Getting an “F” in Juggling

Truth #1 – Everyone lies about having it all together. And even if they did have it all together, they’ve forgotten where they put it. No matter how good they look, everybody has balls in the air that they are terrified they are going to drop. The PTA-member soccer-mom queen who bakes the super fancy birthday cakes has loads of laundry hidden under her bed. The successful lawyer who takes the annual ski trip to Aspen with his parents and brothers and their families is tired of eating dinner alone. No one can be perfect at everything no matter how hard he or she works. We all worry about what we need to do to keep from crashing and burning.

Truth #2 – We’re going to crash and burn anyway.

My life is actually pretty simple at the moment. I have the day-job ball, the trying-to-write-half-time ball, the family ball, and the personal-life ball.  At any given time I can keep three of them in the air. The fourth hits the ground and splats like an egg that rolled off the counter when my back was turned.

Lately it’s been the writing ball that’s been taking a beating (which is why this post is late in going up.) My day-job ball has been bouncing all over the place but I think it’s finally in a steady orbit. The family ball always need attention but it’s stable for now. The writing ball was going well until the personal ball decided it needed more of my attention. Now my concentration has shifted and, as usual, part of my life is in free-fall.

I hate it. It sucks. I feel like I’m failing.

I’m normal.

A couple of years ago I had my priorities reset and now the bar for “serious” is pretty damned high. If I’m healthy and my family is healthy and I can keep a roof over my head, everything else is gravy. My day job has stabilized and my confidence there is good. So as long as I continue to do my job well while I’m there, I can stop worrying about it for the moment. My personal life is shifting but hopefully towards something good; it will take time and effort but good things do.

What I need is to find my footing with my writing. I need to have a regular starting place, even if it’s only a page a day. For me, writing is a momentum thing. If I have it, I can keep it going and build on. But getting momentum is exhausting. I was on a roll last week and lost it so I’m starting over today.

If I can find that balance between my family, my writing and my personal life I will be a very happy camper.

Wish me luck. I’ll need it.

2 thoughts on “Getting an “F” in Juggling

  1. Holli

    How I love this post! You know I feel like this all the time. I actually made me laugh out loud (I refuse to say lol).

    What about the house cleaning and yard work ball and the exercise ball, or do those fit under personal life? Marketing ball? Where the heck does it go?

    I’m having the opposite problem right now. The writing is going well, but I don’t want to do the day job. I’m procrastinating like crazy. I wish I’d known in advance that I was going to procrastinate for hours so I could have just kept writing. But we never do know in advance, do we?

    Hang in there. You will get that ball back up there.

    1. Elle Post author

      Hurray for writing going well! You have to celebrate the balls you keep in the air. There is a reason the shorthand for day job is EDJ (EVIL day job). Procrastination is killer.

      I think this whole situation is where the term “dropping the ball” comes from.

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