Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Keeping the Balls in the Air

In college, I wanted to learn how to juggle. I bought juggling bags and a book of instructions. I practiced for hours. And I failed. Hand-eye coordination and I are not friends.

And yet, by the time I graduated from college I had become a juggler nonetheless. I was married and expecting my first baby. And the juggling act has only gotten better since then. A husband, six kids, church callings, women's choir (I'm the president), writing, blogging, friends, family, cooking, cleaning, pets, etc., etc., etc. That's a lot of balls to keep going.

The trick is figuring out which ball I need to catch at any given time, and which ones I can leave in the air. I never want to let any of them fall, but honestly sometimes that's impossible. I have to try hard not to drop anything important.

I know what matters to me, and what doesn't. Every day I talk to God and let Him guide which balls I need to catch that day. And which balls I can leave in His hands. If something falls, even if it's something important, well, there's always tomorrow to pick it back up and try again.

How's your juggling act going?

26 comments:

Tamara said...

Not as well as I'd like it to be. Great analogy, though. I suppose the only way to get better at juggling is to keep at it, right?

Melanie Goldmund said...

My juggling act involves me dropping all the balls and grabbing for the chocolate instead. *sigh*

Nisa said...

You are amazing! I'm grateful for your example, Angie, and your blog! I needed to hear this today. Sometimes we forget that it's okay if some of the balls hit the floor. We CAN just pick them up again later.

Karen Lange said...

Good analogy. I've always thought of myself as a plate spinner, like those circus acts, keeping those plates spinning constantly. But maybe I should consider juggling instead. It's a mess to clean up the plates that fall to the ground! :)

Cami Checketts said...

I'm with Melanie on the chocolate!
I get so overwhelmed then I remind myself to change my attitude and like you said, pray for guidance to know which ball to catch at any given moment. Speaking of which, my baby is awake and shrieking for his momma.

Larry and Cindy said...

As I get older I find that the balls I thought were the MOST important have hit floor and rolled away, and I can't remember what they were! Family and faith are the ones to keep up, the rest,not so much. Your the BEST, love you, DAD

Stacy Henrie said...

Love this post! I've been thinking along simliar lines the last while and I think you showed the key to the balancing act - asking God to guide our efforts.

Cher Green said...

Wonderful post! I'm still practicing, lol.

Angie said...

Yes, I'm with Melanie on the chocolate too. Thank you Dad, Stacie and Cher. I'm still practicing all the time myself.

Stephanie McGee said...

Not very well. At all. Like maybe I'm bouncing one ball up and down in my hand and the rest are nowhere to be found.

Christina Lee said...

Thank you for the inspiration today! Lots of times those balls are little buggers rolled up in self-doubt and I need to drop them or transform them, or something *sigh*

Jacqueline Howett said...

To juggle or not to juggle thats the question? Thats why I placed Art up on my blog for now as an interval! And just pick up where we left off. Sometimes a good breather helps.

lbdiamond said...

Love the analogy!

It gets hard to juggle things sometimes...I tend to pick one or two major things, work on that, then shift gears as needed. I try to be flexible...even when I don't like to, LOL!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Ugh - not so well, for me. :-) Thus my inconsistent presence here! Balancing is especially challenging as the release of my book nears. I am having to learn lots of new habits. Thanks for the post!

Jolene Perry said...

Made me laugh. It's so true, I'm getting better as I get older at not trying to keep things perfect, doing what I can, when I can, and being okay with letting a few things drop, knowing I can pick them up later. It's a good lesson to learn and a hard one sometimes to remember.

K.M. Weiland said...

I think all my balls came crashing down last fall when I was experiencing some serious burnout, but they're flying high right now. Must be spring. ;)

Terry W. Ervin II said...

I taught myself to juggle in college. It was a way to relax after a study session or writing a paper so that I could get some sleep.

I think sometimes I am better at that kind of juggling than keeping all of the responsiblities of life, job and writing going in the air.

ali said...

I love this! My balls are happily moving along ~ at the moment. Ask me again tomorrow. ;)

AstonWest said...

Great analogy...now, where are my extra sets of hands?

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Whoa, fabulous analogy! I love, LOVE how you said "The trick is figuring out which ball I need to catch at any given time, and which ones to leave in the air."

That means it's okay to keep moving, though you're leaving something undone, but that's okay, cuz I'll get back to it when I can.

Great post, Angie. Thanks for the inspiration and hope!

*HUGS*

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Angela Felsted said...

Good for you! I wish I could say that I felt as confident about my time management choices as you do.

Angie said...

I need a couple extra sets of hands too, Todd. Thanks for the comment.

Medeia Sharif said...

I've become a better juggler as I get older. I'd like to be a bit faster, though.

Larry and Cindy said...

Great thoughts Angie, it really gave me something to think about! We just have to do the best we can and keep trying. Much Love to you, MOM

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great analogy Angie!

L.T. Elliot said...

I have a hard time with this. I tend to chuck too many in the air and overburden. ;)