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Archive for February, 2010

On Juggling

     My sister used to juggle raw eggs. She would stand there in the kitchen deftly passing the eggs from hand to hand with one eye on my mother—because the whole display was aimed at her. Mom hated the willful destruction of perfectly good food. I would watch with wide-eyes, torn between admiration and horror. I had already been indoctrinated with my mom’s hatred of waste. One day, I asked my sister to teach me how to juggle. We used rolled up socks. (I wasn’t yet egg-calibre.) She tossed me one little sock ball and I bounced it from hand to hand—easy. Then she tossed another. This time it was harder, but with some concentration I was able to juggle the two back and forth. Finally, she added a third…and suddenly there were sock balls bouncing everywhere.
     Well, the years have passed I’m still struggling to learn how to juggle. Of course the balls have changed in size, number and importance. Instead of socks, I juggle kids, writing, home, bills, church, PTO & etc. Unfortunately, my skills haven’t improved that much from when I was a kid. I can concentrate on one thing—say writing 1500 word a day/5 days a week—and that’s pretty comfortable. I add another—still good. I can even manage a third with only a stumble or two…so I keep going. A few people come along and helpfully toss in some balls that I’ve overlooked. Suddenly it feels like I’m surrounded by a group of people pitching balls at me and smiling encouragingly as I try madly to keep them all in the air. And then all the balls fall at once.
     These last couple of months have been filled with the resounding thud of falling balls. Only it turned out I must have been juggling flaming torches because when they fell I found myself putting out fires. When I had gotten most of the flames extinguished (or at least down to a few sullen embers), I finally looked at my blog and realized I had written a resolution to write a new blog every week—in December. That’s one ball that rolled under the couch.
    So now I am back at it, carefully adding one ball at a time without any of the rest falling. Today, I am writing this blog. Tomorrow, I will restart my exercise program. I have managed to lose track of my eldest’s progress report, but honestly that’s hers to juggle—she’d just like me to do it for her. Today’s world encourages juggling—it practically demands it. And I still find myself mesmerized whenever I meet a really good juggler. However, I am still mediocre at best. Luckily for me, my sister is still an excellent juggler of all things including life, and she still gives me tips.

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