellow choir members sing at the town civic center for Veteran's Day.)  Taking care of/looking after two parents IS more time consuming than just one.  (I didn't realize how much so.)  I'm working on getting them some help, but that's not easy.  The good thing is that am meeting with someone on Saturday and I'm hoping that she'll be able to provide some care for them to start with.  As time goes on, I, with guidance, will figure out if more care is needed and what that might look like.
  • Ball #3:  My son and husband.  Yes, they can take care of themselves and I'm so happy that I have a partner who can step up and take over when needed.  (He's a damned good juggler too.)  They don't NEED me, but I have a need to be involved.  My son is in a play next weekend and I am in charge of concessions.  Plus I want to be there to see the show, especially since it's in audience interactive which means that each performance will be a little different!  I NEED to see all four performances.  (If you are local to northern NJ and are looking for something to do next Thursday, Friday or Saturday, this is your chance: https://spotlight-players.ticketleap.com/baby/dates)
  • Ball #4:  Other volunteer opportunities that I regularly work on.  I give time to my local thrift shop on the weekends (obviously I'll be missing this week), I am co-president of the parent's association for my son's theater group (with the play coming up next weekend; I've been busy getting ready for that), I sing in a church choir (which is very different as we still work with Covid restrictions) and a bunch of other things that I'm probably forgetting.

With all these balls in the air, I have to say that time is just flying by.  I was up before six this morning (which is LATE for me) and before I knew it it was 9:30.  I'm working, writing, helping out (laundry was done by 7:30 and dishwasher is running as I type).  The phrase that immediately comes to mind is "I'm dancing as fast as I can."  It's also the title of a memoir by Barbara Gordon and a movie starring the late Jill Clayburgh.  I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I would really like to.  I'm not addicted to pills or alcohol, but the phrase really expresses what I have been feeling this week.  I'm not in the middle of a hurricane; I AM the hurricane!

 No one can juggle forever; literally or metaphorically.  I know this and that is why I am making plans to get my parent's help.  That's why I am taking two days of next week (the days of my son's play).  And it's also why I'm writing this...getting it all down does relieve some of the craziness.  There are times when we have to juggle.  There are times when we are dancing as fast as we can.  The important thing to realize is that it can't go on long periods of time and to allow for some down time and self care.  We can only juggle/dance for so long.

 I have that time planned for me.  I know I am going to need that time.  I know I am going to need support and care and I am ready to accept it.  If anyone asks me if I need help, I'm not going to be the martyr and say "no."  There is a time to dance and there is a time to rest.  I can't juggle everything; I can't dance forever.  No one can.  We are human and that's the way it is.  Juggle when you need to and rest when you can.   Remember: self care is just as important as caring for others.  If we want to juggle; if we want to dance, we need to take just as much time to care for ourselves.  Otherwise those balls are just going to come crashing down. 

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