Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Juggler

When I need to chew on a particular problem in my life, I often find that I end up cleaning.  While my close friends will tell you that I clean all the time—don’t listen to them.  They’re lying!  No, really.  Contrary to popular belief, I don’t clean all the time.  In fact, my husband and son often complain I don’t clean enough.  Which brings me to today and the current problem on my mind, thus my latest round of obsessive thinking aka cleaning.

I have an antique bookcase that sits atop my desk and every time I dust it, I wonder why in the world I bought the old thing.  Why did I spend hours lovingly restoring something that gets so messy in what seems like only a matter of days?   It’s that very question that brings me back to the problem at hand.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a type A personality, a real “All the way A” as my dear husband likes to remind me.  And while many of the character traits of A’s are a very good thing, the easiest way to topple us isn’t to yell or move a deadline or double book us.  Ha!  We A’s can handle that.  Disable our Wi-Fi or hide our phone and we get a bit more upset, but trust me, we rebound fast.  In my experience, we A’s get our knees knocked out from under us when we find our lives out of balance.  We like the world just so and have a strong sense of order, we A’s; a trait not unlike our analytic brother’s in arms that find themselves on the other end of many a personality test scale. 

So when I say I’ve taken to calling 2014 the year without balance, you can probably understand my angst.  I pride myself on doing the things I undertake well so I’ll be the first to admit when issues arise within my finely honed system, I don’t respond with any amount of grace.  None.  But I’ll also be the first to admit that after forty four years of life on this planet, I think I’ve finally started to realize I don’t need to be doing everything I currently find myself doing.  It’s an A thing, you see, rarely saying NO.  In my case, I usually pride myself on seeing just how much I can juggle.  But I can assure you this isn’t always the wisest plan.  And I can assure you juggling comes at a cost.

It wasn’t until recently when I scanned the board and looked at everything I was juggling that I realized where I was coming up short.  I've been holding the bag on a bunch of things I don't even really enjoy doing which brings me to the realization that I don’t want to be a world-class juggler anymore.  After some heartfelt reflection and a hefty does of prayer, for the first time in a very long while, I feel completely at peace NOT tossing five plates into the air and seeing how fast they can turn.  It's time to focus.

I have books to write and new ventures to launch and antiques to refinish.  I have a family I adore and I’m grateful I’ve finally realized they’re far too precious to juggle.  I have friends I cherish and I’ve realized they aren’t for tossing about, either.  At best, I think I’m in for juggling as a hobby.  Besides, I have a bookcase to dust.

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