Join the Circus

Recently I’ve been thinking, I should join the circus. Because quite frankly, I have become rather excellent at juggling.

Initially that can sound like a positive attribute, but it can also be a hindrance.

There’s the kind of juggling where you feel like superwoman simply because you have managed to keep so many balls in the air and so many plates spinning at the same time. Life is flowing, you’re achieving loads of positive things every week, people around you are happy, you are fulfilling your goals, your kids are a complete joy, you are planning and dreaming of big things, and generally you are winning at life. You know that feeling, right? Go us! Pat on the back. Well done you!

And then there’s the kind of juggling where you’ve been slowly adding another ball, and another ball, and another ball, in to the mix, and then one day you realise you’re so stressed to the max, dealing with all the juggling. But you keep attempting to juggle. However, the problem here is often worse than it seems, because some of these balls are spiky, some are slimy and hard to hold on too, and some are explosive! This demands a whole new level of juggling skills.

Then guess what? All of a sudden, you realise you don’t really enjoy juggling anymore.   

Now, any sensible person will realise that eventually some balls will drop. People who are even more sensible, will choose to place a few balls on the ground before this happens. The really super sensible people, will choose to put the spiky, hard to handle and exploding balls down first and walk away from them, very quickly!

Seems obvious, right?

However, when we’re in the thick of it, many of us aren’t super sensible. Or even barely half sensible at best, as we are blinded by the sheer amount and speed of those ever-changing balls. Our focus shifts to ultimately just keeping those darn balls in the air, and we often lose the ability to actually ask ourselves the most crucial question of all. Do we need to be juggling at all?

Let’s think about when the balls eventually drop. What do you think those ones may be? Yep, that’s right – the pink and fluffy happy balls that were once making you feel superhuman and bursting with life.

But we don’t often notice, that overtime, we have been juggling less and less of the happy balls, because the ‘difficult’ balls creep in and take over. Just because they are thrown at us, (and grab our attention, because to be fair, the sneaky wee blighters have just upset the rhythm of our previous successful juggling), do we need to choose to invite them to stay and include them in our juggling act?

Once in a while, as we stand on centre stage in our own little circus called life, we need to momentarily take a step out of the juggling ring and let all the balls drop.

By letting all the balls drop, we can maybe make a clearer decision to which balls we choose to pick back up again. 

I am struggling with my juggling. In all areas of my life. And this is something that has been sustained for quite some time now. Far too long.

I am probably as guilty as the next woman/mum. My focus, for far too long has been on juggling those spiky, hard to handle, exploding balls, and neglecting the light happy balls that brought me such joy and empowerment.

We all go through phases like this. Don’t we?

But I suppose the key is recognising that these periods of stressful juggling should be short lived, and not a long term situation. Nobody can sustain dangerous juggling for too long, especially with only one pair of hands and limited juggling skills! (I know as women, we’re good, but we’re not that good! Even we have our limits!). We need to be able to take action when the time comes, and change what we’re choosing to juggle.

Now don’t get me wrong, I look at the positive, as we all should during these times, and give myself a pat on the back for massively improving my circus abilities, and sustaining this new-found skill for so long. But the reality is, this kind of juggling is very damaging.  I have been ignoring the pink and fluffy balls, dropping them one by one over a long period of time. Putting them on hold until I make sure the spiky ones aren’t hurting anyone, desperately trying to manage the slippery ones, and ensuring the exploding ones don’t explode.

Who knew juggling could be so hard!

The longer this goes on, I am forgetting what kind of gorgeous pink fluffyness awaits me. How long do I wait?

Could it be time to step back from the crazy flying balls and let them all drop, and rest there for a while? Perhaps so.

And which ones shall I choose to pick back up again, and which ones will I leave on the floor?

I’m not sure yet.

No doubt there will be some of the spiky kind, but I need to consciously choose to search out those little balls of happiness to juggle back in to my life again.

They ease the balance. They counteract the unavoidable stress in life. They provide hope and healing.

So, I don’t know what my new set of juggling balls will look like, but I know I will be seeking out three specific ones, that I haven’t held in some time, namely nature, friendships, and inner peace.

I think in the crazy world that we live in today, when it’s so easy for pressure and stress to engulf us, we all reach that point where we need to let all the balls drop. We need to just stop juggling and take some time out.

We shouldn’t be scared of that happening. Perhaps it forces us to address the things we keep promising ourselves to let go of, or the things we keep promising to give our attention to again soon, but never do.

So, if your juggling skills don’t feel up to scratch at the moment, and you can’t cope with what’s being thrown at you, or maybe you miss some pink fluffyness in your life, then take a step back and let them all fall. Then breathe, and ‘super sensibly’ choose which ones to pick back up again.

It’s your circus.

Your balls.

So you choose.

Because after all, you’re the only one going to be juggling them.

Nikki xx