In Others’ Words: Juggling Act

Juggling quote 2014 Lately I’ve felt like a juggler.

I’m not a real juggler. Don’t toss me an assortment of fruit and expect me to do some fancy handwork and keep apples and oranges and bananas all circling in midair. Not going to happen.

But when it comes to life — day in, day out, what-did-I-accomplish-today kind of stuff — yes, I’m virtually juggling as fast as I can. And just when I think I’ve got everything handled (no pun intended) someone yells “Here ya go!” and tosses me another item to add to the swirling, twirling mass of labeled “my life.”

Do you ever feel that way? That your life has become nothing more than a juggling act?

What’s helping me master virtual juggling?

  1. I’m accepting juggling is reaility. This is my life right now: more than busy, and not about to slow down anytime soon. Acknowledging this relieves stress because I’m not wrestling against the truth of what is … for now.
  2. I’m figuring out which balls are glass and which are rubber. I abandoned the myth of numbering priorities 1-2-3 a long time ago. Right now, I’m juggling a lot of #1 priorities — and these are the glass balls. Anything else? Rubber.
  3. I’m learning there comes a time to stop juggling and rest. It is unrealistic to expect that I juggle all my demands 24 hours a day, nonstop. At some point I need to set the balls aside and rest. Refuse to take on last look at Facebook or Twitter or my email. Everything I need to do — and probably something new — will be waiting for me tomorrow.

In Your Words: What are you juggling right now? How do you determine which demands in your life are “glass balls” and which ones are “rubber balls”?

Here’s the Trick: Juggling Life Demands Click to Tweet

3 Tips for Juggling the Priorities in Your Life Click to Tweet




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  1. April 23, 2014, 6:44 am   /  Reply

    That’s a great spin on the juggling theme, hadn’t considered glass balls before, but some are.
    I often say I’ve been juggling many balls and every once in a while, drop one on my head. It’s a good concept, though. May our skills increase with time.

    • April 23, 2014, 11:01 am   /  Reply

      Hadn’t considered the potential of dropping a ball — rubber or glass — on my head, Dee. Ouch! And, yeah — that would throw my juggling off for a bit.

  2. April 23, 2014, 6:48 am   /  Reply

    I used to juggle, but circumstances have made that impossible.

    Now I follow the path of the water buffalo – I take each step, do that which is immediately before me, and know that when it’s finished I will move on to the next, if I can.

    No one’s going to die from my dropped balls – if anything’s that critical it gets moved to the front of the line.

    I miss the feeling of juggling. I miss the desperate lunges to catch things that were falling out of reach. But I can’t afford that any more.

    • April 23, 2014, 11:05 am   /  Reply

      Why am I not surprised that you know how to juggle, Andrew?
      And yes, sometimes it involves desperate lunges, not just standing there, all graceful and self-assured. Sometimes you have to admit “oops! I almost dropped that one.” And then regaint the proper rhythm.

  3. April 23, 2014, 7:41 am   /  Reply

    Love this. Right now I’m juggling a lot of glass balls, too. And I think one of them has a crack in it. 🙂 Great post.

    • April 23, 2014, 11:06 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Pat. Some of the glass balls I’m juggling could use a checkup for cracks, maybe a quick polish … and even the rubber ones should be upgraded.

  4. April 23, 2014, 8:40 am   /  Reply

    All my juggling came to a screeching halt last Friday morning. Thankfully, no glass balls dropped. My hubby kept those ones moving in the air. I’m slowly taking on a little juggling of taking care of the family and taking care of me. I guess the glass balls in my life are those ones that, if dropped, will have lasting consequences on those around me and on me. Rubber balls are definitely easier to juggle, because if they get dropped, they bounce.

    Great post, friend!

    • April 23, 2014, 11:07 am   /  Reply

      Excellent thought, Jeanne: Sometimes you can ask for help with the virtual juggling, especially in a crisis!

  5. April 23, 2014, 9:14 am   /  Reply

    Beth, it sounds to me like God is helping you figure out how to keep everything moving fluidly, which is necessary for any juggler. Keep journeying with Him, and He’s sure to be that extra hand you may occasionally need to keep everything balanced just right.

