Should a Juggler Juggle Alone?
I am a multitasker. In my younger days I thrived on seeing how much I could do all at the same time. I was a wife, mother, and business owner, caregiver for my mom, Girl Scout leader and church volunteer. But time has slowed down both my mental and physical capacity and doing more than one thing at a time is like watching the I Love Lucy’s Chocolate Factory episode where Ethel and Lucy are wrapping the chocolate on a conveyor belt. Only it’s not nearly as funny.
I think I needed to be a multitasker in part because succeeding at multiple things made me feel good about myself. But it was never enough. I was also trying to prove something to myself and others. I kept scheduling and volunteering myself for things without setting my priorities. I had that “Can do” attitude which inevitably led me to a really bad curmudgeon attitude. I was the proverbial “jack of all trades and master of none”.
I often would run myself into the ground trying to juggle all the balls and of course, they and I finally come crashing to the ground, exhausted, spent and miserable. The best lessons on this subject I learned through being a caregiver and unfortunately for my mother I made most of mistakes trying to care for her.
Through caregiving I learned that I needed to set some priorities in my life. I had to determine what values, goals, relationships and causes were important in my life. Some of the questions I have had to ask are:
- What are my priorities?
- Where do I spend my time?
- Where do I spend my money?
- What do I live for, that brings me joy, and gives focus to my life?
- What claims my energy, and is either consciously chosen or set for us by outside circumstances?
- What priorities are more important than others?
And these questions need to be asked each time a new project, deadline, volunteer opportunity, or family crisis comes into life that may force change in one’s priorities.
Today, I try to accept my limitations and thrive on the serenity of one thought at a time. Of course I need to write down all the other things I have to do because otherwise – poof! – there gone from my brain.
But I also realized that NO ONE can continue to juggle all the balls, all the time. That’s why in the circus there are often two or more people who take turns, spell one another to help get the tasks done. And in the circus of life, one needs as many hands to keep the balls juggling.
One must let go of trying to prove something to ourselves or others. Realize that God made us to be connected to Him and to one another and into community.
The point is that we cannot do everything by ourselves but we can do everything together. We must be willing to ask for help and if we get a “no” for an answer; ask someone else or ask that person a different request. But don’t stop asking for help. Because asking for help and helping someone are both opportunities to give a gift of receiving and accepting.
So if you are knee deep in medical mayhem right now, stop trying to juggle all the balls all the time, for even the juggler didn’t juggle 24/7.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.