All I can say is this: We all have our priorities and our own choices to make.
Your priorities, your choices will be different from mine. But I think if you took the time to examine what your priorities are, then you might find you’ll do a better job of keeping those balls moving right along.
For me, my priorities are first, myself. This was a really hard one to accept. Nowhere, in any self-help book, parenting book, or even scriptures, does it say to put yourself first. And yet, this is what feels right for me. My health and happiness are paramount—without those things the juggler loses the strength to launch each ball into the air. Without the juggler, the balls won’t be launched or caught at all. Because I am the juggler. So I come first.
Next, comes my relationship with God. And this doesn’t include my “calling” or the activities I do as service within my church. This is just me, in prayer, in scripture reading, in constant association with my Heavenly Father. He brings the skill, the patience, the awareness, and the knowledge to get those balls moving in an orderly fashion.
My husband and children represent most of those balls. They include being kind, loving them, serving them. The nice thing about these balls, is that once I get them going and I pay attention to them, they return the favor to me by imbuing me with strength and happiness each time they pass through my hands.
And finally, my writing, which is really back to me again. Because I am my writing. Writing is an essential element in my care for myself. If I’m giving priority to myself, then I’m giving priority to my writing as well.
Notice, I didn’t include homeschooling or housework as any of my balls. Of course I have them, and they do take their turns whirling among the other colorful balls that I swing through the air. But they come and go.
It isn’t necessary for me to juggle all the balls at once. I am not always serving my husband, so I can throw up the homeschooling ball during those times. I am not always serving my children or writing, so I can replace those balls with housework for a while.
Really, the only balls that I try to keep going all the time are the ones that represent my love and care for myself, and the ones that represent my love and care for my God.
I never have all my balls up in the air at the same time, and I think this is how I manage everything I have to do—by making my priorities, and then building my life around those things. Also, I try never to expect perfection. If a good juggler drops a ball, he doesn’t drop all of them in search of the one rolling away. He simply keeps going, knowing that when he stops he can gather up the dropped ball and include it in his next round.
The same holds true as I juggle all the things I’m responsible for. I’ll drop a ball from time to time, but that’s okay. I just keep going with the balls I have until the day is done. Tomorrow is a new day, my balls will all be assembled and ready for me to animate them, and because I’ve taken care of myself, my hands and mind will be all the more nimble, and perhaps I’ll do a better job of keeping my balls in the air.
It all comes down to the priorities you set and the choices you make. Each juggler is different, and so are we!
How do you juggle all the different facets of your life?