    For me, balancing life, tutoring, writing, etc. is something I’m still figuring out. Throw in NHL and NBA playoffs and it’s a jungle over here. 🙂 Anyway, I’m trying to figure out the best time in my schedule for writing one story and editing another. Didn’t get it figured out so well last week, so maybe this one will be better. Good thing is my tutoring schedule is lightening up a bit, freeing up more time. Ah, the blessings! Love my kids, but also appreciate the extra story time.


    • April 23, 2014, 11:08 am   /  Reply

      Andrea: I do think there’s an ebb and flow to life. And learning to rest in that — to go with the flow rather than fight it — is a form of wisdom.

  6. Susan
    April 23, 2014, 12:08 pm   /  Reply

    Love that analogy of glass or rubber. Never saw it that way, but it’s true. And yes, right now…this season…it is a huge juggling act at my household. I’m holding out for summer and praying I can lay a few of those balls down. We’ll see:)

    • April 23, 2014, 10:43 pm   /  Reply

      Summer is always a bit of a respite for me too — if I’m careful not to overload. And that’s a challenge, because summer is always a time of writing deadlines for me too.

  7. April 23, 2014, 4:17 pm   /  Reply

    Yes. I am definitely juggling and sometimes not very well. Thankfully, I know the Master juggler (hope that’s not irreverent) and He keeps the glass balls from shattering too often.

    • April 23, 2014, 10:43 pm   /  Reply

      I don’t think it’s irrevant at all, Anne. I think you are acknowledging that God is in control and that we need to lean on him and acknowledge his sovereignty in our lives.

  8. April 23, 2014, 9:41 pm   /  Reply

    Ooooh, I like this one a lot, Beth. I’ve got balls going everywhere. Putting thought tonight into which ones are glass.

    • April 23, 2014, 10:44 pm   /  Reply

      Keep me posted, Kim. Keep me posted.

  9. April 23, 2014, 10:23 pm   /  Reply

    Ah, juggling balls! I’ve learned over the past two years which ones to keep in the air, and which ones to set aside (or toss to others). My relationship with Jesus, my marriage, my children, and my health are all glass balls–almost everything else is made of rubber. This is one of those hard lessons that we usually learn only after one of the glass balls fall and breaks. For me, it was my health this past fall. I had let it fall, and it’s taken me all winter to pick up the pieces and put them back together. Thankfully, the ball has been fixed, but I’ve learned how important it is to let other things go to keep this one in the air.

    • April 23, 2014, 10:45 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, Gabrielle, I understand all too well the fragility of health. I am thankful that your health is better, my friend.

  10. Terri Tiffany
    April 24, 2014, 6:02 am   /  Reply

    I know exactly how you feel Beth. The good news is it comes and goes. there will come the day when there isn’t any more juggling and you will wish for it back.

  11. April 24, 2014, 11:34 am   /  Reply

    After losing my mom and father-in-law two weeks apart last year, my daughter got married two weeks after that. (That was joyous for sure, but very bittersweet.) Then three weeks later, I had major shoulder surgery and was incapacitated from that for weeks. Then, I had to have the surgery again, 6 months later because I didn’t ever heal from the first surgery. I pretty much dropped all the balls in my life. It was the hardest year of my life. But it’s okay. Through that, God showed me which balls are really important.

    1) My family…my daddy, my husband, my kids. They are my priority.

    2) Taking care of myself so I can take care of my family.

    3) Now I have added back in blogging, my photography, and writing. That’s my ministry.

    It’s cool that I can see more clearly now and am comfortable with not trying to do it “all”. I still try to cut myself slack as needed. (Which is HARD to do sometimes.)

    But having all the balls drop at once can bring clarity. Maybe some need to go and we don’t have the strength to make that decision ourselves. We keep trying to juggle something that doesn’t need to be juggled…..just a thought.

    Great post Beth!

    • April 25, 2014, 8:50 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for sharing your hard-won insight, Mary.

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