Posts Tagged With: choices

 
 

Going for the Juggler

No, you didn’t read that wrong and I didn’t write it wrong.

You thought I meant to say going for the JUGULAR. That idea: “to finish off your opponent quickly and decisively by cutting the jugular vein, a direct connection to the heart,” is a cruel and ruthless thought.

Going for the JUGGLER sounds similar but isn’t heartless. It’s an innocent thing others do to us, or we unwittingly do to ourselves

Let me explain.

Photo by  Baikonur Juggle these.

Photo by Baikonur
Juggle these.

I juggle. You juggle. We all juggle.

We try to keep lots of things midair in our lives. Work, family, spouses, finances, housework, yard work, gardening, errands, volunteer work, meals, recreation, sports, lessons, extended family, appointments, workouts, goals, car repairs, mental health, hobbies, dreams, friendships, hopes, sleep, relaxation.

The list of juggled items often fills a page or two in our heads, and in our hearts.

How do we decide which things get our time and attention? How do we keep each ball hovering? And are some of the balls actually swords, or flaming batons? Maybe we’ve taken on a running chainsaw and tossed it into the mix of juggling knives and bowling pins.

If we take our eyes off the stuff in the air in order to pick up or add in another item we risk dropping something, or hurting ourselves or someone else.

Then we go for the juggler, which means the busiest person seems to willingly take on the most. The one with dozens of things hovering midair says “yes” to more, thinking that one more small thing won’t create a problem. We think we can pick up a tiny hacky sack and add it to the fray. Admit it, you’ve done it.

I get tired just thinking about it, don’t you?

And then the rhythm gets out of whack and it all starts to come crashing down around me.

So then I drop it all and sit in front of the TV “eating bonbons” into the wee hours of the night. Or I take a guilt-riddled day off and sleep hoping to somehow fill an empty reservoir so I can pick it all up again and start juggling again the next day.

The Big Secret

Here’s a not so very secret detail that I’m still trying to deal with: There are only twenty-four hours in a day.

Don’t you just hate that?

And almost a third of those hours should involve sleeping. That leaves sixteen hours for every other thing I need to juggle.

No matter how organized or prioritized, somethings on my list will never, ever get done.

It’s true.

I try to accept it. Embrace it. Give up. Well, I don’t exactly give up. But I try to embrace reality.

Once in a while I add a number to each item on my to-do list. The number represents how much time this item will take up in my day. I add up the numbers and always realize it exceeds the number of hours I have available in the day.

I have two choices at that point. I can either eliminate some items so it all fits, or I can attempt to shorten the amount of time each item takes to complete. Or, in my alternate universe, I can conjure up a third option: magically make the day longer.

Unfortunately, I haven’t quite mastered the third option.

Jugglers Circus Amok photo by David Shankbone.jpg CC BY 2.5

Jugglers Circus Amok photo by David Shankbone.jpg CC BY 2.5

Honestly, I’m not as busy as I once was when my kids all lived at home. But somehow, my life has managed to fill up with more to do than three women with super powers could get done in a day, or a week, or a month. Makes me wonder how I ever managed when I had a house filled with little and medium and big people to take care of. I suppose I became a Master Juggler Extraordinaire! The word Circus best describes how it got to play out some days. In fact there were whole years that fit into a three-ring fully tented circus at our house.

Sometimes I just have to let it go, drop a few balls, bowling pins, chainsaws, flaming batons, and swords, and admit some of those things aren’t as important or vital as I once thought they were

Really.

Pass me some chocolate, then you have some, too.

Categories: Priorities | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Would Have

I’m using the Sandwich theory today. When you have to tell someone bad news slip it in between two good things. Not that the middle thing is bad news. Really it’s just something we hear in various forms but we don’t really listen.

Or is that we listen to but don’t really hear?

Whatever. Pay attention to the middle today, okay?

This sandwich is kind of like a good and healthy middle filling that we should choose to eat, enclosed by homemade bread.

Here’s one slice of bread:

20131013-171146.jpg

I didn’t promise the bread would be delicious, did I? Oh well, it’s a classic anyway.

Here’s the flavor packed protein filled goodness of today’s sandwich:

Erma Bombeck wrote this back in 1979 at the same age I am now, and many, many years before she passed away..

“Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”

Here’s the other slice of bread:

20131013-171451.jpg

Insert your own rimshot at this point.

Hey, you can’t always take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Just three little somethings to let your brain chew on for a while.

Happy Sunday!

Categories: Humor, People, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

What We Choose and What We Give Up

Ten thoughts by other people with no commentary by me. Make of them what you will.

Alice par John Tenniel 31

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.

‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.

‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.

‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.” ~ Lewis Carroll

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“Find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live.” ~ Criss Jami

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“Every man gives his life for what he believes … one life is all we have to live and we live it according to what we believe.” ~Joan of Arc

Thou Mayest

Thou Mayest (Photo credit: danbruell)

“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.” ~ John Steinbeck in East of Eden

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Megiddo altar_0670

Megiddo altar.  (Photo credit: hoyasmeg)

“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” ~ Mitch Albom

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.” ~Shauna Niequist

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Lucy in the Sky

Lucy in the Sky (Photo credit: gritphilm)

“Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, “Is life a multiple choice test or is it a true or false test?” …Then a voice comes to me out of the dark and says, “We hate to tell you this but life is a thousand word essay.” ~ Charles M Schulz

Hogwarts coat of arms

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~ J.K. Rowling

Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

What We Give Up

Half the people I know have fled town for cooler places. I had plans to flee, but alas, here I am, in the final throes of wedding plans for my youngest.

I must admit I am envious of all the absent, traveling, vacationing, escapees from the heat wave we’re in.

