If you’ve seen me in person over the last four weeks, you’ve undoubtedly heard me use the term juggling. The boys have been out of school for four weeks and four days (not that I’m counting).
I love those boys with my whole heart, couldn’t possibly love them any more.
Oh. my. goodness.
Why are they suddenly waking at 6:00 AM instead of 7:00 AM?
The sun staying up until after 9:00 PM isn’t helping either. They want to talk. They want to play.
They won’t stop fighting.
I really think someone traded them for Thing 1 and Thing 2 on the last day of school as some sort of cruel joke. My house totally looks like that, and there’s no big red box, no magic vacuum.
How in the world am I supposed to get anything (and I mean ANYTHING) done?
There is a constant conflict in my heart about when to walk away from my desk, no matter what is left to be done and when to hold my boundaries to finish my task. I want them to remember that their mom would drop anything to look in their eyes and hear what’s on their hearts. I really, really do.
AND in the summer, that’s just not possible.
So today, I thought I’d write about priorities. Partly because I feel so strongly that putting them in place is the only way to survive the summer and partly because it’s therapeutic for me to write about them today. 😉
Priorities are the survival guide for women.
When you’re in college and working 3 jobs, you have to figure out priorities. When you have a busy job and a spouse, you have to figure them out. When you’re married and have kids, you have to figure them out. You have to figure out your priorities to survive, yes, but also to have joy and thrive.
You have to decide what’s most important, in this moment.
It can be different from what’s most important in three hours, five minutes, or even 5 seconds.
We can learn a lesson from a juggler here. In order to juggle successfully, the juggler has very clear priorities. Eyes on the ball that is in the air. When it reaches the top of it’s arc, that’s when you throw the next ball up with your left hand and over with your right hand.
Think about how quickly the priority of your focus is changing, from ball to ball as they move through the chain. No ball is more important than the other, they’re simply more important at different times, requiring different amounts of attention.
Juggling isn’t easy.
In fact, very few people ever learn to do it well. It takes hours and days of practice. Balls land on the floor a lot and you have to pick them up to try again. The process of learning to juggle is incredibly frustrating and many people give up too soon. But think about the last time you saw a professional juggler.
It looks effortless.
They’ve practiced those priorities over and over and over. They know exactly what to expect. All the balls (or flames as it may be) flow together in a beautiful rhythm. Each ball gets exactly the right amount of attention at exactly the right time. It’s stunning to watch.
That’s what I want my juggling to look and feel like.
I don’t want to be flailing around, grasping for balls left and right. I want to have my eyes locked on the top priority ball until it’s time to switch and throw. I want it to look effortless. I want every ball to know for sure, when it’s time, it will be the priority and have all the attention it needs.
So today, I’m making a schedule of “summer office hours” and “family focus hours” . I’m going to tape it on my door and start to practice throwing balls. I know some balls are going to drop and I’ll have to start all over.
But it’s a first step.
I have one goal; to love well.
So I’m learning to be a better juggler.
To more love,