Ultimate-sky

A little Ultimate Frisbee anyone? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And not just because they’re getting out of the heat. Oh no. I’m missing a family reunion that I also had to miss last year due to partial insanity and (mostly) very low to non-existent funds. This year I scrunched, pinched, saved, cajoled and weedled my way into a plane ticket so I could go early, visit with the fam, enjoy the festivities, stay long and visit more with other fam and pretty much relax for a week.

But love waits for no man, or future in-law.

So here I am, celebrating freedom by feeling slightly, begrudgingly, unfree.

That’s just silly isn’t it?

Instead I am here, in the desert, free to enjoy my freedom, my independence, my life. And what a life it is! A quick review of this past year’s Gratituesday posts alone reminds me I am blessed beyond measure.

Sure there’s some strange happenings afoot in our little land of the stars and stripes, but it’s still an exceptional place to be. It’s an abundant life by any measure you choose.

What will the next 365 days bring? Will we give up some of our privacy, some of our freedom for a pottage bowl full of something that looks and tastes like, but isn’t necessarily security? Or will we hold our ground? Can we keep the haters at bay? Can we tolerate each other and our polar-opposite opinions or will we insist on everyone agreeing with our view of things? Will we still feel free?

If I go to a parade, or a rodeo, a picnic or a reunion, will I still be grateful? Will I still recognize this country as the one I’ve spent a lifetime in? I sure hope so.

English: Sparkler Polski: Zimny ogień

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m counting on attending next year’s family reunion, seeing all the new babies, stunned at the growing up they do so magically, amazed at how the uncles and aunts have morphed into slightly younger version of Grandma and Grandpa, renewing friendships with cousins. Of course, my own siblings keep aging while I stay perfectly young (cough) and that is fascinating to me, too.

I’m glad I’ve stayed in town for my daughter’s sanity, her last few days of single life, the little details that need attending to. She’s only a bride this one time. I’ve got a long list to get busy with today. I’d best get to it.

Tonight’s local barbecue and sparklers…will do just fine for celebrating this country’s birthday and my freedom.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Only

I often say

”if only”

and

“I wish”

Although

I lack

Regret

For the

What was

because

the “if only”

would make me

what I’m not

and the

“Oh well”

that I am

I like.

    -Kami Tilby
Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oops! and Ouch!

WRONG WAY

(Photo credit: CarbonNYC)

”Experience is that marvellous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.” – Franklin P. Jones

Looking closely at this wrong way sign makes me wonder where it is and why it keeps getting dinged. Crunched repeatedly it’s obviously taken a few hits. Reminds me of the look you can sense in some people who’ve taken some tough hits from life. In fact, I’m sure I’ve seen that look in the mirror occasionally.

Dirt Road

(Photo credit: Barbara L. Slavin)

“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all over the idea of Robert Frost’s poem of taking the road less traveled. It’s a romantic notion of adventure, unique experiences and rare beauties. Focus on that word notion. The price one pays for the those rarities in a high one.

But let’s face it. It’s not the easy road. It’s got the potential to get you stuck in the mud up to your rims. The road less traveled will lead to some sleepless nights, and painful days. The road less traveled will require some sacrifices and some tough decisions. And yet, a few of us choose it anyway.

All the onlookers from the other road shake their heads, chuckle to themselves and forget about the crazy ones once they get going on their own journey. They’ll even throw in an “I told you so,” when someone stalls out on the side of a less traveled path.

You may have stumbled on a less traveled path yourself. You may not even know that’s what it is.

I suppose the trick is an ability to laugh, like Seinfield, at the silliness of the foibles and the unfairness on that road. It’s also a good idea to keep your eyes wide open.

Happy travels to you today on whatever path you’ve taken.

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mason Jars Filled with Do Overs

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ’til eternity passes away just to spend them with you.”

– Jim Croce

MSH thinks going back in time and reliving his life sounds wonderful.  Many people I’ve asked agree with him. Give them a second chance at life, they’d take it!

Me? No, thank you! End of discussion. No way.

Well, one way, maybe.  If I could remember everything from my first time through, then sure, I’d be willing to face my childhood, puberty, early marriage, and every other stage of my life with confidence.  But without my memories, my hard-earned learning curve intact, there’s no way I’d have a do over.

Too many regrets, that’s why.

A Kerr mason jar

A Kerr mason jar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance. Instead of letting my eighteen month old son cry himself to sleep laying next to his bedroom door, I’d let him fall asleep snuggled in my arms on the couch every single night until he decided he preferred his bed.  Call me foolish.  I don’t care. I can still see his little tear streaked sleeping face peeking out under the gap between the floor and the door.

I’d have bought those Wizard of Oz sparkly red shoes for my youngest. I wouldn’t have put off getting that sailor dress my daughter wanted. I would have asked more questions, assumed less, pried more, talked directly, been less afraid.

Instead of anxiously awaiting the day my kids would start school I’d clean the house less and play with them more.

My own teenage years were a horror story of stupid decisions, bad behavior, rebellion and embarrassment.  I’d just completely remake myself.  I’d be friendly and outgoing instead of trembling and introverted.  I’d care less about what everyone else thought about me and wonder more about how they felt and how I could help. I’d complain less to my mom and help out more.  No, really, I would.  I’d soak in every moment of being young and healthy and energetic.  I’d run with more abandon, sing louder, laugh longer, smile more often, tell jokes, be nicer to my sisters and tell my brothers that I thought they were cool.

If I could have time in a bottle…pretty much everything that happened from day one until now would be different.  I’d be different.  In fact, I wouldn’t even be me anymore, would I?

That’s a scary thought. A hopeful thought. A weird thought.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Or I’d change everything.

After harvest - jars of glass filled with honey

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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